Blogs

Jack Cullen


CLEAN BANDIT

Hot touring violinist alert


Clean Bandit are all set to be one of the hottest UK acts this summer, having supported Calvin Harris at university balls last year and featuring in Channel 4’s series Random Acts, we caught up with pop cellist babe Grace Chatto to discuss their latest song UK Shanty and how they nearly killed international supermodel Lily Cole whilst making it.
 
But first things first, let's have a watch of the wonderful video, fully-equipped with dramatic coastal views, topless men dancing and various wetsuit fetish miscelany:
 

 
So you guys are a classical group but all of your songs sound choppy and electro. As someone who mainly listens to Ciara can you explain what’s going on please? And how did your band form?
 
Well, we started off as a classical quartet called the Chatto Quartet, then my lover Jon (Wandek) stepped in and we became Clean Bandit.
 
So how did Jon change the band?
 
Well first of all he recorded us playing classical pieces at King’s College Chapel in Cambridge like Dvorak and Shostakovich, and then he sliced it up, writing beats and synth lines around the music. His real name is actually Jack Patterson, the Wandek nickname came about because he only has one deck.
 
I love the new song UK Shanty and its video is really cool too. How on earth did you get yourself up onto those huge rocks, were you helicopter lifted?
 
The steep rock face at the opening of the video was really scary, it is actually a very small island that we had to climb up out of a boat, being careful not to damage the cello, the violin or our nice fur coats! If we’d slipped we’d have definitely died. Quite stupid in retrospect, but not as dangerous as outdoor pool scenes.
 
Tell me about those...
 
All the underwater shots were filmed in an outdoor pool. We arrived at the location two days before Lily Cole and the water was only 10 degrees as it was mid January. We were worried Lily might refuse to get in the pool for fear of her own health, so our friend Henry designed a wood-burning system to heat it.
 
This sounds totally Celtic...
 
Yes, well Henry Stringer our technical director is a genius so it was all OK, but basically he welded four radiators together and put a fire in the middle, and then he pumped the pool water through the radiators using an electric pump. By the time Lily Cole arrived the water was 26 degrees, she was so professional and hardy – it was a fantastic experience working with her, but yeah, if the pump system failed it would have boiled the water in the pipes, the whole thing would have exploded and 240 volts would have been sent through Lily Cole.
 
But luckily the were no accidents?
 
Things nearly went wrong but luckily someone noticed that the pipes were convulsing, and so an accident was avoided, but our assistant Olga singed her fringe.
 
Who knew folktronica was such a dangerous genre! So will Clean Bandit be performing at any festivals this summer?
 
Yes I can confirm that we will be at Bestival and Secret Garden Party amongst others.
 
And finally before you go Grace, can I ask who that insanely hot semi-naked violinist is, and does he give topless violin lessons?
 
Haha! His name is Milan Neil Amin-Smith but I’m afraid to say we need him on tour and he’s all ours! However, I’ll email you a photo of him for your piece – is that fair?
 
I suppose that will have to do. We look forward to seeing you live this summer, your performances on YouTube look fantastic!
 
Find dates, music and more Clean Bandit goodies on cleanbandit.com and download the track here.
 
Follow Clean Bandit on Twitter @cleanbandit.
 
And on Jack’s personal blog here you can see a photo of that dodgy Lily Cole endangering wood-burning pool heater.

More from Jack Cullen