Words: Jennifer Lynn
Image: Greg Nolan
“Hearing our song being played on Radio 1 is… weird!” says Dan Smith, the main man behind uber cool band Bastille, who released their second single Bad Blood this week. “We like to pretend we’re a little cooler than dancing around the room, but yesterday when we were in the tour van and we heard Huw Stephens playing the track as his record of the week we were all just like ‘no way!’”
Although it may seem as though Bastille have appeared from nowhere, like a ghostly apparition, their climb to mainstream recognition has been by no means sudden. Singer/songwriter Dan began building a strong online following back in January 2011, after uploading a homemade video for his track Flaws onto Youtube.
“I’ve always been into films and, although it might sound pretentious, art house cinema as well as the big blockbusters,” explains Dan. “When I was a kid I always thought I’d be a film director, but I was too lazy to actually go out and film stuff myself! I did eventually film a few things that I’ve edited into the rubbish music videos we’ve had, the software on Macs these days makes it so easy.”
After playing various solo sets at the beginning of last year, Dan was joined by bassist Will Farquarson, Kyle Simmons on keyboard and drummer Chris Wood. Bastille the four-piece released Flaws as their first single on indie label Young and Lost Club, before getting signed to Virgin Records. So how does it feel to go from a low-key Youtube discovery to a fully-fledged headline act?
“I guess I never really saw us a Youtube band, which could just be me being really ignorant,” laughs Dan. “But I was never uploading videos of myself singing into the camera doing covers or anything, I just saw it as an amazing platform to put something out there and people just kind of liked it, which was great.”
New single Bad Blood is a spine tingling ode to relationships past. Dan explains, “I try to write songs that aren’t too autobiographical, but I’d been thinking about those friendships you have when you’re quite a lot younger and how important they are to shaping who you are now. It’s weird that you can have intense relationships with these people for such a long time, then just drift away from them and lose touch. It’s quite a normal thing to happen, but it’s bizarre when you think about it. I guess everything seems a lot more intense when you’re young.”
It’s not just the single promotion that’s keeping the Bastille boys busy, as they hit the road in October for their UK tour.
“I had a couple of days off a few weeks back and our manager said, ‘enjoy them, they’re your last for about two months!’” laughs Dan. “I had to try and catch up with all my life admin, washing and things like that. We’re really excited for the tour, and to have our first proper Scottish headline date in Glasgow.”
Other than taking to the stage at the O2 ABC, there’s another reason Dan is looking forward to his visit to Scotland. “The after drinking is very important, especially in Glasgow,” he laughs. “So we’ll definitely be factoring that in!”
Bastille play Glasgow’s O2 ABC on October 14th. For further information and tickets see www.o2abcglasgow.co.uk. Bad Blood is out now.