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The Kaiser Chiefs
The Chiefs chilling

Kaiser Chiefs interview

By Rob Webb
Rob popped along to see Yorkshire's latest hot property at the Leadmill and caught up with the lads for a quick chat...

Sitting comfortably inside their spacious tour bus, Kaiser Chiefs Ricky Wilson and Simon Rix are in buoyant mood, and who can blame them?

Twelve months ago, the 'Chiefs were better known as a South African football team than a pop phenomenon.

But now, with debut album 'Employment' riding high in the charts and their first UK headline tour selling out, they've made the moniker their own.

"We heard the name and thought it was cool," explains singer Ricky. "Then we heard about the football team and the Leeds United connection with Lucas Radebe, and thought we might as well call ourselves that."

The Kaiser Chiefs
The Chiefs 'like to have a lot of fun'

The road to success hasn't been quite so straightforward for the Leeds based outfit.

Having struggled for attention as Parva,( "People talk about them loads now but when we were Parva we couldn't even get people to whisper our names!") the Yorkshire quintet decided on a new name and a new direction.

“We'd written songs over a long period of time and the set was sounding like quite a few different things," explains Wilson, "we started off like Primal Scream, went through Radiohead, but it was confused and didn't make any sense."

"The Kaiser Chiefs songs were written in a shorter space of time. They're more cohesive" adds bass player Simon.

"Two years touring as Parva made us tight. It was like a young apprenticeship in being in a band."

"A pop apprenticeship," chips in the singer.

"In the past, the other bands had the better rooms and the big rider, and obviously all the fans were there to see them," says Rix.

Getting shut-eye

"Now we've got the better rooms!" Wilson crys, "this tour's a piece of piss because we've been getting so much sleep. We need our 13 hours a night. It's lovely to be here, though, because this is the first time in the UK that we've played real headline shows to more than thirty people."

"Lots of people ask us what rock and roll antics there are on the tour bus," adds a chuckling Rix, "but there aren't any. By the time we've finished doing everything we've got to do, it’s time for bed!"

"We don't even get to go to PIGS  [Leeds club night run by Wilson and drummer Nick Hodgson] any more," the singer says ruefully, "but it's still going strongly."

Someone told Simon that Hull, Sheffield and Leeds are going to be musical hotbeds in the next few years! "There's loads of good stuff around at the moment like Duels, The Cribs and !Forward Russia!"

Hate ballad?

The Kaiser Chiefs
Ok... bundle!

Wilson describes his own band’s new single, 'Everyday I Love You Less,' as a "hate ballad."

"Usually bands release for their third single a love ballad but we decided to do the opposite. It's for anyone who’s ever split up with someone and they don't leave you alone."

"I was describing that song the other day," says Rix, "you think it's going to be quite bouncy but it's actually as negative as you can be!"

Lyrics and meeting Morrissey

"There are some serious bits on the album," admits Wilson, "but generally we like to have a lot of fun and just try and amuse ourselves."

"Like the line 'birds of a feather and you can be the fat one'," suggests Rix, "which I laugh at. I think that line's completely silly, but ['Employment' producer] Stephen Street thought it was one of the best lyrics he'd ever heard."

"And he's worked with Morrissey!" says Wilson.

"I don't think Morrissey would have written that line," answers Rix. His colleague isn't so sure. "You never know because Morrissey's a funny chap. The rest of the band met him but I didn't... because I was in the toilet!" admits a grinning Wilson.

Rix picks up the story: "We basically kind of bullied him into meeting us. He didn't not want to talk to us but he was very... aloof. We just grabbed him and started shaking his hand and gave him a tie!"

The recent South By South West music festival also gave them a chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Damon Albarn ("we took him to watch Graham Coxon!") and Steve Lamacq ("It was like having a little personal radio all of my own!").

"This is what we've been wanting to do," concludes Wilson, "we still complain sometimes but you just have to shake your head and go 'what am I complaining about?!'"

  • The Kaiser Chiefs played at the Leadmill on Saturday, 9 April, 2005.

last updated: 14/04/05
Have Your Say
Did you check the Chiefs at the Leadmill or seen them before? Let us know what you think of the band...
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charlie edwards
i llllloooooovveeee the kiasers sooo much.and it make me proud 2 be british.ricky i love u sooooooooo much and the rest u r wicked. yyeerrr xx charlie xx u r brill xxxxxxx

I do love Kaiser Chiefs. But don't call them Kaizers! That honour goes to Kaizers Orchestra, which had the name way before the Chiefs. Plus they're Norwegian and ergo much much better. Hehe!

melanie davies
love the kaiser cheifs top band

Vicci Smith
Oooh, that Ricky Wilson has nice thighs, eh?


Kimberly Davis
I don't care where they are, they're still the best ever. I love Ricky

jamie barker
i think the chiefs are the best in the world i love all the songs on employment i wish i had the money to go to a concert luv jamie

omg! i am sooo in love with ricky - i am definately gunna marry him! he so hot n the rest of the Kaiser Chiefs are cute as well - especially lil "Peanut." i'm off 2 go c em soon n i cnt wait mwah xxx


I am i huge fan of the kaisers and love all of their songs,They've done a great job with their album "employment". I especially love the humor in their lyrics, now humor you can't beat that.I think they will one of those bands that no one forgets, and their music will just go on and on and poeple will still love 'em.

josh wade
i think the kaizers are so cool

kaiser chiefs r deffo the beat band going at the moment! going 2 c them later in year n cant wait! great seeing a band wi so much passion 4 what they do. wonder if ricky is as passionate in bed hehehe! he is hot!

have never seen them b4 but i bloody well will u mark my words oh yea u guys rule

OMG i LOVE kaiser chiefs!!!! best band ever ever ever!!! i cant wait to see them at the academy in october:D my dream is to eet them i REALLY REALLY want to meet them but i dont think that will happen o well ill keep my hopes up :'( :D:D:D wow wow wow i luv them :D luv grace

jus saw kaisers @ v festival nd dey r sooooooooooo gr8 nd ricky is hot!!!!!!!

hello, i LOVE the kaiser chiefs the most EVER!!! the album is so rab, just abit ace like!! best band of 2005!! yesyes. i want a red tamborine. hehe. cant wait to see the guys on tour!! oof!! love from danielle x x x x x x x x

I LOVE the kaiser chiefs.The album is class. They're so cool and funny. It would be a dream to meet them especially Nick.He's the hottest guy EVER and then theres Johnny Borrell...gorgeous but Nick-beautiful.

What can I say? The best band ever! I love the album & I play it so much my Mum knows all the songs & I sneakily catch her singing along! hahaha. Great job & heres to alot of success for you guys! & Ricky, will you marry me? ;) & If not marriage, something else? ;)

there alright but i don't really see what all the fuss is about! There are way better bands out there. Listen 2 the ylrics and i think u will get my point!

I have only listened to one song and you guys rock way better than franz ferdinad and they were my favourite band but you guys took tat position straight away noy to mention you are all sooooo hot i am so your biggest fan!!!!!

Emily Korodi
I love The Kaiser Chiefs THEY ROCK! I wish I could listen to the everyday! Love Emily Big Kaiser Chiefs Fan!

I saw them, they were a live band that didn't bore me. i think their music and lyrics combined with the performance were outstanding, will deffo get tickets for the next tour. hope ricky's ankle is better!

Deb Carr
My very good Friends Julia and Sarah do their finance accounts and we had the pleasure of being at the flat when they popped round to discuss the rates for managing their accounts! Got on the guest list for the R A Hall and they were excellent. I am from sheffield but lived in london for 8 years.But these guys were fantastic in such an awesome venue.Got all the dirt on them too which is confidential of course! :o) Debs

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