“It’s a practice run until we play Australia,” Don Broco frontman Rob Damiani states. He’s referring to the European tour that the band have been embarking on, which pre-dates their trip down under next month.
“We’ve got this European run, our UK run, to perfect the set and find out which songs the crowd are enjoying the most,” Damiani elaborates. “By the time Australia comes, we’ll have the perfect Don Broco set.”
He’s putting it on, of course, for our sake, but the excitement for Don Broco to play shows again is palpable. The UK rockers released their last album, Amazing Things, in the pandemic. Trying to reach audiences throughout that time was akin to screaming into the void and hoping someone could hear you, which obviously has no comparison to being able to launch a full-length record to crowds of people singing the words back to you. The band did a livestream for international fans to tune into, despite their aversion to technology made so clear by their 2018 album of the same name.
“I don’t hate technology when it comes to that,” Damiani laughs. “But you’ve got these cameras around you and it’s this weird feeling of like, you can’t get into it as you would a show. At a show you’re putting on this performance, you’re warmed up and you’re hot and you’re sweaty and you’ve got that energy. It feels very clinical, like on a TV set, as a performer as well. It’s like, how hard do you rock out? We play pretty heavy music these last few albums, but it feels weird going nuts on a TV setup where, if it’s a TV show there’s like three people watching from the side and a TV show host, but for the livestream it was literally just playing to the camera crew.”
Don Broco have done what it takes to get their music out there short of no idea too bizarre to try out, from music videos you can’t unsee to using Valentine’s Day to announce their Australian tour with a bouquet of roses and a teddy bear. You can even come dine with them.
“We’ve had that mentality of doing everything we can,” Damiani explains. “We’re pretty hard workers and you feel like you’re selling the music short if you don’t get people to listen to it. There’s nothing too bad, I think it’s just stuff you can look back on and you’re like: ‘Oh, that’s really cringe.’ I’d love to say that doesn’t apply to music as well, but…”
If it does take place that Damiani is looking back at the discography of Don Broco and having regrets, he shouldn’t be. What Don Broco have managed to construct over the course of their last four albums might be touted as experimental, but put together, the records cohesively tell the story of a band finding their niche. From accusations of selling out to stadium rock to the delight of hearing a song like ‘Bruce Willis’ on their latest output, audiences will never know what to expect when Don Broco drop their next soundbite.
“Our second record, which is Automatic, it’s probably our most pop-sounding record, and I think people thought from a musical perspective we’d been told by our label ‘you’ve gotta go for the mainstream’ and maybe that would’ve been the most stadium, commercial sounding music. But that was just us, we just wanted to try something different that rock bands of our genre weren’t doing at the time and to create a new sound for ourselves. And then later on our other records as well, we’ve never really had any goals other than just making music that we want to make and hoping other people dig it, really. The last few years, that definitely seems to be the thing that’s worked the best for us – following our own gut instincts and keeping it exciting. I think the creativity behind that speaks to people who are a little bit bored with hearing bands churn out the same stuff over and over again.”
Speaking of churning out music, the years are racking up since Amazing Things hit our digital shelves towards the end of 2021, so the inevitable question to ask is what we can expect from Don Broco next. For a band that spends so much time together, fans can only hope that at least some of it is directed towards collaborating on new music, with the added supposition that every iteration of the band sees them reaching previously undiscovered heights. Damiani gives little away about what awaits us on Don Broco’s horizon, but it’s enough to work with.
“We’re not sure yet if it’s gonna be a new record or an EP or some singles, it’s kind of early days, but we’ve been jamming, we’ve been sending ideas back and forth. We’ve got a few songs that are nearer to finished, they’re sounding like songs now rather than just random riffs,” he laughs. “I’m hoping we’ll have some new music out at some point this year.”