‘It was the most unexpected thing to happen to us, ever!’ An Interview with Bastille (07/03/13)


Bastille played at the Mo’Club earlier this month on their ‘Bad Blood’ tour. With a chart battle with Justin Timberlake and One Direction and a debut album recently out we had a lot to discuss. I got to catch up with the guys before their show at the Southampton venue  and we spoke about various things such as Bad Blood, SXSW festival and those brilliant goat YouTube videos. Enjoy!

It’s going to be pretty obvious questions guys, so, apologies.

Woody: Will’s not gay

Will’s not gay?
Will: I’m a bit gay [all laugh] Woody: Will’s quite gay.

Awesome, well that’s all I wanted to know!
Woody: Nailed it.

Bad Blood was released on Monday, how has it been recieved so far? You were playing in preston the night that it was released, how was that?

Woody: That was probably one of the best gigs we’ve ever done. It went off! People were literally bouncing off the walls, really big venue.
Dan: It was so much fun.

Was that one the last one to sell out? 

Woody: Yeah, but in their defence it got upgraded quite late. It was good, they went pretty mad for it, a pretty big venue so it was good for us.

In the Extended Cut version of the album there are some tracks recorded at Abbey Road, how was that as an experience?

Dan: Yeah it was wicked, it was just so nice to record the strings there. It was amazing, it was really fun. I guess our day at Abbey Road couldn’t really have been any more different than the rest of the album, in every sense, in that like, you know, the studio is amazing and massive and beautiful and has all that heritage and it was very different from the space we recorded the rest of the album in. Also we just had one day, whereas the rest of the album we had the luxury of time to get on with it and come back to things, we had a very tight deadline at Abbey Road. 

On Sunday you were number 2 in the chart with ‘Pompeii’, how does it feel to be second to Justin Timberlake?

Woody: People ask us if we were really gutted, but we were ecstatic.
Dan: It was like the most unexpected thing to happen to us, probably, ever! To be honest, it doesn’t feel real or like it happened to us so it’s a bit weird. 

You decided to let the fans stream the album in specially booked screenings before it was released, what was the thinking behind that? 

Dan: I dunno, I guess we just wanted people to hear it and wanted to try and do it in an online environment which was interesting and not just pushing play and listening to it, hopefully people wouldn’t get bored, it would give them something to look at. 

Tonight’s the sixth night of your tour, how have the first few nights been? Is it all going well?

Woody: Progressively better I guess, yeah, except we broke the bus.


Woody: Well, it broke and they tried fixing it and then broke more of it. It’s better now!
Dan: Yeah, it’s our new home on wheels, it’s been really fun, it feels like it’s been getting better and better, particularly the last two the atmosphere has been great and awesome. In Manchester there were four fainters. Four people had to get carried out of the front of the crowd and there were mosh pits.
Will: And a baguette!
Dan: That was in Preston.

Someone through a baguette at you?

Dan: Mhmm in Preston. Well, he was dancing with and I was like ‘throw it to me’ 

Did you eat it onstage?

Dan: No, I sort of danced around with it for a while and then I threw it back at him.

Did he catch it?

Dan: Er, I think his mate caught it and then passed it back to him.

Okay, so the baguette was back to it’s rightful owner.

Dan: Yeah, like a sort of really slow edible boomerang. 

I personally haven’t seen a headline show before, how will it differ from the support slots and the festival shows?

Dan: Have you not?!

No, I’ve seen you guys like six times as well.

Dan: Mate, what’ve you been doing?! Erm, I guess it’s longer! We play more songs. We’ve got our own lighting show and that sort of thing, and we have the time to play a bit more stuff.
Woody: Hopefully some people will know all the songs cause the album is out now. Which will be good. 

Yes! Not just me at the front singing along.
[all laugh]

Are you writing new tracks at the moment for a potential album number two?

Dan: Yep! I haven’t really had time in the last couple of weeks but I did over christmas and started recorded two new songs. 

Awesome! So the festival season is approaching, you’ve already released some co-headline slots, how are you feeling about it? Are you excited?

Dan: Yeah! Blissfields and Great Escape we’re headlining. We’re really excited, we all feel quite unworthy to be honest. 

You’re headlining my local festival, GoldCoast Oceanfest.

Dan: Yeah! That as well! 

Croyde is very near my hometown, I’ve been going there for the past 8 years! It’s so odd.

Dan: It’s very weird for us, but I guess we’re excited but we’ve never done that before so we better be good! There’s a fair amount of pressure. 

You’re heading to Austin, Texas next week, that’s kind of the first festival of the year, so will it be your first time playing in America, yes?

All: Yep!

How’re you feeling about that?

Woody: Super excited! It’s kinda like christmas eve eve eve right now. [all laugh] Dan: We’re really excited, it’s gonna be good. I guess what will be interesting as well is because its a festival they’re not our shows, you know, we’ve got no idea what to expect basically.
Woody: Everyone we speak to always has cool stories about how SXSW is always good.

This is more of a song writing question, I’ve already mentioned the song about ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, what would you be doing if you weren’t in Bastille? Because you did English Literature at University, am I right?

Dan: I wanted to be a journalist, I wanted to write about films but I was too lazy to be a journalist, to become one. 

Now that you’re getting a bit more successful, have you experienced any weird fan things yet? 

Woody: Someone made us ‘Fruit Bastilles’
Dan: They’re right next to you. I think that’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Literally the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. That and the goat video.
[Dan begins to search for something on YouTube]

The goat yelling like a man, is that the one? They’ve started to put it into songs.

Woody: Just you wait.
Dan: Oh, have we seen it? Have we seen it? Just you wait. Someone sent this to us the other day and I literally lost my shit. 

[Dan plays ‘Get Home (goat version)’ on YouTube]

That is brilliant. So last question, When I checked earlier ‘Bad Blood’ is currently number one in the album chart. 

[Dan grimaces]

Wish I could just capture that face on audio! [all laugh]How’re you gonna celebrate if it is number one on Sunday?

Woody: We’re gonna leave the country and go to Texas!
Kyle: Will they let us through security if we’re drunk?
Dan: I have no idea what I’m gonna do. 

Just get drunk?

Dan: Yeah. Probably. I don’t think it’s gonna happen though [getting to number one].


Dan: Because I’ll think we’ll get overtaken by lots of other people. But, if it does [get to number one]we’ll pretend it didn’t happen, still hate ourselves. I will freak out, have a nervous breakdown and literally leave the country. 

Bastille’s debut album Bad Blood is out now.


About Author

I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.


  1. ‘It was the most unexpected thing to happen to us, ever!’

    Clearly not talking about you showing up to interview them.

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