Bastille tears up stage on Mercedes-Benz Evolution Tour
In the basement of Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, Chris 'Woody' Wood and Will Farquarson of Bastille mention they're running on four hours of sleep -- they still have jet lag after coming to the United States from London -- but they're excited. "Buddy Rich played here," Woody reminds us.
This is the first leg of their Mercedes-Benz Evolution Tour (with upcoming dates in Chicago and Los Angeles) as they put in the finishing touches on their follow-up album to Bad Blood. There's a line outside the venue on a rainy evening in New York City, fans are anxiously awaiting the concert. AOL.com got to sit down with Will, Bastille's guitarist, and Woody, their drummer just before they hit the stage.
They've come a long way. In an interview in 2014 with Digital Spy, frontman Dan Smith explained, "We just thought we'd be some indie band, we never imagined that the things that have happened over the last couple of years would happen." Since then, they've won a BRIT award, were nominated for a Grammy, and had a No. 1 record in the U.K. with 2013's Bad Blood.
Their rapid ascension has been marked by one big moment. "Reading really sticks out," Woody says of their performance at the Reading Festival in 2012. Will explains, "We were really young as a band and we hadn't really gotten an album or anything out. We kind of turned up expecting it to be empty. And there was -- I think it was -- 5,000 people who were singing along. I think that was the first time in this band we realized that this is bigger than just our friends or a few people in London."
"We had people sing along to the odd song now and then before, but that gig as well I remember it so clearly," Woody adds. "We were doing 'Overjoyed' which is kind of a slowed down song. The band played the first couple chords and sang the first word and the whole tent just screamed the words back at us. That was like, 'Okay, something's happening here.'"
The new album is about "90 percent done" -- just a few songs left to record. The Mercedes-Benz Evolution tour comes at the perfect time. "With the new album in mind, it's actually a pretty good excuse to test out a few songs and just kind of judge by everyone's reaction if it's complete rubbish or not," he explains. "Obviously, it's nice for the fans too because it's free gigs as well."
Being in the States again is an extra perk. "We love being here," Will says. "We spent a lot of time here last year and when we have our next album out we'll be back, but this year, we haven't had a lot of reason to go, so this was kind of a cool excuse to come to New York."
"And to remind people we're not dead," Woody jokes.
What can we expect from this tour? Something old, something new. "We're running about 3 or 4 new songs at the minute, testing a few things out," Woody notes. "It's quite helpful too because we can actually go back and change elements in the studio and that sort of thing. Obviously, we've kept in mind the people who are fans who like the existing stuff as well."