Hitting a new groove after 15 years of   boundary-breaking music 

It’s 10 a.m. in Australia, and Kasabian guitarist Sergio Pizzorno can’t quite stifle a yawn—it’s early by rock-star standards, yet late by new-parent requirements. “I’m pretty good on just a few hours’ sleep,” says Pizzorno, who fits both descriptions. He is energized by the positive reaction thus far to Kasabian’s latest album, Velociraptor! “It’s great,” he says. “People seem to have gotten into this far quicker than our previous records. It’s like we’ve hit a new groove.” That was also true of the album’s creation, which took only six months. “That included writing, recording and mixing,” says Pizzorno proudly. “It was insane, so I just went with it. The tunes just kept coming in this creative burst. It was wild.”

Formed in 1997 in Leicestershire, England, the band took its name from former Charles Manson disciple Linda Kasabian. Pizzorno, vocalist Tom Meighan, bassist Chris Edwards and drummer Ian Matthews have established a reputation for bending musical boundaries. The band’s swagger is arena-ready, but Kasabian’s incorporation of electronics, psychedelia and druggy dance rhythms has imbued each of its four full-length albums with a distinctive style. “They all move in a different way, and that’s the legacy we want to leave behind,” Pizzorno says. “You try something out, but on the next record you do something else. That’s beautiful. It means the next album won’t be anything like the last one.”

For Pizzorno, it’s all about spontaneity. “I’d hate to be only known for one certain thing,” he says. “So I do whatever turns me on at a certain time. I don’t feel like I need to write a certain way because of what people may expect. I have no rules. I do whatever I want to do.” That approach has struck a chord with fans and critics alike. Kasabian’s upward trajectory survived a 2007 split from founding member Christopher Karloff. The band has become one of Britain’s most successful ensembles, garnering numerous awards while selling out stadiums and festival stages at home and abroad.

Pizzorno remains unfazed through it all. “I never think about that,” he says. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to win an award. It’s fantastic. But it’s not important. I’ve got no time for reviews or other people’s opinions. And if the awards stop coming, what are you left with? To be honest, I don’t even know where all those trophies are stored.”

–Lee Zimmerman

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