Fresh off debuting a new song at Coachella with Marina and the Diamonds, British electronic band Clean Bandit found out they were nominated for the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards in multiple categories, up against Sam Smith, Hozier, alt-J and George Ezra. Considering their song “Rather Be” already won a Grammy earlier this year for “Song of The Year,” their chances of winning are pretty high.
Win or lose, they’re gearing up to perform at Governors Ball this year, New York City’s buzziest summer music festival. We catch up with band member Jack Patterson.
How did you guys all meet?
- Celebrity deaths 2018: All the stars we lost too soon 45 Pictures
- 10 finalists for TIME Person of the Year 2018 11 Pictures
We met back in university, at Cambridge. Grace [Chatto] and I actually met in the dining hall, which kind of looked like Hogwarts. It was this huge gothic hall. We were just having dinner and I met her there and then I introduced her to my brother [band member Luke Patterson].
So that was back in 2006. Is there anything about your music that is still the same and that you want to always be the same?
As long as the four of us are continuing to make music, I’m completely open to any kind of developments or changes within the way we make music, record or perform. I don’t think there’s anything about it that will always be the same.
“Stronger” sounds really happy, but the lyrics are deeper than the melody lets on. What does that song mean?
It’s a funny one, that one. The lyrics are talking about not being constrained and doing what is right for yourself. But that’s all layered underneath this major kind of sound. For me, the music used to be much more important than the lyrics, although I did write a lot of the lyrics. At least, that’s how I felt when we were first starting out.
What inspires your sound? What do you listen to?
It’s weird because the music I listen to personally is quite different than the music we put out as a band. I love Radiohead and Frank Sinatra. I listen to a lot of jazz as well. All of us listen to very different types of music from each other. Grace listens to more electronic music than me, and more classical music as well.
Gearing up for Governors Ball, what are your music festival must-haves?
Just good sunscreen and a little hip flask. Those are the things that are most required. You aren’t allowed to bring drinks into the music festivals here in the States, so you have to hide them.
Click here to see the rest of the Governors Ball lineup and to buy tickets and watch Clean Bandit's music video for "Stronger" below.
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence