This is something I wrote for my newspaper a while ago... I got to interview Bombay Bicycle Club before one of their gigs in Dublin! I'll link some videos too, they're well worth a listen. Their new album is pure ear candy. I took some pictures at the gig too, see below (:
Touring in support of their latest album A Different Kind of Fix, I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the north Londoners Bombay Bicycle Club before their sold out gig in Vicar Street. Interviewing the Bombay boys and afterwards attending their gig were experiences oddly incomparable. Ed and Jack undeniably came across as the shy and reserved type, although entirely pleasant and always mannerly. This bashfulness did somewhat transpose to BBC’s onstage banter, or lack thereof. The band rarely expanded from the crowd-band conversational standards, the stuff of cliché ‘It’s great to be back in Dublin’. However, the crowd really didn’t seem to care and quite frankly, neither did I. For who needs mindless chitchat when such brilliant songs do the talking? The cautious conversationalists are paradoxically lionhearted on stage, and had the crowd (notably a group spanning all age spectrums) moshing to what I had thought was ‘unmoshable’ music. The infectious piano hooks of Shuffle, the single touted as the track of the critically acclaimed third album, marked the start of a superb gig. The return to previous hits such as ‘Rinse Me Down’ and ‘Ivy and Gold’ from the soft, sparse folk of Flaws were welcomed with open arms, and their endearing grunginess from their debut I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose like ‘Always Like This’ reminds us of just how close the then teenagers came to perfecting indie pop rock. A Different Kind of Fix is a delightful hybrid of the first two albums: Guitars are firmly back from their debut, fused with tingling vocals we see remnants of Flaws linger. There is one interweaving element across the three LPs that makes BBC so so good, this being their raw talent in writing beautiful pop melodies. Buy this album, go see this band live. Predictions? Soon we’ll have to share BBC with the world, these boys are going to be big (bigger, even).
How did you guys come together as a band?
Jack: Well, three of us met at school, a long time ago… We were all about fifteen. Our first big gig was playing in front of the assembly, simply because we were the only people in the class that could play music at all! We were just messing around, just jamming really. We played music in our free time, it wasn’t an academic thing. It wasn’t that serious then at all. The band’s name comes from a restaurant in London… We stole it.
So, congrats on the new record. Do you feel like with this album you’re moving into a new genre? How is it different from previous material?
Jack: Well, we have of kept a lot of things from the first record. We generally have kept things quite poppy, as we have done in the past, but A Different Kind Of Fix is different in that it has a lot of different textures and electronics in it. But our music is always going to have that pop element.
What was it like to win the NME Best New Band Award?
Ed: Yeah, we’re still kind of shocked about that. We were up against huge bands like La Roux, Mumford and Sons and the XX. We genuinely didn’t think we were going to win it at all. And then we did… it was just ridiculous!
Speaking of Mumford and Sons, do you guys mind being put into the same category as them? Or are you against being put into the folk music genre?
Jack: People can classify us as whatever they want really.
How about if you could classify yourselves?
Jack: You’d have to take each album separately.
What/who are your sources of inspiration?
Jack: we’re all inspired by different things as individuals really. I adore Charlie Christian, I’m always playing his guitar riffs. And Ed just loves funk bass, like George Clinton. (Ed interjects with: I totally vibe off that). In fact, sometimes if one person likes something, they’d be offended if the other people in the band try to listen to it. I have my guitarists, they’re mine!
Was having a song on the Twilight soundtrack surreal?
Ed: Apparently it’s not really in the film! Suren, our drummer, went to see the movie with his family and our track was only in it for about ten seconds! So it didn’t have much of an effect on us. Thankfully the soundtrack is stand-alone… because the films are pretty bad. It was sort of the opposite of a wow moment. But we had plenty of moments, so to say, before that. When we heard about Twilight, we were working with the producers of the Social Scene (Dave Newfeld, producer of the Broken Social Scene). Working with them was a privilege.
Do you like being stage?
Jack: I like being on stage. Every time you play in front of a crowd you get that feeling. There’s been probably like 100 times on stage when everything seems not quite real… I mean, the first time we played a crowd to 100 people, it was surreal.
Ed: We’ll have a “this is it” moment when the crowds start getting smaller!
What’s your songwriting process like?
All the different music we privately listen to combines. That’s probably why some of the tracks on the album sound so weird… You’d never think that Ed’s bass would match my guitar. That’s probably the reason why the albums are so different. The second album, we really just let Jamie get his influences out, he doesn’t really let us listen to folk music. His Dad’s a guitarist who plays a lot of folk music. And then it all went nuts again for A Different Kind of Fix.
Does Jamie have a folk background?
Yeah, his granddad was Ewan MacColl, he was a Scottish folk legend. That’s probably where he gets it from.
So, you guys have completed a rare feat of releasing 3 albums in 3 years… What’s next?
Ed: We literally 5 minutes ago announced a US tour. So we’ll be doing that for a month. We’re going to be all over the place really! We’ll do another UK tour. We’re going to Asia, Europe, and Brazil. We are really excited to go to Hong Kong; we weirdly have a growing Asian fan base. Thank you Internet.
Do you have any tips for college bands?
Jack: Nothing is stopping you from making music if you want to. There’s no way to say if you start doing this, you will start making money from music. You have to be doing it just because you like doing it, it’s a bonus if other people like it. That’s what happened to us. I hate bands that just want to get signed! It’s just the wrong attitude to have and it will always end badly.
Ed: Just make music.
Jack: Yeah, in fact don’t even listen to us! What do we know? We did everything wrong.