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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan on books, reputations, hotel smashing ... and ET

The Kasabian frontman on his most extravagant purchase, breaking the US, smashing hotel rooms and what's he's reading.
Sergio Pizzorno, left, and Tom Meighan, of Kasabian perform on stage at Blended 2015 at Media City Amphitheatrein Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National
Sergio Pizzorno, left, and Tom Meighan, of Kasabian perform on stage at Blended 2015 at Media City Amphitheatrein Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National

Before Kasabian took to the stage on Thursday, I sat down with frontman Tom Meighan in the band’s 11th-floor suite at the Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa. An intense, frantic encounter with an intense, frenetic personality, it got weirder when guitarist Sergio Pizzorno popped his head in to make some rude gestures on his way downstairs to dine at the hotel.

A few minutes later Tom and I walked out to the lift. The doors slid open to reveal Serge, standing there dumbstruck, having being going up and down since we parted. The laughter didn’t stop until we hit the ground floor.

On the band’s reputation in the USA

“We’re a cult band in the States. You can only do so much over there – rock ’n’ roll’s dead in America anyway. It’s country music – every radio station you put on is country music or pop. It’s sad.”

On what he’s reading

“It’s too hot to go out [in Dubai], so I just read my book. Alan McGee, Creation Stories. It’s great.”

On Al Quoz’s Tom & Serg cafe

“Is that for real? How can you have that? Tom and Serg – you’ve never heard of those two together, have you? That’s their names? That’s a lie, innit? You’d get a John & Paul. I don’t believe that. Do you?”

On being supported by Craig David at Blended

“It’s mind-bending. It’s a strange one, an odd one. I’ve met the chap – he’s a nice chap, very pleasant. But it’s a bit of a weird one. You know it’s weird, don’t you?”

On his most extravagant purchase

“ET – a big, life-sized ET. I got the bike as well, with the basket on.” He then whips out his iPhone to show us pictures of his young daughter kissing ET. Very cool.

On being the frontman of a massive band

“It’s not real, it’s insane. It’s crying, tears, laughter, joy, fun. It’s Superman and Clark Kent. [Clicks his fingers] There’s like a button I press on the side of my head that says ‘rock ’n’ roll mode’, and there’s one here that says ‘Thomas’. There’s another button which says ‘family man’. You’ve got to divide it up.”

On smashing hotel rooms

“We used to, but you don’t get anything from it except for a bill. It’s pretty cool doing it, but it’s been done. It’s all happened.”

On how many more albums the band will record.

“Five more – then I’ll be dead.”

• Kasabian’s fifth album, 48:13, is out now on Sony Music Middle East

rgarratt@thenational.ae