Inspiration can come from anywhere. Dan Smith, a pianist, music performer, and lead singer of the band Bastille was born in London, England to South African parents. He decided to become a singer after he graduated from university, and later decided that he needed a band because live drums and bass added “warmth and reality” to his music.
Bastille, the name of his band, came from his fascination with historical events, and from coincidence.The Storming of the Bastille (also called Bastille Day in the UK) was the beginning of the French Revolution the morning of July 14th 1789. Dan’s birthday happens to be July 14th.
So when someone suggested “Bastille” as the name of the band, Dan Smith knew it would be perfect. The London band has four members: Dan Smith (pianist, lead singer, music programmer), Will Farquarson (bassist, singer), Chris “Woody” Wood (drummer, singer), and Kyle Simmons (guitarist, singer).
According to Kyle Simmons, Smith asked all of London to join the band before he landed the three members. Kyle jokes that he was “pestered” into joining. Woody, a drum teacher, jumped at the chance to be in the band. Before gaining popularity, the band practiced for a couple of years; doing covers, and original material. Bastille is categorized as alternative rock.
Their album Bad Blood was released in March 2013 in the UK, before being released in September 2013 in the U.S. Later, Bad Blood The Extended Cut and All This Bad Blood, a 2-CD album with 25 songs, was released.
The Extended Cut has 24 tracks, which include live performances, four music videos, and video of a live performance. The album has both acoustic and electronic sounds, and seven singles.
The single “Pompeii” is currently at the #8 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, after 36 weeks, peaking at #1. It is a fictional story of a conversation held between two people before the destruction of the city of Pompeii in 79 A.D due to volcanic lava.
“The Silence,” track #14 on Bad Blood The Extended Cut, is an uptempo rock song about speaking out for oneself. The song opens with, “Tell me a part of your history that you’re proud to call your own,” which seems to encourage, not only affirmative thought, but, affirmative speech.
Lyrically, Bastille leaves the listener with a from-darkness-to-light feeling of triumph or hope. The group is currently in the eastern part of the US on their world tour, which will end in the United Kingdom later this year.