London-based indie rockers, Bombay Bicycle Club, are fresh off of their Coachella stint and ready to take the rest of the U.S. by storm on their longest tour ever. Songwriter/vocalist Jack Steadman, bassist Ed Nash, guitarist Jamie MacColl and drummer Suren de Saram are gearing up for their Mile High stop, hitting the Gothic Theatre this Sunday, April 27th with openers Royal Canoe.
Bombay Bicycle Club– named after an Indian restaurant chain in London–live up to their eccentric name by constantly changing their sound to fit their ever-evolving musical tastes. Their first albums were heavily guitar-driven, with the second being much more acoustic than the first. Their newest is fused with synthesizers and Bollywood samples.
One thing remains throughout the tangle of different sounds, ideas and ventures; Bombay Bicycle Club continues to make infectious, bubbly tracks that cannot be overlooked by neither the technical elitist nor those just looking for something to sing along to. 303 Magazine caught up with bassist Ed Nash while relaxing in Arizona to discuss a successful Coachella, their longest stretch of tour dates and just how chlorinated he thinks American swimming pools are. Check it out below!
303 Magazine: How are you doing today?
Ed Nash: I’m good, I just went for a swim. We’re in Phoenix at the moment so I’m chilling out.
Some relaxation time between Coachella weekends?
Yeah, yeah, definitely.
How was performing at Coachella?
It was our first time playing Coachella, obviously, and it’s quite unlike festivals in the UK. Normally you’re playing to like a muddy field with people kind of throwing beer at each other and over there it’s a lot of very beatufiul people in this lush, kind of oasis in the desert. I think everyone enjoyed it. I certainly enjoyed playing.
I’ve actually got to say that that line up is one of the best I’ve ever seen. It’s consistently good.
Oh yeah. I think for the artists, the setting you just described is the biggest draw. The fact that it’s this beautiful, clean, relatively easily accessible venue in California.
I’ve definitely played my fair share of muddy fields.
[ laughs] I guess it’s kind of the vacation of the festivals. Have you all ever played in Denver before?
Yes, but it was so long ago I can’t even remember the place we played. It would’ve been just under two years ago. And I remember the show well, it was a great little show the second to the last of the tour.
Well we’re excited to have you again! You all seem like an ambitious bunch, with four albums in a little over five years and each sounding very different from the rest. And your newest one [So Long, See You Tomorrow] takes on more of an electronic feel, was that a natural progression considering the popularity of electronic music today?
Yeah! I definitely think it was a natural progression. I mean, we don’t sit down and kind of plan everything we’re going to do with an album. It’s always really depends on what music we’re interested at the time, which is why there’s so much development. When we started the band we were really young and when you’re that age you really haven’t developed most of the person you’re going to be.
So when we were recording these albums, we were changing a lot as people, which obviously influenced the music.
That was actually my next question. Clearly your ages have anything to do with the transition of your music. You’re a young bunch and kind of at the stage in life where we all iron out our likes, dislikes, etc. So it kind of makes sense that your albums are so different because we’re really just watching you all grow up.
Well yeah, our ages definitely fed into it. Obviously lyrically the songs are written about real life experiences. Especially with our early albums. You know, the first album is all about being a teenager and growing up.
And you guys didn’t use a producer for this one. Do you think that made it harder or easier to make the sort of album you wanted to make?
I think it was probably a bit of both, you know? It gives you a hell of a lot of freedom and you can try a lot of things that you wouldn’t necessarily try with someone else there because you might feel like an idiot or they might just be completely stupid ideas. But, we’re all friends so we could do whatever we wanted. The only downside is that when you have that much freedom it’s easy to go overboard and then have to take it back to the beginning to see where you went wrong.
You can definitely overwork a song until you’ve sort of lost what was special about it
How has the live show been adapted to accompany the electronic progression of this new album?
It was actually very difficult at the beginning. The record does sound quite different from what we’ve done before. And a lot of the instrumental stuff is electronic. But we realized it wouldn’t have made for a very good show at all and it’s not really what our live show is about. So we’ve kind of adapted the songs and they fall somewhere between what we were doing before and what we’re doing on the new album. It’s definitely a more guitar-driven version of the album.
There’s a pretty big Bollywood influence on this record, with a lot of the samples coming from that genre, and this is from travels?
Yeah, Jack and I actually decided to do a bit of traveling in India, but it wasn’t meant for some sort of inspiration, it just sort of happened. Jack actually got a little studio in Mumbai where he wanted to do some songwriting and stayed there for a few weeks. He was listening to a lot of classical Indian and Bollywood music and he found samples he wanted to use on the album. We were slightly apprehensive at first because we’re named Bombay Bicycle Club and we were afraid people would sort of see that and think it was all a bit of a gimmick, which isn’t the case.
Was is difficult for you all to arrange these different sounds?
The arrangement was pretty much the same as before, but again we were more afraid people were going to think we had lost our minds, playing on the Bombay thing too much. [laughs]
The title of the album is So Long, See You Tomorrow, is there a theme that connects all of the themes without making it seem like an overarching muddle of ideas?
Yeah, as you said that title kind of ties in everything we were thinking. We noticed a theme on the album of things looping and things kind of being rather circular. The melody here at the beginning is the final melody as well. Our guitarist found a book by that title and we felt it fit.
This is your longest US tour yet, do you have any plans for any cheesy tourist destinations while youre here?
This is our longest tour ever, actually. Last night we played in Vegas so we went out on the strip and gambled and caused trouble, you know, the stereotypical touristy Las Vegas trip. We’ll definitely prove ourselves to be tourists, if you have any recommendations for Denver, let us know.
You have to go to Red Rocks!
What’s the Red Rocks?
What?! It’s this amazing amphitheater just outside Denver that’s carved out of the middle of these giant red boulders and it’s pretty much the greatest place ever.
Jeez, sounds like we should be playing there.
Definitely should be on your bucket list.
It’s top of the bucket list now!
Well enjoy the rest of your downtime, any other exciting tour plans?
Yeah, once I get all of this chlorine out of my eyes. Man, they are burning! But honestly, the best part of the tour are the shows and meeting new people who are all interested in what you’re doing. We love meeting new people, if anyone in Denver wants to come say hello, they should!
People of Denver: The gentlemen of Bombay Bicycle Club want to meet you, so head on over to the Gothic Theatre Sunday night and say hello! Tickets are $20 ahead and $25 at the door, but they won’t last long!