Published: 27/10/2013 09:00 - Updated: 25/10/2013 18:11

Only Bastille surprised by their success

Written byMargaret Chrystall

Bastille – from left – Will Farquarson, Kyle Simmons, Dan Smith and Chris ‘Woody’ Wood.
Bastille – from left – Will Farquarson, Kyle Simmons, Dan Smith and Chris ‘Woody’ Wood.


IT seems Bastille might be the only ones left still a bit surprised by their success – especially in America.

It’s an indication of how busy they are – two sold out tours and new mixtape and album in the pipeline – that the interview for their Inverness October gig had to be scheduled into 10 minutes back in September while the band were on a short tour of Germany.

It must feel amazing to know that your album – like Bastille’s Bad Blood – has been the biggest-selling debut album of the year.

It went almost platinum and though it came out in March, is still likely to be one of the top 10 biggest-selling albums of the year.

Back in September, the band’s Kyle Simmons still seemed to be reeling with the impact the Bastille sound and approach have been creating.

Album title track Bad Blood released as a single last March made number 90, re-released third single Flaws made number 21, this February Pompeii made number two in the UK chart and number one in Scotland – and it might have been a good omen as a month later album Bad Blood also went into the chart at number one.

Visuals, storytelling songs, cross-genre bravery to experiment, their mixtapes Other People’s Heartache 1 and 2 – it’s easy to feel the love.

On November 18, Of The Night – live fan and festival favourite, a mash-up of Snap!’s 90s hit Rhythm Is A Dancer and Corona’s The Rhythm Of The Night, is out.



And to help newer fans catch-up, All This Bad Blood, an expanded two-CD version of the album with new tracks and select tracks from the mixtapes will be relased a week later.

From small gigs to stadium support slots with Muse, plus playing the iTunes Roundhouse gig headlining with The 1975, where last year they’d supported Emeli Sande.



You keep finding easy measures of how far Bastille have come in such a short time.

Kyle said: “The iTunes gig was amazing, the biggest show we have done so far in terms of production.

“Last year we supported Emili Sande and that was incredible and this year to be headlining it, with The 1975...”

For a second Kyle runs out of incredibles and amazings.

The buzz they have been creating in America caught them by surprise.

Kyle said: “It’s down to the internet, I think, we had a lot of Facebook fans from the States, but we hadn’t done anything before we went down to Texas to play South By South West – it was our first trip with the band.

“We played a few shows and they were quite busy and we thought ‘That’s a bit unusual’.

“But I suppose word may have spread to them to go and watch us and it took off from there. And then it all started going crazy really.”

The album smashed into the US Billboard charts at number 11 to become the number one British artist debut album in the US of 2013!

Single Pompeii is in the top five at alternative radio and has sold nearly 250,000 copies in the US, taking the worldwide sales to over 1.5 million. No wonder Kyle explained their fortnight super-quick American tour after we spoke as, at the very least, a duty call.

So they were surprised at how America fell for the album?

“So-o-o-o surprised,” he emphasised.

“Even when it did so well here in the UK, we couldn’t believe it was happening.

“Obviously in the UK we’d been touring for a couple of years, building up our audience and that is what we expected we’d have to do over there too.

“But also, we expected that is what we should do.

“We don’t deserve to have gained the success we have without putting the work in. That is why we are going there now to try and catch up on the shows we owe America!”

They should have been right at home with American food culture.

Frontman Dan Smith spoke earlier in the year about a dream of his – should the band go pear-shaped – to open Bastille’s Burritos. They’ve already invented their own hot sauce.

But on Twitter the other night, Kyle revealed his own recipe for high energy levels – a pizza sandwich.

Hopefully those mega-carbs should keep him on track for the Inverness gig on Monday.

It should be a feast of music for Bastille-lovers.

“We’ll be doing some songs from the albums and a few songs from the mixtapes – we are really proud of them and it was a lot of fun doing them.

“Hopefully, if we can get our act together, we will be playing something new too.

“If we get the time!”

With the year they’ve had, we’ll just have to hope.

Bastille play the Ironworks on Monday with support from Swiss Lips.




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