Indie rock band British India’s sixth studio album is released today (Friday, September 22), and lead vocalist Declan Melia says he is not nervous, but a bit “apprehensive”.
The Melbourne foursome have known each other since their high school days and Melia says although it sounds cliched to say they are like brothers, “it’s a cliche because it’s true”.
He says their personal relationship has fluctuated over the decade and more they have been together, just like any band, but they rely on each other for emotional support.
Forgetting The Future is the album Melia is most proud of, so when he read a “bad review” the day before our interview, he said it “crushed him”. “It took the wind out of my sails. Cerebrally I know it’s stupid to worry about that, but it’s been completed for a long time, and as of tomorrow it becomes public property and I want it to be a success.”
The album features current single Precious which could never be released in its raw form to mainstream radio. “We have released a clean version for radio,” Melia says. But he laments the fact there would be no possibility it would gt played otherwise. “We had to relax our own expectations and make concessions, which we weren’t prepared to do in the beginning.”
The band head out on a massive 32-date national tour in support of the album today and Wildwood Music Festival will be the fifth stop. “We’re from Melbourne and can’t wait to head north for the sunshine and palm trees.”
Melia believes Forgetting The Future is the band’s best. “It’s not just about having a sweet lyric or melody, its about an emotional connection … otherwise it’s just a jingle.” Songwriting is a collaborative effort between the lads with Melia often providing the lyrics, but he says the roles keep changing. “It’s different to how we started.”
As for their videos, he says he wishes he could take the credit for the ideas. “When you start out you want to have a hand in everything, but it’s part of the learning curve. You learn how to cooperate.” The most recent have been conceived by Oh Yeah Wow. “They come to us with ideas and we choose the ones we like best.” The result is very much oh yeah, wow.
Having played opening support for The Rolling Stones in Sydney, after their lead support gig at Hanging Rock with them was cancelled due to Jagger’s illness, the band has seen a classic rock band up close and personal. Melia says he hadn’t ever considered British India would one day be venerated in that way. “After doing it for a few years, you get used to the way of life. We have ambitions; there are still things we want to achieve – a number 1 record, headline a festival. Having six records, is something to be proud of.”
Couldn’t agree more.