Dan Smith calls Bastille's new album, 'Doom Days', an “apocalyptic party record”, and what better way to soundtrack humanity's inexorable slide into oblivion?
“We wanted the title to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, it's sort of overly dramatic,” Dan says.
“There's an apocalypse that we keep mentioning throughout the album and we call it an 'apocalyptic party record' as a bit of a joke, but it sort of is. The doom and the apocalypse, it's what you choose to interpret it as.
“On one level there's a break-up in the album and break-ups can feel like a personal apocalypse, but there's also the relationship with our phones and the news, and scrolling through Twitter can feel a bit like you're living in the end of times, and watching the news some days can feel like that too.”
Certainly dwelling in a darker space than previous records, and wandering through thematic territory that interrogates today's social and political issues, 'Doom Days' is also an album that pushes Bastille into unchartered waters.
“Going into our third album we wanted to do things sonically and topically that we'd not really done before, and that's the spirit of moving things on and evolving the sound,” Dan says.
“We wanted to make something that hopefully people will enjoy but that is kind of quite odd, hopefully thought-provoking and different to what we've done before, and allows us to try lots of different sounds.”
'Doom Days' is also the first album that Bastille have written and recorded all in one place at the same time, which Dan says added a lot to the end result.
“We stopped at the beginning of last year for the first time in five years to just be in London and make an album. It was really fun, really different for us and I think, I hope, that people will be able to hear that.
"It's quite an eclectic album, but I hope they'll be able to hear it came from one moment in time; it's a snapshot of our lives at that point.
“It felt like such a luxury to do that, and we built this studio in South London called One Eyed Jack's and it's a home for our band but also for the record label [of the same name] we made... we made our album in this space that has all these different artists wandering in and out, writing in different rooms and producing their records; we wanted to make an environment that was collaborative and a kind of community; you can hear that on the album.”
Of particular interest on the album is the closing track called 'Joy', which features the uplifting strains of a gospel choir Bastille worked with on their ReOrchestrated tour.
“The people who sing on that track, they're obviously incredible musicians but they're also our friends as well,” Dan explains.
“We toured with them for weeks and it's been so nice bringing them into our albums... there's an incredible energy in their voices and we wanted that song to be a little bit of optimism at the end of what is sometimes quite a dark album.”
'Doom Days' is available now.
Mon 27 Jan - Hordern Pavilion (Sydney)
Bastille 2020 Tour Dates
Thu 30 Jan - Sidney Myer Music Bowl (Melbourne)
Sun 2 Feb - AEC Theatre (Adelaide)
Tue 4 Feb - HBF Stadium (Perth)