Interview: Simon Delaney of Don Broco
If you want something to listen to that is infectious and captivating along with a modern pop-rock sound that will make you want to sing-a-long and party all night, then Don Broco should be your new favourite band. They've got enough swagger about them to make even Jay-Z step back and take notice, as they continue to simply amaze audiences with their energetic live performances. The band are also well known for making some incredible music videos that will get you talking and maybe even start up a few debates among mates. There's no doubt that Don Broco have already taken the UK by storm and now they're ready to take over the rest of the World. Australian fans don't have to wait very long to get a glimpse of what makes this band so special, as we get to witness their bombastic and wildly fun live show for the very first time this December. But before that happens, we caught up with guitarist Simon Delaney to speak about how excited they are to come to Australia, the preparation for their new album, good coffee and plenty more.
What's happening, is life treating you well at the moment?
Yeah, really good, thanks mate, really good. We're in the last stages of finishing our record so just kind of working on bits and pieces and tightening the nuts and bolts of it and getting ready to go full steam ahead.
Very exciting. We're absolutely stoked to learn that you guys are heading to Australia in December, has this been in the works for a while now?
We've wanted to come for what feels like forever, man. We're good friends with a bunch of Australian bands who we see all over the world, over here in the UK or in the States, always bumping into, like, Hands Like Houses or Tonight Alive and those guys and our new friends With Confidence, and they're always asking us why haven't you come to Australia, what's going on? And we've just never really had the opportunity to make it work, but luckily we have now and everything's falling into place.
What are you looking forward to most, coming to Australia? Have you been told what to expect from friends?
Everyone tells us that the crowds are super sick, and we knew from talking to people that the Australian music scene is super passionate. When people love bands over there, they really LOVE bands, so we're really excited to come and play. On a kind of personal note, I love coffee, I'm crazy into coffee and all of my Australian friends keep telling me 'you have to come and try our coffee, it's the mecca for the good stuff'. And because we've never been to Australia before, the things we want to do are the tourist stuff, you know, the Opera House, the Botanic Gardens, all that kind of thing.
Just a hot tip: I'm originally from Melbourne and live in Sydney now, and Melbourne's definitely got the best coffee.
[Laughs] Oh wow, really? That's interesting, all the guys I know are from Sydney and they keep telling me that Sydney has the best coffee.
Yeah, it's like a war between Melbourne and Sydney coffee, it's great.
Oh really, that's fantastic. You'll have to drop me an email with some recommendations. I'm sure I'll be overwhelmed by the number of places to choose from.
You just played a massive Reading festival also, that must've been pretty special. Can you tell us much about that experience?
Yeah, so, Reading festival is our favourite festival in the world, we went there as kids, we grew up there and then when we started the band ourselves, we were super lucky to get a slot on their smaller stage after a couple of years being in the band and they've always kind of really nurtured us and helped us grow in the UK by putting us on bigger stages every year. Now we're at the point where we do really good slots. This year, because our album isn't out yet and we're not really touring this Summer just gone, we weren't playing the festival as a normal billed act, but we love the festival so much, we still wanted to play and we're about to do a new album campaign, so we spoke to them and said maybe we could do a secret set at the festival and get billed as someone else, like a fake band or a band that people would probably figure out that was us, so we did that. We got billed as the Pretty Boys, because we put the single 'Pretty' out a couple of months ago, so people kind of put the dots together and figured out it was us. We played one of the small tents, but it was super crammed, you couldn't get anywhere near the tent because it was so busy and everyone was so excited, speculating is it going to be the band we think it is? Then when it was us, a moment of elation for everyone, it felt amazing, it was easily one of my favourite sets we ever played, ever. It was amazing.
That sounds so cool. Your latest music video for technology is a really interesting and relevant concept. Do you feel like live music has lost something special, with people watching it through their screens these days?
I think everybody's been to shows and you look around and think 'wow, it's a bit messed up, all of these kids are ingesting a show in a screen so that they can watch it back later and remember that they were there' but what they're remembering is standing there and watching their phone, they're not remembering an amazing rock show and feeling that kind of connection you get with a band. I remember when I went to my first show ever, which was Incubus at Wembley, when I was 14, and I remember coming away after the show, with almost this feeling of being devastated but amazed, and I'd had this most amazing show and it had been incredible, but it was almost like I couldn't go back and watch it, and I couldn't rewind it and get that feeling that I'd just had again, and that's kind of the magic of live music, getting that feeling in the first place. It's way more important than taking away a video and telling your friends 'check it out, I got this video from this show' or whatever. So, yeah, I think it is a commentary on something that's kind of sad about music and live shows now. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for taking a picture and having a memento of you being there or whatever, but don't film the whole show and take that away as what a concert experience should be like, because it's not, in my eyes.
Technology has also really helped bands and the music scene in general, with social media being a major factor. How do you feel about the internet playing a major role in the music business in this day and age?
It's amazing. As a band, the internet has always played a completely prevalent role in our growth and in our strategy going forward. When we started the band, it was Myspace, and Myspace was the platform that was doing incredible things for bands, and bands were making themselves and making their name on Myspace. Then Myspace faded and Facebook became almost a semi-platform for bands, but not really in the same way, and there were different things going on.
It's a hard one, the internet is completely crucial to the success of music now really, because radio is on the decline so much, and people are ingesting music and finding music for the first time via streaming services and recommendations and playlists, but on the other hand, it's also become a very easy portal to throw music out there, so it's a very saturated market now. Anybody can put stuff up, which is amazing, you want that, but it has made it more difficult to find what's great. On the whole, the internet has been an amazing thing for music, and the way that the music industry works now wouldn't be possible in any way if there wasn't the internet, and it hadn't developed to where it's at. the old mechanism of records and record stores and radio and music video on TV, it's all kind of completely now secondary to what you can do on Spotify, or what you can do via hitting the right playlist on Apple music, you know.
You've also released two fantastic new singles this year, does this mean a new album is not too far away, and can you tell us anything about that?
Sure, sure. So the new record is pretty much finished, we're just doing the last stages, you know, the mastering, the last bits of production. We're hoping to put our more new music during the course of the next few months. We've been trying to put out a single every month, or month or two, and we intend to continue to do that, so there should be new music in the not too distant future. Then we are releasing the record at the beginning of next year, so the beginning of next year is when it's all going to kick off in terms of the album campaign. We're just so excited, we've written a record with one thing in mind, and that thing in mind is being a really, really fun live band. I mean, all the tracks that are written are written to be played live on stage, so we just want to get out there and start ramming it down peoples throats live.
What message do you have for all of your Aussie fans ahead of your tour in December?
We want to say, sorry it's taken so long for us to get over, can't wait to meet you all, and we're just so, so excited that we've finally got the chance to come and play in your country. We can't wait to experience it on every level.
Written by Steve Jenkins
Watch the video for their latest single 'Technology' below.
Thursday 7 December – The Brightside, Brisbane - 18+
Friday 8 December – Corner Hotel, Melbourne - 18+
Sunday 10 December – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - 18+