Bombay Bicycle Club: ‘U2 album is invasive’

Band tell NME of their concern at Apple placing 'Songs of Innocence' on iTunes without warning

Bombay Bicycle Club have said that Apple are “invasive” for putting U2’s new album on all their subscribers’ iTunes automatically.

‘Songs Of Innocence’ was automatically uploaded onto 500 million account holders’ iTunes on Tuesday (September 9) as part of a deal with U2.

The move has sparked questions over iTunes holders’ privacy, and Bombay Bicycle Club guitarist Jamie MacColl told NME: “I thought the move was quite invasive. A lot of people are up in arms because they don’t like U2. I don’t have an opinion on the band itself, but I do think the method is a little bit in your face.”

MacColl added that iTunes subscribers need to be concerned about the agreement deals they sign when buying Apple products. He said: “When you sign up to use an Apple product, you’re giving them your information, so this album is part and parcel of that. But that still doesn’t mean they need to use that information in such an invasive way.”

MacColl and singer Jack Steadman spoke to NME at the launch of the Barclaycard Mercury Prize, where Bombay Bicycle Club are among this years nominees, for their album ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’.

The nomination is the first for the four-piece, and Steadman said he is pleased that it’s taken until their fourth album to be shortlisted. He said: “I’m happy that it happened this way round, because we evolved at our own pace without too much pressure, which comes from winning awards like this early on. We have a strong sense of who we are right now.”

But the singer said he intends to place a bet on everyone except his own band to win the prize, having been given odds of 12/1 by bookmakers William Hill. Steadman said: “I’m going to do a big spread and bet on everyone except us.” MacColl added: “I could handle not winning. But to not win and also lose a bet, that would send me over the edge.”

Steadman said he hopes either Polar Bear or GoGo Penguin win, commenting: “It’d be nice for one of the jazz records to win this year. It’d be a change, a breath of fresh air.” MacColladded: “Judging by the reception, people seem to be happy with the shortlist, which is rare. It’s less divisive than it’s been in the past few years.”

The winner of the Barclaycard Mercury Prize is announced on October 29 at London’s Roundhouse.