World travel provides inspiration

The Bombay Bicycle Club. Photo: PA Photo/Handout
The Bombay Bicycle Club. Photo: PA Photo/Handout

Musically adventurous, Bombay Bicycle Club’s fourth album’s a considerable leap from their previousfeaturing Indian-esque sounds and electronic instruments where once there would simply have been more conventional guitars.

As one might expect from such experimentation, there’s a story to go with it.

“I wanted to travel,” says Jack Steadman. “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.He rented a room for a few weeks in a town called Nijkerkerveen, where he got to work.

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

After returning from there, the bandwere booked to play a festival in India.

Steadman 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 says. “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 says he’d be lost without bandmates Jamie MacColl, Ed Nash and Suren de Saram, all in their early 20s: “They edit me a lot, and will tell me what they like and what I need to spend more time on.”

MacColl would also send Steadman pieces of poetry and novels he was reading, to inspire his lyric-writing, something the band feel hasn’t been their strongest suit in the past.