- Tue, 2010-02-23 10:02
The end of 2009 saw Bombay Bicycle Club’s debut full-length, I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose, feature highly on many a critic’s album-of-the-year poll. With their idiosyncratic blend of vulnerable indie-rock turning more heads by the day, it seems the only way for the band is up.
I Like Music chatted to drummer Suren de Saram about growing to enjoy the limelight, playing after show parties put on by fans and their plans for album two.
"I Like Music because… it's an essential part of life.” Suren de Saram, Bombay Bicycle Club
ILM: You’ve recently released a limited edition version of Evening/Morning. How did that come to be?
Suren: We weren’t a hundred percent convinced about doing it at first. Evening/Morning was our first single, released on a small label called Young and Lost before we signed with Island. We didn’t really want to re-release it ‘cos we’re unsure about re-issuing stuff. Then our manager suggested that we draw everything ourselves, which sounded kind of fun. It was his way of convincing us I suppose. In the end we ended up regretting it, it got pretty tedious! We always leave things to the last minute so we stayed up the night before the deadline drawing. By the end of it I was kind of going mad!
ILM: Ah well. At least it didn’t involve hand painting or papier mache….
Suren: Er….not quite! Some of them are pretty good….Our bassist Ed is really good at art, so the ones he did are great. I tried to put effort into as many of them as I could, but like, some of them I just had to do little stick men. I couldn’t do my best at all of them. I tried!
ILM: Since the release of your debut, how has your live show changed and developed?
Suren: We’re kind of more comfortable on stage now than we used to be. I used to read a lot of reviews that commented on how we looked a bit awkward and looked like four little school kids who shouldn’t be on stage. I think we’ve kind of grown up a bit and got used to playing to people now. I guess we just enjoy it more.
ILM: Are you fans of touring?
Suren: We do like touring in general. Two weeks is the ideal time to tour. After that it gets a bit strenuous. In short doses, touring is amazing. We like to get on myspace beforehand and get in contact with our fans to make things more interesting. We try to get to know people in the towns we’re going to so that we can have parties after the gig.
ILM: Have you been to any good after gig parties set up by fans?
Suren: We’ve never had any really good ones to be honest! It usually just ends up being about ten of their friends or something. I dunno. They’re still pretty fun. We just end up getting really drunk and making fools of ourselves. We usually end up getting kicked out of them in the end….
Suren: There was one time in Birmingham where this girl was having a kind of gathering slash party. Whatever you want to call it. She just ended up getting really, really, really drunk. Like paralytically drunk. She kind of flashed everyone. It was all a bit nasty. We all got a bit scarred for life! I dunno, we obviously found it quite funny. Then her friends saw that we were laughing and kicked us out of the house.
ILM: Oh dear. That poor girl! Has she been to any shows since?
Suren: Yeah, we’ve seen her a couple of times since. I don’t know. I think she just likes getting drunk a lot. She was really weird when we saw her again as well.
ILM: Well, everyone is intitled to their strange super fans…
ILM: As well as live gigs you play DJ sets too. How do they come together?
Suren: Jack is the main DJ in the band. It’s usually him or Jamie that do them. Me and Ed do them occasionally. But to be honest, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I just tend to end up handing Ed the records!
ILM: Are you using decks with vinyl or CDJs?
Suren: Whenever me and Ed have done it we’ve used CDJs. Jack uses vinyl though, I think.
ILM: What kind of music do you play?
Suren: We all play the kind of music you might not expect us to like. We’re all really into our electro. Whenever we DJ the promoter usually comes up to us and tells us to play more indie hits, but we like sticking to our dirty electro.
ILM: What’s your big closing track?
Suren: Um….big closing track? I think our favourite tune…do you know Boy 8-Bit? Our favourite tune is Baltic Pine by Boy 8-Bit. That’s a closer.
ILM: You should look into heavier, electro remixes? Boy 8-Bit remixes Bombay Bicycle Club…
Suren: Yeah, yeah. I think we might have asked Boy 8-Bit about remixing Always Like This, our last single. Possibly. I don’t know if we actually did but it was mentioned. I expect it probably costed loads of money…
ILM: What are your future plans?
Suren: We have the NME tour. Plus we're meeting with a couple of producers who we're looking to get working on our next album. We've met a few, but there's a few more to go…
ILM: What are the plans for your next album?
Suren: Something that sounds different to our last one. Don't get me wrong, we were really happy with the last one. We just want to take a more easy going approach. With I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose we recorded the tracks live and then spent a lot of time trying to get everything completely perfect. We want this one to be more raw sounding.
ILM: Do you have any material ready for it?
Suren: We have a few songs, maybe five or six. I'm not sure if any of them are 100% ready yet though. We'll see…