Bastille's Dan Smith Talks 'Pandemic Anxiety' and Escaping Reality on the Band's New LP

Bastille’s Dan Smith has opened up on his experiences of “pandemic anxiety” and how the desire to escape reality has shaped the band’s upcoming fourth album.

The London band are the cover stars of Rolling Stone UK’s first-ever issue, with Smith opening up about his experiences of life over the last 12 months.

“It’s literally been the stuff of movies, albeit apocalyptic movies,’ Smith says of the past year’s challenges.

“I was just like, ‘Right, I’ve got to stay busy.’ I made so much music, I was writing every day, I even ran this film club online when everyone got bored of fucking quizzes. My way of dealing with all this was like ‘Right, you’ve just got to keep going, keep going.’ ”

Smith, who also volunteered at a food bank during the pandemic, goes on to explain how the desire to escape the nightmarish events of the last 18 months inspired their forthcoming record.

The album centers around the concept of Futurescape, a fictional device which allows users to live out their dreams in virtual reality.

“We live in incredibly fucked-up, complicated times where politically the world is all over the place and that’s often really confusing,” he explained of the concept.

“We’ve all had to face a lot of challenges [in recent years] be it, like, things happening to ourselves, our families, our minds, or whatever circumstance life throws at you. But I think there are moments in all our lives where you want to maybe not be yourself or be a different version of yourself or be out of the circumstances that you’re in because you might be a bit trapped in them.”

He adds of the album: “We looked at these songs in the context of the pandemic and how our admittedly already rather fucked up relationship with technology went fully up its own ass and Inception-ed itself, because of these two years we’ve all had, missing each other and being locked inside.”

From Rolling Stone UK. Subscribe to the magazine in print and receive complimentary access to the digital edition.

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