DON Broco released their second album ‘Automatic’ just weeks ago, Quays News entertainment reporter Amy Williams caught up for a chat with the boys…
Don Broco are a four piece band of the Pop Rock genre who were formed back in 2008. With their album ‘Priorities’ catapulting them into the public eye when released in 2012, the quartet became a popular band of the Rock genre through adding Pop, Punk and Indie vibes within their songs. Known to have an exclusive sound through the unique vocals from Rob Damian accompanied by drums, electronics, bass and guitar, Don Broco have appeared to gain a solid fan base. This year on August 7, their new album named ‘Automatic’ was released and has been rated highly and prepares all for their upcoming tour that has recently been announced.
With their new music being released, I asked about the new album and their predictions on how it will be received, in addition to whether they could foresee a crowd favourite. They said: “Oooo that’s a toughie, the title track Automatic is already definitely a big live tune already but now Superlove is out there I can see that being a big sing along kind of song too. I think our fans are going to love the album, there’s something for everyone on it and I’m hoping it will be an album that people can come back to again and again.”
Although the new album ‘Automatic’ includes a lot of up tempo songs, there is a selection which are slower and provoke a sort of emotional reaction from the listener. Acknowledging the lyrical mystery within a few tracks, I was interested to hear the meaning of a song which is sentimental and what means the most to them personally.
Matt Donnelly, who plays drums and sings, told me the song which means the most to him: “A song called Further is about my friend who passed away a couple of years ago. A big supporter of the band, he was a person who really made the most of his life and before we signed our 1st album deal in our most difficult period as a band I turned to his memory, his example to give me the strength to carry on.”
Despite a few slower songs, it’s obvious that Don Broco’s songs inflict energy on the crowd when playing a live show, seeing as their songs are mostly heavy and make it impossible for you to resist jumping, dancing, and singing along. The big hitter at a show, I was told, is ‘You Wanna Know’: “We’ve tended to close the set with it now as even when a crowd are knackered they’ll somehow find their reserves and go mental.”
The band has been taking part in several festivals this year, with one recent performance being down South at Truck Festival in July. Not only have they been touring throughout England, they have been jetting off abroad to spread their music; earlier in the year, Don Broco travelled to Lugano in Switzerland which they said was their favourite festival to play at. They explained: “It was genuinely one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been to. So unlike any UK festival, the stage was next to the most picturesque lake that was warm enough to swim in, and the grub there was incredible!”
At any festival, bands play high in energy, and the outrageous antics of the crowd become the most surreal memories for the entirety of the crowd and stars on stage. Most people have a memorable moment that they remember over anything out of the whole experience. Being a band that evidently travels to many festivals, Donnelly exposed his:
“I’ll never forget playing Reading main stage, thousands of people in the crowd and somehow I spotted my little brother amongst them. Everyone around him then got him up on their shoulders, was a really nice moment.”
Even though Manchester wasn’t a location originally included in their upcoming tour, the band have since announced a gig on December 11 at the Ritz. They said, “We tend to have our best shows on tour in Manchester if not THE best, the crowds are always so hyped and up for it.” In addition to answering “definitely” when asked if Manchester was a memorable city to play at.
For Don Broco, the gig that has stood out the most in touring over the years is Rounhouse in Camden.
“It was a show we all came offstage 100 per cent happy with. Big London shows for us always carry that added pressure with all our friends and family there, record label and management tuning up, press reviewing it etc. so normally we are extra hard on ourselves and hate the show. Not then however which was a first for us!”
I asked: ‘How long have you all been playing music; did you learn as a child or was it somewhat vocational as you were growing up? Was there any band or musician in particular that gave you inspiration to begin playing an instrument or set up a band?’, to which Donnelly shared his story with the history of his love for music and enlightened me of where it all began.
“We all started at school really. My parents have always loved music and from about age 4 started taking me to ‘cushion concerts’ , local get together for parents and kids where we sang songs and clapped and stuff (if I remember correctly!) There they met a Hungarian lady who held musicianship classes and we progressed to those. I played cello at the time and there were about 10 kids in the class who all played different instruments. Somehow the teacher made it work and that’s where I first realised I loved playing music with other people.”
Being together as a band for so many years can be hard at times, and when asking Don Broco what their most challenging moment has been, they said that writing ‘Automatic’ was a difficult process as a band.
“We had a lot of options producer wise but struggled finding the right person for quite a while which kept pushing things back,” they explained. “A lot of it was down to us, we had booked in to record the album in Canada and a week before we were due to fly felt we were making the wrong decision which put us back to square one. It all worked out in the end though!”
We know that Don Broco are busy with their new tour for this year and that they have an increasing amount of new, exciting things happening, so the next question is: what’s for Don Broco in 2016?
They replied with an overwhelmed statement of “Just trying to get a handle on this year first!” and continued with “In December we’ll be playing our biggest headline show to date at Brixton Academy so currently making plans for then. It’ll be the first time we get to bring proper production on a show so it’s fun working out what we can do. In 2016 we’re really excited to get out and about the rest of the world.” Finally, much to our delight, they added “and lots more touring please!”
By: Amy Williams