Before their show at the London Music Hall last Thursday, the Gazette sat down with the members of Bedouin Soundclash to talk about their music, future plans, and their feelings toward Western.
As Queen’s alumni, how do you feel about playing for a crowd of Western students?
Jay Malinowski: We got over that—it was really hard the first time we played at the Spoke. But we love playing London, our best shows happen here. When we used to play Call The Office they were such great shows. But we hate Western, let’s face it [laughs].
Eon Sinclair: We hate it more and more every time we come back, how’s that? Is that the right Queen’s answer?
J: You guys are all good looking and party people […] but London has always been way better for us than Queen’s.
E: I think there’s a lot more people—people like to go out here and stuff. I mean, when we first started, playing in Kingston was probably a little bit better because we seemed to know more people in Kingston at the time but since then, London’s cool to come to.
You guys started Bedouin Soundclash when you were in residence at Queen’s. Did you ever see yourselves being full-time musicians?
J: When we started we were definitely really inspired by what we were doing but I mean, we obviously believed in the music and wanted it to go far. But looking back on it now we are really lucky—we had some lucky breaks. But at the time, we definitely wanted to do music over school. But we are really luck to have done as well as we have.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are in university and trying to make it big?
J: I’d say first, starting for the right reasons, which nowadays is not as hard to come by because no one is thinking they are going to make a bank by playing music anymore. But the key is to be making music that you believe in and that you have something to say with. And if you’re being honest with that, then I think people respond. If you’re doing it more selflessly, than that’s the best thing. And then just try to play.
Do you have any projects on the go right now?
Eon: We started a label so there’s a couple things we are looking at doing individually as well for the label in the coming year. A couple of cool acts that we are going to be working on putting out. Other than that, we are just going to wind down with this album cycle and then take a bit of time and then probably go at it again and see what the next inspiration is and go from there.
Looking back to your first record, have you seen yourselves evolve both as individuals and musicians?
J: Yeah. With the first record I was 18 or 19. I hope I’ve matured a bit since then—probably not though. But I know as a musician, I can listen to it and there are some pretty special moments on that first record—some moments that I didn’t even realize were happening until five years later. I listen to it now and go, “wow, we really didn’t know how to play that song.”
E: That was some groove [laughing]. I’d like to go back and play some of those songs again. There was some magic about the first time that will really be lost by virtue of the fact that we’ve grown and learned how to play things a little bit better than we did then. It’s a moment in time that I think is nice to keep that way.
How has the band progressed, in your opinion?
J: In my opinion, I think we just kept going deeper and deeper from starting with influenced by reggae—it’s fusion internationally, I guess. I think we were always kind of mimicking our influences. And I feel that on this last record we’ve come in to looking inward as opposed to looking outward for our inspiration. I think we have continually gotten closer to being more honest with who we are as people. Definitely with this record the lyrics are more personal and in terms of the songwriting. I don’t think we are trying to necessarily make it sound like anyone else anymore.