Bastille say overtly political musicians ‘can be really embarrassing’
In this week’s NME cover story, Dan Smith says ‘We’ll never get drawn on putting our opinions out there'
Jenn Five John Earls, 7th July 2016 Bastille have said they will always try to avoid being expressing political opinions because they find overtly political music can be “embarrassing”.
The band changed the lyrics to ‘Pompeii’ at Glastonbury to refer to the Brexit vote, but singer Dan Smith had previously appeared at a politically neutral rally which encouraged young people to vote in the EU referendum.
Smith explains his neutral stance in the cover interview of the new NME, which is available nationwide or online tomorrow (July 8). The frontman said: “I know it frustrates people, but we’ll never get drawn on putting our opinions out there, because we love making music and weird little things.”
Smith, whose band release new album ‘Wild World’ on September 9, continued: “We obviously have views on everything – politics and everything in between – but there can be something really embarrassing about musicians being overtly political, particularly if they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Basssist Kyle Simmons added: “I feel so fraudulent trying to make people go to vote, because I’m just a dick in a band.”
But Smith added that new song ‘The Currents’ was inspired by the rise of populist politicians like Donald Trump and Nigel Farage. Smith explained: “It’s about hearing people using the platform they have to say something you find abhorrent, and just wanting to escape. The song uses the imagery of wanting to come up for air to get away from it.”
During the Glastonbury performance of ‘Pompeii’, Smith changed the lyrics of the hit’s chorus to: “The pound kept tumbling down on the weekend that we love.” Explaining the lyric alteration, Smith said: “It’s so small and insignificant us doing that, but we couldn’t not react. It’s the only thing anyone wants to talk about today. I was hoping to be on stage and be like, ‘We’re still part of Europe!’ But that daydream is over.”
Bastille go on a 10-date arena tour in October. The band will play:
Bournemouth BIC (October 28)
Plymouth Pavilions (29)
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (31)
London O2 (November 1)
Leeds First Direct Arena (4)
Nottingham Motorpoint Arena (5)
Mamchester Arena (6)
Birmingham Barclaycard Arena (8)
Glasgow SSE Hydro (12)
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena (13)
Video: Glastonbury 2016: Bastille Play Headliner Wars With NME