Friday, 10 April 2009

'Always Like This' - an Interview with Bombay Bicycle Club

From left: Ed Nash, Jack Steadman, Suren De Saram, Jamie Maccoll

Bombay Bicycle Club are a band I've admired for a long time now, and their new single 'Always Like This' seems to exemplify everything good I've ever said about them. It's a deliciously danceable number, with an almost afro-pop melodious riff that would make Vampire Weekend jealous. Topped with Bombay's typically quivering, Devendra-esque vocals then, the track looks set to soundtrack the summer.

To make this a bit more interesting than me just raving about how good the song is, I instilled some help from lead singer and guitarist, Jack Steadman, who agreed to an interview because he's very nice like that.

Can you tell us a bit about 'Always Like This', and if there's a story behind it being written?

I was just messing around on the bass, and suddenly the funktopus grabbed me with his tentacles and the riff was born.

Any funny stories from the video shoot?

On the first shot my nerves and self-consciousness were not helped by the HUGE group of schoolgirls who were on their break or something and sat down to spectate.
Apparently the single is "born out of the band's love of dance music", but then your earlier stuff drew some comparisons to American indie, some of your music is folk-y and your album is named after a lyric from a hip hop song. With all of this in mind, what sort of direction can we expect the album and future Bombay music to be going in? Is it a conscious progression?

We just listen to loads of stuff, and it naturally seeps into the music. For the next album, I would like to record it in a more lo-fi, garage-y way. Plus much more folky stuff to arrive soon.

How are you going to celebrate your album release?

Probably just the conventional way .

The tour is approaching; is there anywhere you're particularly looking forward to playing? And anywhere in future you'd like to play? Like, I once had a dream where you were playing at Kentish Town Forum (I know, very strange dream), is that somewhere you'd want to play? Or even America?

Kentish Town Forum is my favourite and dream venue, and my local venue. How did your dream know that?

Well, it was quite a while ago, just after I first heard you guys and had just been to a gig at Kentish Town Forum so we could put it down to coincidence. But it's more likely that I'm psychic - I once dreamt the school play would be 'Mulan' and it was. True stories.

I'd love to tour America too, I'll tour anywhere, it's always fun.

Can you reveal any festivals you'll be playing yet?

I'm afraid not.

I've heard tell of an acoustic EP - can you say any more about that?

I don't know when it's out, because it needs some finishing touches. It's got a Joanna Newsom cover, and a John Martyn cover, and some new stuff. It's my debut on the banjo too.

You got pretty heated about the whole stage invasion thing a while back - has that all calmed down since? And are you actually against it, as I swear I remember you encouraging it...

We love stage invasions, but not when they don't respect our gear, it just bugs me a bit when they jump on all your stuff. Sometimes we're not in the mood too.
The band and the fans getting crushed in a stage invasion

You guys are pretty renowned as a live band, but who would you say is the best live act you've seen and why?

The Dirty Three, I was so stoned and I started crying floods of tears and laughing like crazy. The most powerful and beautiful music I ever heard live.

You've all got places waiting for you at uni - what's the plan at the moment in regards to that? Would you carry on making music if you did end up going?

It's there just in case something with the band goes wrong, it's a backup plan. I'll be making music wherever I am for sure.

Outside of music, what do you guys enjoy doing?

Getting krunk. Either that or just spending time with my girlfriend. Or eating, maybe watching a nouvelle vague film.

Any recommended listening?

Coki- Bloodthirst, Anne Briggs - Willie O Winsbury, Duke Ellington - Squeeze Me (But Please Don't Tease Me)

While you've got our attention, anything else you'd like to say?


Many thanks to Jack for the interview, you can pre-order 'Always Like This' (out on April 13th) on either 7" or 12" format from HERE with remixes from both DFA's Tim Goldsworthy and James Rutledge.

Photo credits to The Fly and Louise Nindi, respectively.

1 comment:

Hanan said...

nice work Tara!