Back in 2013 I was driving to who knows where when Bastille’s “Bad Blood” came on the radio.
I was immediately intrigued, Shazammed it, and once I got home I downloaded their album. For the past four years I have been (im)patiently waiting for another album and it is finally here. And not only do I have new Bastille music to listen to, but I get to see them play live, FINALLY. And you do, too. They’ll be playing at The NorVa in Norfolk on Sunday, September 10th, so mark your calendars.
I was given the opportunity to interview Chris Wood, aka Woody, Bastille’s drummer, last week. I spoke to Woody while the band was on their tour bus leaving London and heading to Belgium for their next show… and Woody couldn’t have been nicer. Check out the interview below. (Some responses have been edited for readability.)
1. How would you describe the band’s sound?
Woody: We recently came up with a definition: Cinematic Indie Pop with hip hop, rock, and melodic influences.
2. What inspired Wild World? And how does this album differ from Bad Blood?
It’s about making sense of the craziness in the world, how to try to get your head around the crazy things that are going on, make sense of the madness, finding solace in friends, people and relationships. Hopefully world isn’t completely screwed. Bad Blood was more about growing up in a way. It didn’t feature a single note of guitar, so sonically that’s how it differs.
3. What’s your favorite song on to play on this album? Why?
It changes. Probably “Fake It.” It’s quite involved song that I spent ages to learn. Now I can do it fairly comfortably and it’s a good sounding song live, feels good playing it.
4. Any pre-show rituals? Any post-show rituals?
Nothing mad really. We quite easily fall into the cycle of tour bus to dressing room to stage back to tour bus. We practice vocals beforehand and after the show we go to the dressing room and drink beer.
5. What can audiences expect from this tour, besides fun and great music?
We’re trying to cover all bases in terms of back catalog (earlier stuff and newer stuff), with lots of visuals. It’s more of a show than a gig if that makes sense. It will be a steady immersive experience.
6. What do you do during your downtime while on tour?
When I’m at home I see friends and family, just go about life in general: pay bills, etc. I like playing football (soccer) and cricket. I’ll actually be playing in Game4Greenfell in London next month. The money raised will go to the victims of the Greenfell fire. (Donations can be made here.)
7. What’s next for Bastille after touring?
We’ll be regrouping and hoping to come back with new music very soon.
8. How have you handled the band’s, and your personal, success?
It’s been okay. Being the drummer is the best job to have because it’s almost incognito. It’s been a minor adjustment; being away from home is the big one to get used to.
9. What advice do you have for new drummers, or musicians struggling to break into the business?
Don’t give up. So many talented people give up too early. Practice what you’re bad at and practice what you’re good at, work on the things you can be better at. Don’t be an asshole. People don’t want to work with you if you’re an asshole. A bad reputation will get around quicker than you would believe.
10. Who are your influences?
For the group it’s Kanye. We admire his production and how he orchestrates his campaign. For me it’s Queens of Stone Age; they’re the best band in the world. But I listen to everything from Slayer to Britney Spears and everything in between.
11. What’s your favorite band or your favorite musician, past and/or present?
Queens of Stone Age; they have a new album out next month. For newer bands it’s Rag n Bone Man. He’s signed to the same record label and we’ve known him for years. He’s been unknown for years and it’s good to see how far he’s come and where he is now.
12. What band or musician do you consider to be underrated?
Cold War Kids.
13. Is there a specific song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?
That’s a good question. I have to think about this. It’s a Muse song. I was 14 at the time I heard. I played it again and again and again. It made made me really want to be in a band.
14. If you could dine with any musician, living or dead, who would it be and why? What one question would you ask them?
John Bonham. He’s one of the greatest drummers of all time and was taken a bit too young. I’d ask him really, really boring questions abut drumming.
Buy tickets for the Wild, Wild Tour at NorVA here.