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Interview with The Barefoot Bandit
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I am literally unsure. I’ve always loved exploring on my bike so I think I would be doing something involving travel and cycling.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I also love walking in nature. I’ve written many songs whilst surrounding myself in nature.
How long has your band been together?
The band has been around since 2010 but this line up from early 2019.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
We are based in Exeter in Devon, UK. We are surrounded by beautiful beaches in Devon so our music definitely has taken on a beach vibe.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
I’ll never forget the first time we played Glastonbury Festival. It was a Thursday afternoon and we were playing on The Bread & Roses stage (a smallish tent) and 5 minutes before we played it started hammering down with rain so we had a full tent of lively Glastonbury goers and we went down a treat.
Another stand out show was performing at the Electric Ballroom in Camden. We were opening for Dubioza Kollectiv and it was a sell out show. We had just got back from recording in Thailand and were getting ready to make the trip from Devon to London. The van wouldn’t start that morning so we had to hire one last minute. We were way behind schedule and it was touch and go whether we were going to make the show. We literally climbed out of the hire van straight into soundcheck. It was an awesome show and the crowd was insane!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We love playing at The Phoenix in Exeter. It’s one of our local venues and we have played there many times. The room has an epic sound which really suits our music.
I’d love to play on the West Holts Stage at Glastonbury and have always fancied the Eden Project in Cornwall.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
If we’re allowed to include musicians that are no longer here then Bob Marley & The Wailers and Desmond Dekker.
If we’re not then Groundation and Fat Freddys Drop and The Specials!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Play music because you enjoy it and it makes you happy and excited - for the right reasons. Grab every opportunity you can and always believe.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Time is important!!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“Criminal Damage” is important as its based on true events and life forming lessons.
“Polly” is a tribute to my childhood pet Dog.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
“Full Moon Pressure” is always fun to play live as it allows everyone to become full scale crazy.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Someone usually brings an idea into the studio and we gradually add to it as a band and if it works we
expand on it and try and morph it into a song or sometimes a dub instrumental.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Standing up against inequality has always been a prevalent theme in our music. Also, mental health struggles and ways of coping with what life throws at you is addressed in this album.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We get past them by issuing a ‘plop to the face.’ A ‘plop to the face’ is when someone gets a full bottle of water and squeezes it so that it squirts some water into the others face. We came up with it whilst playing France this summer when it was 40 degrees heat.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’re buzzing to get our debut album out and play some shows. We’re also hoping to release some more videos from now until Spring next year where we will be doing an extensive tour all over.