Exclusive: 5 Minutes with 77 Bombay Street

We recently got 5 minutes with 77 Bombay Street. In between their hectic schedule, we learned about their guilty pleasure (of a certain euro-dance classic), their influences, and much more!

77 Bombay Street – Seven Mountains from 77 Bombay Street on Vimeo.

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?

We’re fine, thank you ever so much for asking. We have just finished packing our bus for our trip to Holland tonight – we’ll play a show there tomorrow. We will play shows in The Netherlands every weekend in March and we’re very excited to get started.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

Our sound is probably most memorable due to our harmonies.We learned to harmonize very early, our Mum wrote her own songs and each of us (we’re a family of nine) would sing a different harmony.That provides our music with a folky touch, I guess. We love tuneful melodies but we also like to rock out on stage. We have been compared to the likes of the Beatles, Snow Patrol or Mumford & Sons, so that might give the new listener a better impression of our sound.

Can you the name albums and artists that have influenced you the most?

We all love the Beatles. That’s the one band we all admire. Contemporary bands we like are Mumford & Sons, First Aid Kit, Snow Patrol, Kodaline, Kings of Leon and Imagine Dragons, just to name a few.
But we’re not very influenced by other music, we almost never even listen to radio.

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?

I (Esra) would probably have to say First Aid Kit. Them being sisters and us being brothers is one aspect that makes their career very interesting to follow – to see how they work together, what do they aspire, how do they get there. Their success is quite remarkable and like them, we are from a European country (which often gets mixed up with theirs, actually). Many similarities. Plus, I really like their music. We went to their concert in Sydney during the recording of the album.

What would we find under the category of “Guilty pleasures” in your music collection?

I did listen to songs like “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex back in the Eurodance period. But I assure you, it really was a cool song at the time!

The UK music scene is certainly always changing. Some might say that at the moment it’s more electronic oriented. Do you think this makes it more difficult for indie/alternative acts to get recognition that it would have done ten years ago?

It might be a little more challenging in a way that the media are observing other styles of music a bit more closely at the moment. Maybe it’s a little harder to get their attention and one has to stick out
from the masses rather than swim atop a wave. But there will always be people who want to listen to more organic music, people who are looking for a bit more of a message in a song maybe? There are so many
alternative/indie/folk bands who are successful despite the electronic movement. We are not looking to change our style because of a trend, what we do has always come from the heart and is 100% us. If we were to incorporate electronic elements in our songwriting it would still be because we wanted to see where it takes us as artists, not because we want to live up to expectations.

If not the popularity of electronic music, what would you say some of the challenges indie bands face today in the music industry today?

One of the hardest things to do is always to take your music to a global level. To deliver the same feeling to people all over the world, to achieve that one universal level of communication not with words but through music. That is probably the ultimate goal of artists everywhere, regardless of their style. Coming from a country which does not have a rich tradition of exporting music we are trying to find ways to get there ourselves. That of course, has a lot to do with understanding the business and that can sometimes be a little wearisome when really we just want to be on stage and play for a happy crowd, see how the sparks fly and how the connection happens. This is why we do what we do and what keeps us going.

Where do you gather song writing inspiration?

Mostly purely and simply from living this life. Some experiences are our own, some ideas are sheer fiction. We are constantly writing new songs. Sometimes it takes 100 ideas to inspire one that might possibly, maybe,eventually make it and see the light of day. Sometimes it takes time to process an impression or an experience for it to really manifest itself in a song. We try and push ourselves in terms of lyrics and musical arrangements. We play around with ideas and merge them, take them apart and start from scratch. With our current album, we needed a third party to step in and take over at some point because we couldn’t see the wood for the trees no longer. Our producer helped us get down the songs from 80 to 15 and we took it from there.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?

We get asked this question quite a lot and we still don’t know what to reply. We usually really like a challenge. The more un-favourable the circumstances, the more we put our energy into the performance. And it’s always the best part to see people engage, to observe their behaviour turn from not interested or indifferent to really happy and pleasantly surprised.

On one occasion however, we got to perform in the Vatican for 2mio people. Sharing a stage with the Pope, regardless of your own religious beliefs, is a very lasting and impressive experience.

And the worst?

We haven’t really had a bad experience. Sometimes minor technical hiccups happen but nothing to ruin a show.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

Joe (guitar) has studied to be a social worker and still likes to help less fortunate people.
Simri (bass) is currently opening his own hostel and club, Matt (ac.guitar) is finishing his studies in food science and I (drums) would most definitely be a pilot. But by now, we would probably continue doing
something with music or art. Writing a musical, soundtracks, starting new projects. But of course we intend to continue as 77 Bombay Street for a long while still.

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?

Obviously we’d love to play all the iconic music festivals every band dreams about, all the legendary places. For 2017 we would very much love to be part of some UK festivals. We’ve heard so much and we would very much like to be a part of it ourselves. Also, it would be phenomenal to go back to Australia where we used to live and play there.

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?

Wow, there are so many artists we respect personally and musically. Mumford & Sons, Imagine Dragons, Kodaline, Snow Patrol, Of Monsters And Men, First Aid Kit to name just a few. To get to perform with any of them is mind-boggling and not something we ever really think about at all.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

We are in The Netherlands to play shows in March:
5: De Kroepoekfabriek, Vlaardingen
10: Hofman Café, Utrecht
13: Gigant, Apeldoorn
18: Paradiso, Amsterdam
10: Concerto Record Store, Amsterdam
26: Radio 2 Muziekcafé

In May we return to the UK, details can hopefully be communicated very soon. After that we’ll play loads and loads of festivals in Switzerland.

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