Indie band Kasabian has spoken out for the first time about sacking their now ex-lead singer Tom Meighan.
The band’s new lead singer Sergio “Serge” Pizzorno has opened up about reluctantly taking on the role as frontman, the “horrendous” experience of having to tell Meighan he was being let go and what the band’s new music is all about.
So, what did Kasabian say, why did they sack Tom Meighan, and what do we know about their new album?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Why was Tom Meighan sacked from Kasabian?
Meighan was sacked from Kasabian after he pleaded guilty in July 2020 to assaulting his then-fiancée Vikki Ager at their home three months prior.
He repeatedly struck Ager, dragged her by her ankles and left her bruised all over.
“There is absolutely no way we can condone his assault conviction,” the band said in a statement at the time.
“Domestic violence and abuse of any kind is totally unacceptable.”
What sentence did Tom Meighan receive?
Meighan pleaded guilty to what the judge called a “drunken, sustained attack” on Ager.
He was given an 18 month community order and 200 hours of unpaid work.
Meighan has since married Ager, entered rehab and been diagnosed with ADHD. He’s also launched a solo career.
What did Kasabian say about sacking Tom Meighan?
In an interview with the i, Kasabian band members said telling Meighan he was no longer in the band was horrendous.
Bassist and founding member Chris Edwards broke the news to Meighan, along with the now lead singer Serge Pizzorno.
Pizzorno said: “You can imagine what that conversation was like. It was horrendous, heart-breaking. But he understood.”
Pizzorno, a 41-year-old guitarist and songwriter who has been the band’s primary songwriter since 2007, reluctantly stepped up to become the lead singer after Meighan’s sacking.
Pizzorno said: “It’s painful even thinking about it. After some soul searching, he felt he had no option but to pick up the mantle.
“I never wanted to be a singer. I’m the writer, the introvert. But I had to do it. The band needed me to do it. We had no choice, there’s no way we could have left it like that.”
Pizzorno also admitted the band considered disbanding after what happened.
He said: “It was painful. It absolutely tore us to pieces, all of us. So after you’ve been through that you do think, ‘What’s the point?’”
Pizzorno also said he doesn’t know what Meighan thinks of the band continuing with them as since their pre-trial meeting they haven’t really spoken
He said this was “other than me and Chris telling him afterwards if he ever needed us we’d be here for him”.
He added: “Ultimately, none of this is the band’s fault. We’ve done nothing wrong.
“We just want to carry on, and deserve to, because we’ve been in this for 25 years. It’s our band.
“Kasabian is my life”.
What is Kasabian’s new album?
The band have now released their first post-Meighan album, which is called The Alchemist’s Euphoria.
Pizzorno said the album is about defiance and friendship.
“That’s what Kasabian is, back from day one,” Pizzorno says. “Defiance, being underdogs, getting up when you get kicked down, friendship, community.
“This album encapsulates all those important things.”
Pizzorno wrote the album title on a whiteboard as a guiding principle while he was writing the article, seeing himself as a studio alchemist creating a sense of elation.
He said: “I wanted to take a bad situation and turn it into a good one, like in (1973 film) The Holy Mountain when the alchemist turns shit into gold.”
The album details The Alchemist (Pizzorno) on a journey of self-discovery and affirmation.
The opening title track starts with the crashing of waves, and the protagonist wondering whether to go on.
It’s a true story, Pizzorno says.
“My sister lives by the sea and I went to visit after everything kicked off and sat on the edge of the ocean, just looking out, thinking, ‘I don’t know where I’m gonna end up’. It was important to start the album like that.”
Throughout, there are tracks about redefining yourself (Scriptvre), survival (Alygatyr), overcoming obstacles (The Wall) and acceptance (Letting Go).
The album can be read as documenting everything that has happened over the past two years.
Pizzorno said, however, that “it’s not about the band specifically”.
He added: “It’s not ‘this happened then that happened’. It’s more universal. Those sorts of situations are felt by everybody. It’s a story.”
You can buy the album on Amazon now.
What reviews have Kasabian’s new album received?
The Alchemist’s Euphoria has received positive reviews.
NME gave it four stars and called it a “surprising, eclectic and intimate record”.
The Guardian gave it three stars and said “it offers up some of the bullish, uptempo rock that sets moshpits roiling” and added “it is generally pretty good fun too”.
The Evening Standard also gave it four stars and said “it’s great fun if you give in to its rowdy nonsense.”
When are Kasabian going on tour?
Kasabian are going on tour in the UK and Ireland in October and November 2022.
The full tour dates are:
- Thursday 20 October: The Telegraph Building, Belfast
- Friday 21 October: 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
- Friday 28 October: AO Arena, Manchester
- Saturday 29 October: Alexandra Palace, London
- Monday 31 October: Doncaster Dome, Doncaster
- Wednesday 2 October: Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, Cardiff
- Friday 4 November: Utilita Arena Birmingham, Birmingham
- Saturday 5 November: OVO Hydro, Glasgow
You can buy tickets for the Kasabian tour 2022 on Ticketmaster.