ELLE (Canada) - - Radar -

Dan Smith, lead vo­cal­ist and song­writer for Brit band Bastille, finds that in­spi­ra­tion for his work just sort of pops into his head. Which can be in­con­ve­nient. “I try not to look too weird,” says the 30-year-old Lon­doner. “I find a cor­ner some­where and put ideas into my phone.”

Those ideas—pulled from “the stuff I’m lis­ten­ing to or read­ing or watch­ing”—morph their way into Bastille’s cin­e­matic pop, an­chored by Smith’s dis­tinc­tive voice. “It’s re­ally fun to have this lit­tle four-minute win­dow to tell as much [of a story] as you can.” What they’re not about, how­ever, is Smith’s or the band’s “re­la­tion­ship prob­lems.” “I choose not to write about love and breakups and heartache,” says Smith. “Peo­ple have been do­ing that for years, and there are a mil­lion ver­sions of it.”

So what did Smith (and the rest of the fourpiece out­fit) tackle for Wild World, their sec­ond al­bum, out now? “On this al­bum, I tried to ar­tic­u­late that feel­ing you get when you’re watch­ing the news and events are un­fold­ing in the world in front of you, and it feels quite over­whelm­ing and con­fus­ing and you’re try­ing to fig­ure out, on a hu­man level, what the fuck you are do­ing.” Smith doesn’t claim to have any an­swers—“we’re just four id­iots in a band”— but he says that he couldn’t help think­ing about it all af­ter being “mas­sively af­fected by all the crazy shit that’s hap­pen­ing.”

The suc­cess of Bastille, who topped charts with an ode to Ve­su­vius (“Pom­peii”) in 2013, still seems to sur­prise (in a very English, very un­der­stated way) Smith: “We make all of our mu­sic in a tiny win­dow­less base­ment. It’s been quite in­ter­est­ing to see these things that we lit­er­ally made on our lap­tops do quite well.”

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