How Bastille's Dan Smith spends ANYDAY

Dan Smith Bastille Interview
Hannah Verdier

A deepstalk into a celebrity’s Instagram will only take you so far (and god knows we’ve tried). In this interview series, we discover how stars really live. This week: Dan Smith – so what does Bastille frontman Dan do when he’s not on stage?

What are the first three things you do when you wake up? 

Embarrassingly, I check my phone. I have insomnia, which, as anyone who has that will know, is rubbish, so I’m usually awake when my alarm goes off. I live with a couple of friends, so I wander downstairs to make some coffee and check in with them. If we’re on tour, I’ll wake up in my coffin-sized bed, roll out of the tour bus bunk and then go out into a car park of a venue somewhere.

What’s your most used emoji? Who did you last WhatsApp and what did you say?

I’m genuinely mortified by everything and I don’t know if that’s a British thing or just me, so I like the emoji with the teeth exposed or the face palm. The last WhatsApp I sent was in our band and crew group, which is relentlessly busy with people chatting absolute rubbish because we’re on tour at the moment.

Describe the style of your home in five words.

Simple and quite unpretentious. It’s relatively minimal but, with three of us, there are lots of books and pictures on the walls. Which sounds the opposite of simple! But I’m not into over-the-top fancy stuff.

What do you have too much of? And too little of?

We have way too many plants. In my room, there are too many clothes and t-shirts. I’m not massively into clothes – I’m a bit of a cartoon character in that I tend to wear the same three things I really like on rotation, but because we’re fortunate enough to make videos and do photo shoots I seem to have accumulated big piles of clothes that need to go to the charity shop.

What does an average day at home look like for you?

Because I’m off on tour so much, I rarely get a day at home so even to wake up there is pretty exciting. I love catching up with my friends and seeing everyone.

What’s most likely to be for lunch?

I feel like because of touring I jump between being as healthy as I can possibly be and totally unhealthy. On the road, there are a lot of late nights and your whole day is centred around ten ‘til midnight so it can be pretty easy to slip into eating rubbish food. If I’m at home, I’ll eat as well as I can, so I’ll make a massive salad with roasted sweet potatoes, grilled broccoli, nuts and seeds and maybe some salmon or chicken. If me and my housemates all happen to be working at home, we’ll have ‘bagel club’, which is always pretty fun and delicious. 

What’s the weirdest thing we’d find in your kitchen?

Probably something someone’s given me on tour. Bastille fans are thoughtful, quite funny and generous. I’ve talked a bunch about how much I love spice, so I get given some pretty wild hot sauces with horrendously offensive names that numb your mouth and give you a bad 24 hours. Also, my housemate spends a lot of time making art for other people, so there was a printing press on the kitchen table for the last few months.

Dan Smith Bastille

I’m not massively into clothes – I’m a bit of a cartoon character in that I tend to wear the same three things I really like on rotation.

Dan Smith,-Singer, songwriter and Bastille frontman

Can we wear shoes in your house?

Yes, it’s pretty relaxed. I know some people would find it utterly appalling that you’d let someone wear shoes in your house, but I’d be too awkward to ask someone to take them off so there’s no set rule.

What would you save if your house was on fire? And what would you be glad got burned to a crisp?

Depressingly, I’d probably go around grabbing as much stuff as I could – all the ephemera of travelling over the years, pictures my nephews have drawn and my laptop because it has all the songs I write on it. My backing-up habits are really terrible, so I’m in trouble if that stuff goes. I collect records and I have a vintage ’70s record player I love – I don’t know if I’d be able to get that down the stairs in time, so I might leave that. I like it, but not enough to die for.

Do you have pictures of yourself in your house?

Not really, only in the form of funny collages that friends have made as birthday cards. I do love having pictures up in the house, but they’re generally posters of gigs or exhibitions I’ve been to at the Tate or the Royal Academy, which probably sounds incredibly pretentious. We’re very lucky to get given gold and platinum discs for our albums and singles, but I’m mortified by all of that stuff. We don’t have any Bastille stuff up in the house at all. In fact, when we moved in my friend’s dad hung loads and loads of gold discs up on the wall in the spare room as a prank. He did it just to see my reaction, but I was mortified and took them down. It just feels like a massive brag. Our BRIT Award is very much hidden in the back of the cupboard.

Got any subscriptions?

The Atlantic, The Economist and a lot of the streaming services. I’ve gone through phases when I’ve had subscriptions as presents – I used to have hot sauce and for a brief while I had a plant subscription, but that was getting ridiculous. There was a point, mid-pandemic, where the downstairs of our house became like an indoor jungle, which I absolutely loved.

Where’s your happy place?

The kitchen table, with loads of mates or my family, eating food together. Or sat out in the tiny garden, having some drinks with everyone.

Can you keep a plant alive?

I feel like we’ve got some really loyal cactuses who have lived. We have a lot of hanging plants and it’s a constant battle to keep them alive, but I do my best. There’s also a little concrete garden out the back with loads of pots, but the summer has been pretty brutal for them.

What’s on your bed? And on your bedside table?

I have a throw that’s really simple – white, with grey stitching – that I got when I travelled around India a few years ago. The nature of touring a lot means we don’t get to see much, so I try to take a couple of weeks off a year for a bit of speed tourism. On my bedside table is a massive pile of books, including Hanya Yanagihara’s To Paradise, which I’m loving, but it’s a ginormous tome. I get really excited going to bookshops when we’re on tour, so I have about ten on the go.

Bastille will play the final of The Hundred at Lord's Cricket Ground on 3 September. Catch it live on BBC and Sky, and for more information on The Hundred go to Bastille's latest album, Give Me The Future + Dreams Of The Past, is out now

Related Articles

The perfect recipe for keeping warm in bed, for less
Head across the slumber bridge with our expert guide to a cosy night’s sleep for less
Read more
Yes you CAN save pounds with energy-efficient lighting
Yes, you CAN save pounds with energy-efficient lighting
Read more
How to make your living room feel like a stadium
It’s coming home… literally. 5 ways to make your living room feel like a football stadium
Read more
More stories