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We were lucky enough to speak with Declan Melia of British India to find out the band’s approach to creating music and how they’ve honed their craft. A large focus of our Artist Development Program is song writing and professional creative process, so if you are interested in our programs, contact us today about our 2018 intake.


Do you have an ideal environment for creating music and if so what is it?

No. We’ve always approached songwriting with the belief that there are no rules when it comes to approach. Furthermore I think it’s important to be malleable and pragmatic – no two songs are ever written in exactly the same way and that’s probably true of the environment you’re creating in. It might be true that some songs could only have come out of certain studios and locations, Sticky Fingers in Muscle Shoals and LA Woman in California, but that’s not true of any of our records. Our working methods never stay the same long enough to be crystallised by any time and place.


What do you find sparks the most inspiration in you for writing lyrics/creating music?

Most usually it’s other music. Any time I turn on the radio I’m trying to mine whatever I’m hearing for ideas and movements that I couldn’t have had myself. Often in the studio when recording we’ll play songs with a certain indefinable sound or atmosphere that we can try to incorporate into what we’re doing. Often it’s really overt. I’m really interested in the concept of intertextualisation in music, sometimes lifting a lyric verbatim from another song and using it in one of our songs to see how the music informs the words and vice-versa.


What advice would you give to musicians with creative block?

Don’t try. Once you try, you’re fucked. The minute you start thinking about your music being heard by anyone other than the people who are trying to write it then you’re in dangerous territory – creatively speaking. Empathy is important in music, but you have to start in your own world and look out, never the other way around.


How did you come to the creation of your imagery, album covers and branding to complement your sound? Were you hands on in that process?

Not particularly. We’re lucky in that we have the opportunity to work with talented and creative people we trust. Once you start to trust the people involved in the spaces around your music your career becomes a lot easier and it leaves us to focus on the music. I worry that a lot of new bands get too bogged down in imagery and branding and it creates a false economy in which press releases are put above music, but that could just be me being a curmudgeon.


Do you feel like you’ve perfected your creative process? How did you get to that point?

I’m sure that we haven’t! It’s sort of a paradoxical term, how can you perfect a process? A process by definition is a way of working things out. I don’t think anyone ever has perfected the creative process, well, maybe Ray Davies.

See the end result of British India’s process with their new single ‘Precious’, from the upcoming album Forgetting the Future out on September 22.



You can see British India perform in Ballarat at Karova Lounge on November 9 and in Geelong at the Wool Exchange Entertainment Complex on November 11.

Tickets via www.britishindiaofficial.com