As part of GIITTV Introducing, Tiffany Daniels spoke to Dan Smith – a London based, upbeat folktronica musician who performs under the name of Bastille, Smith has recently signed to the Young & Lost Club and plans to release his debut single “Flaws” on July 4th.
Read our Preaching From the Pews entry over here, and continue for Dan’s answers!
Why did you start making music? What or who has inspired you?
I started writing songs for fun and for myself really, and it kind of grew from there. A bunch of my friends at Uni were in a band and I guess watching them made me really want to try and make music properly.
Describe Bastille’s music in three words:
Melodic alternative pop
You’ve used scenes from Terrence Mallick’s film Badlands for your “Flaws” video. Did you write the song with the movie in mind?
I wasn’t thinking about Badlands when I wrote the song, no. I was watching it when thinking about making a video, and it is just such a good looking film with so many visually interesting and arresting scenes. Luckily the scenes I’ve used seem to work quite well with “Flaws”. It’s a pretty dark film, but I tried to not use those darker elements in the video.
You also have a song called “Laura Palmer”, and the video uses stills from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. How important are the partnerships between music, film, art and popular culture to you?
I guess I’m influenced by films and bits of pop culture. I try not to write explicitly personal songs, so it’s sometimes easier to use common or more well known stories as a vehicle to talk about other things.
Have you got similar collaborative projects in the works?
A group of people are making a video for us at the moment. I haven’t been that involved, and it’s a bit strange handing creative control over to other people. It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with though.
For the benefit of those who are yet to see you live – what’s your stage set up like? Do you play alone and do you use visuals?
The live set up is very much that of a band, and hopefully it’s quite energetic. There are four of us in the band and we use some live and some electronic instruments. I play a piano and hit a drum pad sometimes. Kyle plays keyboards, Will plays bass and some keyboards, and Woody plays the drums. We all move and swap around a little bit as well.
“Flaws” and its b-side “Icarus” are due for release on Young & Lost Club on July 4th. How did you get involved with the label?
It came about through my managers really, but I’ve been aware of Young & Lost for years. I’d been to some of their nights and am a big fan of quite a few of the bands that they’ve released (like Everything Everything, Johnny Flynn, Noah and the Whale… the list goes on).
Will you work with them in the future, or is this a one off?
We don’t have any plans to work together as of yet but I’d love to do something with them in the future.
To promote the single you’re playing a set of London shows over the summer. Do you have any plans for a UK tour?
We’re playing a bunch of festivals over the Summer which I’m very excited about, and then hopefully we’ll be doing a bit of a UK tour at the end of September.
So far you’re confirmed for the Glade and Isle of Wight festivals. If you could play any festival in the world in 2011, which would you choose?
I’d absolutely love to play at Glastonbury. I reckon Fuji Rocks would be incredible as well.
What else do you have planned for 2011?
I’m recording the rest of the songs that will hopefully make up the first Bastille album at the moment which is pretty fun. Other than that I’d like to do another release at some point a bit later in the year and hopefully do as much gigging and touring as possible.