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How Bastille Went From Smuggling Themselves Into Festivals to Headlining Them

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BASTILLE
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I interviewed Bastille as they headlined Redfest on how they got their break and what advice they would give to bands trying to make it.

You had a number one album in March but do you have any funny stories from when you had no money and were struggling to make it?
Will: Yeah plenty, Kyle getting smuggled into Glastonbury is my favourite. We got booked last minute so they only gave us three tickets.
Freya: How did you get in?
Kyle: Inside a sofa in the back of a van. I got thrown out after the gig but we played the set before anyone realised.
Will: Initially we used to get to gigs in a two-seater van and there are four of us so work that one out...
Kyle: I used to sit in the boot with all our stuff.
Woody: And I'd feed him sweets through the cage thing.
Kyle: Then we progressed from that to borrowing our friend Sophie's mums car.
Will: Ah the seven-seater Vauxhall Zafira!
Kyle: There was no rear window because you couldn't see beyond all our crap.
Will: Basically only Dan and Woody can drive so me and Will would just have a whale of a time back there.
Dan: We had so much stuff that we'd have to put them in and sandwich stuff around them until we couldn't even see each other.

Now you have your own van with enough space for everything but what else made you think "wow, we've made it."
Will: Reading last year was amazing and Glastonbury this year was mind-blowing. It was so much better than we could have ever expected.

What advice would you give to bands trying to get their break?
Dan: For us we just worked really hard and released a lot of music. It's important to have songs that people like. There have been points where we've felt like 'we've got all our songs now' but I don't think you should ever think like that. You should always want to write something better.
Kyle: As far as getting your break is concerned don't always take the first thing that comes along. Patience is a virtue.
Dan: It's important not to rely on anyone. We were touring for a year before we got signed and you have to be making plans a long time before that. You have to be able to act as if you're going to be self-reliant forever. We made all our artwork, our logo and music videos with friends. It's really important to have as much of your shit together as you possibly can.
Woody: Stay off the crystal meth.

How important do you feel it is to have an online presence as a band?
Dan: I don't know, I think it's just the normality for everyone at the moment. Everyone has a Facebook page; I mean most people in the world do.
Will: It would be silly not to.
Dan: If we didn't ourselves the label would definitely sort something out but we run our own Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all that.

The ladies love your image as a band, is this something you consciously work on?
Will: Absolutely not. We just wake up and put our clothes on there's no 'ok guys what are you wearing?' because we have to match. We just wear whatever we want.
Woody: I'm just wearing the only clean clothes I have, except for my socks...they aren't clean.

NME criticised your first album for lacking 'identity.' Do you think there's one genre you will stick to after Badblood?
Dan: We're probably going to go down the krunk root. Haha, I don't know really I feel quite lucky that we are in a position where we can do whatever we want. And, you know, if we want to push it more as a sort of rocky-indie thing we can or if we want to go more electronic then we can do that. I think we're quite keen to keep it as varied as possible because that's what we enjoy.

Do you read your reviews?
Will: I read some of them and sort of stopped caring. When you're releasing an album it's just a part of the process. We're in a very lucky position to be doing ok all around the world and touring the whole time so for the time being I'm happy for us to just exist in our own bubble and just enjoy it.

You guys are all so creative, can we expect any more merchandise or a clothing line?
Dan: Yeah we're going to bring out our own brand of thongs.
Kyle: We've also just brought out our own line of hot sauce. I say line...there's one option which is really, really hot.
Will: So yeah, thongs and hot sauce. Best not used together though.