You say the words Bastille and for me, in my head I hear the chanting vocals of Pompei. 'Eheu eh-o eheu eh-o', a track that spent 101 weeks in the UK Charts but still only peaking at number 2. Their hugely successful debut album, 'Bad Blood,' came out 3 years ago and for many it was a sharp meteoric rise to worldwide adoration. Not so. Founder and front man Dan Smith had been beavering away in his bedroom making mix tapes and putting together what would form the backbone of what would become an incredible selection of non genre specific pop music. To follow that up, you'd think would involve a few nerves, pressure and at least a few sleepless nights. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dan and Kyle from the band to talk about their new album, already number one in the album charts, 'Wild World'.
Edith: So you guys have had a busy summer…
Dan Smith: Yeah, what with all the festivals and we've been to America to do a few TV shows. Saturday Night Live was probably the most terrifying thing our host was Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio – there was security for him backstage because even famous people want go meet him.
Edith: No way! I interviewed Leo once and came away feeling like he cares about what he does so much - his passion for acting is so infectious. Talking of a passion, I wanted to talk about the new album 'Wild World'. I've been lucky enough to listen to it - It's brilliant.
Dan Smith: Ah, thanks. Yeah, this album was not just the four of us going into a room and spending two weeks in the studio, it was like the combination of three years of touring, and how that's effected our lives, and the stuff that we're passionate and interested in.
Edith: It feels like you've really got something to say and that your lyrics are encouraging people to get out there and have their own opinions on what is going on?
Dan Smith: It was so important to us to acknowledge the times that we live in and to recognize a lot of things aren't great in a lot of ways, but in other ways they are. The world can seem overwhelming and f*cked up in the news and so bleak at times but everyone still has to get up and go to work the next morning. There is also an acknowledgement from us that we are just four idiots in a band and we have strong feelings and opinions but we are not just looking to politically wave a flag.
Edith: Your videos seem like a major part of this campaign too?
Kyle: Yeah, we just made a video of one of our songs called 'Fake it' and it's very much an accompanying piece to the song on the album. It's articulating what a lot of people think about politicians maybe not speaking the truth and using their platforms in a not necessarily a positive way.
Dan: There is probably a portion of our fan base who would have loved just a video of us looking nice and just singing the song but I would so much rather disappoint and challenge them and put something a bit difficult out there. Tom, our mate who actually co-directed the 'Fake It' video, has been on tour with us for years and is actually making a documentary of making this album.
Edith: Who is the biggest film geek in the band?
Dan: I feel like everyone watches films and likes films. Will is really amazing with trivia and memory; my taste has always been a bit weirder and more alternative. For me the darker more twisted side of things had a bad quality that I found fascinating but I think everyone in the band is obsessed with films.
Edith: It feels like though that you guys are calling the shots and making the decisions, which not a lot of bands get to do. You said very modestly that you had had some success with the first album but it was an amazing success for a debut?
Kyle: It stunned our entire team and record label. It wasn't at all expected. We are just normal dudes and we didn't have those kinds of expectations and it's hard for us to talk about the success because it felt almost not real.
Dan: We came at a time where the internet was so important it terms of being able to have songs on Soundcloud and it was massively backed up from the very ground up. We look back and we really appreciate the opportunity.
Edith: Did any of it give you any expectations for the second album?
Kyle: We are asked a lot about the three-year period between our albums and whether it was frustrating but we were using the fact that we had this success to be constantly doing something.
Edith: Are there other musicians you admire?
Dan: Massive American acts seem to be going as far left as they can possible go at the moment – Rihanna, Beyoncé, Frank Ocean. It's so brilliant to see people making the most of the multi media world we live in.
Edith: What do you love most about what you do today?
Dan: Just being able to make stuff is the most satisfying thing. We're very lucky.