Clean Bandit – Exclusive Online Cover Shoot and Interview

Clean Bandit, formed of Grace Chatto and brothers Jack and Luke Patterson, are known for their inescapably catchy hybrid of electro-classical-pop. The band, which originated in Cambridge, won a Grammy for their song, ‘Rather Be’ and have had three number one hits in the UK to date, a figure that will no doubt continue to climb as they release new music.

We caught up with the trio following their exclusive shoot for FAULT’s online cover, to talk about their upcoming sophomore album, dream collaborations, love of touring and not letting the pressures of success get to them.

GRACE – Top: River Island, Trousers: Aphid, Shoes: stylists own / JACK – Suit: New & Lingwood, T-Shirt: River Island, Shoes: Converse / LUKE – Jumper: Cheap Monday, Trousers: River Island, Shoes: Converse

‘New Eyes’ was released three years ago and you’ve got a follow-up album in the works. Can you tell us anything about the focal themes?

Grace: I think the first album was a lot more lighthearted, whilst our second album, with the lyrics anyway, are more serious. Some of them are about breaking up, like ‘I Miss You’ and ‘Tears’, which will both be on the album. The music is still quite dancey.

Jack: I think other acts find it easier to put out a larger volume of music at a time but as we produce and write all our own stuff, and we also produce and make the music videos, it just takes us so much longer to create each piece of music, so we’ve really been focusing on that the last few years. We were touring our first album for a really long time as well. But our second one is in the works and it’s nearly done. Hopefully early next year.

You’ve previously said that you focus on making individual songs rather than making music as a collective body of work. Is this the approach you’re continuing with?

Luke: I reckon so, yeah. It kinda suits the way we work. We’ve been getting into the video side of things even more since the last [album]; making things even more extravagant working with bigger crews, trying not to limit ourselves.

Grace: A lot of our singles have been quite different styles but one thing that unifies this album is the way that we made it. It was much less produced from the beginning. With the last album, we would think about the sounds and make them on the computer but with these, it was more about the piano and voice firstly, then thinking about all the electronics afterwards.

Jacket, Topshop – Tee, River Island

You’ve collaborated with a number of British solo artists – from Anne Marie and Louisa to Jess Glynne – all of whom, at the time of working with you, were still up and coming. Did you choose to work with these singers because you feel it’s important to help nurture homegrown talent like yourselves?

Jack: All of those people are just so talented in their own right. We’re always looking for amazing voices to either write with or record and perform songs.

Grace: We always try to think about what voice will work best with the song we’ve got. We took ‘Rather Be’ to Jess Glynne and quite a few other singers as well to try out different voices but it worked best with hers. ‘I Miss You’ was different because we wrote it with Julia Michaels and it’s a very personal song to her. We heard Zara Larsson singing at a festival a few years ago, showed her ‘Symphony’, she loved it and came on board with it straightaway. It totally transformed the track. It’s exciting when someone brings a whole new personality and vibe to a song.

GRACE – Top: Monki, Trousers: Monki, Shoes: Jimmy Choo / JACK – Top: Coach, Trousers: Jack’s own, Shoes: Converse / LUKE – Top: Urban Outfitters, Trousers: Luke’s own, Shoes: Converse

Who would you absolutely love to work with?

Jack: Beyonce, Lana del Rey, Drake, Kendrick Lamar…

Luke: Stormzy.

Jack: Frank Ocean.

Grace: Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, Bryson Tiller.

You’ve got a big US tour lined up for next year. Do you enjoy life on the road?

Grace: I love it. It’s really cathartic thing for me because I love travelling and seeing real people react to our music in real time. There’s no feeling like it. I also love playing with other people.

Luke: I love being out there. I love dedicated time to tours when you know you’re going to be away for a month and you can really get into the zone.

Jack: Weirdly it’s only on tour that we find a routine. When we’re back in the UK what we’re doing is so disjointed.

Grace: Having a tour manager that looks after us all is like being on a school trip; telling us where to go, what to do [laughs]!

Jacket, Issey Miyake

Which are your favourite songs to play live?

Jack: ‘Disconnect’, our collaboration with Marina and the Diamonds. Some good keyboard moments in there.

Luke: It’s still ‘Rather Be’. We’ve changed it up a bit and have some insane key changes at the end of the song which just take it up a notch.

Jack: We like to remix older tracks as well when we’re playing live.

Grace: ‘Rockabye’ and ‘Birch’.

GRACE – Dress: Amanda Wakeley, Shoes: Stylist’s own / JACK – Top: Levi’s Jeans: River Island, Shoes: Filling Pieces / LUKE – Shirt: Paul Smith @ Finnicks Trousers: All Saints Shoes, Jimmy Choo

You’ve had three number one hits in the UK so far. There must be quite a lot of pressure to keep producing chart-toppers. How do you stay on top of your game and not let this get to you?

Luke: There’s a lot of collaborations that go on that are all about the fame game, but our mentality is just to write a quality tune rather than remixing something just for the sake of it.

Grace: We just try and make songs that we like rather than making what we think other people will like.

Jacket & Jeans, Topshop / Shoes, Grace’s Own

What is your FAULT?

Grace: I’m bossy. It can get on other people’s nerves but it can also help get stuff done.

Luke: What’s my fault?

Jack: Your fault? You’re a bastard [laughs]!

Luke: That’s not my fault, that’s your fault!

 

Find Clean Bandit on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Words: Aimee Phillips

Photography: Jack Alexander

Styling: Holly Ounstead

Make-Up: Elaine Lynskey using MAC Cosmetics

Hair: Narad Kutowaroo using Unite Hair

Styling Assistants: Ellie McWhan and Jordyn Antunes

Special thanks: Burlock

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