British India Bring Bands Back To Pier Live

It all began with four St Beads students starting a rock band. Fast forward nine years and the same founding members – Declan Melia, Matt O’Gorman, Will Drummond and Nic Wilson – make up pop punk rock band British India, an outfit spawning such hits as Summer Forgive Me, I Can Make You Love Me, Plastic Souvenirs, Black and White Radio, I Said I’m Sorry and Vanilla.  PEARL’s Jessica Mills spoke to British India lead singer and guitarist Declan Melia ahead of their upcoming show at Pier Live in Frankston.

PEARL: Congratulations on I Can Make You Love Me achieving gold record status. Is the song based on any particular experience you’ve had?
MELIA: The song started with a riff. We pretty much had the whole song done apart from the lyrics and the melody but it wasn’t a song we were particularly enamoured with. It was really miserable and I was really struggling to write. I was listening to this record by Roxy Music which has this song on it called Strictly Confidential, which is written from the perspective of a dead person. I thought it was a very good place to start a song and so I wrote, “If you’re reading this then it means that I am dead.” It was quite obvious from there what to write. There must be a lot of miserable people out there because it’s by far our most popular song! (laughs). It’s also about leaving a party that’s ended badly. I thinking of a guy getting in a fight and leaving by himself or when the girl you want to kiss kisses someone else and you walk home from the party thinking how you can get revenge and how no one is ever going to love you. It’s a real dark side of the soul.

PEARL: You’re currently in the process of creating a new album to be released later this year. Can you give us a sneak peak about the theme of the album?
MELIA: It’s a lot about travel with a recurring theme of airports, which sounds really boring now that I say it out loud… Who would you want to listen to a record about airports? (laughs) But it’s a lot about travel and beginnings and endings of things.

PEARL: As a High School band, where did you play your first gigs?
MELIA: The only opportunities we had to play were associated with school until school finished and we started playing 18th birthday parties and got better from there. I think that we were the first band at school ever that actually had a singer. When I was in year 7 and all the year 12 bands would play they would always just do instrumental, as they were too scared to sing. If British India break up tomorrow that would be the one thing I am most proud of; we were the first band with a singer at St Beads, Mentone.

PEARL: Where did the name British India come from?
MELIA: I went on a family trip to Malaysia and there was a women’s clothing shop called British India. It was a really expensive clothing store for white women who lived in that part of the world with their stockbroker husbands who would be waited on by the Malaysian girls and it was just kind of a weird hangover from the olden days and it seemed like such a bold name for a shop. The two words just went together in a nice way and stuck in my mind. We wanted to have a really different band name so that when you heard it, it wasn’t easy to tell what kind of music that band makes.

PEARL: You all sound incredibly busy. Do you ever get time to do fun stuff together as a band?
MELIA: Its funny you should mention that as we were coming home from Tasmania and we bumped into Art Vs Science at the airport. We asked them if they’d been doing a gig here and they’d been doing a trek through the mountains as a team building exercise. At the moment we’re touring so much and working together every day that as soon as the session ends we just want to be apart from each other. When we’re not touring we tend to go out for nice meals together and see films and we certainly see other bands. That’s one thing you can say about us, we really don’t even have any other friends in fact, but I suppose as far as the hiking through the mountains goes we’re going to have to spend a bit more time apart first.

PEARL: You’re coming to Frankston to play a show, what can fans expect from this performance? Will you be previewing any new stuff?
MELIA: We’ll do a couple, depending on how we’re feeling on the night, but it will pretty much be a greatest hits set. We like to keep a live show pretty spontaneous; the set list will be pretty much how we’re feeling on the night. The audience should just come down expecting to have a good time cause that’s what it’s all about; letting your hair down, having a drink and a dance and going a bit crazy!

Make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to party with British India on May 10 at Pier Live! Tickets are available from



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