"People are quite a bit nicer over in the States," says Britain's Bombay Bicycle Club guitarist Jamie MacColl. "They're a lot more cynical at home. It's actually quite nice to do a morning show here."
Barely old enough to buy beer here, the British four-pack has already completed four U.S. tours, though their stop at the Magic Stick on 7/25 will be their maiden voyage to Detroit.
"I'm really looking forward to playing Detroit," says MacColl, adding that he's heard a bit about the city's revitalization. "I've read they're tearing down a lot of abandoned homes and making urban farms in the city."
Apparently, though he and his band mates only graduated from secondary school a few years back, they're still doing they're homework. And though they've got enough nerdy youth aesthetic to look like they could possibly still be getting swirlied in their middle school's bathroom, you'd never guess that from just hearing them.
Actually, the well-developed range of vocals spouted by lead singer and guitarist Jack Steadman on their single "Always Like This" sounds downright mature. And matched with the genre's signature ethereal, high-pitched caroling and jangly guitar riffs, on not just that track, but the rest of their tunes as well, they're quite obviously students of their predecessors.
And sure, they might sound plenty similar to their indie-pop ilk, but it'd be a mistake to write this London quartet off as just another manufactured freakfolk, twee-pop outfit. In fact, they'd rather not even be referred to as "folk" at all.
"Maybe our second album, the acoustic album, is folk. But I don't know if 'folk' even exists anymore. I guess I would have to ask my grandma about that," MacColl jokes. "I think you could call us alternative indie rock, maybe with 'folk' in brackets or something."
They're currently supporting their third studio album, A Different Kind of Fix, but it's been a year since they released that record and having announced that their latest single "Beg" will be the last released from that record, it's hard to help but wonder, what can we expect next?
"We're coming back to the U.S. in October and after that, we're going to be recording the new album," says MacColl. "It's going to be a little bit more electronic this time. We already have about 10 or 11 demos done."
For a band that's still young, both in terms of the members' ages as well as the number of years they've been together, it's pretty remarkable that they've mastered several different variations within their genre, and will probably be adding another to that list quite soon.
Now heading in a new direction, MacColl says the group capitalizes on the prerogative of their youth, often moving forward without any real plan of what artisitic direction they'll take next.
"Jack [Steadman], he's our lead guitarist and singer and he mainly just writes all the songs and then we get together and sort of elaborate on that as a band," MacColl explains.
As for their longetivity and where they see themselves in, say, the next ten years or so, MacColl says its never something they've actually sat down to flesh out, again due to their youth.
And though they might not be on every American hipster's playlist just yet, they are pretty big in not only their hometown of London, but most of the U.K. as well. Leading to the point that, though young, they've obviously mastered some sort of formula for not only making great music, but – even more critical – gaining a following as well. | RDW
Bombay Bicycle Club • 7/25, 8 p.m. • Magic Stick • 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit • 313.833.9700 • majesticdetroit.com • $16