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Only the night before Bastille were chatting on webcam with Radio 1 Chart Show host, Jameela Jamil, who not long ago treaded the pavements of Lancaster. She’s told them that their latest single had peaked at number two in the official chart (after Justin Timberlake ). And somehow, the day after, they were talking to SCAN! Bad Blood was released-the same day they played to an audience, comprised mainly by Lancaster University students, at 53 Degrees in Preston.
How did you end up being inspired by Bastille Day?
Dan: Last year my friends threw me a little party and someone made a cake like a French flag cake. One of my housemates, she made loads of French flag bunting which is quite funny and we just ended up drinking loads of wine.
Will: It was French theme fancy dress.
D: Oh that’s true yeah. When we were in Europe everyone was a lot more obsessed with the name than they are here. Whenever I had French class in school I said my birthday, the French teacher would always get really excited.
What was the process like of putting the band together?
D: It was kind of natural. Growing up in school I never really had any friends that made music. At uni a lot of my mates were in bands, moving back to London afterwards, Will was one of first people I ever played with. Kyle is just a friend of ours who can do a lot of stuff and we all just get on really well. When we were starting it was more about finding our theme, figuring out how we’re gonna play these songs live. I’d always wanted it to be a band, or if not a band, at least a- this sounds really pretentious- but a project that we were all involved with. Not that I wanted us to be face less but I originally wanted it to be more about videos and visual.
What are your pre-gig rituals?
D: We’re a bit boring I think. I get quite nervous so I try and just do as much other stuff as possible and not think about the fact that we’ve got a gig. Then just before we go out we just, maybe like sing one of our songs and then stick on some really loud like music. The kind of music that people wouldn’t expect us to like at all.
W: We’ll put on some heavy metal and then turn it off.
What goes through your mind when you’re performing?
W: I don’t know if you find this but I find quite mundane things- even though I’m really into it when you play songs you know you don’t really think about it. I daydream a bit on stage.
D: Once you’ve played it a million times it becomes a bit more natural. I’m not hugely comfortable on stage. So I note the things that are different every night like the crowd and how they’re responding, often to distract myself I try and climb up on loads of different things and often my mind is like ‘is that gonna hold my weight?’ When were on tour with Two Door Cinema Club I tried to climb up on a speaker and electrocuted myself.
W: And everyone laughed…
How do you think the live performances compare to recording?
D: I love writing and being in the studio. And that’s kind of how this whole thing started. I really like producing songs. I think people who like the album will really enjoy the live show because it’s just a bit more fleshed out. It’s a bit beefier, It’s a bit more band-y if that makes sense.
W: I used to come down, not for the whole album but every now and again. It’s like a little day off for me. I just sit in the corner, play some bass read a bit of GQ.
D: And Mark the guy that I co-produced the album with is just hilarious and he just massively takes the piss out of everything particularly me. It’s kind of just like hanging out with your friends in a room. Going from that being literally in like a basement box underneath a council estate in South London to going to Preston playing at a venue where I’ve never been before. There’s things to enjoy in all of it.
What should we look out for in the album?
D: I think Bad Blood for us is a track that we all really like- we like to play it live and in the extended version of the album there’s a song called Silence that’s very heavy bass lead. That’s so much fun to play live. There’s also These Streets which I really like as well. I just feel like it brings together a lot of different sounds on the album. I really like the drumming on it as well. Daniel in the Den is the oldest song in the album which slightly pre-dates the band.
W: That was the song that made me want to be in the band.
Do you hate it when people ask you about inspiration for the album?
D: Only because I’m so bad at answering them.” For me inspiration comes from a lot of different places, other music that I like, films, pop culture, things have happened to me, people I know. Sometimes some of the songs just happen.
Describe the album in three words.
Will: “Available on iTunes.”