CLEAN BANDIT Share Details On Their Hit Song, “Rather Be” and Much More!
Posted On 08 May 2015
Tag: Ace of Base, Alex Newell, All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Atlantic Records, Bjork, Cambridge University, Clean Bandit, Coachella, Disconnect, Drake, Fonda Theatre, Frank Ocean, Grace Chatto, Grammy, Hollywood, Jack, Jack Patterson, James Blake, Jess Glynne, Luke, Luke Patterson, Marina And The Diamonds, Neil, Neil Amin-Smith, New Eyes, Radiohead, Rather Be, Rihanna, Stronger, Superstar
Jack Patterson, Luke Patterson, Grace Chatto, and Neil Amin-Smith make up the electro-pop group, Clean Bandit.
Last year, their chart-topping single “Rather Be”, a collaboration with Jess Glynne remained at the top of the chart for four weeks. They went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for the song too.
Their debut studio album, “New Eyes” has since been getting lots of attention for the collection’s upbeat songs.
Enjoy the following interview with Clean Bandit’s Grace Chatto:
How did the four of you first meet? Can you remember the moment when you all decided to start this group? How did you come up with your band name? What exactly is a ‘Clean Bandit’?
Neil and I met playing in classical orchestras when we were children. We are from the same area of London. We met Jack when we were studying at Cambridge University, and decided to start the band together. It started as a live band to begin with, classical string quartet performances and then later electronic elements that Jack introduced and worked around the strings. Then he introduced Luke to us, his younger brother who is a wizard on the drums! We’ve been playing together about 7 years now.
A ‘Clean Bandit’ is a total bastard! A Russian friend of ours used the phrase (‘chistaya banditka’ in Russian) to describe my sister and we found it funny and took it for our band name!
What do you think it is about your single “Rather Be” that really spoke to people? What had made it so successful? What was the inspiration for the song’s music video?
It’s very hard to say what has made it connect so much. I think it might be the fact that it is such an ostentatiously happy song about being content with the person you’re with, but it also has a melancholy undertone somehow, so there is a tension there…
The video was inspired by a holiday to Tokyo that Jack, Luke and I went on with their parents many years ago. We visited the fish market there, which is crazy, and found it very cinematic and wanted to film there. So we came up with the story of a Japanese chef who buys all her fish in this market, and is also a fan of the song “Rather Be”. She sings the song all day and even hallucinates seeing members of the band in her restaurant etc. By the end of the song there is a dark turning because she gets so obsessed that she can no longer function and is admitted to a mental hospital. We shot and edited the video ourselves.
Usually bands have a lead singer, but you guys don’t. Is there a reason for that?
We find it very interesting to call upon different voices as though they were different instruments.
Since you do a lot of collaborations, are there any musicians whom you’d like to work with in the future?
James Blake, Bjork, Frank Ocean, Rihanna, Drake and many others.
The band is known for blending classical and electronic music. What are some of the challenges you face in making sure you get the right mix in a given song?
We don’t really think about it in a formulaic way, we just use the different styles as and when it feels right.
What bands have consistently inspired you and your music?
Radiohead and Ace of Base.
Has it been hard to be away from all your families when you are touring?
Yes, we have been in the states for 6 weeks right now and I miss my family a bit at the moment.
Do you have a fun/crazy show experience you can share?
We had an amazingly fun gig at Coachella the other day. It was special because it is such a beautiful festival but also we performed our new song “Stronger” with Alex Newell, who has an incredible voice. AND, we performed our new song “Disconnect” with Marina and the Diamonds for the first time ever!! It was exciting!
When do you think you’ll start working on your next album? Have you already begun writing new material or has their not been any time for that?
Yes, we have loads of new material already. Can’t wait to record it and get it out. We are playing one new song tonight called “Superstar”, which has a kind of hip hop beat.