James Nock caught up with the Bedford rock lads just after the release of their twistedly off-the-wall single Everybody.
The release comes in the wake of a run of sell out dates across the UK, the band playing their first two records in full. Debut Priorities battering diehard fans on the first night and Automatic piling on the anthems on the second. Ten intimate shows leaving party fuelled hangovers and sketchy memories of the fun had on the nights before.
I caught up with frontman Rob Damiani about trying to turn tough time negatives into feel good positives and giving your all to try and reach your goals.
Hello Rob, cheers for chatting with CALM. How did 2016 treat the Don Broco party machine?
Thanks for having me. It’s been a pretty hectic year for us really – our first foray overseas, which is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. We’ll be touring with Bring Me The Horizon in Europe and 5 Seconds of Summer after that and we’ve just come off our own UK headline tour. It’s been pretty fast paced from our end. It’s great to be out and about.
What we were saying on Automatic was ‘go for it! Give it your best shot.’
You wrote about Automatic as being ‘…about living life to the full and taking chances’, a lot of guys who talk to CALM find it hard to take those steps, in what ways has this worked for you?
I’m not going to lie, sometimes taking those steps is extremely hard. You’re potentially giving up a safety net where you’re comfortable, by taking a risk. Living in a creative industry everything is about taking a risk. If you want to chase that dream and feel better, you have to put yourself out there really. We took the risk. We did the things that we thought would make us happy and we did and it worked. Give it a go. The worst thing is living in regret, thinking, ‘what if?’, ‘what could have been?’. It’s way better to try something and fail than never try at all. It’s the mentality we take in the band. If it doesn’t work out at least you gave it your best shot. What we were saying on Automatic was ‘go for it! Give it your best shot.’
Priorities is an accomplished debut, a lot heavier in places than Automatic, and Automatic is a slick and stylish next step; what are we to expect on the new LP?
There are a few ideas brewing now that we’re very excited about. It’s hard to know exactly which direction we’re going to take. With Automatic we shifted in tone from our first album. We took what made us different and made us stand out from our peers and focused on that. We never set out to make a certain type of album, it was only six or seven songs down the line that we felt the flavour of the album take shape. With the new single Everybody, it was a knee jerk reaction to try something completely different. We came out with this real fun, loud rock song, it was every exciting for us. All I can say is the album will be different from our last two records in some shape or form.
We took what made us different and focused on that.
What subjects do Don Broco touch on in song content; for example; Nerve seems to be about a couple in a failing mutually destructive relationship and Keep on Pushing as reluctance to comply with pressures set out by status quo, are these fair interpretations?
I think you nailed it with those. With Automatic the subject matters that come up are things that are going on in my head. Whether it is thinking about relationships or going through a hard time. Automatic in general is a lot more positive, it looked at living live in a way that makes you happy. One song that really did shape that is called Further, which is about my best friend who died very early in his life. It was a real tough time for me and the band. It was a point in the bands career where things could have gone either way. Anyone dying in your life is tough and people deal with it in different ways. The way I dealt with it, I thought about my friend and what a positive influence he was on my life and how supportive he was of the band. He helped me make a personal decision in my life to put everything I had into the band and pursue that, because I knew that’s what he would have done and what he would have wanted.
Anyone dying in your life is tough and people deal with it in different ways. I thought about my friend and what a positive influence he was on my life and how supportive he was of the band.
What bands inspired you and took you under their wing on the gigging circuit during your early days?
It would be safe to say the band that we’ve always looked up to–being local boys themselves and playing with them really early on in our career–would be Enter Shikari. When we were figuring who we were those guys blew us away. We were keeping an eye on them as they grew, seeing a bunch of local guys do things their way and see things working out for them has been great. Enter Shikari have been a great help and inspiration to us.
Rou Reynolds of Enter Shakiri talks about his contribution to our Torch Songs campaign.
Don Broco appear to be in a place now to be a band that can inspire and guide new musicians and groups. Do you feel you’ve been able to do this and what advice would you give guys to help them take the next step and become live artists?
It’s really nice actually, being able to bestow that advice however limited it is. A lot of it is trying your damn best and hoping it works out. The band we took on tour with us MassMatiks, we knew they were fans of Don Broco. We met them a couple of years ago when they were starting out. They basically said, in a way, we were the reason that they started their band. It was massively humbling because they are an absolutely awesome band. It’s amazing if we had any part in those guys coming together and helping them do what they do.
Follow Don Broco @DONBROCO
Press promo image credit: Marcus Maschwitz
Live images by: Kane Layland
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