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Soundposts

A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

November 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Bastille storms KeyArena Tuesday| Concert preview

When London band Bastille first came to Seattle last year, they played at the venerable Tractor Tavern in a wild, sold-out show that had people begging for tickets outside.

Just a little over a year later and with No. 1 hit “Pompeii,” Bastille is set to perform at KeyArena on Tuesday, Nov. 25, after canceling an earlier date. The rapid rise from playing tiny rock clubs to arena shows is not lost on Bastille keyboardist Kyle Simmons.

“It’s been crazy,” Simmons said. “Toward the end of the year (last year) we played some sort of local Christmas radio shows in arenas, and now we’re coming back and playing some of the venues on our own tour.”

Simmons said that while the band has stepped up its stage show by incorporating elaborate lights and video screens, they haven’t had to change much of their sound. After all, Bastille’s debut album, “Bad Blood,” trades in the kind of grandiose hooks and thunderous beats that very nearly blew the doors off the Tractor.

After dropping such a radio-friendly album, you might think the band is feeling the pressure to come up with another winner. So far, Simmons said that doesn’t seem to be the case, even if the recording process is becoming more collaborative instead of focused more tightly around frontman Dan Smith’s writing.

It’s also taking a while, due to a relentless tour schedule, though the band is shooting for a mid-2015 release date.

With the first recording, Simmons explained, they did it in the studio first then worked out how to play the material on the road.

“With our second album, it’s going to be a lot more band-y,” Simmons said. “We’re sort of working things out during sound check and writing it (on tour).”

A new single, “The Driver,” gives an insight into the kind of sound Bastille might employ on its next album. It’s got the same soaring vocals from Smith, but guitars feature heavily and the driving, sinister chorus is light years from the uplifting tribal “eh-oh, eh-oh” that dominates “Pompeii.”

Even if they wanted to try to replicate the success of “Pompeii,” Simmons isn’t sure his bandmates even know exactly why the song was such a hit.

“It just kind of flipped a cord in everyone,” Simmons said. “Honestly, I don’t know why it did so well. It’s just kind of an epic, upbeat pop song that people got on board with and we’ve been chasing it around the world ever since.”

Bastille

8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, at KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $31.50-$39.50 (206-684-7200 or keyarena.com).

Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: "Pompeii", Bastille, Concert Preview

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