You normally see him rocking out on stage and climbing the set’s scaffolding as the front man of the indie band Kaiser Chiefs, but in real life Ricky Wilson is a regular, laidback guy who steers clear of the spotlight. We caught up with Ricky for a chat while he was in Dubai for a gig at Sandance.
Welcome to Dubai! What are you guys up to at the moment?
We’re just touring really. I love this bit ‘cause it doesn’t seem like hard work. I get really frustrated when we’re not doing gigs – it’s like ‘boxercise’ for me. It gets the aggression out. Not that I’m aggressive... maybe I would be if I didn’t do gigs!
Do you guys party?
We have fun, but when you say the word ‘party’ I always imagine party poppers going off. After-parties and stuff like that, we go to them but I don’t really enjoy it. You walk in and people want you to jump on tables and swing off the light fittings, but I only do that kind of stuff on stage.
Within the band is there any jealousy of you being the leading frontman?
Well, no, ‘cause I get to stand in front but Nick gets to hit drums really hard and make the loudest noise on stage!
You rocketed to fame really quickly – did you develop big egos?
If we’d stopped to look at what was happening there might have been trouble, but we were just so busy. I remember Nick saying he got a text from someone in the UK saying ‘You’re the biggest band in Britain’ and we just didn’t believe it!
Did you have loads of female attention?
Not really, I’ve always had a girlfriend. Though a few years ago, I was walking down the street and there were two girls running, screaming, but when they got up close they went “Oh you’re quite short actually, aren’t you?”!
Is it true you were asked to be a judge on The Voice?
Yeah, I did go to a couple of meetings but I’m not as good looking as Danny [O’Donoghue]. He’s doing a terrific job. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it – you have to show off and it’s just not in my nature.
Do you get bored of playing songs like Ruby over and over again?
If there was no-one watching it’d be boring 'cause we’ve heard it, but when there’s people who haven’t heard us play live before and we’re playing it to them, that excitement makes us excited. We don’t want to disappoint anyone. There are some bands that don’t play the hits. We play all the singles.
You are known for jumping about on stage. Is this something you plan?
I don’t know, it’s all a bit of a wing it. My girlfriend never really watches us because I don’t think she really likes it that much. Not the band, she just doesn’t really like seeing me doing that sort of thing. The last time she saw us, I came off stage and she goes, ‘Erm, it was alright but you looked like a bit of a show off’ and I was like ‘Well, I think that’s the point’! You can’t look shy, it wouldn’t work.'
So you’re not a show off?
Well, all show offs say they’re shy really, don’t they? And that’s part of being a show off I suppose. So I’m not gonna say either.
Who’s your biggest celebrity friend?
I’ve only got like four friends. I haven’t really got that many friends but I’ve met a lot of people. I’ve met everyone.
Who was your fave?
[Paul] McCartney! He’s great. I know him quite well actually but he’s never woken up on my sofa – I don’t know him that well. I’ll tell you a nice story. My mum and dad were coming down to London and they really wanted to go and see a show and I hadn’t got them tickets, so I rang up James Corden and he said ‘I’ll get back to you’ and then he gave me the address of the stage door, a time and my mum and dad turned up at the stage door, they were taken in and put in the director's box! I owe him one, I said he could come on stage and sing a song at one point. I think he’s great.
INFO: Early bird tickets for the next Sandance on 4 May featuring Fatboy Slim, Dizzee Rascal, Travis and Morcheeba are available from www.timeouttickets.com.