Monday, 7 February 2011

INTERVIEW: Bombay Bicycle Club


Bombay Bicycle Club released their first EP in 2007, and then another one the same year. Two years later and they have finally released their debut album, 'I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose'. At their Nottingham gig Impact’s Charlotte Krol sits down and chats about, band names, their love of Reading Festival and sporking.

Impact : Could you tell us a bit about how the band formed?
Jamie: We met at school, like a lot of bands do. (To Jose) You heard our first gig?
Jose: Yeah, you were lame (Both laugh)
Impact: Are you guys musically- taught?
Jamie: Suren is classically taught, but I’ve never had a guitar lesson in my life.
Impact: What about your front man?
Jose: Yeah Jack can play Jazz guitar!
Impact: I bet you’re excited about playing with The Pixies on 7th October in London. Have they been a big influence on your writing?
Jamie: Err, I don’t know, not really. Jack and Suren love The Pixies
Impact: So it was a random set up then?
Jamie: Yeah, pretty much.
Impact: Who are your influences then?
Jamie: We like a lot of American Indie music of that era really.
Impact: Do you have any kind of ritual before you go on stage?
Jamie: Like a big hug? (Laughs) No, more like a big punch! (Punches Jose on the arm). I recently hurt my hand punching one of the band members…So, we don’t really do anything.
Impact: You just bite the bullet and get on with it?
Jamie: Yeah, we also have a few drinks.
Jose: We get CRUNK!
Impact: Crazy drunk?
Impact: Moving on then. You’ve played Reading and Leeds Festival three times now. Is it one of your favourite gigs to play? I watched you this August and the tent was jam-packed with fans!
Jamie: I suppose, yeah, it feels like our home festival even though we’re not from Reading or Leeds.
Impact: Aren’t you from London?
Jamie: Yeah, it’s quite near to Reading, but we really like it.
Jose: We like playing in tents at Festivals because it sounds better.
Impact: I’ve noticed that, I couldn’t really hear the main acts at Reading this year.
Jose: Yeah it’s much louder in a tent and it’s kind of fever pitch. Everyone just goes for it. I much prefer it to Glastonbury where we played outside. Did you see The Klaxons play in 2006?
Impact: Afraid not
Jose: Oh, well it was pretty intense! There were so many people in one space.
Impact: I’m in a band at Nottingham -
Jose: (Interrupts) Oh really? What are you called?
Jamie: What do you play?
Impact: …Ghost Cassette.
Jose: (Laughs) Don’t be embarrassed; everyone’s running out of band names nowadays.
Jamie: Yeah ours is pretty stupid.
Impact: How did you get that name? Isn’t it the name of a chain restaurant?
Jamie: (Laughs) Yeah it was right outside of our school. One day we were walking past it -
Jose: (Interrupts) And Jamie said ‘let’s call ourselves that!’
Jose: So what do you play?
Impact: I play guitar and I sing. So, I was going to ask, as a member of a band, I was wondering do you tend to write the song lyrics first, or the music? Why?
Jamie The music comes first really.
Jose: And the lyrics a lot later.
Jamie: I usually don’t do anything (laughs).
Jose: Have you got our album?
Impact: I’ve heard it but I don’t actually own it yet. I’m going to buy it.
Jose: No you’re going to illegally download it (laughs)
Impact: No, no I never illegally download.
Jose: Yeah, yeah…
Impact: Someone back me up here! Every couple of months I save up and buy CD’s.
Jamie: Err, I think were banned from talking about illegally downloading music Jose! (laughs)
Impact: So, what would you be doing now if you weren’t in a band?
Jamie: Go to uni (laughs as Jose looks terrified)
Impact: Don’t scare him!
Impact: Are you going to write another album?
Jose: Yeah we’ll write another one similar to the first one, but it’ll get more airplay because the first album was so good…
(Jamie laughs)
Jose: Jack will make an album that’ll be full of Afro-Beats and Folk music.
Impact: And what are your ambitions for Bombay Bicycle Club?
Jamie: Go to uni.
Impact: You’re scaring Jose again! Would you consider going to Nottingham?
Jamie: I don’t really like Nottingham, no offence. But I suppose it’s better than Lancaster.
Jose: Or Glasgow.
Jamie: Oh, let’s not alienate their fans. I’m going to answer your question now.
Impact: Are you going to write the famous ‘concept’ album?
Jose: Jack might.
Impact: So does Jack come up with the riffs?
Jamie: Yeah, well…no. We kind of all have input. But the songs endings towards the end of the album are written by Jack, probably in his bedroom.
Jose: Have you heard ‘Cancel On Me’?
Impact: Yes.
Jose: Well that used to be just an acoustic song that Jack made up in his bedroom.
Impact: Wow, and now it’s possibly your most popular song. I’ve noticed that there is great audience response when you play it. Any more ambitions?
Jamie: Well put it this way, we’re not going for world domination. I can’t really see beyond the next few months so who knows.
Impact: Are there many bands you’d really like to tour with?
Jamie: I’d have to think about that…
Impact: Lastly, I’m going throw in a good ol’ random question. If you could be a kitchen utensil, what would you be and why?
Jamie: I’m never really any good at these questions because I always pick the one that I like the most without a reason.
Impact: You don’t have to have one.
Jose: (Interrupts) I’d be a frying pan. Because I’m hot and I make things tasty.
Jamie: No, because you’re greasy (both laugh).
Jamie: I think I’d be a spoon.
Impact: Because you like spooning?
Jamie: Yeah, in more ways than one. And a spoon is versatile.
Jose: Did you know that a fork was the last utensil to be invented?
Impact: Actually no, I think it was a spork.
Jose: Oh right, so this is what you students get up to in Nottingham? You use sporks like Campers?
Impact: Yes, we camp all week long.

Published online for 'Impact Magazine' on 13th October 2009.

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