Graduating from the humble confines of his room in London to featuring on this year’s Glastonbury lineup, Dan Smith is currently living the classic bedroom-to-main-stage tale with his band Bastille.

In the space of two short years, though mainly in the last couple of months, Bastille have sieged the world with their infectious hook-filled, synth-driven indie pop.

They first made blips on indie blog radars in 2010 with the release of their free mixtape Other People’s Heartache, which was followed up by 2011’s Laura Palmer EP.

However, it wasn’t until the anthemic tracks from their debut album Bad Blood began to trickle out that Smith’s soaring oh-so-English vocals started to infiltrate the top end of the charts worldwide. When their first full-length dropped in early March it even beat out the likes of Justin Timberlake and Stereophonics to seize the #1 spot in the UK.

Australia hasn’t been exempt from their takeover, either. The album’s lead single, the grandiosely powerful and undeniably catchy “Pompeii”, has been glued in the top five of the ARIA and iTunes charts for almost a month now.

Speaking to the impossibly friendly Smith at around 10am London time, the 25-year-old has only just risen from his slumber.

“We had a party at our house last night so I’ve just been doing a bit of cleaning up,” he chuckles, his voice sounding a bit more raspy and under-the-weather than it does on recordings.

Taking the interview from the place where it began, his bedroom, the singer-producer outlines the origins of Bastille, which was initially a solo project and a creative outlet for his multi-talented mind.“I realised I got more satisfaction out of making songs and I really liked the process of ending up with a tangible product.”- Dan Smith

“At the time I was kind of working, kind of doing music and kind of thinking about doing film journalism,” he recalls. “And then I realised I got more satisfaction out of making songs and I really liked the process of ending up with a tangible product.”

“Doing stuff by myself – I’ve always sort of written and recorded that way. It’s just that I feel most comfortable doing that, in terms of having ideas in the back of my head and working on them without any pressure rather than going into a room with other people and forcing them through.”

Towards the end of 2010 Bastille underwent a natural transformation from being a moniker for Smith’s solo act to becoming a fully-fledged powerhouse indie quartet. Recruiting help from buddies Chris ‘Woody’ Wood, Kyle Simmons, and Will Farquarson, the four began to rehearse as a live band and turned Smith’s bedroom recordings into the large cinematic soundscapes we now know.

“I had always wanted Bastille to be very much a band, and I’ve always wanted to gig and tour with friends,” says the frontman. “And the guys who are in the band, we’ve all known each other for quite a while before we started Bastille.”

“It was always the way it was going to go for us. It’s so much more fun being able to share the experience with other people, and they’re really good musicians as well. That helps,” he adds with laughter.

“I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to enjoy certain aspects of being able to write as a solo person but then get to enjoy the whole touring side and recording side of being with my mates. I’m just so lucky.”

There’s an honest sense of disbelief to Smith’s voice as his reminisces on their sharp trajectory into the stratosphere of the music world, with most of his humbled stories ending along the lines of, “it’s very bizarre”, or “I can’t really explain it”, as if he’s still trying to wake himself up from some kind of dream.

“We never even thought about charts or anything like that. For me it was never about aiming for the charts, which makes it even more surreal, because it’s sort of been suddenly thrust upon us, in a nice way.”

“We’re standing back and looking at each other a bit puzzled. It’s crazy,” he punctuates.

Whilst Smith comes across as a happy-go-lucky student turned musician who randomly struck a pot of chart-topping gold, his endearing modesty and witty British banter shouldn’t be trusted; his success hasn’t had anything to do with a random stroke of “luck.”

“In the UK I can kind of explain it in a way to myself, in that we toured relentlessly for two years and we played to a lot of people. I think we built a word-of-mouth fan base, and an online fan base after we gave away a lot of our music for free, so there’s a real sense in the UK that we’ve sort of managed to build a genuine fan base of people who really want to support us.”

“But it seems to have gone slightly beyond that now,” he continues, “and that’s just not something I can explain at all. I hope it’s because people like the songs, I guess? I can’t really explain any other reasons,” he chuckles as he racks his brain for an answer.

“I really don’t know. I mean, we have a #1 song in Italy and we’ve never even been to Italy. And to have a song in the charts in somewhere like Australia is really bizarre.”  “We never even thought about charts or anything like that. For me it was never about aiming for the charts, which makes it even more surreal, because it’s sort of been suddenly thrust upon us, in a nice way.”

It becomes clear that after “grafting as a band for the past two and a bit years”, their sudden catapult into the mainstream spotlight in the footsteps of similar outfits like Two Door Cinema Club and Fun., albeit unexpectedly fast, was perhaps always going to happen.

In April, Bastille were announced as the support for Muse’s upcoming UK stadium tour alongside Dizzee Rascal, something that Smith can again only describe as “mental.”

“We were all just really taken aback because we never imagined to tour with a band like Muse. But I think it was especially exciting for Woody, he’s completely obsessed with them. They’re his ultimate favourite band in the world to the point where he’s a little bit of a fangirl,” he jokes, noting that it will also take a lot of self-control himself not to ask Matt Bellamy for an autograph.

Between the extensive touring, chart-topping, and the odd house party, the English troupe have kept themselves busy. Already working on their sophomore record, Smith says they haven’t contracted a case of second album nerves despite having more eyes on them this time around.

“I’ve started writing for the next album and we’ve done some recording as well. We’re quite busy but I really want to keep going to our small studio, making music, working from my bedroom – I don’t really want the process to change all that much. But I don’t think we’re really at a point yet where anyone’s expecting anything.”

“It might sound really boring, but we’re just getting on with it,” he admits with utmost sincerity, showing no signs of the inflated ego that might be warranted by this stage.

“I don’t think becoming a douche-bag necessarily comes hand in hand with success. We’ll do our best to keep that at bay and if anyone starts displaying any slightly knobbish tendencies they’re going to get smacked by the rest of the band.”

In terms of an upcoming Australian tour, it seems that the long trip to our corner of the world hasn’t been pencilled in quite yet.

“We’re still so new, so until someone invites us to come and play a gig over there we’ll be stuck on this side of the world,” he teases. “I’ve been to Australia before, and it’s obviously awesome, so we’re all gagging to come over and play some shows.”

One look at the iTunes chart shows that Bastille definitely don’t need an invitation.

Bad Blood is out now through EMI. View the new video for ‘Laura Palmer’, the next Australian single to hit radio in the next few weeks, below:

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