Kaiser Chiefs are an indie rock band from Leeds who formed in 1996. They were named after the South African football club Kaizer Chiefs. The name was chosen as the band were big Leeds United fans and their favourite player was Lucas Radebe, the club captain, who had signed for Leeds United from the Kaiser Chiefs. The group's debut album, Employment, was released in 2005. It was primarily inspired by New Wave and punk rock music of the late 1970s and 1980s, and enjoyed international success with over three million copies sold. In 2005, the album was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. Kaiser Chiefs' second album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007), yielded "Ruby", a number one single in the United Kingdom. They released their third album, Off with Their Heads, in October 2008. After a three-year hiatus, they released The Future Is Medieval in June 2011.
When they were around eleven years old, Nick Hodgson, Nick Baines and Simon Rix met in the same class at St. Mary's Catholic High School, Menston, West Yorkshire. After leaving school, Rix and Baines left for university in 1996 whereas Hodgson remained in the Leeds area, meeting both Andrew White and Ricky Wilson. Hodgson, White and Wilson formed the band Runston Parva, its name a deliberate misspelling of a small East Yorkshire hamlet called Ruston Parva. After Runston Parva failed to secure a record deal, the group re-formed as Parva upon the return of Rix and Baines from university. Parva's career went beyond the boundaries of Leeds, and the band was able to obtain both a record and publishing deal. However, after Beggars Banquet closed the Mantra label, Parva were dropped and left desolate and without any direction after the release of an album and three singles ("Heavy", "Good Bad Right Wrong" and "Hessles").
According to manager James Sandom in an interview with HitQuarters, as a dropped band they had become damaged goods, "No one would touch them because they had a history. A lot of people used their history against them." The band decided that they would aim for a longer term record deal and started afresh with new songs and a new name: Kaiser Chiefs. The new name was taken from South African football club Kaizer Chiefs.
Manager James Sandom was tipped off about the band by Drowned in Sound founder Sean Adams for the Drowned in Sound label and persuaded him to go and see them live. Sandom said: "I went to see a couple of shows and you were just bombarded by a series of potential hit singles." Soon after Sandom became their manager, Kaiser Chiefs signed to B-Unique Records. Atlantic Records had also made an offer for the band. ClearartFanart Banner User Comments