Film was an early obsession of Smith’s; a precocious love of horror movies led to an appreciation of Dario Argento and esoteric European cinema. Later, he would be swept into Mulholland Drive and the work of David Lynch, all of which have influenced his music. His song Laura Palmer uses the story of Twin Peaks’ mysterious murder victim, and for a while he even wore his hair in an Eraserhead cut as a nod to Lynch.
Although Smith is the driving force behind Bastille with all of the songs being written and initially recorded by him in his bedroom, his music is ultimately collaborative. The rest of the band; Bassist Will Farquarson, keyboard player Kyle Simmons and drummer Chris ‘Woody’ Wood, appear on the album in varying capacities, and Bastille’s music is always the product of Smith and the band’s ‘fifth member’, producer Mark Crew. Smith and Crew’s relationship goes back to the beginning of Bastille and though the music they record together sounds lush and expensive, the album was recorded in a tiny room on limited equipment – plus a day recording strings in the legendary Abbey Road. “We basically made the album in a studio the size of a cupboard, so it was one extreme to the other.