BEST OF 2022: Serge Pizzorno on The Alchemist's Euphoria by Kasabian
28 December 2022, 13:38
Kasabian - The Alchemist's Euphoria track by track | X-Posure
It's all change for the Leicester band's seventh album - Serge takes Radio X's John Kennedy through the new LP track by track.
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Kasabian have returned on 12th August 2022 with their seventh studio The Alchemist's Euphoria.
The album marks their first since the departure of former singer Tom Meighan, and sees guitarist and songwriter Serge Pizzorno step into the role of frontman. You can watch Serge take Radio X's John Kennedy through the album track by track as part of the X-Posure playback above or listen to the Track By Track Podcast here
What does the the title The Alchemist's Euphoria mean?
"The album feels euphoric," Pizzorno explains. "When you're making anything, a tune or whatever, when you get that initial idea there's this unbelievable feeling that keeps you going. That's the greedy bit. That happens maybe once a month. The rest of it is just hard, hard work, pleading with the Song Gods to give me something. And I think any songwriter or filmmaker or painter would know what I'm talking about."
Where was The Alchemist's Euphoria recorded and who was the producer?
The Alchemist's Euphoria has been recorded at Pizzorno's home studio in Leicester, the excellently-named Sergery. "It looks like where Kanye would work," he says of the studio. "It's like this industrial sort of corrugated black church. It kind of looks like a boat house from Amsterdam, next door to the house, right? Hidden, Batman-style."
Serge produced the album with Fraser T. Smith, who has worked with Adele, Tom Grennan, Rita Ora, Dave and Stormzy. He's also - much to Serge's delight - a Leicester City fan.
"I kind of heard but I didn't think it was true," says the Kasabian man. "We met to talk about making an album, then it just turned into naming the Martin O'Neill team from '96 or something. The start of each session would be like, So what do you want to do? Then pretty quickly we'd be like 'Vardy's going to stay, right?' So it was wonderful."
Here are some of the highlights from Serge Pizzorno's track by track of The Alchemist's Euphoria by Kasabian.
Kasabian - ALYGATYR LIVE | Radio X Presents with Barclaycard | Radio X
"We start with the waves and with the Alchemist. The album is his journey through a fork in the road. We all go through those moments in our lives where, you know, there's a big decision to make. And then along the way there are other themes that are very universal.
"The Alchemist, he's like the character in this movie. I see him - or her - like the mask on the front cover that he uses to create. The mask has things he's picked up from different places, parts of synthesisers, all kind of things. So you see this figure sitting at the side of the sea."
Kasabian - ALCHEMIST (Official Lyric Video)
"You'll find there's three songs in that tune. It's kind of walk on music, like if you were in a heavyweight fight, that's the tune I'd want to walk on to. Lyrically, it's about the stories we tell ourselves. It's about ripping that up and going hold on a minute, why am I telling myself that? Maybe there's something more."
Kasabian - SCRIPTVRE (Official Video)
"I was just thinking about the new mosh pit because the mosh pit, it's changed a little bit. There's a new sort of tempo. I've been to see Kendrick, Tyler The Creator... Travis Scott. There's a sort of 80 BPM thing going on. That was the starting point - I thought if you could somehow make a modern futuristic rock 'n' roll version of that, how would that sound?
"In the grunge era, there's the famous quiet-loud thing, but here the quiet bit is the R&B section. I would have loved to have got Kelis to sing that bit, but it didn't work out. This is where the alchemy comes, taking all these different things, re-arranging and putting them all back together in the Sergery, in the operating theatre. I think it's ferocious. I love that track. I can't wait to play it live."
Kasabian - ROCKET FUEL (Official Lyric Video)
STRICTLY OLD SKOOL
"It's just a sentiment. It's about friendship and the people that stand with you from day one. It's a tribute to my pals. They know who they are."
Kasabian - STRICTLY OLD SKOOL (Official Lyric Video)
"This song feels like the gateway between the old and the new. This bridges the gap, I think. I just used 'alligator' because it's about survival. It was sort of poignant for us. I read somewhere that if there was a nuclear war, we'd be done but alligators would be fine. Because they just the number plates and bikes and laptops and survive through anything."
Kasabian - ALYGATYR (Official Visualiser)
Kasabian - æ space (Official Audio)
"It's about a hangover. It's about hitting the wall. A monumental touring hangover in the hotel room. Me and Chris [Edwards, bassist] will be on the phone, usually about 3pm, saying mate, I've hit the biggest wall. I wrote it to try and make him laugh because it's a beautiful song! And it's so tender. When I played it to him, he's like, You somehow got away with that. But I now hear it his way. It's way bigger than a hangover."
Kasabian - THE WALL (Official Lyric Video)
T.U.E. (the ultraview effect)
"This is the centrepiece of the album. The Overview Effect is the idea that when astronauts go to space and they see the Earth from space, in the middle of nothing, it changes their personality completely when they get home. It has a huge effect on how they see the world. I saw one guy say that it would be great to get the whole G8 out in space, the leaders of the world. Because they would come back and everything would be a lot better. I prefer the Ultraview Effect. Sounds better, more sci fi. That's the Milky Way version. That track is about different perspective, seeing yourself from an out-of-body experience, which is what was kind of how I felt."
Kasabian - T.U.E (the ultraview effect) (Official Lyric Video)
"I've always loved electronica. I've always been a huge fan of Boards Of Canada - I love their synth work. This is the sort of animation bit of the film, you know, when it would take liberties and go into some anime version."
Kasabian - STARGAZR (Official Lyric Video)
"This was the last tune I wrote for the record and we've started playing it live. It rarely happens with a new song, but you can instantly feel that energy, so that's really connected already."
Kasabian - CHEMICALS (Official Video - 3:21am in Les-tah)
"You've been on the journey, you've gone, you've made the decision, and then you're back home different, better or not. And now it's just about letting it all go. I mean, that's easier said than done. I'm not sure if that's even possible? But it's worth trying, you know?"
Kasabian - LETTING GO (Official Lyric Video)
Kasabian - The Alchemist's Euphoria tracklist
- ROCKET FUEL
- STRICTLY OLD SKOOL
- æ space
- THE WALL
- T.U.E (the ultraview effect)
- æ sea
- LETTING GO
The Alchemist's Euphoria is out now.
Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno answers Most Googled Questions