Enter Shikari

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Enter Shikari
Enter Shikari Live @ Heaven.jpg
Live at Heaven Nightclub, London in 2009.
Background information
Also known as Hybryd (1999–2003), Shikari Sound System
Origin St Albans, Hertfordshire, England
Years active 2003–present
Labels Ambush Reality, Tiny Evil, PIAS Recordings, Hopeless
Website www.entershikari.com
Members Rou Reynolds
Rory Clewlow
Chris Batten
Rob Rolfe

Enter Shikari are an English four-piece rock band formed in 2003 in St Albans, Hertfordshire. They are well known for their crossover style incorporating post-hardcore and various heavy metal sub-genres, such as metalcore and alternative metal, with elements of various electronic genres, such as industrial, dubstep, trance, and occasionally drum and bass, creating a very distinct sound.[7][8] The band is named after a boat belonging to Roughton "Rou" Reynolds' uncle, and a character in a play which he wrote before forming the band, both of which are named Shikari.[9] Their debut album, Take to the Skies was released on 19 March 2007 and reached No. 4 in the Official UK Album Chart. Their second album, titled Common Dreads, was released on 15 June 2009 and debuted on the UK Albums Chart at 16.[10] Their third studio album, A Flash Flood of Colour was released on 16 January 2012 and was positioned at the top of the UK Album Chart for almost its entire week of release, however it eventually debuted on the chart at 4. The band then spent considerable time supporting the release through the A Flash Flood of Colour World Tour, before beginning work on a fourth studio album The Mindsweep, due for release in 2015.


Beginnings and Take to the Skies (1999–2008)[edit]

Main article: Take to the Skies

In 1999 a band named Hybryd formed, consisting of Rou (/raʊ/) Reynolds on guitar and vocals, Chris Batten on bass guitar, and Rob Rolfe on drums. They released an EP called Commit No Nuisance which featured the tracks "Perfect Pygmalion", "Look Inside", "Torch Song", "Honesty Box" and "Fake". In 2003, with the addition of guitarist Liam "Rory" Clewlow, Hybryd became Enter Shikari. Rou focused his musical efforts on vocals and electronics instead.[7]

During 2003 and 2004, the band released three demo EPs (Nodding Acquaintance, Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour and Sorry You're Not A Winner) that were available from their gigs and their website, featuring original versions of some songs that were eventually rerecorded for their debut album, Take To The Skies. They had another demo EP planned for release in 2005 (no such EP materialized, although recordings surfaced online). For this the first versions of Return To Energiser and Labyrinth were recorded. Early versions of OK Time For Plan B and We Can Breathe In Space were also recorded around this time but it's unclear if these were destined for the EP. In August 2006 they released a video of, the limited-edition single "Mothership" which became the single of the week on the iTunes Store. Their first physical single featured re-recorded versions of "Sorry You're Not a Winner/OK Time for Plan B", which had previously been featured on one of the demo EPs. It was released on 30 October 2006. It was limited to 1000 copies of each format and sold out within the first week of release. In mid January 2007, Enter Shikari's first single, "Mothership", entered the UK singles chart for one week at number 151, on Downloads only (despite its physical formats not being eligible for charts [at the band's request]). This was followed a week later by "Sorry You're Not a Winner/OK Time for Plan B", which charted at number 182 on the singles chart (despite its physical formats being ineligible for charts [at the band's request]) and number 146 in the Download Chart. In addition "Sorry You're Not a Winner/OK Time for Plan B" featured on the EA Sports video game titles NHL 08 and Madden 08. Enter Shikari secured a spot on the Gibson/MySpace stage at 2006's Download Festival. They also had interviews with popular music press such as Kerrang! and Rock Sound. On 4 November 2006, they became only the second unsigned band to ever sell out London Astoria (the first being The Darkness).

They also made the NME's "New Noise 2007", a list of the bands it considers most likely to achieve success in the coming year (previous years lists have included the likes of Arcade Fire, Hot Chip and Bloc Party).

The next single released was "Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour", on 5 March 2007. This was the band's second single to be released from their forthcoming debut album. It contained a re-recorded version of the song "Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour". It reached 27 in the Official UK chart. The band's debut album, Take to the Skies, was released on 19 March 2007 and on 25 March it reached number 4 in the UK Official Album Charts. It contained re-recordings of many of the songs that had featured on the demo EPs and singles that were released prior to the release of the album.

During the month of March 2007 it was announced they would be playing at Download Festival, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Give it a Name, Glastonbury Festival, Oxegen festival in Ireland and Rock am Ring in Germany. On 30 March 2007, Enter Shikari announced that their next single would be "Jonny Sniper"[11] and would be released on 18 June. The song's video was premiered on 21 May. The single received bad reviews from NME.[12]

On 6 June 2007 they performed a live show on BBC Radio 1 for Zane Lowe at BBC Radio Theatre.

They played an eleven date headline tour in October/November 2007 including their biggest ever headline gig in the 4,921 capacity Brixton Academy. The band released a compilation EP titled The Zone on 12 November.

Enter Shikari had performed over 500 gigs as of 2007 and played on the Gibson/MySpace stage at 2006's Download Festival. On 14 May 2007, Enter Shikari started their first North America tour. This was followed by three more North American tours.

In January 2008, Enter Shikari performed in Australia and New Zealand for the first time as part of the Big Day Out Festival. The band also did a number of side-shows in Australia, including two sold out shows at the Hi-Fi Bar in Melbourne.

They played at Projekt Revolution in Milton Keynes on 29 June 2007, alongside Linkin Park, Jay-Z, N.E.R.D, The Bravery, InnerPartySystem and Pendulum.

On 13 May 2008, the band released the first in a series of videos called "Enter Shikari: In the 'Low". The videos, posted on the band's YouTube page, showcased the band as they recorded their new single, "We Can Breathe In Space, They Just Don't Want Us To Escape", and demoed new material. One of the new songs set to feature on the album was 'Step Up', which was first performed at Milton Keynes Pitz on 28 June 2008, the warm up show to Projekt Revolution the following day.

On 8 August 2008, it was announced that "We Can Breathe In Space, They Just Don't Want Us To Escape" would be released as a single. It was said to be a drastic re-working of the song originally demoed by the band back in 2005, but was not to be included in the band's second album.

They completed a tour of the UK and Ireland which took place over the course of 6 weeks - from 30 September to 4 November 2008 - and consisted of 28 shows. A DVD compilation of live footage filmed by band / crew along with some TV footage was to be released to coincide with the tour according to a Kerrang! interview with the band, but has not been released yet.

Common Dreads (2009–2010)[edit]

Main article: Common Dreads

It was confirmed by NME that Enter Shikari had finished working on their second album, Common Dreads, in March 2009 and announced that they would tour the UK and Europe during 2009. They also made available a free download of a new song, Antwerpen, from their website.[13] On 15 April 2009 Juggernauts was played on Radio 1 as Zane Lowe's "Hottest Track in the World" and was released as a single on 1 June 2009. The B-side of the single is "All Eyes On The Saint". The band also had help from musician Danny Sneddon who helped with the recording of Juggernauts.[14] On 1 May Kerrang featured their track-by-track of the album. Metal Hammer were the first to review the album online with a track-by-track.[15] Since it was announced in an interview with Andy Copping on Scuzz on their "The Digital Darkside: Download Special" that there would be 2 secret bands playing at Download Festival 2009, it had been heavily speculated that Enter Shikari would play one of these slots. They were confirmed to be one of the secret bands on 9 June 2009.[16] Enter Shikari also featured at Reading and Leeds Festivals on 29 and 30 August 2009, playing songs from Common Dreads, as well as acoustic variations of 'Juggernauts', 'No Sleep Tonight' and 'Adieu' from Take To The Skies.

Common Dreads was released through Ambush Reality on 15 June 2009 and debuted at No. 16 on the UK top 40 album chart. The second single to be released from Common Dreads was No Sleep Tonight.[17] The 7-inch vinyl, CD single and MP3 download was released on 17 August 2009. A slightly modified version of the song "Wall" was released as a radio single, and a video for the song "Zzzonked", made of clips of a live show played at Norwich UEA, was also released.

A 2-disc version of Common Dreads was due to be released in January 2010.[18] Frontman Rou Reynolds announced that "We’ve got a different artist for each single from Hospital Records to do drum ‘n’ bass remixes so we’ll be releasing that as a 12". Then we're doing the same thing with (dubstep label) True Tiger who've done a dubstep remix of each single." However it was later said in a Radio 1 interview that in fact they were only having their main singles remixed.

The new single "Thumper"[19] was released on 19 January 2010, on BBC Radio One, as well as the new single "Tribalism", which was first played on Radio 1 on 16 February 2010. These songs come off the new B-sides and remixes album Tribalism, which was released on 22 February 2010.

Since March 2009, drummer Rob Rolfe had not been able to perform at United States shows due to a denial of a visa. Rob chose Fellsilent drummer, Christopher Mansbridge, to fill in for these dates.[20] On 9 July 2010, however, Rob stated in a Twitter post that he had obtained a visa. On 30 September 2010 Rob passed through customs at an airport in Houston for Enter Shikari's North American tour in October/November, and confirmed this in a Twitter post stating simply "America, I'm back".

Throughout February–March 2010, Enter Shikari joined the Australian summer festival Soundwave along with other bands such as A Day to Remember and Architects, playing shows in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. The band then continued to tour Japan with A Day to Remember and Escape the Fate and in April–May 2010, they served as a support act, along with August Burns Red and Silverstein on A Day to Remember's Toursick.

Live From Planet Earth and A Flash Flood of Colour (2010–2013)[edit]

On 14 June 2010, Enter Shikari announced that they had returned to the studio to do a "one off new track" called "Destabilise" which was released as a download on 26 October 2010, and a limited edition coloured 7-inch vinyl on 29 November 2010.

During June and July 2010, the band took part in the Warped Tour in USA and afterwards, they played a few festivals such as headlining Redfest and supporting The Prodigy at Milton Keynes Bowl. Following this, they performed an exclusive show at the venue Underworld situated in Camden which was filmed and recorded and features on the live DVD Live From Planet Earth.

In August 2010, Enter Shikari returned to Australian shores for a headlining national tour, playing sold out shows in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne and near-sellout shows in Perth and Brisbane. On 2 October 2010, the band went on their headlining "Destabilise" Tour in North America with Haste the Day, Sleeping With Sirens, MSWHITE, and LightsGoBlue.[citation needed] The band then supported Thirty Seconds to Mars on their Into The Wild Tour leg of UK arenas in November and December 2010.[21]

At the end of 2010, the band collaborated with UK drum and bass band The Qemists on their single Take it Back which was released on 28 March 2011.

On 21 March 2011, it was confirmed that Enter Shikari will be playing at the Reading and Leeds festivals in late August and on 26 April 2011, the band confirmed a mainland European tour starting in Kiev, Ukraine on 7 September, and ending in Tilburg, the Netherlands on 3 October 2011. Also, on 14 June 2011, the band confirmed a UK and Ireland tour which would take part during the month of October. Support for these two tours would be provided from Your Demise and letlive.

In May 2011, the band travelled to Bangkok, Thailand to record their third studio album. Recording began on 8 May 2011, and finished on 14 June 2011. On 19 May 2011, they released the single "Quelle Surprise". It was originally planned to be the first single released from the new album, however Rou Reynolds later confirmed that it wouldn't feature, and instead would be a stand alone single much like Destabilise.[22]

In June 2011, the band signed to Hopeless Records in the US, and embarked on the Vans Warped Tour for the second year in a row.[23]

On 11 July 2011, the band released their third live album and first DVD, bundled together as Live From Planet Earth. Distribution of the non limited edition version of Live From Planet Earth and other Enter Shikari stock was affected, however, following a fire at the PIAS distribution warehouse in London, after it was set on fire by rioters during the 2011 England riots. This was announced via the bands' Facebook after many fans discovered that the fire had affected the bands' label Ambush Reality, and Rou confirmed a majority of the stock had indeed gone up in flames in an interview with Rock Sound.[24]

In the fall and winter of 2011, Enter Shikari embarked on a US tour called "The Dead Throne Tour" with The Devil Wears Prada, Whitechapel, and For Today.

On 8 September 2011, the band announced that the first single from their 'as yet untitled' third album would be called "Sssnakepit." The single was announced for release on 20 September 2011 along with a video recorded for the track at Dingwalls Club in Camden Town, London.[25] A video of the first live performance of the song posted on the band's Facebook shows the rap hardcore influences in the song, as well as a further political theme. The band had also been playing another new song live, titled "Arguing with Thermometers", during their European fall tour. The debut performance of this song took place on 12 September in Warsaw, Poland.

During the band's show in St.Petersburg, Russia, on 8 September 2011, bassist Chris Batten revealed that the band's third album was set for release in January 2012.

On 19 September 2011, "Sssnakepit" was played twice in a row on Zane Lowes show as his 'Hottest Track In The World'. The music video (produced by Stand Your Ground Media) for "Sssnakepit" was released the same week. 'Arguing with Thermometers' was announced to be on the new album on Lowe's show, when a live studio session was played.[26]

A leak from UK Magazine Rock Sound revealed that Enter Shikari's third studio album would be titled A Flash Flood of Colour and would be released on 9 January 2012; however, due to shipping issues the band later moved the release date back a week to 16 January. It was also revealed in the leak that the band were planning a March 2012 UK tour.

On 4 December 2011, the band posted this on their Facebook page: "we've kept this news under our hats for now, BUT, who's interested in hearing another new track?? WELL... if you keep your eyes peeled on our wall tomorrow, we'll give you the details. tease tease." Sure enough, the next day "Gandhi Mate, Gandhi" was released on the band's YouTube page and iTunes. It was also broadcast on the Zane Lowe show on BBC Radio 1.[27]

On 5 January 2012 the band released the studio version of "Arguing With Thermometers" on their YouTube page. It was also played on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show in the morning as his "Hottest Track In The World". The official video for the song was uploaded to the band's YouTube page on 17 January 2012. A few days prior to the song's release the band showcased a still shot of the video, showing Rou dressed as a news reporter called "Phillis McCleavland".

The band released their new album on 16 January 2012, and played three album release shows. The first was for HMV in London at the Borderline. People who had pre-ordered the album via HMV were automatically entered into a prize draw to gain access to the release show as no tickets were sold. The second show was in Kingston upon Thames, at the Hippodrome. This was for Banquet Records and tickets were sold with special offers available if the ticket was bought with an album. The final show was played in Leeds, West Yorkshire at The Cockpit, and tickets were only available via indie record stores Jumbo and Crash Recordd.

At the end of the first week of the album being released, the album reached number four in the U.K charts.

The band began their first tour of "A Flash Flood Of Colour" in February by heading out to Tokyo, Japan for one show, before playing Soundwave Festival, including a couple of 'sideshows' on their off-days.[28] After landing back in the UK, the band set out a few days later for the Europe dates, starting on 10 March 2012 at the Melkweg in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; with two weeks worth of dates across mainland Europe and the United Kingdom, ending with a sold out show at Hammersmith Apollo in London on 23 March 2012. Support came from Young Guns, The James Cleaver Quintet (Europe only) and Tek-One (UK only).[29]

Soon after, that band took the "A Flash Flood of Colour World Tour" to the United States for a 7 week headline stint, with support from letlive. and At The Skylines.[30]

The bands' Summer 2012 plans included their first trip to South Africa, playing Oppikoppi,[31] Africa's biggest rock event held every August, where they played alongside bands such as Bullet For My Valentine, Seether, Eagles of Death Metal and one of South Africa's biggest acts, Dance, You're on Fire; along with festivals across Europe, such as Radio 1's Big Weekend, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Pukkelpop, FM4 Frequency Festival, Sonisphere in Spain, T in the Park, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, and many more, ranging from the end of May to the start of September. This run saw the band playing higher up slots than ever before, due to increased demand.[32]

The band also performed a free show at Tunbridge Wells Forum in June after being voted 'Britain's Best Small Venue 2012' by NME users.[33] The band also performed an intimate acoustic set in NME's office to around 30 competition winners, where they played acoustic renditions of System/Meltdown, Juggernauts, Stalemate and a quirky cover of Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe.[34] Also, in this Summer's Kerrang! Awards, the band scooped 'Best Live Band' for the second time, along with Rou Reynolds winning 'Hero of the Year.' They were also nominated for best album, but lost out to Mastodon.[35]

On 2 July, the band released the single "Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here", which featured a physical and digital release, along with a promotional video. The song was debuted in their set at Isle Of Wight Festival in June.[36]

September 2012 saw the band play in New Zealand for the first time since 2008 when they played Big Day Out, along with a few shows in Australia before playing a one off show in Tokyo, Japan with Man With A Mission.[37] In October, they visited Ukraine and Russia for a short run,[38] before heading back to America for 6 weeks supporting Falling In Reverse,[39] before rounding the year off with a UK December run, aptly named 'A Flash Flood Of Christmas,' supported by Cancer Bats and Engine-Earz Experiment.

November 2012 the band announced the launch of their own beer "Sssnakepit", 5% lager in conjunction with Signature Brew, which was launched in Manchester and sold on the 'A Flash Flood Of Christmas' tour at venues across the UK.[40]

January 2013 saw the band hit mainland Europe again for a 3 week run with Cancer Bats as support.[41]

On 20 January 2013 Rou Reynolds announced that he is writing music for the band's recording session in February,[42] in which the band entered a Lincolnshire recording studio to record 3 new songs; of which the single and video "The Paddington Frisk" was released on 5 April 2013, which Zane Lowe played numerous times in a row on his Radio 1 show.[43]

The band headed out on an extensive tour of the UK and Ireland throughout April and May, purposefully playing in towns that don't usually get shows, as a thank you to those fans who usually have to travel to larger cities all the time to see bands. Support for the tour was Hacktivist. This tour was the first time the songs "The Paddington Frisk" was played, as well as "Juggernauts" b-side "All Eyes On The Saint" from 2009.

On 5 June 2013, the band announced via their official Twitter that they were recording a video for a new single 'Radiate' was first played by Zane Lowe on his Radio 1 show on 10 June. The song was his Single of the Week.[44] On 8 June, the band recorded a session for Radio 1's Live Lounge, performing a cover of Ben Howard's 'Keep Your Head Up' along with a Shikari Sound System version of 'The Paddington Frisk.'[45] On 12 June, the band headed to Radio 1's Maida Vale studios again, but to perform a live 45 minute set for "Radio 1 Rocks," debuting "Radiate" to a small audience of competition winners, before its official live debut at Download Festival on 15 June, where they headlined the second stage.[44]

The band were also nominated for Best British Band and Best Live Band at the Kerrang! Awards, but lost out to Bring Me The Horizon and Black Veil Brides respectively.[46]

Summer 2013 saw the band hit the European festival circuit, including a second stage headline slot at Download Festival, and a performance at Glastonbury, along with visiting countries such as Bulgaria and Romania for the first time, before debuting new side project 'Shikari Sound System' at Reading and Leeds Festivals. The band are also doing an intimate warm up show at London's Electrowerkz on 21 August.[47]

On 18 July 2013, the band announced a repressing of the vinyl on a new colourway (green and beige), limited to just 500 copies, coming with a signed artwork print, for official release on 5 August. The pressing was down to fans paying high prices on auction sites for original copies, and it sold out within a few hours of going on sale.[48]

October sees the band head over to Indonesia and Malaysia for the first time for two shows, before hitting up Europe for a few club shows in November around their Warped Tour shows in Eindhoven and Berlin, along with headlining the London leg at Alexandra Palace, which will be the band's last shows before they begin to write and record their fourth studio album.[49]

Rat Race EP and The Mindsweep[edit]

In late 2012, bassist Chris Batten said that the band will begin working on their fourth studio album after their current touring has finished sometime in 2013. However, Batten also affirmed that the album would not be ready for release in that year.[50]

There is also a final single to be released to join the two previously released singles - "The Paddington Frisk" and "Radiate". The release date for the third single was revealed to be November 2013, in an official email. On October 21, the band announced that the title of the third single would be 'Rat Race', as well releasing the artwork for the single. 'Rat Race' was released on October 31. [51] This track was also added to the final single, creating a 3-track EP.

It was announced in early 2014 that the band would be touring as part of the Warped Tour 2014 on one of the main stages.[52]

In March 2014, it was announced that the band will play third on the bill of the Reading and Leeds Festivals; performing on the Friday of the Reading festival and the Saturday at Leeds. The band will follow acts such as Deaf Havana and Jimmy Eat World before that day's sub headliners, Vampire Weekend and headliners, Paramore and Queens of the Stone Age perform. The festivals' website claims that this is an exclusive 2014 UK festival performance and it will also mark the 7th time in 8 years that the band have played the festivals.

On October 8th 2014, the band announced that their fourth album would be titled "The Mindsweep", and would be released on January 19th 2015.[53]

Band members[edit]


Ambush Reality[edit]

Ambush Reality is an independent record label owned by Enter Shikari. Although originally it was exclusively for the release of Enter Shikari's albums and songs, on the 21st of July 2014,[54] the band announced via Facebook and Twitter they were releasing a song by Nottingham band Baby Godzilla. Formed in July 2006, it is co-owned and run by the members of the band and their friends.[55] The band has decided that, in order to tour in the United States, they had to sign with a major record label in America.[56] On 28 August 2007, Ambush Reality said that Take to the Skies came out in North America in October 2007, with Ambush Reality joining Interscope Records imprint Tiny Evil. Ambush Reality signed a distribution deal with Warner Music in order to make the album Common Dreads and future releases more accessible outside the UK and also more widely advertised and promoted.[57] As of 8 December 2010 Enter Shikari / Ambush Reality have left distribution through Warner and will distribute throughout UK/Europe/Japan/Australia via PIAS Entertainment Group. As of 21 June 2011, Enter Shikari's releases in North America will be via independent record label Hopeless Records.[58]

Side projects[edit]

Reynolds has produced music as part of a side project with the name "Rout"[6], which he sometimes performs in small venues and before shows. He previously used the names "Shark & Blitz" and "Routron 5000".[59] The music develops on his penchant for electronics, resulting in a drum and bass/jungle/dubstep sound. Some songs feature samples of Rou and friends fooling around as well as iconic lines from movies or songs.[7] His most recent EP, released for ActionAid, features samples from ActionAid's project work in Ghana.[60]

Rolfe also DJs under the moniker "Sgt. Rolfy", regularly playing slots at the band's aftershow parties. He plays a range of sounds, including trance, drum & bass, dubstep and even classical and parody tunes too. [8]

Clewlow recently released his first remix, simply as "Rory C", for Don Broco's track "Priorities", from their new record.[61]

Frontman Rou Reynolds has also set up his own clothing company Step Up Clothing.[62]

On 25 April 2013 the band announced a side project called Shikari Sound System, a dubstep alter-ego of the group. The band announced it on their Facebook page straight after they had been announced to play at Reading and Leeds Festival during the summer. Shikari Sound System will play their debut set at The Reading and Leeds festivals. Frontman Rou assured fans on his Twitter page that it would be "The same 4 scallywags but playing a live dance set".

Accolades and Readers Poll Results[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2006 Enter Shikari Kerrang! Awards 2006: Best British Newcomer Nominated[63]
2007 Enter Shikari NME: John Peel Award for Musical Innovation Won[64]
Enter Shikari Kerrang! Awards 2007: Spirit Of Independence Won[65]
Enter Shikari Kerrang! Awards 2007: Best Live Band Won[66]
"Sorry You're Not a Winner" Kerrang! Awards 2007: Best Single Nominated[67]
Enter Shikari BT Digital Awards: Breakthrough Artist of the Year Won[68]
2009 Enter Shikari Kerrang! Awards 2009: Best Live Band Nominated[69]
2010 Enter Shikari Kerrang! Awards 2010: Best British Band Nominated[69]
2012 Enter Shikari Kerrang! Awards 2012: Best Live Band Won[70]
A Flash Flood of Colour Kerrang! Awards 2012: Best Album Nominated[70]
Rou Reynolds Kerrang! Awards 2012: Hero of the Year Won[70]
Enter Shikari AIM Awards: Hardest Working Band Nominated[71]
Enter Shikari AIM Awards: Best Live Band Nominated[72]
A Flash Flood of Colour AIM Awards: Independent Album of the Year Won[73]
2013 Enter Shikari AIM Awards: Best Live Band Won[74]


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External links[edit]