Bastille interview: ‘How the hell did this happen?’

Dan Smith speaks out on unexpected success and album number two



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© Ed Marshall

After bagging this year's British Breakthrough Act BRIT Award, south London band Bastille returned to the top of the album chart with their 2013 debut ‘Bad Blood’. Before a huge Ally Pally show, lead singer Dan Smith tells us five facts about Bastille’s story so far…

1. They feel lucky 24/7.
‘We’re just really normal people, and we’ve never really had aspirations to be, like, fucking big musicians, so we feel slightly as if we’re competition winners – like, “How the hell did this happen?” This time last year, we fully expected to be flipping burgers by now.’

2. They still worry about nobody showing up to their gigs.
‘When we play festivals I always walk on stage assuming there’s going to be no one there – I’ll be looking at an empty tent or an empty field. That’s just my natural pessimism coming out.’

3. You shouldn’t pigeonhole them… well, maybe a little.
‘We’re not a rock band, we’re not an indie band, we’re not a pop band, we’re not an R&B band – we’re whatever the fuck we want from song to song. Although ultimately we are under the big umbrella of pop music, because they’re all songs – not 30-minute flute solos.’

4. Their next album will rock.

‘A lot of people call Bastille “guitar music”, which is really funny because there are no guitars on “Bad Blood”. But we’ve incorporated guitars on the next album, because it was somewhere to go that we hadn’t been before. The first song we did with guitar was called “The Draw”, and we said “Fuck it, let’s make it really, really, really heavy.’’ ’

5. They’re on an never-ending journey.
‘People think that we suddenly got big overnight, but for us it’s felt like a really steady curve from literally playing empty pubs through to playing Alexandra Palace. Have we made it? We don’t feel that now, and I don’t think we ever will.’

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