British India have released a new album, Nothing Touches Me, and will head out on a national tour which brings them to the Dunsborough Tavern on Friday, May 15; Capitol on Saturday, May 16, and the Newport Hotel on Sunday, May 17. AARON BRYANS reports.
British India’s rise across Australia has been that of hard work and persistence, stemming from their 2004 formation to their just-released fifth album, Nothing Touches Me.
Despite having 11 years of musical experience together, the Melbourne quartet have stuck to their guns throughout their journey, finding their sound and sticking to it, writing and performing what comes naturally to them and not what others have told them to.
“You cannot get into this industry if you are not ready to completely ignore critics,” guitarist, Nic Wilson, claims. “You get criticised with every stage of the process from writing to performing; pretty early on you have to grow a second skin to that sort of stuff. If you listen to too much of it, it gets into your head. You don’t pick what songs you write, they sort of pick you; that’s how it works for us. Whatever our sound is at the moment that’s simply because how it is, it wasn’t calculated.”
Leaving behind jam-rooms, the group decided to embrace a different environment to their creative atmosphere creating a band studio in Melbourne to aid the production and development process.
“It completely has evolved our sound,” Wilson reveals. “I don’t think we would have been able to put this album together the way it is without it. We used to write songs and that was it until it was time to consider songs for the album and then develop them in the studio; but this way we are able to develop them as they go and as a result it’s made the process a lot faster. There were probably 50 or 60 songs that came in this writing period between Controller and Nothing Touches Me which is a lot more than average for us so it’s definitely sped up the process and made the songs a lot more thought out.
“That’s been the biggest influence on the sound, being able to give ourselves the time to explore sound. Before it used to be just four guys with guitars and drums in a room but now we’re able to lay things down and think them out and work on backing vocals and keyboards. It’s given it more texture but the writing process is the same.”
On top of their newly developed studio a support slot for The Rolling Stones in late 2014 was the icing on the cake in the ever-growing career of British India.
“It was completely surreal moment,” Wilson retells. “Our own show that we played that day is a total blur to me now, I can’t recall if we were any good or what happened. I very vividly remember sitting in an empty arena watching the Rolling Stones soundcheck. It was mental, you feel like you’re part of an elite fraternity who are able to say they have done that so we were over the moon to be able to do that show.”
Now with their LP ready for release, the group have announced an extensive 18-date national tour in support of Nothing Touches Me.
“It’s just one giant party,” Wilson says. “The chaos or the hard work that you do, the writing and recording and stuff is so you can go out and play shows because shows are fun. It’s hopefully as fun for us as it is for the audience and we get to do it night after night.”
“The body doesn’t respond like it did at 21 but it’s still a heck of a party and it’s always a lot of fun so we’re luck to be doing it.”