Don Broco: “We’re constantly trying to define what Don Broco is and it’s a tough thing to do”

Rob Damiani talks to about sophomore identity crisis and blending Don Brewco tea between gigs

donbroco awh 0337 2 Priorities was an album that managed to really encapsulate interactions with girls – not just sex, or romance, but the things that go in between. Is this a theme we’ll be seeing in the new album or will you be taking it in a different direction?

It’s definitely an element of the new album. When I sit myself down and write I try to just give myself a blank page. I definitely try not to limit myself to anything but I end up writing what I know. Sometimes that comes down to, but isn’t limited to, the world of relationships, the trials and tribulations that people go through. There are definitely a few songs on there about relationships, but more the bittersweet reality of being in a relationship where it’s not working out but you’re still making it work. So yes, there’s definitely a continuation of that theme.

When we look at songs like ‘Money Power Fame’, what other themes have you been writing around for this album?

It’s one of the first songs we wrote for the album and it was about looking at ourselves as a band and how we are as a unit and looking to the future, and ‘Money Power Fame’ is about how we question ourselves: “Where do we go from here?”. We passed where we thought we would get to which was a really weird moment for us. When we started we saw getting to play the main stage of a festival such as Reading and Leeds and doing big tours as dreams and end goals.

Our blood, sweat and tears have gone into this record

We found that we weren’t satisfied and our goals kept moving, to bigger venues and other tours and it makes us think, where does it end, are we ever going to be satisfied? It’s human nature, you’re always looking for more, you’re always looking for that next goal and that next hurdle. I think it’s not a bad thing as it keeps you moving forward, but part of me does wonder, when will there ever be peace and contentment with life? For us we’re not at that point yet and that’s what that song’s about. Doing what you want is definitely a theme of the album.

Your musical style has definitely changed a lot since your early days of ‘Thug Workout’ in 2009. Have there been bands or artists that have influenced your musical style?

There was no particular band or album outside of our group that changed us and our style. It was more a natural kind of exploration of ourselves. One lucky thing about us as a band is that we all have that mindset about us – we don’t want to stand still both as people and as a band. We are constantly beginning new things and trying new things and I think that’s reflected in the song writing; we don’t want to write the same record as Priorities, and when we wrote Priorities we didn’t want to write the same songs that were on our EPs. We want to keep pushing ourselves and testing ourselves. I think we’re constantly trying to define what Don Broco is and it’s quite a tough thing to do; sometimes it is hard to pinpoint exactly what it is, but in a weird way that’s what makes us who we are and what makes us the same old band.

Artwork for 'Automatic', Don Broco's second record

Artwork for ‘Automatic’, Don Broco’s second record

With regards to the writing style I’ve heard that, although it slows down the process, you all chip in completely equally. Has this changed for the new album, or did you stick with the writing style that created Priorities?

Our style has become more inclined in that way. We’ve always been a real band where we all write songs collaboratively. We don’t have a main song writer who writes everything and then puts it to the guys, we’re all so involved in every aspect of the music and I think for this album we were all even more involved in every aspect. It’s one of the reasons that it’s taken us years to write this album when before we’d just put some ideas together; we’ve really, really critiqued every aspect of it. The downside of that is that it takes a little longer to write than other bands, but we’re all so proud of every moment of the record and every song. So much of our blood, sweat and tears have gone into this record and it means we’ve put out something that all of us are completely proud of.

Has this brought you closer?

We were playing in bands at school, we grew up together, and we’ve known Tom ever since we started the band, but in the writing process you spend so much time with each other and you get so into it that it does bring you to that next level of closeness. For a year we were spending pretty much every waking moment with each other, writing the album, recording.

In other news, Don Broco are launching alongside their new album a new type of merchandise: Don Brewco. Where did the idea of Don Broco tea and coffee come from?

Simon loves his puns – he loves his terrible, terrible puns. I don’t know how it started, I think we were talking about doing something different for the merchandise – I can’t remember what came first, the idea for the tea or the pun. But, it all came together quite well. We wanted to do something slightly different, something people might not have seen before. I love my tea, Matt loves his coffee, we had loads of fun talking to loads of different tea and coffee companies.

Don Broco’s second album Automatic is out on the 7th August.

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