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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Steadman: I went on Bicycle journey

Published 26/01/2014 | 02:37

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Bombay Bicycle Club's Jack Steadman went on his travels for musical inspiration

Bombay Bicycle Club frontman Jack Steadman has revealed how he hit the road to get inspiration for the band's new music.

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Their fourth album is a considerable leap from their previous, 2011's A Different Kind Of Fix, featuring Indian-esque sounds and electronic instruments where once there would simply have been more conventional guitars.

"I wanted to travel," Jack explained. "To do it, I went to wherever we had gigs to play, but either went there a few weeks beforehand, or stayed on afterwards."

The Netherlands was his first port of call. After the school friends had performed in Amsterdam, he rented a room for a few weeks in a town called Nijkerkerveen, where he got to work while being looked after by the family that owned the property.

"I wrote Carry Me and It's Alright Now there," he said, "plus a couple of other bits and bobs, but I consider those two big songs on the album."

After returning from there, the band - who'd produced an album a year following their 2009 debut, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose, before deciding to take a short break so they could "experience life" - were booked to play a festival in India.

Jack stayed in Mumbai for month, absorbing as much music and culture as he could. The results are for all to hear on Overdone, the forthcoming album's opening track, current single Feel, and penultimate track Come To.

"Overdone has a sample from a Bollywood song called Apne Pyar Ke Sapne, which was actually something I put on my iPod before I went away and worked on while I was in India," he said. "All the time I was travelling, I'd send things I'd recorded back to the rest of the band, who'd listen and send back ideas and improvements I could make."

He said he'd be lost without bandmates Jamie MacColl, Ed Nash and Suren de Saram: "They edit me a lot, and will tell me what they like and what I need to spend more time on."

Bombay also decided they didn't want to work with a producer and that they'd record the album themselves.

"We had to convince quite a few people this was the right thing to do," said Jamie.

"Normally it's the sign of a band's ego exploding, but for us, it just seemed a natural thing to do," he continued. "And it's worked, we're happier with this album than anything we've done before. It's the first album of ours that I can honestly say has no filler on it, and it's exactly as we want it to be."

:: Bombay Bicycle Club's fourth album, So Long, See You Tomorrow, is released on February 3. They tour the UK from March 2.

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