Bastille capping off in South Africa

Ingrid Heÿdenrÿch

When they had to decide where to end off their Wild Wild World tour, there was one country that stood out for Bastille: South Africa.

According to Kyle Simmons, the the British band’s keyboardist, they had such an amazing welcome when they first came to South Africa in 2014, that they knew they wanted to come back to cap off their worldwide tour.

Simmons said they never realized that they were well-known in other countries until they started playing festivals overseas.

“We never even thought we’d be leaving the country. I remember we were somewhere in Switzerland and the crowd was singing back ‘Flaws’ to us and it was the most surreal experience.”

Worldwide success didn’t happen overnight for Bastille. For Simmons it all started at university.

“I had no idea that I was going to be performing. I just knew I loved music”, he said.

Simmons studied music technology at the University of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. Studying has helped him to learn and develop the music skills he uses now.

“University was the bridge to being in the band for me, because it was a friend from uni that introduced me to Dan Smith.”

Smith the one who put the band together. He started out by making solo music, but decided that he wanted to work with a band.

“When we started doing it, it was festivals in England. I never thought we’d be leaving the country and playing overseas even,” Simmons said.

For him, the experience of playing shows in different countries is surreal. “It’s very weird when you travel over the world. People have an insight into what sort of people you are and what you like through your music,” he said.

According to Simmons, America is one of the strangest countries to perform in. “America is like a different planet, so it’s very strange that people are actually showing up to our shows.”

Playing in the O2 Arena in England has also been a highlight for Simmons. “I’ve been there to watch so many shows, so to play there is amazing.”

The band is currently working on their third studio album.

“We’re trying to get the third one out in a shorter amount of time than there was between the first and second albums.”

Some new themes in the music can also be expected.

“We’re going to try to make it less bleak. The second one in particular was quite negative. This one we want to make less negative.”

The band is also planning for the third album to pack a punch.

“It’s going to be a lot shorter. It’s a pretty compact body of work. It’s going to be less sporadic with sound and genres. More of a unit.”

An entire turnaround isn’t happening, though.

“It’ll be good. It’ll be Bastille. We’re trying to go different but still keep the Bastille elements,” Simmons said.

After their South African shows, Bastille will be taking a break from touring for a while after having been travelling almost constantly for the past three years.

After raking in a BRIT Award and being nominated for a Grammy and a Billboard Music Award, a break is certainly well deserved.

“We’re just four dudes from England and then we got nominated for a Grammy,” Simmons said. “Then we’re sat surrounded by people we see on TV all day. It’s mad.”

Fans can rest assured; Bastille’s break from touring will not mean that new music will not be released.

“It’s what we do in our spare time anyway, because all of us ultimately love music.”

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