Right, I’ve been waiting to interview these guys for a long time! (Well, half the band at least). Don Broco have had a huge 2018 already with their new record, ‘Technology’ reaching the Top 40 in the UK Album Chart but that hasn’t stopped there with a huge UK tour already complete and more dates to come within the next month. On that first UK leg of 2018, I caught up with Tom and Rob to see how things have been going.
Jack: Hey guys, so you’re back on the road, how does it feel to be back in the North East?
Tom: It’s amazing. It’s the first time since we’ve been at the riverside so it’s great to be back
Jack: And I’m hyped to see you guys again. I did see you play last years Slam Dunk festival on the North date.
Rob: That was my favourite ever Slam Dunk as well
Jack: Especially with the entrance
Rob: And it was the year we had the masks made up during the Pretty video. So it was pretty bizarre from the stage.
Tom: To try and explain, you could walk around the entire festival site and see everyone wearing robs face in cardboard form.
Rob: You could just see a sea of me’s from the stage which was really weird.
Jack: Did you put one on and just walk through the crowd so you were hidden in plain sight?
Rob: I had to. After our set and watching other bands, we had ten minutes to get to a curry house. We thought we had time after Enter Shirkari finished to get to the place but walking through, you’d get recognised so we thought we wouldn’t get out quick enough so we hid behind a bush, put one of my masks on and walked with all the robs and we managed to get there in time.
Jack: I can imagine it now: Mission Impossible, Don Broco edition. Which now that I think about it would be amazing in a Don Broco music video form!
Tom: It could work, you never know.
Jack: And you have had some pretty bizarre videos as of late. Come Out to LA was pretty messed up but I thought, I love this.
Rob: That’s probably my favourite so far.
Jack: Who came up with the ideas for them?
Rob: So we started working with a team in Atlanta who have some crazy ideas and we started with Everybody and continued through to Come Out To LA and they just have some mental ideas. We’ll go back and forth sometimes but we’re just open to anything. If it’s something we’ve never seen in a video before we’d be excited to do that.
Jack: Especially if it’s more morbid than anything.
Rob: Absolutely you know we’ve got a relatively dark sense of humor and if you can see something weird but entertaining then that’s where I’d be at.
Jack: So just any Eli Roth or Rob Zombie film at the minute.
Jack: Especially with adaptations of Stephen Kings works coming out, in full fury. That’s what I was reminded of when I was watching those videos.
Rob: We love bringing any movie references as Easter Eggs or pay homage to. One of my favourites was the face melt where we did this old school method of building a wax replica and melt it and speed up the footage. It looks naff but is amazing.
Jack: The old school techniques are always better.
Rob: I way prefer that to CGI
Jack: Especially with films like erm…
Rob: The new Alien. I loved the story but the aliens just weren’t scary. As soon as you see the CGI, it takes the scare out. If you look at the old stuff with all the prosthetics and robotics, it’s all so much scarier where you think that could be real.
Jack: Most stuff in horror is just jump scare but every once in a while there’s a really good film.
Moving to the tour, which is in support of technology, number 5 on the UK official charts, Number 1 on the Rock and Alternative charts, massive well done on that effort.
Rob: It’s really nice. It’s something that you can’t give too much grievance to but it’s a great progression for us and added to the fact that people are still buying records in this day and age is amazing. We love that fans are still into physical records. We got casettes for the first time with this record which is wicked. If you missed out on them the first time around, there’s a little bit of nostalgia which is great.
Tom: Fond memories of winding them back to get to the place.
Rob: And theres the deluxe set on vinyl. You feel extra proud of the music on the album when it comes on a nice physical package
Tom: It doesn’t feel as disposable as it can be when it’s a Spotify stream
Jack: Absolutely. Theres no greater feeling than just going out and just having that physical record. There was this one time maybe five years ago, I went out to buy Halestorm, the strange case of in the puring rain and by the time I got back I was just soaked through
Rob: was the record okay though?
Jack: Oh I made sure it was protected above all else.
And this time you released the record through Sharptone, an indie label. Compared to the larger label what was different about releasing this one?
Rob: The speed you can work
Tom: It’s a very small and passionate team and you can just go back and forth quickly.
Rob: If you wanna do something at a large label, it’s gotta go through this chain of command and you can have this idea you’re excited about, it could happen one or two months down the line. With the smaller team, you can be a lot more dynamic on how you release music. As we did on this album a few times, you can record a song, shoot a video within a month and have it out within the next month and that turnaround was just not possible.
Tom: And with the world, as it is, with people consuming media so fast, if you can be that dynamic and reactive and stay on top of what you’re doing, keep people happy and interested then it’s a very good thing to do
Jack: So would you say, you prefer being on Sharptone? That smaller team? It’s been a better experience?
Jack: Looking forward into 2018, what are you looking forward to the most?
Rob: Getting back to the states is something we’re really excited to do. We had an amazing tour last year because we’ve wanted to get out there for so long and with Sharptone being an American label, they were really excited for us and important for us to get out there so getting to go back again is going to be really cool. We’re going to be very busy this year and we have a lot in the diary until the end of the summer so it’s going to be pretty non stop which we’re excited about. We’ll get to the point where we’re cold and be losing our voices, it’s a very daunting prospect but I’m sure as soon as we’re at home we’re going to be itching to get back.
Jack: If you could collaborate with anyone living or dead who would it be?
Rob: With anyone, it’d have to be Michael Jackson
Tom: Absolutely MJ.
Jack: I could’ve predicted you guys would say that.
Rob: We all love Michael Jackson. For me, he was music growing up as a kid. He was all I listened to when I was a kid. And now they still stand out. They aren’t dated. The production, melodies and everything is amazing. He was such a ridiculous performer and there’s just been nobody like him since.
Tom: I was just thinking about that as well, you know you’re growing your hair? That could be your target?
Rob: What having it set on fire?
Tom: No, when you have it longer and tie it into a ponytail.
Rob: Well if I don’t bottle it and get it cut off, we’ll see.
Jack: You never know. I think you’d suit it. And is there anything you’d like to say before we wrap up?
Tom: If you haven’t go check out technology, out now.
You can watch Don Broco’s video for ‘Pretty’ below.