We caught up with Don Broco in their local pub in the heart of Bedford. The boys were desperate to leave the dark, dingy rehearsal room out the back of a music shop, a place they’ve been practicing in since they were young school boys.
Greeting me with huge grins on their faces, were singer Rob Damiani, guitarist Si Delany and drummer Matt Donnelly. We chatted about all things regarding their latest album, Technology and their pre gig rituals.
Rob didn’t hesitate to explain the history of the newest album. With things kicking off when they were out on tour with Bring Me The Horizon in late 2016, they set themselves two months post tour to write the entire album.
“Our album processes in the past have taken years, we’ve often had to sit on an entire album for a good year or two before releasing it so with this one it’s been great as we’ve been able to release tracks along the way and really gage how our fans will perceive it. They all just want it more and more now and we can’t wait to give it to them.”
Rob also mentioned that the writing and recording process was a lot more brutal this time around, “If anyone wasn’t feeling something then we’d immediately chuck it to the back of the pile and move onto the next thing.”
“We’re polite guys. On the last album we ended up pussy footing around if someone vaguely liked something but this time we were a lot more honest and accepting of if something was rubbish or not,” said Si.
When talking about their favourite songs from Technology Matt admitted his favourite is Greatness because of the excitement he got whilst recording. Due to the layers and layers of drum clips used to record, he fell in love.
“It gives me a bit of a Phil Colins feeling, but I think it’s something totally fresh and new for Don Broco, but I also don’t think I’ve really heard much else out there that’s similar.”
“Rob’s Mum was pretty hardcore at telling us the album had to be amazing.”
Pressure is felt by any band when recording and writing an album, and it is no different for Don Broco. Si said “Rob’s Mum is pretty hard core at telling us it had to be amazing.”
After a chuckle amongst ourselves, Rob stated that the biggest pressure of all was put on themselves by themselves, and it had been less of a ‘it’s got to be good’ pressure but more of a time pressure.
“We had this time booked in at the studio so we just had to get everything down and wrapped up. It often hit us at times when we were like ‘oh shit we’ve got a week left, let’s crack on with it.”
Matt chimes in to say that the pressure of transition between their change in labels with their latest offering. “Being on a major label is great if everything is going great for you, but when you’re a band who is still trying to form a name for yourself it’s not ideal. They tell you straight that they want to see you hit XYZ stats so that they will continue to support you financially but if you don’t then you’re worthless to them. It’s a whole different story now we’re on an indie label but we wouldn’t change our process for the world.”
On tour, Don Broco always love to visit the cities they went to uni in; Nottingham for Rob and Matt and Norwich for Si. “One of our first ever gigs was at the UEA in Norwich, because I was in a contemporary music society and managed to bag us a gig. We played to the massive room where pretty much the only people in there were my flat mates,” laughs Si.
“We’re also looking forward to Portsmouth again, we’ve only ever played the Pyramids once as support for Billy Talent, maybe four or five years ago now, but that was a sick room. I’ve always got time for a carpeted venue.”
“Falafel and houmous is a godsend”
Tour riders create huge controversy within the band, and with Matt being the only vegan in the band, he’s got a restricted diet but the others like to mess with him.
“Matt’s on a strictly falafel only diet so we see it as a challenge for the rest of the band to get there and eat it all before Matt can get a look in,” said Si.
He continued, “All jokes aside, falafel is the best thing on there, it’s so convenient and falafel and houmous is a godsend. Matt’s really onto something there, fair play Matt.”
“The tour we did back in November was the first time we kinda mixed up the rider a bit and had a lot more veggie and vegan options, and despite there still being plenty of meat and chicken available, everyone just went like ‘oooh falafel, that’s new’” Rob said.
He continued, “We’ve still got our tour sandwich rituals; we like to make a good sandwich, a sandwich a day.”
Finally, we spoke about their favourite part of touring. “We pride ourselves on our live shows so that’s great, but touring is the best. It’s basically the banter bus, it’s like being on holiday with your mates where you’re just having fun every night, eating some new food and drinking. Its just great being with my best friends, I often question, how I can call this a job?” Si pondered.