Gigs & Festivals managed to catch up with Simon and Rob, two of the lovely boys from the four piece rock band from Bedforshire, ‘Don Broco’. We grilled them on their new single, playing Leeds & Reading Fest and how a broken arm led to the bands’ imminent success.
G&F: Hello! How are you doing? How’s your day going so far?
Simon: Good thanks. We’ve just arrived at the studio and we’re doing a few acoustic sets today so we’ve set all that up and it should be a nice day.
G&F: Sounds awesome. I was wondering if you could give our readers a brief history of Don Broca?
Simon: Yeah, sure. We formed about three years ago now. We were all mates at school and played in various bands, then went off to Uni came back and obviously wanted to be in a band as that’s all we’ve ever wanted to do. So for the past three years we’ve been touring, gigging at literally anywhere and last year we released a sort of mini-album we recorded ourselves and that sort of really launched things for us when we got our playlist on Radio 1. Then we got to do a load of festivals like Download and Sonisphere last year and Reading & Leeds, talked to a couple of labels and at the beginning of the year signed for Sony so we’re all gearing up for the album release. Very exciting!
G&F: Sounds like you’re all very busy boys!
Simon: Yeah! Well we thought we’d get a bit of time off but we’ve had lots of bits and bobs to do. Lots of running around but it’s a lot of fun.
G&F: Yeah, it sounds like lots of fun. So ‘Don Broco’, how did you come up with the name?
Rob: Well basically we came up with a name that we really liked, which was ‘Don Loco’ because it sounded cool and it didn’t really mean anything but we went searching on the internet and there’s actually a German rapper with the same name and he’s pretty big on the scene over there so we couldn’t have that obviously. So we were really desperate for a name and one day I broke my wrist playing five-a-side football and came into the studios and Simon jokingly called me ‘Don Broco’ and it has stuck since then!
Simon: Yeah! A pretty terrible story but we wanted a name that didn’t sound like anyone else and it sort of fit the bill so yeah, never looked back.
G&F: Exactly. It stands out so it’s something to remember! What would you guys set yourself apart from other bands, considering the music scene in Britain is so good these days?
Simon: Well as a rock band we are obviously huge fans of rock music but we are also fans of lots of other styles too. Whenever we approach song-writing we try and bring everything to the table. So when people consider our debut album, it’s pretty diverse and we cover a lot of ground on it. As long as you like music, you should like Don Broco!
G&F: If you had to pick one of your tracks to play to somebody who hasn’t heard of Don Broco, which one would it be and why?
Simon: I’d say our latest single called ‘Priorities’, which came out a month ago and is the first track off the album (Also called ‘Priorities’), is a really good starting point as it sort of grabs your attention and is straight-up rock. Definitely listen to that first and get into the rest of it from there!
G&F: So you mention that your album is titled ‘Priorities’, what was the influence behind the name choice?
Simon: Basically, a lot of the stuff I was writing was about choices we have to make in life; relationships and time, this and that. Choosing your girlfriend over your mates..
Rob: Bro’s before Hoe’s, basically! Haha.
G&F: Haha. You boys have played some pretty massive gigs but would you say you prefer the bigger ones or smaller ones?
Rob: I don’t know, it’s really weird. Some of the best shows we’ve had have been really small, enclosed gigs that are really intense. So literally you are on the floor with a handful of people. And then some of the bigger gigs we’ve been really amped for haven’t lived up to expectations. It’s really hard to pick though because we’ve also done some really amazing big shows, like Reading last year with a massive crowd. I think it’s a bit of a mix really!
G&F: Obviously Reading is a massive achievement, as it’s such a well-known festival. Would you say that’s the highlight of your career?
Simon: Yeah, massively. Obviously with Reading it was a festival that was closer to us, being from Bedford, that we’d always go to when growing up. It was such a dream come true to play it, we got a load of fans down who were singing along to all of our songs. It was such an epic night! We’re back again this year actually, so we’re really looking forward to that.
G&F: Did you get to see any of your heroes when you played there?
Rob: Yeah! When we were playing Reading, it was the same day as Deftones and they’re like one of my all-time-favourite bands. It was amazing to wander across and be able to watch them.
G&F: That sounds exciting. Did you get to meet them?
Rob: No! We were actually having our meal in the food area back stage and Chino, the lead-singer, was literally sat at the table across from us. He was eating his food and I didn’t want to go up and be like ‘I love you!’ but I definitely should have done because I’m sure he’d have loved it anyway.
G&F: Aw, no! You should go over and say hi next time if you get another chance.
Rob: Definitely. I won’t make the same mistake again.
G&F: How about your up-coming tour plans, can you tell us a little about them?
Simon: We’re heading off on tour next Monday, we’re going on tour with Futures who have just released their album which is wicked. We haven’t done a proper tour now for a while and I think the summer tour is always amazing. So hopefully the weather will stay how it is right now and it will just be a lot of fun. We’ve also got a few festivals scattered about amongst it. We’ve got RedFest, Underground Fest and then reading & Leeds at the end of August.
Rob: Yeah, Reading & Leeds should be an incredible vibe on that stage. We’ve always wanted to play there and if last year is anything to go by it should be epic.
Simon: And for the rest of the year we’ve got a busy schedule. In October we’re heading out with Lower Than Atlantis. So yeah, we’ve got a lot of plans for this year and I’m sure we’ll keep busy for the rest of the year and towards the start of next year.
G&F: Well it’s good to keep busy! I’m actually going to Leeds Fest myself this year so I’ll definitely have to have a look out for you guys!
Simon: Yeah! Come and say hi. We’re planning on camping down there Sunday night.
G&F: Awesome. I’ll definitely stalk you guys down then. Thank you for taking the time to speak to us at Gigs & Festivals and I hope you have a lovely day.
S&R: Thank you! You too!