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Bastille are an English rock band formed in London in 2010. Initially it began as a solo-project by singer-songwriter Dan Smith, who later decided to form a band. At first the band included two other musicians one on cello and another on violin, but eventually the band dwindled down to four members. The four-piece band consists of Dan Smith, Chris Wood, William Farquarson and Kyle Simmons. The band played together before the band officially formed, but all their first songs was written and recorded by Dan.
The name of the band originated from Bastille Day – an event which is celebrated on Dan’s birthday. Bastille day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day celebrated on 14 of July each year. The French National Day commemorates the start of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on the 14th July 1789.
Bastille debuted in June 2010 with their limited edition 7″/45 rpm single featuring the two tracks “Flaws” and “Icarus”. Released through London-based independent record label ‘Young & Lost Club’, only 300 copies were pressed. In December 2010, EMI Music announced that they had offered Bastille a record contract with Virgin Records. After debuting some songs online via MySpace and YouTube the band received a lot of attention from the fans and the media. The band managed to acquire some support slots and later performed at major UK festivals including Glastonbury, the Isle of Wight and Blissfields.
The title-track of their EP Laura Palmer was re-recorded in Simlish (the Sims in-game language) for Electronic Arts Sims 3: Supernatural released in September of 2012.
Their debut single “Overjoyed” was later released through Virgin Records on the 27th April 2012. Following its video premiere in November 2011, popular music publication, Q magazine introduced the track as their track of the day for the 7th of March 2012.
Their second single “Bad Blood” followed in August 2012, and achieved moderate success in the United Kingdom charting at Number 90. An accompanying video was released on the band’s official VEVO channel on 29 June 2012 and digitally through Virgin Records on the 20th of August 2012. Bastille was named ‘New Band of the Day’ by British newspaper The Guardian in July 2012. August 2012 saw the band performing at UK festivals, Reading and Leeds, as well as supporting British singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé.
The band later played a small headlining tour titled ‘Flaws Tour’ in October 2012 with Swiss Lips as support act.
The third track taken from “Bad Blood” titled “Flaws” became the band’s first single to enter the charts inside the Top 40 , debuting at No 21.
In February 2013 ahead of the release of their debut album, the band’s fourth single “Pompeii” released to huge demand, charting at Number 2 in the UK and Number 8 in the US. Their first studio album titled “Bad Blood” released in March 2013 and debuted atop the UK albums chart. On the 11th of March Bastille was announced to be playing at Leeds and Reading Festival in August of 2013. In an interview with Digital Spy Dan Smith announced that the fifth single from “Bad Blood” would be “Laura Palmer”. The single released on the 3rd of June 2013 and an accompanying video appeared on the band’s official VEVO page.
Bastille joined English rock band Muse as a supporting act on The 2nd Law Tour in May 2013 and did so again in June 2013. In May 2013 Bastille released their EP Haunt via iTunes in the US. On the 6th of July 2013 the band headlined their first UK summer music festival at Blissfields. On the 24th of August 2013 Bastille released “Things We Lost In The Fire” as their sixth and last single from their debut album. The music video which accompanied the song was filmed in Vilnius and Kėdainiai, Lithuania.
On the 9th of October 2013 Bastille released a new single “Of The Night”, a mash-up of the songs “The Rhythm of the Night” by Corona and “Rhythm is a Dancer” by Snap!. The single debuted at number two on the UK singles chart. The song was to promote a reissue of the band’s debut album called All This Bad Blood, released on the 25th of November 2013.
In January 2014, Will Farquarson said in an interview with Billboard magazine he mentioned that the band had already started to work on a follow-up to their debut album in between tour dates.
The band was nominated for a staggering four Brit Awards at the 2014 ceremony British Breakthrough Act, British Group, British Single of the Year and British Album of the Year, winning in the former category. As of February 2014, Bastille sold over 2.07 million records in the UK alone.
“Bastille won the BRIT Award for Best Breakthrough Act and performed a remixed version of “Pompeii” with Rudimental and their song “Waiting All Night” at the ceremony. Two hours after their appearance, sales of Bad Blood were up by 132% and “Pompeii” had climbed 29 places in the singles chart.” – insert obtained from Wikipedia
In an interview with Billboard Will Farquarson told them that while the band are in London, they are demoing songs as they do not want to allow their creativity to become muted while they are on tour. Will mentioned that Bastille’s process for creating songs has changed. It is more of a collaborative process with each band member having input into the final product. Bastille have got quite a busy schedule planned for the rest of the year with a North American tour kicking off March 31 in Chicago, appearances between April 11 and 18 at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival with Australia looming in June.
Below is a fantastic performance of Bastille’s song “Of The Night” which will make you want to jump up and down along with the audience.
Bastille is not your average rock band, which is not a bad thing. They are a very unique band that took a different approach to the rock genre. Dan Smith views production as an instrument, in an interview with The Telegraph he explains how he approached the production on the album. He explains that in our generation we have more freedom in terms of experimenting with different sounds that traditional instruments will not be able to produce. There are no guitars on the album and it became a fun challenge to make music that sounds like indie rock without using the traditional tools to do so. The band used layered vocals, string arrangements, interesting beats and electronic sounds to create the same effect in surprising ways.
Bastille has a habit of covering popular songs in a remarkable way. They have covered popular pop artists’ songs like Miley Cyrus, TLC, Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars.
You can follow the Bastille on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BASTILLEdan
You can follow Will Farquarson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/willyfarquarson
You can follow Kyle Simmons on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kyle_JSimmons
You can follow Chris Wood on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Woodythedrum