Four Piece alternative rock band Don Broco found fame on the road, touring alongside Enter Shikari, Lower Then Atlantis and We Are The Ocean before releasing their debut album Priorities. After consecutive touring the band have come together to write their brand new EP released 13th October.
Front man Rob talks to us about the writing process, playing Reading and Leeds and the bands attempt at breaking some Guinness World Records!
CM: How are you?
Rob: Yeah, not too bad, not too bad. We're in the studio at the moment but we're umming and ahhing over some stuff, moving things around on the computer. It's kind of one of those days where we think we're being productive but you never know until you look at all of it back and then you're sure. [Laughs]
CM: I assure you that this interview will be very productive, for me anyway.
Rob: [Laughs] Brilliant!
CM: Your new single 'You Wanna Know' is due for release October 13th. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Rob: This is the first song we'd written since we wrote our album two years ago so it was quite daunting for us to jump in to the studio. We've literally been on tour the entire time since we released our first album. We finally got off the road and had a bit of time so it was kind of, 'Right, we've gotta get back down to it, and learn how we write songs again'.
It was actually the very first idea that we came up with. We had a few songs together but this was the very first thing that the guitarist sent across, and the one we all worked on and ended up finishing. It's really nice to get new music out.
It's definitely the classic Don Broco sound that we sculpted on the first album, but we've brought a lot of our pop influence into it, it was quite a fun topic to write about as well.
It's basically about. I got a phone call from a girl once and we were in this relationship where we didn't really know where we stood with each other. Basically, she phoned me up and the phone call didn't go so well - it kind of annoyed me, and then I wrote down some lyrics and ended up writing about it. It was quite a fun one to kind of vent and get off my chest.
CM: The way you describe your song writing process, it seems very collaborative between you and the rest of the band. Does any one person usually take the lead?
Rob : No. We've got a few friends in bands and every band seems to write differently. Some bands will have one main songwriter who basically writes the song whilst another guy fleshes out the parts around it. We always had this mentality that we're four members in a band - we're all equal.
Sometimes one of us will put something forward they like and you'll fight over it and say, 'Nah, it's bad' and then some people say 'It's good' but we normally end up with songs where everyone in the band like all the bits. I can imagine it probably means we write songs a lot slower than other people because we'll mull over a song for ages! I mentioned we're in the studio at the moment, we're cutting up different bits of singing patterns and basically muddling together a song from ideas we all really like. There's so much going on and everyone's shouting over each other and moving bits here and there, but it's the only way we've ever written and I don't think we could have it any other way.
CM: Tell us a little about the new EP?
Rob: They were a lot of fun to do! We listen to a lot of hip hop in the band and we really got to explore that on the mix called the 'Club Sex Mix' - an old name of our band that didn't stick [Laughs]. That was one of the original names we came out with and then I think we played two gigs under that name and thought, 'No, people are just gonna think we're a joke' so we carried on under Don Broco.
If we ever want to take one of our old songs and give them a new life, we release them under Club Sex and that was actually a lot of fun. When we wrote [You Wanna Know], it was so fresh in our heads, and to think straight away, 'Okay, if we were a different band, how could we write it?' I think that's one of the ones were most excited about on the EP. We got to do a little cover as well, we covered AlunaGeorge, 'You Know You Like It', and we all love that song. That's probably one of our favourites.
CM: Can we be expecting a new album in the near future?
Rob: Yeah, it's been a lot of fun doing this EP but next year we're hoping to get the new album out at some point. We're getting our heads down writing new tunes now. It's really what we want to do - just write and get some new material together.
CM: You've been touring endlessly taking part in the festival run, a UK headline tour and supporting multiple artists. What do you enjoy so much about touring?
Rob: It is one of those things! I guess the writing period is so intense that you want to get out and play the songs that you've worked so hard on writing. Getting to play to people who know the songs, singing them back to you and getting to play to new people who haven't heard you before is amazing! We got to play some European festivals, places that we hadn't played before and met some people after the shows who said, 'Wow, we came across you and loved it', that's awesome. But then, I think the big one for us was Reading & Leeds; it's the end of the summer, it's the festival we all went to growing up and we played the main stage which was definitely a lifelong ambition and to get the reaction we did, we all just absolutely loved it and can't get enough, wanna be back!
CM: I want to mention the Guinness World Record attempts - how did that come about? I've just seen the video.
Rob: [Laugh] That was set up by Kerrang! magazine with Guinness World Records. The really crazy thing about that was we rocked up and the official from Guinness World Records was actually a guy we knew from school! Complete blast from the past! We didn't have any planning or anything. A few of them just went so bad - it's proper hard to do! Some of these people are professional world record breakers so I don't know what we were thinking, trying to take them on, but Simon actually broke a world record for guitar spins so he was absolutely chuffed!
I'll be honest, once he actually got going I reckon he could've done more - I think if anyone actually attempts to break this with an official timer, they probably can because he only had one go at it but once he got going it wasn't that hard. He was absolutely made up at the end, he got his own medal and a proper plaque with his name on - it's all signed and everything. He's proper chuffed with that.
CM: When you formed, did you see yourselves at this point? Was it something you anticipated when you formed?
Rob: We definitely always had a lot of ambition from when we started. We definitely had belief in ourselves; I don't think we really had any idea what we were doing but we blindly just thought like, 'We're just gonna plug away, go on tour, write songs and see what happens'. At the same time, we always hoped that we'd get to a point where we could support ourselves and just enjoy being a band and enjoy making music, so it's amazing to be at that point now and continue to grow. We're one of those bands where we're never kind of happy with where. [Laughs] We're happy but you always wanna push for more, I think any successful band is like that. The goalposts keep moving with every success you get and it helps you keep striving to write better songs and keep working.
CM: Other than breaking world records, is there anything specific in your future which you are aiming to do
Rob: We've toured so much in the UK, we really know the UK and that feels great but with this next album coming out, we'd love to start playing further overseas and travel a little bit. Japan is one of the countries we'd love to visit, none of us have been there; Australia, I like hot countries so it would be wicked to tour out in Australia; and one day, America.
Europe's been amazing to us when we've been out there and it always feels like you're starting again when you hit up a new country, obviously, no-one really knows you and it definitely keeps things interesting. You've got that hunger back in that you can play the UK where you've got fans, people know you, you go somewhere else and it's just like, 'Wow!', you're starting again - there's something really basic and nice about that. It's kind of pure.
CM: Thanks very much for speaking with us!
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The Cat With The Cream
What I Did For Love feat. Emeli Sandé [Lyric]