Tuesday 5 March 2013

Don Broco // Interview with Rob Damiani

Don Broco has had a phenomenal past year; a string of hit singles taken from their  acclaimed album (“Priorities”) & now the Bedford quartet are rounding up on a sell out tour. So, here at Est.1987 we donned our “Don Broco Push Up Squad” vests & headed down to catch their Manchester show- the biggest headline show in the bands career. The tour culminates in tonight (well if we don’t count the extra four dates the band has added due to popular demand) and we caught up with lead singer Rob Damiani...

Don Broco take to the stage in the sold out Manchester Academy 2

So, a sold out tour; you guys must be pretty pleased with yourself?
Yeah, we are. We're pretty chuffed. We obviously found out before the tour started but we didn't anticipate it. When it happened we were like "wow, we know every show's going to be sick". We've got that confidence going in knowing that every show is going to be mental.

Is it nice to be headlining and having more of a say in the show now? And playing a longer set especially with the album being out a little while?
Yeah, totally. The thing is it’s the first time we've headlined and the first time we've had a long set to play all the songs we want to play, so it's been good. And that's the thing, when we first started playing the album we only had the single ("Priorities") out, but now everyone knows the album and knows the words and to hear them singing back is wicked. 

And you’ve brought along Hey Vanity and Mallory Knox with you- how’s that been?
Yeah, it's been great. Hey Vanity we knew from being on tour with their old band Fei Comodo and they're amazing. They've only just really started so it's great to get them on board. I guess this is the first tour they've done as well, so they're enjoying it and relishing each night. Mallory Knox, again, a great band, doing really well at the moment and our fans are really digging them, which is nice.

Lead singer Rob Damiani on stage in Manchester 

And you’ve just announced that on the extra dates Pure Love are coming along
Yeah! When we first heard Pure Love no one really knew what to expect from Frank Carter. But the album's insane and I think they're a perfect support for us because they've got that heavy edge, but still have the songs. 

So as well as tonight’s show, this afternoon you did an acoustic session and meet and greet with Red Bull in Odder Bar. Is it quite a good warm up to this evening’s show and nice to hang out with fans?
Yeah it's the first time we've ever really done a proper acoustic show with people there. We've done one for TV, but all you've got is the cameras and that was more stressful than fun because you don't know where to look. But this was the first actual one with people there. It was really busy. We played Glasgow last night and we had to be down here extra early today, so couldn't go out last night. We had to be good and go to sleep, but the show was wicked. Sometimes at a show you’re really rushed and you can’t see all your fans, but at the acoustic session we got to hang out a little bit with them.

Guitarist Simon Delaney
So, let’s talk tonight. Hypothetically I’m going to come down to the show I’ve got my “Don Broco Push Up Squad” vest on; how many push ups am I going to have to do during “Thug Workout” to beat off the competition? Well, last night in Glasgow they stepped things up. Sheffield actually started early, don’t know if they meant to but as soon as they heard it they were down on the floor. Normally I pull people up after about twenty to thirty because you see people getting knackered. So I reckon if you got a good twenty out you’d be pleased with that.

Do you get many people challenging you guys to a “push-up off”? And who out of the four of you would you put forward to represent the band?
There was one guy when we were supporting Lower Than Atlantis, he didn’t want to do push ups, so he challenged me to an arm wrestle and wouldn’t let it go. He was like “If I win, I get a free Tshirt”. But If I won I didn’t get anything out of it, other than my pride and he was massive, so I thought yeah I’ll play it safe and politely turned him down.  And yeah that’s tough, I’d say it’s between Me, Si and Matt. I reckon I’m going to back myself on this one.

Don Broco on stage in Manchester 

We have to talk about your merchandise, the “Don Broco Push Up Squad” vest and all the different T-shirt designs- do you come up with them all yourselves?
Yeah, totally. If we’ve got an idea we run it past the other guys and normally it’s like the stupid ones that work. And then we run it past our mate who designs them and bounce ideas back and forth.

I love the “Drive” inspired one
Yeah, well that was pure accident. We were originally looking for a girl’s tee and we were like yeah, let’s do one in hot pink and were thinking about the font and thought let’s try it in the “Drive” font. And it looked so good we were just like “let’s do it”. It’s out favourite tee.

"Priorities" the album
Your debut album “Priorities” has done incredibly well. When you were writing and recording it were you consciously thinking it’s the best thing we’ve done and expecting it to do well, or do you write for yourselves?
I’d say it’s probably a bit of both. While we were writing we definitely thought we’re on to something, and felt more confident in our song writing. I think we ‘d learnt a lot from our “Big Fat Smile” E.P; It was recorded straight onto the track. But this time we got the chance to play around with ideas and if it didn’t quite work straight away we didn’t just write it off, we gave things time to simmer. So we definitely felt good when we were writing it, but then it’s not until it comes out that you know.

And the new single “Whole Truth” is out 22nd April. Why did you pick that as the next single? Does it get a great response from fans?
Yeah, that’s it. We started playing it quite early out of all the album tracks because it’s quite a fun one to play live; it’s upbeat and straight away the crowd’s reaction was amazing. It’s definitely a fan favourite and it’s an easy one to sing along to as well.

And you’ve done another great video to accompany it. Which has been your favourite video?
That’s tough actually, I think “Priorities”, but they’ve all got their bits. “Whole Truth” was a lot of fun to do but there were a lot of scenes to shoot and it was quite rushed on the day. “Priorities” was really rushed as well but there was a good mix of different things in that, and I quite enjoyed being chased around and things like that, it was like a mini movie. Then again “Hold On” was wicked because we just got to act up and sit around like pimps which was quite good. Day to day it changes [laughing].

You guys have been picked as a band to watch out for in 2013 and after an incredible year last year and a great start to this year do you feel under any pressure? Or put yourselves under any pressure?
I don’t think so, just because there’s nothing more we can really do. We’ve got the album out and people seem to like it, so it already feels like things are taking off. But yeah we just feel like it will go as far as it goes. I guess when it comes to writing album number two we’re going to want to write as good an album, hopefully better. So, when we get into the writing then we’ll probably feel a little bit pressured, but at the moment we’re just enjoying it.

And finally, what else do you have planned this year?
Well we’ve got the single coming out and we’re going into Red Bull studios to record and alternate version and we’re excited about that and we’ve started jamming it on tour. I don’t know if it’s just because we’ve brought out the “Drive” T-shirt, but it’s kind of “Drive” soundtrack influenced. After that we’re onto festivals, so we’ve got Radstock, Take Down and then Hit The Deck which is the first time we’re headlining a big indoor festival.

Click HERE as we bring you all the action from the live show including live reviews of support bands Hey Vanity & Mallory Knox & see what happened when Don Broco took to the stage...