The (Splendid Isolation) Olympic Studios Records interviews
NO. 1 - KAISER CHIEFS AT OLYMPIC STUDIOS, 2004
Questions - Roger Miles - Olympic Studios archivist and Olympic Studios Records head volunteer.
Answers - Simon Rix - Kaiser Chiefs, bass guitar, backing vocals.
Photo - Roger Sargent - https://rogersargent.carbonmade.com
What are your main memories of recording your album, Employment, at the Olympic Studios?
2004 was a really exciting time to be in Kaiser Chiefs. We were gigging all the time, pretty much exclusively in the UK but we were all over the place. In between all that we needed to make a record. We had all the songs by this stage but we were actually still in the process of getting signed to B-unique when they first put us into Olympic Studios to record our first single from Employment, I Predict A Riot. We weren’t in the expensive rooms, but in the basement in Stephen Street’s bunker studio. It wasn’t big but it had everything you need. It was our first time in a big London studio complex and we were probably as impressed with the fact their was a canteen in the building as we were with the gear. Especially on the days when Eric Clapton was sat in there.
We were really keen to get Graham Coxon on the record somewhere cos we were big fans of his, so we kept asking Stephen about it. Eventually someone (i think it was Stephen) had the idea that Graham might be into playing his motorbike…. We all thought he might have a scooter rather than a bike but one morning he pulled up outside Olympic on a Honda and we ran a massive cable all the way up and through reception and recorded him revving it. That became the intro to Saturday Night.
What were best moments in the making of your excellent, stay at home video - https://youtu.be/GrsuibV4GZY
When lockdown first started, there seemed to be a clamour for bands and people to do something from home, I felt like it would be nice to do something for the people who like our band but it needed to be the right thing. Someone suggested the chorus lyrics change for Oh My God via Chris Moyles on Radio X, so we thought we'd give it a go. We weren’t even sure if it would work out because recording things like drums usually requires a fairly large amount of gear and VJ only had two mics at home. But we started to build it and our live sound tech, Chris, was sprinkling it with magic to make it sound pretty good. I sent it over to Ricky, who really quickly came up with the excellent verse lyrics. I don’t know if he’d be saving the sanitiser/kaiser rhyme for a rainy day, but it’s certainly good. It’s been great getting some responses from frontline staff, saying it’s cheered them up, that’s the best thing that could have happened.
What do you make of lockdown ?
Obviously, it's a terrible time at the moment. Lots of bad news everywhere. But I’m trying to enjoy the calm of lockdown. It’s not only the fact that I can’t do anything. But I can’t even really plan to do anything. Which leaves a lot of free time for finishing old projects and learning a few new things. It’s (hopefully) a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a break from everyday life for weeks and weeks. An adult school summer holiday and I’m trying to embrace it.
Our thanks to Simon Rix of Kaiser Chiefs