Category Archives:Music

Bastille: ‘We made this mad science fiction concept record’

Bastille’s Dan Smith joins Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 to discuss the group’s new single ‘No Bad Days’ and forthcoming fourth album “Give Me The Future”, due out next February. He tells Zane about the origin of the track, discusses collaborating for the first time including with the album’s executive producer Ryan Tedder, and says he thinks it’s the group’s best work to date.

Bastille’s Dan Smith Tells Apple Music About The Origin of ‘No Bad Days’…
It’s quite a personal song and it’s just good to have it out in the world. I wrote it with some friends in 2019. I’d just been to see my aunt in Australia with my sister. We went to visit her to basically say goodbye to her. She was an amazing person. She took control over the end of her life. We were lucky enough to get to see her and came back and spent some time in the studio. This song just kind of fell out. Then as we were putting the album together, Ryan heard it in and amongst all the songs that we’ve made. He was really fixated on this tune and was like, “That’s the one. That’s the song.” I guess in the world of Bastille, there’s always maybe this expectation that our singles are going to be bombastic or have epicness to them or whatever. It was quite nice and refreshing to have someone just be like, nah, that song is just amazing. She taught everyone in our family and everyone that she knew so much. It’s amazing and profound to be able to take this thing that happens to all of us and turn it into an amazing example and an amazing lesson to all of us. I guess I felt quite strange over the last couple of years having this song that is so personal and speaks to something that is so huge in our family, but I’m really proud of the song. I’m proud of not only the content and the lyrics and everything, but the process behind making it. Getting to make this album through such a strange couple of years, it’s been such a lifeline and I love it. Musically as well, the production I love, I love the space in it, the harmony engine, messing with my vocal a bit and the piano solo. The Bruce Hornsby-esque piano solo.

Bastille’s Dan Smith Tells Apple Music About The Band’s Forthcoming New Album “Give Me The Future’”
Today and here we’re announcing our fourth album. It’s called “Give Me The Future” and it’s out at the beginning of February next year. It’s this mad science fiction concept record that’s all about our relationship with each other and with technology and different versions of the future and the past. This song is the emotional core of it, but I’m so proud of the album. It’s been such a brilliant thing to be part of and to put together. I’m just excited for people to hear it. I think it’s our best work and it’s exciting and it’s different. It’s elements of what you expect from Bastille, but it’s the first time we allowed the door to open and other people to come in and join us. We made it all during lockdown, but did some sessions over Zoom, allowed other producers to have a go. It’s been all the better for it, man. It turns out collaboration’s really fun. There’s a reason why everybody does it.

Bastille’s Dan Smith Tells Apple Music About Having Ryan Tedder Executive Produce The Album…
Then Ryan Tedder, I did some writing with him and produced a song with him on the album and he helped exec it. He was like a helicopter figure who came in quite far into the process and listened to the music and gave us some pointers. It was interesting for us letting go a little bit of control. We still ultimately made it all in our studio and finished it there, but I think just the idea of sharing the responsibility with other people was really exciting and really fun. Like I said, turns out it’s pretty fun.

Bastille’s Dan Smith Tells Apple Music About Co-Directing The Music Video For “No Bad Days”…
I also just co-directed my first ever music video for this song. Dude, it was so much fun. I’ve always been obsessed with our videos. I’ve always been that annoying artist over the shoulder of the director, like, “What are you doing there? What are you doing there? How about this? How about that?” I’ve always wanted to be a film director, but I guess I’m just too lazy. We talked about it for ages and I met this guy, James, at the Trash Factory, whos an amazing director. I had this idea for ages and wanted to do something that was about trying to use technology to bring someone back and we were able to do it. It was such an experience, learning how that world works and the limitations of it and the opportunities and, I don’t know, getting to flex the wannabe filmmaker muscle in me, man. I had the best time.

Adele set for second week at Number 1 with ‘Easy On Me’

Adele is set for a second week at Number 1 with Easy On Me, currently tracking to top the Official Singles Chart once more. Last week, the track broke UK chart records when it debuted at the top of the chart, with the highest first-week streams of any track in chart history.

Becky Hill and Topic could jump up one place to Number 10 with My Heart Goes (La Di Da), following weeks of upward trajectory. It would be Becky’s fifth Top 10 single and Topic’s third.

Meanwhile outside the Top 10, Swedish House Mafia and the Weeknd could be in for this week’s highest new entry with their track Moth To A Flame. The slick synth-pop number is currently on course to debut at Number 12.

ABBA could also gain their 29th UK Top 40 single on Friday. Just A Notion, the latest single from their upcoming album Voyage, is heading for a Number 14 debut.

And finally, Digga D’s Red Light Green Light could be another new entry at Number 16. It would be the London rapper’s ninth UK Top 40 single.

Ed Sheeran tests positive for Covid-19

Ed Sheeran has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating at home.

The British singer-songwriter, who is set to release his fourth studio album = (equals) on 29 October, took to Instagram on Sunday to share the health update.

“Hey guys. Quick note to tell you that I’ve sadly tested positive for Covid, so I’m now self-isolating and following government guidelines,” the 30-year-old commented. “It means that I’m now unable to plough ahead with any in-person commitments for now, so I’ll be doing as many of my planned interviews/performances (as) I can from my house.

“Apologies to anyone I’ve let down. Be safe everyone.”

Ed didn’t share any other details. The Bad Habits hitmaker had been scheduled to participate in a Q&A with fans as part of a chat with Zane Lowe on Apple Music this week.

Jesse McCartney weds

Jesse McCartney has married Katie Peterson in a “romantic” ceremony.

The Beautiful Soul hitmaker and the singer/actress tied the knot at the Santa Lucia Preserve in California on Saturday.

Jesse opted for a classic Brioni tuxedo, while Katie looked stunning in a Galia Lahav gown and Jimmy Choo heels.

“I think that moment of settling in at the altar and just watching her come down is going to be pretty special and having our families there and witnessing all of it… It’s hard not to be romantic about that portion of the night,” he told People prior to the nuptials.

Jesse and Katie got engaged in September 2019 after dating for seven years.

And in the interview, the popstar admitted it was love at first sight.

“I found her incredibly attractive and was just trying to charm her, but she wasn’t having it,” he recalled of first meeting Katie at a party. “I eventually left my number on a napkin and she said, ‘You didn’t write your name down on it!’ And I was like, ‘Oh, of course, she probably got a million of these tonight.’ I had to write my name down on the napkin and then eventually the rest is history!”

Gwen Stefani cancelled 2020 shows due to Covid-19 diagnosis

Gwen Stefani cancelled four concerts last year after testing positive for Covid-19.

Back in February 2020, the Hollaback Girl hitmaker announced via social media that she was scrapping a string of shows as part of her Just a Girl residency due to illness.

But during her return to the stage at the Zappos Theater in Las Vegas on Friday, Gwen revealed that she had actually been battling the coronavirus at the time.

“I would literally take people up here and make out with you, but…I gotta make it through the next eight shows. I was the first one to have COVID, in case you wondered. I was in Vegas. Do you remember when I cancelled those four shows?” she told the audience, explaining why she couldn’t leave the stage as a result of Covid-19 protocols. “Just because I can’t touch you, I’m still breathing your air right now, so that’s the risk that I’m taking because I love you guys.”

Gwen didn’t share any further details.

The star is playing shows at the Zappos Theater until 6 November.

Pink Floyd’s artwork for The Wall was cooked up on Roger Waters’ kitchen table

‘The Wall’ designer Gerald Scarfe designed the iconic artwork on Roger Waters’ kitchen table.

The artist – who was “befuddled” when the band asked him to get on board given his work as a political cartoonist – has opened up on his work on Pink Floyd’s legendary 1979 rock opera.

He told Uncut magazine: “I had to create all the characters – the wives, the mother, the teacher and all these semi-cartoon figures – very quickly because the album was coming out.

“The band were in the South of France and I kept flying down to meet them. I actually designed the album cover on Roger’s kitchen table.

“The live show was incredibly ambitious, with my original illustrations turned into inflatable puppets. Then we did the film, which was tough and very difficult.”

Scarfe – whose book ‘The Art of Pink Floyd: The Wall’ is set to be released on November 11 – admitted despite the challenges, the project was “fascinating”.

He explained: “As a virtual artist ‘The Wall’ was fascinating for me because there was so much to dig into and explore.

“All the images were out of my head. Roger was the originator, but my drawings were my translations of his visions.

“He had his own views, but he accepted what I did. It was a strange marriage really, but we became very close friends.”

And the artist said he’s “amazed” his work has endured the way it has over the past four decades.

He added: “Looking back, I’m amazed that it has become what it has. It’s an iconic piece of work and I’m proud that allying my visuals to their sounds seemed to work.

“To this day I still get emails and commissions from Pink Floyd fans all around the world.”

Pussycat Dolls reunion will go ahead

Kimberly Wyatt says Pussycat Dolls reunion will go ahead.

The reunion tour – featuring Wyatt, Jessica Sutta, Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts and Carmit Bachar – was initially postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but Kimberly says it is set to begin next September.

She told The Sun newspaper’s Bizarre column: “Nobody has told me that it has been cancelled so I’m holding onto the hope that it’s September 2022 until I’m told otherwise.

“I’m desperate to get out there. I had finally felt like I was in the groove, I was ready for it – let’s go!

“The fans deserve it. They have supported us for so long. We need to get out there and do what we do.”

The future of the tour was placed in doubt earlier this year when Pussycat Dolls founder Robin Antin filed a lawsuit claiming Nicole was refusing to participate unless she received complete creative control in relaunching the group, as well as a bigger percentage of profits.

However, Scherzinger’s lawyer Howard King described the claims as “ludicrous and false” and alleged the lawsuit was “a desperate attempt to divert blame for her own failures by trying to impose obligations on Nicole that simply do not exist”.

The attorney added: “Robin will fail in her efforts to trade on Nicole’s hard-earned success to pull herself out of a deep financial hole she has created by her own poor business and professional decisions.

“Prior to Nicole’s involvement, trading on Nicole’s name without her consent, Robin borrowed (and spent) $600,000 from Live Nation that she won’t or can’t repay.

“Nicole has invested her own funds in excess of $150,000 in support of a potential PCD reunion that has now been made impossible by Robin’s actions (including the public release of the group members’ confidential financial information).

“Nicole loves and respects the PCD fans and hopes to one day be back on stage performing the group’s amazing hits for them. Sadly, this will not happen under these circumstances.”

IDLES don’t think Ultra Mono worked without live shows

Joe Talbot doesn’t think ‘Ultra Mono’ worked “as a home-listening device”.

The IDLES frontman has opened up on the group’s third album – which came out in September 2020, with live music on hold due to the pandemic – and he suggested the record suffered by not being released at a time fans could experience it in person.

He told Mojo magazine: “I think that album translated badly as a home-listening device. The whole point of that record was to build a narrative with our audience.

“The album itself was a caricature of what people thought of us and we wanted to kind of twist that up and then burn that effigy so we would start ‘Crawler’.

“We can’t make another ‘Joy’, we can’t make another ‘Ultra Mono’. We just can’t go back. Because we’ve done it. To death.

“We’ve done the biggest loudest most brash big rock album version of ourselves we can and we won’t go back there. We have to move forward.”

Now, the band are focused on their upcoming fourth record ‘Crawler’, which deals lyrically with Joe’s battle with addiction and his decision to go sober in December 2019.

Reflecting on a defining moment in New York City, he said: “I’d been sober all week. I had a mental spiralling breakdown in San Francisco which was one of maybe two I’d have in a year. Two’s a lot considering how bad they are…

“[Our tour guy] turned to me and said, ‘You know you’re better when you’re sober?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I know.’

“And he was like, ‘I don’t mean shows. I mean everything. You’re just not good when you drink. Even after one beer, you’ve not as good a person.’

“So I stopped. It just took one drunk guy to say it right and I was like, ‘Yeah.’ “

Given the personal nature of the album, Joe admitted some fans might not truly get the LP, but he’s delighted with the collection.

He added: “It’s a story about the worst years of my life but also the best, the most brilliant. If you don’t like hearing tales of struggle then you won’t like it. But it makes me feel happy because I’m hear. I’m alive.”

Miley Cyrus experienced ‘epiphany’ during Lollapalooza gig

Miley Cyrus has recalled how she experienced an “epiphany” during one of her shows at the Lollapalooza festival.

The Wrecking Ball hitmaker made an appearance at the popular event held at Grant Park in Chicago back in July, and during her gig, performed a mix of new and old tracks.

Reflecting on the concert during a chat with country music artist Mickey Guyton for Rolling Stone, Miley insisted the thrill of performing in front of such a big crowd gave her a hug confidence boost.

“Artists at different stages of their career than I am go, ‘You still get bullied?’ But there’s still a*shole dudes. After (I played) Lollapalooza, I had an epiphany,” she stated. “I think not being in front of 200,000 people for a year and a half and then seeing it again, I realised my impact and my power. It’s like you don’t know what you got until it’s gone. And I had forgotten who I was.”

Miley went on to note that while she has a very confident public persona, she has her insecurities just like anyone else. And she revealed that the only scenario in which she wants to show her vulnerable side is within a romantic relationship.

“There are still days after 15 years of doing this that I lay my head on the pillow at night and go, ‘What, I accepted that?’ I did stand up for myself the other day at a session that was going poorly, and I felt like a billion dollars. I don’t put myself in vulnerable positions as much anymore,” the 28-year-old continued. “The most I’ll put myself in a vulnerable position is allowing myself to fall in love, because that comes with pain, and it’s worth it. But the other s**t is not.”

Machine Gun Kelly’s guitar-heavy album

Machine Gun Kelly’s new album is more “guitar-heavy”.

The 31-year-old rapper turned pop-punk star says ‘Born With Horns’ will be a more grown-up version of his previous record ‘Tickets To my Downfall”.

He told Variety: “It’s more guitar-heavy. Lyrically, if ‘Tickets to My Downfall’ was metaphorically high school, then ‘Born With Horns’ is college. And I think like, in high school, you don’t really have a sense of responsibility, you have a fear of that responsibility, and so you want to explode and use all that energy for f****** off. And then college comes, which is this album, and you are aware of the responsibility and you still know how to have fun, but you understand that there’s a certain duty you have to your life to do something with it. ‘Born With Horns’ feels like it has an objective or a real lesson that you’re walking away with.”

And Kelly hopes the pop-punk revival will encourage others to follow their dreams.

He said: “Don’t let people douse your dreams with their fears, because your fire should run free. There’s someone right now who has the potential to be the greatest ever, who is being told it’s the dumbest idea to pursue a dream because the person looking at them was too scared to pursue theirs. It’s the same thing with people in the rock genre who don’t want to embrace me, or act like I don’t belong. … I’m not letting that narrative stick. I’m not letting people continue to f****** bully me out of doing something that has been true to me forever.”