Bastille: The Band Making Their Own Rules

On September 9th, 2016, Bastille’s sophomore album ‘Wild World’ will be released. 3 and a half years after their debut album stormed the charts at number one. That is only 7 months less than Frank Ocean fans had to wait. To say that the album is ‘highly anticipated’ would be an understatement.

Bastille have never quite played by the rules. Just last week, they packed out a tiny basement in East London. Performing under a pseudonym of ‘Chaos Planet’ and donning bright tie-dye shirts, the London quartet put on an exhilarating show. Despite the venue quickly resembling a sauna – with a temporary pause in the set and gig-goers encouraged to momentarily evacuate the venue to cool down – the energy refused to falter. Face paint that once adorned the faces of singer Dan Smith, keyboardist Kyle Simmons, bassist Will Farquarson and drummer Chris Wood, was very quickly replaced by sweat. A set of new songs accompanied old favourites as they powered through the heat like seasoned professionals; vocals in tact and with impeccable musicianship.

Chances are that you’ll know more of Bastille’s tunes than you realise. After their anthemic track ‘Pompeii’ launched them onto the global stage, they have become a staple at music festivals all over the world. Nothing quite gets a crowd going like ‘eh oh eh oh’. Not quite a one hit wonder though, Bastille have quite a back catalog. It includes a number one album, three mixtapes, several remixes, extended plays, a series of cinematic music videos and more charted singles than you can count on one hand. It may be 3 and a half years since the release of their debut album ‘Bad Blood’, but Bastille have been anything but quiet.

It is their insistence though, to take full control of their career, that make Bastille so fascinating. Luckily, they’ve found a team willing to give them the freedom they desire. After spending time on the road writing for the new album, front-man Dan Smith was adamant that the band’s second album would be done their way. ‘Their way’ being in a tiny windowless studio beneath a Battersea industrial estate. Instead of enlisting the help of big-time Hollywood producers, Smith and Mark Crew, who has worked on the band’s previous releases, produced the record themselves. Declaring that the album dips and dives between genres much like a mixtape, Bastille seem to have their feet planted firmly outside of the box.

With the release of ‘Wild World’ mere days away, Bastille may just be on the verge of atmospheric success. Sitting firmly in arena territory, the band will embark on an 11 date UK tour in October and November – including two dates at London’s O2 Arena. Not bad for a band making music in a windowless basement. Bastille aren’t here to play by the industry’s rules. Not content with blending in, they consistently create interesting and innovative content. Whether it is commenting on social issues through their music videos or creatively using social media to promote the album (including a Facebook bot and a global Snapchat track list hunt), Bastille are subtly changing the narrative. Another number one album on the horizon? I for one, wouldn’t be surprised.

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