Bombay Bicycle Club Interview


Thursday 27th March 2014

North London indie outfit Bombay Bicycle Club have quietly become one of the most successful young British bands of their generation. They released their first album 'I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose' in 2008 and shortly afterwards won the NME New Band Award beating The XX and Mumford & Sons. With a plethora of nominations and awards humbly received, and past album sales reaching gold status, the band are one of the most talented yet reserved British Indie bands over the past few years.

Guitarist Jamie also chatted to us to answer a few questions about the band, which you can read below.


How did you all meet and decide to make music together?

Me (Jamie), Jack and Suren all went to school together, forming the band about nine years ago. Jack and I were good friends and bonded over a shared love of the same music. One day our form teacher wanted to do a musical assembly - we were the three people in the class most active musically and got together and did this in front of the whole school. It was a disaster and everyone laughed at us, but we stuck with it... Ed then joined who we knew through a mutual friend, and the rest is history.

How did you decide on your band name Bombay Bicycle Club?

A week before our first proper gig, the promoters were hassling us for our name, and I was walking past an Indian restaurant called Bombay Bicycle Club and we just ran with that!  

How would you describe your sound?

Always changing. Our albums have all been fundamentally different to one another. The latest album is kinda, pop. 

Who did you grow up listening to?

When we formed the band we were very much 'indie kids' listening to stuff like The Strokes, Block Party, Arcade Fire etc., but then we also listened to a lot of acoustic / folk music with people like Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell, and that's what kind of got us into our second album 'Flaws', which was an acoustic album. 

What influences you, other than music?

When we were younger, lyrically we were very much influenced by being young and growing up in London, and this was all about our lives at the time. We even had a song called 'Sixteen'. I guess there is a fear of getting older running through our music...

What new music are you listening to at the moment?

There's a band called Jungle I really like, and a singer called Ray Morris who actually sung a couple of songs on our new album. His own album is coming out soon. I think I don't keep up with new music as much I used to - when I was 16/17 I prided myself on being able to tell who was going to be the next big thing, but now I feel a bit of an old man. 

Do you associate with any subcultures, or did you ever, growing up?

We were always like the 'Indie Kids' - when we were 13 or so, all the cooler older kids were in funk bands and we all listened to Red Hot Chilli Peppers, but beyond that, I'm not sure that subcultures in Britain exist as much as they did previously. They're not as extreme in that they don't define the kind of music they listen to in the same was they did, you know, 30 years ago.

What's been the best show you've played recently and why? 

We're on our UK tour at the moment actually. We played at Aberdeen a couple of weeks ago which was great, and we are in Exeter tonight and I think that will be good too. Whenever you go to a town or city where they don't have bands regularly going, it becomes more of a appreciated event.

Who are your biggest style icons?

Well we have always been described as dressing like a bunch of nerds... I like to think that how we dress has improved since when we started out though!


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