Interview with Bombay Bicycle Club

Palatinate Issue # 716 - NME Awards Tour Special

Walking through the breeze-blocked corridors backstage at the O2 Academy with slight apprehension after last minute YouTubeing of past slightly awkward and unresponsive Bombay Bicycle Club interviews, I turned the corner to see a rather chilled scene of four rather mismatched-looking guys sitting around eating takeaways and strumming banjos. Hailing from north London, the NME-acclaimed foursome formed in secondary school and after winning Channel 4 and Virgin Mobile's 'Road to V' competition in 2006, have clambered to international commendation. They are currently working on their follow-up to first album I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose as well as commencing on a tour which is sure to hoist them further up the indie ladder. I had a chat with them pre-gig on the first date of their current tour alongside The Maccabees, The Drums and The Big Pink...

Bombay Bicycle Club, you started out young and your first album was influenced by teenage experiences. What will your second album be influenced by?
Jack: Well it's hard to write songs about being on tour... When we were teenagers we went out and did loads of stuff. Now there's nothing to write about apart from being in a band! (woe is me)

How is it touring with three other bands?
Jack: It's only our first date, but it's the first time we've been on a tour of this size... You can't walk around backstage without any clothes on!

You're young to be successful, do you plan on carry on being musicians for the foreseeable future?
Jack: Yeah. Well Jamie has a place at Cambridge to do Classics.
Jamie: Not sure if I'm gonna go though. But I don't want to do one thing my whole life.

You're releasing 400 limited edition vinyl singles of Evening/Morning as a re-release with hand-painted covers. What made you want to do something so different?
Jack: Our record company said we had to do a re-release, and we hate when bands do re-releases, so said we'd do it under the one condition that we could make it special. I don't think at the time we thought about how much work it was gonna be!
Ed: It took 12 hours!

Are you still releasing an EP of folk songs?
Jack: Yeah, it's turned into an album now though. It's also good cos it kinda buy us more time to write the second album.

Do you think you'll follow the folk route or is it more of a side project?
Jack: Alongside really, but we kinda don't like doing it, we think people think 'oh they've listened to Mumford and Sons on Radio 1 and it's so kooky, I wanna do that!'

So The Big Pink, The Drums, The Maccabees... Kill, marry, shag?
Jamie: I'd definitely shag the Maccabees!
Jack: The Big Pink is the only band with a girl in so maybe them... Shag The Drums, marry The Maccabees, kill The Big Pink, but that's only because we've never met them and we've been in a bit of competition with them.

Are The Maccabees good marriage material then? 
Jamie: Yeah I think they'd cook for you and stuff....

What do you have in store for the rest of the NME Awards Tour? Any suprises?
Jack: Suren has a new do-rag he might wear.
Jamie: We've been so rushed, we haven't really thought about it.
Jack: We could do the whole set unplugged on the banjo. Or our guitar tech might come onstage and do a shit.

Fortunately the latter didn't happen.