I can't party every night

As Kaiser Chiefs headline the NME Awards Tour, the singer Ricky Wilson reveals the mirth and madness of life on the road
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The Independent Culture

Things for me are going well, extremely well right now, as I'm in my own bed. We've been busy for the last few weeks playing the NME Awards Tour and, even before that, I hadn't been in my own bed for ages. Now I've been in it for over 10 hours. Last night we were in Liverpool, as part of the NME tour, but we opted not to watch the other bands (which we usually do because they're all brilliant) and we drove home instead. Me and our drummer, Nick [Hodgson], went to Pigs, our club night in Leeds, but I left early because I was tired. It's not very rock'n'roll but the fact is that being in a rock'n'roll band is probably the least rock'n'roll thing you can do - accountants take more drugs. But of course that's because we don't take any.

We've been treated very well on this tour. This is the first time we've had catering and we've been eating brilliantly. All of a sudden, dinner time is like play time. We get to sit down for dinner every day with all the other bands on the tour: The Killers, Bloc Party and The Futureheads. It's nice to get the chance to sit down for dinner and talk about the night before. I'll ask: "Did you get any sleep on the bus, Brandon [Flowers of The Killers]?" And he'll say: "Yes a little bit." It's not particularly deep, but we have a laugh. It's quite a lot like school. For example, on the first day of the tour in Newcastle, it was like everyone was stood at different edges of the playground, sizing each other up. But by the end of the night we'd tested the boundaries, had chats with each of the bands and now it's like we've been mates for ages.

But the best bit about this tour is that every night we go on stage and are surprised by how many people think the Kaiser Chiefs are brilliant. We've been in bands for years, we used to be called Parva, and we've played to a few people, but we once had to suffer the embarrassment of someone falling asleep during a show! That doesn't happen anymore; as soon as we come on stage and play our single "I Predict a Riot", the venues have just been going mental. People are hurting themselves - but you know, enjoying it. They're throwing their shoes in a euphoric, "I don't care any more!" kind of way. I'm really enjoying playing every night, seeing all these smiles on people's faces and hearing all the cheers. It's such vilification for all the years of hard work.

It's funny we're in the same position Franz Ferdinand were in this time last year. We're releasing a single at the same time they did last year, we're first up on the NME tour bill, and people are drawing comparisons. It's like we're following their footsteps in the snow. We've even sort of got the same fashion sense, except they're quite suave. We're a bit more Oxfam.

We hooked up with Franz Ferdinand the other night in Glasgow. I was walking through the streets with Alex Kapranos and I felt like a superstar. He was a really nice lad, very down to earth, but I was still walking around with my jaw on the floor. That's the thing about Kaiser Chiefs at the moment - every thing we do is exciting and new. We're like a load of daft puppies running around going "This is brilliant isn't it!"

Actually, all the bands on this tour have pretty much got the same sense of style. And we do give each other fashion tips! Just the other day I was helping Russell from Bloc Party do his hair, just tousling it up front for him. We share the same dressing room with his band. When they're getting ready, I'll be talking to their front man Kele, going "What are you doing? You can't wear that with that" And he doesn't wear it. I'm like his stylist.

It's very cosy and friendly on the NME tour. But having said that, there was a bit of a moment yesterday when, for no reason, Brandon from The Killers dipped our guitarist's tie in his soup. On purpose! I don't know why he did it, but it wasn't malicious and no one said anything. It was really odd. I suppose Brandon's probably the tour's equivalent of the school bully.

The Futureheads are the most jokey of the bands on the tour, but I've probably learned the most interesting thing from Russell from Bloc Party. Thanks to him, I now know that our single, "I Predict a Riot" starts with the note C!

It's a beautiful bill and everyone's been having a wail of a time. Last year you had Funeral for a Friend fans staring blankly at Franz Ferdinand - and it was a bit silly, but this time I can draw a line between the music of the The Killers, The Futureheads, Bloc Party and Kaiser Chiefs. We're different enough to make it an interesting show but similar enough so that every one who comes will go away happy.

Having been a part of this bill, we're really looking forward to getting back on the road for our tour in the spring. It'd be nice if I could sleep in my own bed every night. But, hey, you can't have everything when you've got the best job in the world, can you?