Sunday 5 August 2012

Leeds Festival Preview // Bastille Interview

Up next in our Leeds and Reading Festival preview series we have Bastille. Having already tipped them for the top in our "Future Talent" section, Est.1987 headed down to Sheffield in April to catch up with main man Dan Smith. 
He chatted to us about all things touring, recording and having a “wow this is amazing man” moment ahead of the bands Leeds and Reading Festival appearance. 

People will have heard your music popping up on Radio 1, Xfm and even on Hollyoaks, so what can they expect from the live show?
I think a lot of the recorded songs I’ve tried to make all different from each other, so if anyone was to check us out online then you might think it’s a bit all over the place sonically. I think seeing us live will make it all make sense; there are four of us doing it and it’s quite energetic.

You did “Bastille” as a solo project first and then formed it into a band- how has that transition shaped the Bastille that we see today?
Nothing’s really changed in terms of how I write and record the songs; I’m still working with the same guy that I made the first Bastille song with. I’m always concerned with making things sound as good and different as possible. But, playing as a live band has affected things in terms of now thinking about how things will come across live and the scope of it. The band hate me because I come up with something that is completely impossible for them to do [laughing].

You recorded a lot of your music yourself and you put together some of your own videos- do you enjoy the process of that and having the control?
Yeah, I love it; I’m probably a bit of a control freak. All the songs start out with me recording them on my laptop and grow from there. I think what I like about working by myself is that you can allow yourself as much time as you need; let things brew and develop and there’s not as much pressure.

I saw that you’d been at Abbey Road Studios recording some stuff for your album- how was recording at such an iconic venue?
I know it’s such a cliché, but it was amazing. We were offered that chance to go down for the day by our record label, because they’re affiliated with Abbey Road. I feel like such a weirdo, but it was so amazing. We recorded three string arrangements for three songs on the album and then we did the song “Flaws” with six string players. We were conducting them, or trying to, and singing along and it was just a really cheesy “wow, this is amazing man” moment. 

How’s the album sounding- is it nearly finished? When and what can we expect from it?
It’s about 80/90% there; all the songs are written and recorded and we just did the strings, which was the last thing. After the tour it’s just a case of finishing mixing the songs and adding the finishing touches. What to expect? There will be a few songs that we’ve already released, a whole load of new stuff and hopefully it’ll sound cohesive; but I also want it to sound a little bit all over the place. Hopefully the song writing and the vocals will hold it all together and there are a lot of common threads running through the songs. It will be nice to have an album that feels like a collection of quite sporadic songs that all work and sit alongside each other. 

The EP "Bad Blood" will be released on 20th August 
Be sure to catch Bastille as they play the Festival Republic stage at Reading on Friday and Leeds on Saturday

And want to know what you can expect from that performance? Well click HERE to read our live review when Bastille played Sheffield's The Harley

For the latest announcements and tickets -