Interview with Bastille at Reading Festival 2012, Part 1


At this year’s Reading Festival I managed to catch up with everyone’s favourite new band, Bastille. I found myself waiting around in the press area until it was time to call and confirm the interview. It came to 2:50 and I got a phone call asking if I could be escorted to the Festival Republic Backstage area, for Bastille, of course I could! It was very surreal being surrounded by the dressing rooms of the likes of Alt-J and Lucy Rose, but it all seemed so casual. We gathered around a plastic garden table and had to huddle in close so that all 4 members could be heard on my iPhone’s audio recorder. We discussed buckets of piss, Bestival and Mozart. Enjoy.

How has the triangle tour been?

Kyle: It was surprisingly good! It turned out better than we thought it would on each of the days I think.
Dan: Yeh, it was a bit of an experiment and we kind of saw it as a fun thing to do and it turned out much better than we’d hoped and people actually came along.
Woody: When they could find it!
Dan: Yeh, when they could find where we were! It was good, we really enjoyed it.

Were the crowds bigger, smaller than you expected or did you have no preconceptions?

Kyle: Much bigger than we thought.
Dan: I mean we were literally expecting us and four people so.
Will: We generally always expect that at every gig.
Dan: So we were really pleasantly surprised and yeh, much bigger than we expected. And I guess we’ve never really done anything before when we have just gone out and basically just hung out with a load of people who like our music. We had loads of worries about the fact that we were doing it completely acoustically outside, we were worried it wouldn’t work, we were worried people wouldn’t be able to hear it but the whole thing seemed to just work, but there are definitely things we can improve on for next time, but it seemed to come together and people really seemed to get into the spirit of it, it was great.

I was at the Southampton one and everyone came into the bandstand at the end, how was that?!

Dan: it was good!
Woody: It was surreal
Dan: It was quite weird basically being in a sea of other people, I was standing up on a chair and I could see Will just submerged in people.
Will: People kept taking photos while I was playing, like leaning in and getting a photo with me.

And yeh, someone was in Dan’s face recording it all!

Dan: Yeh. But no, it was good, it’s the things that keep it interesting?

How’re you feeling about tonight [Reading Festival show]?

Kyle: *makes an odd noise insinuating fear* Nervous but that just comes with it anyway, you’re always nervous.
Woody: In a Christmas eve sort of way, I’m quite excited!
Dan: Woody’s fucking weird basically. And he’s the only one that’s actually excited, but I think that’s actually nice and normal that he’s like that.
Will: Yeh, you weirdo! (to woody)
Woody: At least somebody enjoys it!
Dan: Woody, weirdo, is actually having a good time here! The rest of us are all complete nervous wrecks, speaking for myself, I’m terrified, I hope people come and I hope we don’t get too many buckets of piss thrown at us.
Will: Just the one bucket of piss

Or even just a cup! Half a cup!

Woody: Basically I’m the one who’s sat down, so I’m not as mobile, these guys are already on their feet and can dodge it, I’m just screwed basically.

How do you feel about having such a late slot after the likes of Alt-J and Lucy Rose?

Dan: Confused! [all laugh] Kyle: I suppose it just adds to the stress, I’m a lot more stressed than nervous because we’re later on on the bill.
Dan: We don’t quite understand why we’re playing after some really good bands.
Woody: But very grateful! It’s an honour!

Are you looking forward to seeing anyone else this weekend? You’re heading off the Leeds tomorrow?

Dan: We’re heading of to Leeds tomorrow
Woody: Yeh, we’re heading off the leeds first thing tomorrow morning.
Dan: Really want to see Alt-J, still haven’t seen them yet.

I wanna see Alt-J!

Kyle: I feel a bit weird saying that sat directly outside their dressing room *puts on a voice* “Oh my god, I’m like totally outside their dressing room!” Alt-J are probably the band I most wanna see I suppose.
Dan: They’re on our stage. We haven’t really been able to look at others, we’re not going to be able to see much, I’d like to see The Maccabees.
Woody: At The Drive In as well, but we’re going to miss them completely, sadly. It’s a hard life isn’t it!

How has the reaction been towards Bad Blood since it’s release?

Dan: People bought it which is cool. Some people.
Will: My sister keeps phoning me and telling me it’s on the radio, she’s the only person I know young enough to listen to Radio 1.
Woody: I guess positive too, as people came down to these triangle gigs, some of them having only heard us on the Radio and they weren’t aware of the whole facebook thing.

Did you get a singalong with Bad Blood?

Woody: A couple murmered along, they hummed a little bit, it was good though.
Dan: It’s been really nice, nothing too major but we’ve had a little bit of radio play which has been really surreal.
Kyle: And really helpful!
Dan: And people have bought it and people have watched the video, yeh I guess people seem to have reacted, I guess positively to it?
Woody: Unthinkable ins’t it mate?
Dan: Yeh, totally unthinkable! I can’t understand. What’s wrong with everyone?!

You’re so negative!

Dan: I didnt think that came across..

You’ve had/are having a very busy summer with festivals, are you planning any time off? Or is it just full steam ahead?

Dan: We’ve got a weekend off in a couple of weeks and we’re going to Bestival.

[At this point we get interuppted by a band member from another band, we get back on track shortly after]
I can’t even remember where we were?!

Dan: You were asking us about the reaction to Bad Blood and I said it had been awful and then you asked us about how we were feeling about today and the slot..
Kyle: The busy summer!

Oh yeh, Bestival!

Dan: We don’t really have any time off but we’ve got the weekend off and we though as if we haven’t already spent enough time at festivals we’d go back to another one.
Kyle: We can do it properly! And not have to go to one and play and leave straight after, we can actually go and stay the whole time.

Who’re you looking forward to?

Kyle: Stevie Wonder! Just because it’s the obvious place to go. I don’t know.
Dan: I’m looking forward to To Kill A King *holds out band tee shirt*

Ah, I did notice this! Amazing.

Dan: They will be playing at some point. There’s a lot of bands I’m looking forward to. So yeh, should be good.


Catch Part Two on The Edge soon.


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.

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