Ahead of hitting the road across Europe, Don Broco's Matt Donnelly spoke about being "really, really excited" for the Bedford band's "first trip to the continent" with fellow Brit rockersYoung Guns. However, he was well aware that their busy touring schedule would leave little time for relaxation; "No rest for the wicked for the next five or six weeks" the drummer joked.
Thankfully, the grueling demands of life on the road haven't put the band off from doing it all over again. Earlier today, Don Broco announced a string of UK shows for early next year. At the time of this interview, the details of their headline appearances were still a secret but Donnelly did take time to spill the beans on their possible plans to re-release early single 'Priorities', the origins of their stage dance 'The Walk' and how they feel about their ever-growing fan-base.
AJM: You recently released your first album ‘Priorities’, how do you feel the response has been so far?
MD: Absolutely amazing to be honest. I don’t think any of us would make any secret of the fact that [the album] did better than we expected it to. I mean, we did a lot of build-up, obviously, because we signed to Sony Search and Destroy in February and the album was already finished at that point so we’ve been waiting a while to get it out there but it’s just been really good, the anticipation was building.
When our management told us that “Based on your pre-sales, there’s a chance you could get it into the top 40”, that blew our minds. Then to find out that in mid-weeks [UK charts] in the first week of release it was at number 10 and ended up at number 25 was beyond our wildest dreams.
We’ve done a number of festivals this summer which has been absolutely amazing to see the reaction, to see that people actually have heard the record. People are singing the words back to us. Our most recent tour that we just come off with our friends Lower Than Atlantisreally brought that home as well. It sounds like the album really is getting out there. Key people are spreading good word of mouth and people are really hearing about it and it’s a wonderful feeling, yeah.
So have you even noticed a positive crowd response on support tours then?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, especially the tour we just did with our friends Lower Than Atlantis. I think there’s quite a lot of cross-over in our fan-bases anyway. So obviously it was really, really good and was something we’ve really enjoyed. I mean every support tour’s different, every crowd’s [different]. You get tougher crowds, you get more receptive crowds but it certainly feels like this year, especially the mid-part of this year towards the summer, we feel like we’re making real headway and making real progress and our [fan-base] is expanding quicker than ever.
One thing I have to ask about is [your signature stage move] ‘The Walk’; how did that come about?
I mean, ‘The Walk’ is just one of those things. I mean sometimes rehearsals can be boring. [We’re] rehearsing for hours on end in a room playing the same songs so we just muck about quite a lot and have a laugh and things. I think it was Simon, at least Simon always takes the credit for it, he was just sort of dancing around while playing the song and he did it as a joke to start with. I think Rob and Tom were probably just pissing themselves [laughing], found it really funny and started joining in and suddenly somebody stopped and said “Actually, shall we try this out live? It’s so funny”. That’s what it’s meant to be, it’s tongue in cheek. We’re not taking ourselves too seriously and then the boys they sort of nailed it. It’s well choreographed [laughs] and the first time we did it, we did it at a hometown show in Bedford (the town we’re from) so we knew it was quite a safe crowd, on our side anyway. From the moment that they started doing it, the crowds eyes’ light up and it’s definitely a sight to behold and it’s a lot of fun.
‘Hold On’syour current single but do you think you’ll [be releasing] anymore singles from ‘Priorities’?
Yeah, we hope so. We’ve got plans, we’ve already started talking about the next single after ‘Hold On’ so we will release a new single in the early part of next year as well. I’m really, really excited about that one but I obviously can’t say what it is. And beyond that who’s to say why not? Why couldn’t we do a fifth one if there’s an appetite out for it? I really do feel that there’s a number of songs of the album that haven’t been [released] but are equally contended to be singles. I think it’s a really strong crop of songs so, yeah, I would love to and maybe we could even see some of the early releases come back around. I think [album title track] ‘Priorities’ is getting a bit of revival now that more people know us.
Now obviously with having done a lot of support tours, do you see a headline tour on the horizon?
Yes, and we have plans in place; the organisation of which is already sort of underway. I can’t say exactly when but it will be the early part of 2013. We are getting our things together now as we speak .... I imagine that it’ll be a little quieter over Christmas, and then the early part of next year we’re going to get the ball rolling very quickly and part of those plans will involve a headline tour I’m sure.
Now, just to round things up, how would you persuade those who haven’t already picked up a copy of ‘Priorities’ to do so?
I would say if you like catchy tunes that are instant when you first hear them and, you know, a band that’s fun whoyou could imagine going out for a drink with and having a good time then we’re your guys, so get involved!
The dates for Don Broco's 2013 headline UK tour are as follows:
Mon 18th Feb Norwich, Arts Centre
Tues 19th Feb Birmingham, Academy 3
Wed 20th Feb Southampton, Joiners
Thurs 21st Feb London, Underworld
Fri 22nd Feb Brighton, The Haunt
Sat 23rd Feb Plymouth, White Rabbit
Sun 24th Feb Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
Tues 26th Feb Leeds, Cockpit
Weds 27th Feb Sheffield, Corporation
Thurs 28th Feb Newcastle, Academy 2
Fri 1st March Glasgow, Cathouse
Sat 2nd March Manchester, Academy 3
Tickets cost £8 (London £9) and will go on general sale at 9am on Friday 23rd. There will also be a pre-sale, which will give fans the chance to buy an exclusive live t-shirt, at 9am on Wednesday 21st.
Will you be heading out to see Don Broco on tour next year?