SXSW 2012: Can Kasabian conquer America?

This is not America. This is Kasabian playing a packed show in Leeds. Kasabian play the much smaller Theatre of the Living Arts on March 21.

Tom Meighan arrives with a bodyguard in a black SUV with tinted windows. The Kasabian singer is a superstar in his home country, but in Austin, Texas, at the SXSW Music Conference, he is afforded the luxury of anonymity.

Plopping down on a couch in the lobby of the Radisson Hotel, he wonders aloud if American popular music will ever experience another British invasion.

“This obsession about breaking in America isn’t really happening anymore for English bands,” he says, scratching his unshaven neck. “It’s kind of gone, isn’t it?”

But not for Kasabian. With their September-released “Velociraptor!”, the band is touring the U.S. for the first time in five years.

“You can get carried away with the arenas back in England,” he says. “Here, it feels like we’re 21 again, starting over.”

A lot about Kasabian feels like starting over. “Velociraptor!” is a cleaner sound than the band’s Brit-pop past, filled with funky grooves and fun lyrics.

Meighan says “Let’s Roll Like We Used To” is about when he and Kasabian co-founder Sergio Pizzorno “used to smoke jazz cigarettes and wander through the fields,” while the song “Rewired” is “about being naughty in a hotel room.”

“We’ll always keep reinventing ourselves,” says Meighan. “Our next album, I said to Serge, we’ll probably put eight songs on it and every song will be two minutes long, and it will be a whole electronic album with no guitars. I don’t know.”

Monkey brain brainstorm

One of the first indications that “Velociraptor!” doesn’t take itself seriously is toward the end of the second song, “Days Are Forgotten,” where Meighan talks about chewing a monkey brain. What?
   
“‘Chewing a monkey brain’ comes from ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.’ He says, ‘chilled monkey brain,’ not ‘chew.’ I always had an obsession with making my own words. The only person who got it was my brother, because I used to say it as a kid.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.