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

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

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.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

The Word

The Word: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally…

Well, everybody, it finally happened. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie went and got themselves hitched — according to noted scandal sheet the Associated Press —…

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.

NFL

Giants vs. Patriots: 3 things to watch

The Giants wrap up their extended preseason campaign Thursday night by playing host to the Patriots.

Style

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

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

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…