DAN SMITH has always been fascinated by escapism and his vision of a fantasy world fuels Bastille’s new album, the futuristic and engaging Give Me The Future.
While they previous album Doom Days (2019) about an imaginary apocalypse – “stay indoors, close the curtains and ignore the world” – Give Me The Future is “stimulating and uplifting”.
Video chat with singer Smith“For me, escapism is going into your dreams, subconscious or movies, books and video games,” he says. And that’s what I want to question about this record.
“A lot of our early songs envisioned me in Pompeii and grew up through the lens of myths like Icarus, or books or TV shows by legends like David Lynch. ”
And it was the death of an aunt in Australia from support who was dying after a battle with cancer that also made him think about reviving loved ones through technology, which is the story behind the single No Bad. The band’s recent days.
He said: “I have come Australia at the last minute my sister came to visit my aunt. She is amazing.
“And the decision she made was incredibly brave. But for our family, it was huge and really emotional.
“She lives in a state they just legalized support death and she was one of the first to go that route.
Fantasy in the future
“Then I watched a performance at Edinburgh Festival and comedian Jonny Pelham have talked about subconsciously dealing with childhood trauma with false daydreaming – which can exist in a parallel life for hours at a time each day – as a coping mechanism. deputy in his life.
“I think he lived like a pirate. Great! And I can’t stop thinking about how our minds deal with things and our ability to get out of the life we have, for better or worse. That got me down a rabbit hole as a concept for the album. ”
More than previous albums, Bastille’s fourth attempt stems from Smith’s fondness for science fiction and he is a huge fan of writer Philip K Dick and Margaret Atwood
Smith cites films like Minority Report, Total Recall, and The Matrix as album influences. There are also songs named after the movies Thelma & Louise and Back to the future.
The band recorded so many songs during the lockdown, they were split into two batches.
blacksmith “We chose a half that is more ‘futuristic’ and we think has a science fiction theme.
“It feels liberating because it means I can rethink all the lyrics and I have a solid idea about building a world around it.
“I feel comfortable giving references and using pop culture as a pun and nodding to things I love and admire in a rather awkward way.”
It was the best album of their career. Shut Off The Lights song nods to Paul Simon Graceland, with vocal backing vocals, while No Bad Days and Stay Awake are songs that prove the band is at the peak of their creative prowess.
The atmospheric title track has Phil Collins as an influence. “I want to listen to the music I grew up with – the sound of our house or when I was in the car with mom and dad,” says Smith.
“I always like to nod in to that and do something that feels euphoric without being too epic, because that’s something we’ve done quite a bit. This album is really contagious.”
Smith says it’s important to offset future paranoia themes with a touch of warmth and humanity.
He said, “The song Plug In is about future paranoia. And then the chorus is basically asking or wanting someone to put their arms around you and tell you everything is going to be okay – even though it’s not. “
It feels liberating because it means I can rethink all the lyrics and I have a solid idea of building a world around it. I feel comfortable referencing and using pop culture as a pun and nodding to the things I love and admire in a rather shy way.
Although Smith, keyboardist Kyle Simmons, drummer Chris “Woody” Wood and bassist and guitarist Will Farquarson were forced apart because of the lockdown, they found a way to work together.
“Sometimes we play in the same room, in the studio, and sometimes we work on the internet,” says Smith.
“Give Me The Future is a very collaborative album.”
In the track Promises, actor and rapper Riz Ahmed offers a verbal meditation on the theory of breathing into time as a loop.
Smith said: “Riz is amazing and really smart. And his albums are brilliant. We wanted to pop the paranoia bubble on the record, and I had the idea of a verbally spoken moment, like the one above. Frank Ocean’s Blonde album.
“When Andre 3000 took over the Solo track, it was a completely different feeling.”
Full of ‘cringe’
He added: “I don’t know Riz too well but got in touch with him and said we’re huge fans, and I wanted him to listen to a bunch of music that I liked.
“I’m really bad at approaching people I admire. I don’t want to put them in a position where they have to say no. That made me cringe. But he did say how he loved what we were doing.”
It took a while, but after a decade of hits and sold-out tours, Smith is finally comfortable being in the spotlight.
“I’m really excited about this album and feel really confident about it,” he said proudly.
“I listened to it again during a test run the other day and I thought it was amazing. But I still have to move on from the fact that I sing over the whole thing.
“With a pandemic, it helps to park it and then come back to it more recently. Even so, I still find it really sad to hear that stuff again. ”
Smith is one of the most successful artists in the music industry.
He has been open about struggling with his vocals and suffering with anxiety when he goes live.
“But now I want to enjoy it all. Working with others helps me become more confident. And I want to play live.
“I always thought I had a very strange voice. But it’s the only one I have,” he said with a laugh.
“For better or for worse, it makes the Bastille or whatever I’m working on really stand out. And the production of our albums and mixing tapes is done to perfection.
“We tried almost everything from heavy rock to EDM (electronic dance music), then beautiful acoustic moments to electronic.
“It’s our passion for music – we’re excited to try things out. But I have come to realize that my voice is what holds it all together.”
‘I’m so naive’
When Smith isn’t writing for Bastille, he’s also writing songs for other artists, including Rag ‘n’ Bone ManOlly Murs, Tom Grennan and more recently Yungblud and Brit Rising Stars Griff and Holly Humberstone.
He said, “I was very naive when I entered the music industry. I think everyone writes their own songs but they don’t, so this is another way to get creative and help people get what they want from a song.
“Other times, it’s just writing a song yourself and giving it to them.
“People started approaching me and Mark (Crew), the producer I worked with. I write all the time, so when we’re not doing content or touring the Bastille, I like to engage with other writers and producers because it’s just fun.
“Spending a few days with other people and getting to know their world and hearing about their experiences is amazing.
“I love the first two to three hours of writing sessions where you chat about sh*t and share stories – that’s the best part.
“I spent a day in Beyonce’s writing camp, and it was the most humbling experience of my life.”
On Wednesday, Bastille live-streamed their new album for the first time at an intimate concert at London Earth Theater is part of the War Child series of gigs.
Tomorrow they will begin their UK tour in Edinburgh. “The songs are fun and we’re really excited about this album and feel really confident in our music,” Smith said.
“So every time we get together and play through the album, it’s exciting.
We look forward to appearing on the tour and incorporating these songs into the set list.
“We can’t wait to present our fans with a faithful tour of the strange new sci-fi world we’ve built.
“We have created something amazing and mundane. It will be a fun show.
“We can’t wait to go out and play these songs.”
- Bastille’s Give Me The Future album is out today.
Bastille – Give me the future
- Distorted light beam
- Thelma + Louise
- There are no bad days
- Brave new world
- Back to the future
- Plug in…
- Promise (with Riz Ahmed)
- Turn off the light
- Give me the future
- Club 57
- Total dissociation
- Holding the Future (ft Bim)
https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/17540659/bastille-dan-smith-weird-voice/ I have a strange voice