Bombay Bicycle Club was almost toast but now the London rockers are back stronger than ever

Bombay Bicycle Club was almost toast but now the London rockers are back stronger than ever

Bombay Bicycle Club
Words by Leland Tan

We chat to the beloved outfit about their recently-released fifth album, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong.

After a litter of appearances for their ten-year anniversary, UK indie outfit Bombay Bicycle Club have rekindled their zeitgeist as a band altogether with their fifth studio album, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong. Today, an acute optimism is apparent in regards to the quartet’s comeback, having matured their sound from teen-nostalgia-rockers to slick torchbearers.

Drummer Suren de Saram confesses that there was a consensus of done-and-dusted, the boys from London’s Crouch End admitting they needed a break as inspiration dried.

“It started to feel bit stale towards touring the end of the last album in 2014, really. We needed to do something else with our lives, individually, since all we knew was playing together since we came out of school.

“Jack wanted a solo record in Mr Jukes, Ed as well, Jamie wanted to go to university, and I went on to other music as a session drummer. Now, as we reunite as a collective we see each other in different lights, and we’ve grown so much individually.”

With a musk of banter (“Without their music, British society crumbled” quips a comeback teaser) paired with the unrest of their country’s politicking, it’s hard to find a title, and timing, better suited for their release.

“We’ve never strived to be the sort of political band. To us, the album is intrinsically personal, of how music can be this kind of escape from the day, or light in a dark room, when things are falling apart and you have this cathartic thing as a push.

But a lot of people were saying, ‘Thank god, we need this right now!’. The thing is, we sort of never really believed our own hype. The amount of political reaction to it was surprising.

We definitely weren’t coming at it with the mindset of saviours of the world, but more as BBC. I’d be lying if I said the current world situation came into our discussions, but as time went on over the past couple years, it’s been starting to make more sense.”

The album’s rife with strong lyricism and cathartic songwriting to match its climate, evident by the group’s longstanding propensity to connect with the headspaces around them – something frontman Jack Steadman has always been well-versed in.

“Looking back at our past work we’ve always kind of summed up, or at least inadvertently summed up, the general consensus of how a lot of people our age are feeling and what they’re going through. Jack was always a great songwriter.

“Our first album was kind of the quintessential album for mid-to-late teens, and when we played those at the anniversary shows there was a sort of new generation of teens present, along with those that have been with us all this while. So clearly it wasn’t something that just related to a single generation, which was interesting.”

Whilst the record’s an ode to moving forward, it also taps into kinetics of the past. ‘Good Day’ sticks out from the new record for many reasons, one being that it’s a very familiar sounding BBC from a different decade and is easily a fan favourite.

“Chronologically it’s a really good song for the album. In the past, we kinda had ten to twelve songs, recorded those, and it would definitely be on the album. This time was slightly different, and ‘Good Day’ was the one we kind of left till last – we thought it was very much in the ‘maybe’ pile.

“My favourite’s ‘I Worry Bout You’, largely cause it’s really fun to play on drums. It’s got quite a beat, an early 2000s UK garage to it, which I’m a big fan of.

As a new album generally leads to extensive touring, what’s the likelihood of an Australian visit?

“It’s now a period of calm before the storm, but a nice storm really. When we were looking at tour dates, Australia was one of the first few places that we put right up there, you’ll see us soon for sure.”

Bombay Bicycle Club’s fifth studio album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong is out now via Caroline Australia. Check it out via streaming services.