Following in the footsteps of You Me At Six, Lower Than Atlantis and more young, well groomed rock bands, Don Broco are one of the UK's most hyped new rock bands.
Hailing from the Home Counties, the band are set to make a splash this year with their debut album 'Priorities', the four-piece have a packed summer of rock festivals and live dates with equally tipped newcomers Futures. We caught up with Don Broco ahead of the release of their debut album to discuss groomed rock and rollers, the most wild bands on the scene and whether they would tour with Justin Bieber...
Hello Don Broco. Do you mind being labelled as a 'rock boy band'?
Matt: That’s not too inappropriate.
Simon: As long as they say cool and not shit.
Matt: I understand where it comes from we’re all incredibly good looking and muscular hunky guys.
Rob: We’re a rock band. We write all our songs but just happen to look good. We like our pop as well. Tom was brought up on five.
Simon: We do love our pop big time; we listen to it a lot. Justin Bieber's 'Boyfriend' single is so so sweet,
it’s really good he’s going for the new JT vibe he’s going to be incredible, Rob: We totally wouldn’t turn down a Bieber tour,
Tom: The afterparty could be interesting.
Simon: I heard he’s an animal.
The ‘Rockstar’ image has changed. Is good fashion sense and grooming all part of life as a modern rock band?
Rob: It is definitely important to have an image, we’re sort of we’re luckier in the sense this is what we wear normally if we’re going out. We like wearing shirts and nice shoes on stage. We like dressing up a bit. The good thing about that is if you wear the occasional nice things sometimes you get them for free.
Do you worry that good looks will hold you back from finding favour with more traditional rock fans?
Rob: We’re not thaaaat good looking. I was joking earlier. It won’t be a problem.~
Simon: Some of the best rock bands ever their thing is they’re trying to be smooth dudes it won’t hold you back. Jon Bon Jovi is the sexiest guy on earth everyone loves Jovi, I don’t think we can possibly compare ourselves though.
Have the likes of You Me At Six opened rock up to a new generation of young fans by mixing great rock with good looks?
Matt: There’s a lot of bands who like ourselves are relatively new and young and have a different look to classic rock bands. When you go to Download festival and people are there to see Black Sabath and Slayer they may be wouldn’t enjoy a show like ours, Lower Than Atlantis, You Me At Six or Young Guns. The younger fans are a lot more open minded on what bands look like. They can look back at all the old classics but they can also look at bands that are more towards their age.
Could you ever be convinced to grow a beard, long hair and slip into a leather waistcoat like classic rock bands?
Rob: I’d love to It’d be fun, if I could grow facial hair I would.
Matt: I’d love to grow a sick beard I’m jealous of anyone that can.
Rob: I wanna go for a waist coat, beard and bald head. The guitarist in Everytime I Die rocked it and it’s a good look. Craig David beard and waistcoat will be a strong look.
It’s been four years since the release of your debut EP. How has Don Broco evolved in that time?
Rob: We’ve become more melodic as a band, more focused on song writing and having well put-together songs rather than throwing everything to the mix and hoping for the best. We really got to try everything out, put everything into the mix then worked out what we liked from it and experiment find what we were good at.
Below: Don Broco perform 'Priorities' acoustic for Gigwise
Now signed to a major deal, how has 2012 compared to previous years in the life of Don Broco?
Tom: We just partying every day now, A-list celebs, catwalks and stuff
Simon: It’s not partying every night we’re just busy. There’s so much to do now because we never put out a record on a label before. We haven’t been on the road we’re just trying to get our videos, extra b-sides and acoustic versions down and everything in place so when the album drops we can hit people with everything we’ve got.
So what can we expect from your debut album Priorities?
Simon: It’s so varied. If you’ve heard us before it’s not gonna throw you off, it’s not mind blowing in terms of change of direction. It’s just our sound refined, broadened, really varied, mellow tunes, really heavily riffed tunes on there with a straight-up poppy vibe so hopefully there’s something for everybody.
Matt: If you liked old Don Broco then this is just 10x better, we’ve experimented a bit and gone down some tangents but we’ve stuck quite close to our roots so hopefully those waiting for it will be quite pleasantly surprised.
What sets Don Broco apart from the rest of the rising crowd of UK rock bands?
Simon: probably the fact we’re going for something really varied, what we’ve really gone for is not to pigeon hole our self too much as a scene band and just go out there with a really broad base of songs that we can throw out in every direction that people will dig hopefully.
What’s been Don Broco’s most rock 'n' roll activities to date?
Simon: I had a lamb chop earlier today. We did a sweet photoshoot when we first signed the deal we flew out to get some shots for our album promo, it wasn’t too glamorous just Easyjet. We went for a day in Malaga just to get the sun for shots on the beach.
Rob: It felt rock n roll because it was so brief. They got a good deal in a hotel so it was a nice hotel.
We rocked up the hotel one night, went to the beach and went out in Malaga. It was cool, could get to used to it.
Simon: Then we came home to Bedford. No TV out the windows so far.
Simon: We’re quite tame when it comes to rock 'n' roll antics. The other day I wanted a can of American cream soda, there was a card limit and I had to spend over £5 so I had to buy four cans of it, and I drank them all in one day. It was mental. That was a good day.
Having toured with a lot of fresh new rock talent, which bands party the hardest? Matt: We do. We party the hardest.
Simon: If we’re touring with a band we try and make them come out with us.
Rob: Force them.
Tom: Some try and keep up.
Rob: A lot of bands sort of pretend too.
Simon: Lower Than Atlantis talk the talk but they have no game we’ll find out in October when we tour with them. They have a lot of chat about how hard they party, but they’re in bed by 10, they’re a fake, a fraud.
Matt: Some of the guys in Four Year Strong they like to have a drink and party.
Simon: They’re so nice, they were the first USA band we toured with.
Rob: Simon had a rock ‘n’ roll night with the bassist.
Simon: He took me to a boat and he was doing Irish car bombs. I had four of them I was feeling good. Then we got back to the van and I crashed out. This fan came over to see me and I threw up all over the kid. It was disgusting.
Don Broco's debut album 'Priorities' is out on 13 August.