Interview: Bombay Bicycle Club

Bombay Bicycle Club released their first EP in 2007, and then another one the same year. Two years later and they have finally released their debut album, I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose. At their Nottingham gig Impact’s Charlotte Krol sits down and chats about, band names, their love of Reading festival and sporking.

Impact : Could you tell us a bit about how the band formed?

Jamie: We met at school, like a lot of bands do. (To Jose) You heard our first gig?

Jose: Yeah, you were lame (Both laugh)

Impact: Are you guys musically- taught?

Jamie: Suren is classically taught, but I’ve never had a guitar lesson in my life.

Impact: What about your front man?

Jose: Yeah Jack can play Jazz guitar!

Impact: I bet you’re excited about playing with The Pixies on 7th October in London. Have they been a big influence on your writing?

Jamie: Err, I don’t know, not really. Jack and Suren love The Pixies

Impact: So it was a random set up then?

Jamie: Yeah, pretty much.

Impact: Who are your influences then?

Jamie: We like a lot of American Indie music of that era really.

Impact: Do you have any kind of ritual before you go on stage?

Jamie: Like a big hug? (Laughs) No, more like a big punch! (Punches Jose on the arm). I recently hurt my hand punching one of the band members…So, we don’t really do anything.

Impact: You just bite the bullet and get on with it?

Jamie: Yeah, we also have a few drinks.

Jose: We get CRUNK!

Impact: Crazy drunk?


Impact: Moving on then. You’ve played Reading and Leeds Festival three times now. Is it one of your favourite gigs to play? I watched you this August and the tent was jam-packed with fans!

Jamie: I suppose, yeah, it feels like our home festival even though we’re not from Reading or Leeds.

Impact: Aren’t you from London?

Jamie: Yeah, it’s quite near to Reading, but we really like it.

Jose: We like playing in tents at Festivals because it sounds better.

Impact: I’ve noticed that, I couldn’t really hear the main acts at Reading this year.

Jose: Yeah it’s much louder in a tent and it’s kind of fever pitch. Everyone just goes for it. I much prefer it to Glastonbury where we played outside. Did you see The Klaxons play in 2006?

Impact: Afraid not

Jose: Oh, well it was pretty intense! There were so many people in one space.

Impact: I’m in a band at Nottingham –

Jose: (Interrupts) Oh really? What are you called?

Jamie: What do you play?

Impact: …Ghost Cassette.

Jose: (Laughs) Don’t be embarrassed; everyone’s running out of band names nowadays.

Jamie: Yeah ours is pretty stupid.

Impact: How did you get that name? Isn’t it the name of a chain restaurant?

Jamie: (Laughs) Yeah it was right outside of our school. One day we were walking past it –

Jose: (Interrupts) And Jamie said ‘let’s call ourselves that!’

Jose: So what do you play?

Impact: I play guitar and I sing. So, I was going to ask, as a member of a band, I was wondering do you tend to write the song lyrics first, or the music? Why?

Jamie The music comes first really.

Jose: And the lyrics a lot later.

Jamie: I usually don’t do anything (laughs).

Jose: Have you got our album?

Impact: I’ve heard it but I don’t actually own it yet. I’m going to buy it.

Jose: No you’re going to illegally download it (laughs)

Impact: No, no I never illegally download.

Jose: Yeah, yeah…

Impact: Someone back me up here! Every couple of months I save up and buy CD’s.

Jamie: Err, I think were banned from talking about illegally downloading music Jose! (laughs)

Impact: So, what would you be doing now if you weren’t in a band?

Jamie: Go to uni (laughs as Jose looks terrified)

Impact: Don’t scare him!

Impact: Are you going to write another album?

Jose: Yeah we’ll write another one similar to the first one, but it’ll get more airplay because the first album was so good…

(Jamie laughs)

Jose: Jack will make an album that’ll be full of Afro-Beats and Folk music.

Impact: And what are your ambitions for Bombay Bicycle Club?

Jamie: Go to uni.

Impact: You’re scaring Jose again! Would you consider going to Nottingham?

Jamie: I don’t really like Nottingham, no offence. But I suppose it’s better than Lancaster.

Jose: Or Glasgow.

Jamie: Oh, let’s not alienate their fans. I’m going to answer your question now.

Impact: Are you going to write the famous ‘concept’ album?

Jose: Jack might.

Impact: So does Jack come up with the riffs?

Jamie: Yeah, well…no. We kind of all have input. But the songs endings towards the end of the album are written by Jack, probably in his bedroom.

Jose: Have you heard ‘Cancel On Me’?

Impact: Yes.

Jose: Well that used to be just an acoustic song that Jack made up in his bedroom.

Impact: Wow, and now it’s possibly your most popular song. I’ve noticed that there is great audience response when you play it. Any more ambitions?

Jamie: Well put it this way, we’re not going for world domination. I can’t really see beyond the next few months so who knows.

Impact: Are there many bands you’d really like to tour with?

Jamie: I’d have to think about that…

Impact: Lastly, I’m going throw in a good ol’ random question. If you could be a kitchen utensil, what would you be and why?

Jamie: I’m never really any good at these questions because I always pick the one that I like the most without a reason.

Impact: You don’t have to have one.

Jose: (Interrupts) I’d be a frying pan. Because I’m hot and I make things tasty.

Jamie: No, because you’re greasy (both laugh).

Jamie: I think I’d be a spoon.

Impact: Because you like spooning?

Jamie: Yeah, in more ways than one. And a spoon is versatile.

Jose: Did you know that a fork was the last utensil to be invented?

Impact: Actually no, I think it was a spork.

Jose: Oh right, so this is what you students get up to in Nottingham? You use sporks like Campers?

Impact: Yes, we camp all week long.

– Charlotte Krol


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