Don Broco Interview

Don Broco is an alternative rock/pop rock band originally from Bedford. Here I speak to Rob Damiani about made up festivals, Make a Scene Festival and having Moses or Jesus for dinner.

LB: You’re playing Newcastle Riverside on 28th July 2016; how do you find Northeast Crowds?
RD: Great and very lively, when we started out a couple of years ago we noticed early on anywhere in the Northeast when we played shows that way it would just kick off. People are just up for a party! Sometimes you have to miss the northeast out on tour because of routing so when you get to play it; it’s even more special.

LB: You are playing Priorities and Automatic in full on this tour, what made you choose them two albums out of your back catalogue?
RD: They are the only two albums we have a full set to play from because before that we only had a couple of EP’s and a few tracks in between and we know a lot of our fans hold them two albums close to their hearts. We wanted to give our fans what they wanted and do something we haven’t done before and play the albums in full.

LB: If you could only sing one song for the rest of your career off Priorities and Automatic, which song would you choose??
RD: Oh wow that’s a good question! I think priorities would have to be the song priorities because it’s so much fun to play and it was the first songs we released when we signed to a new label and it felt like we were a proper band it was a real turning point for us. We thought wow we’ve written a cool song here!
Automatic is a tough one I think recently we’ve all been really enjoying a song called “what you do to me!” from Automatic it’s kind of got a bit of everything in it. It’s got some cool chilled verses and a big chorus it’s got a little bit of everything you can chill out to it or you can rock out to it.

LB: You played Middlesbrough’s Make a Scene Festival in 2015 when the blackout happened, what was the first thing that went through your heads?
RD: It was quiet scary at first because you think what the hell is going on and then you think it’s something wrong is with you, is it our equipment has gone down or has something failed. Then we realised the whole power had gone down and it wasn’t just us. We carried on playing the song to start off with, it was amazing and the crowd were singing all the words. We thought this is awesome!

LB: You’ve toured with many bands over the years everyone from Bring me the Horizon to 5 seconds of summer, who’s been your favourite band to tour with and why?
RD: That’s a real tough one; you can’t be picking favourites! Thinking back the first tour we ever did was such an eye opener for us and made us feel like a band. We toured with a band called Proceed who our bassist us to be in and when proceed broke up and our bassist left we pinched Tom. That being the first tour we ever did I think will be the one we look back on with the fondest memories. We made lifelong friends of those guys and when we see them now we reminisce about all the terrible shows we use to play with each other.

LB: When I was at Download in 2014; I saw a man nearly take out a whole row of people to get a picture with Rob Damiani who was just walking through minding his own business, how do you cope with fans coming up to you and how do you feel about?
RD: its fine it’s nice really, especially when you’re at a show or something like that. Sometimes it can catch you off guard like when you’re walking around Tesco. It’s really flattering and nice when people do want to say hi to you and that they like your band that’s awesome. Sometimes you are taken by surprise how intense and mental some people can be but you know I am the same. You are either super shy and try and play it cool or you go mental and it’s very hard to find a middle ground and I know cause I have met some of my favourite bands and musicians before and you don’t know what to say you sometimes just go in way to strong. Then after you think what the hell was I doing!

LB: Over the years you’ve visited many countries, which was your favourite and why?
RD: On the recent tour we did with 5 Seconds of Summer we got to go to Norway and visit Oslo. We have never been before going last month when it was the height of summer they days are so long they last for 23 hours it never actually goes dark. It’s super-hot the sun was out and everyone was just partying on bank were the sea meets the sea there was a little bit of decking there and we just walking round thinking OMG this is just mental. You wouldn’t get that in London you have the Thames in London because no one wants to swim in the Thames. But everyone was just jumping in the sea having a good time even though it was super cold but it was amazing!

LB: If you were having a dinner party and could invite anyone famous dead or alive; who would you invite and why?
RD: Oh that’s a good question! Someone interesting from the old days and who could speak English that would be useful. Someone like Moses, I would get Moses down to find out what was going on with God and stuff to find out if it was all legitimate. Moses or Jesus someone like that to find out what’s going down for real!

LB: What advice would you give to a band or solo artist just starting out?
RD: I would say to be prepared for things to take time and try not to rush anything. Take the time to write songs being the best version of yourself or a band. Getting the best versions of your songs you can. Don’t wait around and be out there looking for opportunities, you can’t just sit around and hope it’s going come to you. I’m sure it’s happened but I don’t think it happens very much these days you know you’ve got put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, go to shows, bother people, email people and meet with people these are the best things. Just work really hard!

LB: How do you think the internet and social media have changed the face of music?
RD: Yeah I don’t really remember too much what it was like before. As a kid I would go down to my local CD shop and getting CDs there was only really TV, Magazines and Radio where I would hear about new music. I remember Napster came out and it took ages to download a song so you would only download one song and then you would still go down the shop to buy the CD.
Now it’s rare to hear about stuff not on the internet first that’s the first port of call for most bands wither its social media or putting their songs on Spotify. It’s changed things a lot.

LB: I saw you had a cameo appearance on Made in Chelsea what was that like?
RD: That was one of the weirdest days we’ve ever had really fun. It was very bizarre we were playing this “so called!” festival. It was the cleanest festival we have ever been to everything was in it’s perfect place hay bales all equal distance from each other it wasn’t what we are used to when we go to festivals. Playing Download last week you couldn’t get more of an opposite set up 3 days of torrential rain everyone covered in mud having it you couldn’t get further from Chelsea. The festival felt very Chelsea! for us it was a different experience for us to see behind the scene of the TV show and how they have to do everything we had to play the songs a couple of times for them to get the video cuts and we’ve done that before for our music videos but not in front of that size crowd of people. It was pretty different I remember the food was amazing they got this burger van in and it was the best burger I’ve ever had. We couldn’t stop eating we kept going back and back it was amazing.

LB: What does the rest of 2016 hold for Don Broco??
RD: We are going out to America next week to film our new video and we are finishing up our new song which we are really excited about. We are going get to play the new song on the tour for the first time which will be cool. Once we are back we are going to start thinking about the new album which we have to start thinking about writing we have one song but we need to get our heads down. We don’t want to leave it too long. We are going abroad again and get out to America doing some bits and bobs over there.

A big thank-you to Lisa Bartos for this interview.



By peter on August 2, 2016

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