Bedford rockers Don Broco had a killer 2018, releasing their third album, Technology, which reached No. 5 on the UK Albums Chart, and embarking on multiple tours across the world. With a massive run of arena shows on the horizon and the release of new single ‘Half Man Half God’, they’re poised to hit even greater heights in 2019. I talked to guitarist Si Delaney before the start of their UK tour about spectacle, supports and songwriting.
So you guys have played big shows before, but this is arguably your biggest ever tour – you’re headlining Wembley Arena! What’s going to be different about this run?
Playing at Wembley Arena is probably a big dream of every band – it was actually the first place I ever saw a show, seeing Incubus in 2001, so it’s always been a venue on my personal bucket list. We did our one-off arena show at Alexandra Palace in 2017, so we’ve been thinking about how we’ll make it bigger and better for a full arena tour. We went all guns blazing at Ally Pally so we’re freshening things up in a few different ways this time. I don’t want to give the game away, but we’ve got a few live action things and a few extra bodies happening, as well as all the usual lasers and elaborate light shows.
You’ve picked Neck Deep and Issues to support you – why were they the right bands for this tour?
We’ve been friends with Issues for a long time and spent a lot of time with them over the last year. We love what they do and know we can happily spend a few weeks with them. It’s a pleasure to bring them to the UK and give them a few huge shows, because we just want to know to let the UK know what a sick band they are! Neck Deep was a total surprise – we were thinking about who to get for main support and then our promoter got in touch with us and suggested them. We’d never really considered them, but thinking about it, it made so much sense. They’re a great UK band doing big things and we thought it would bring a different flavour. Issues obviously bring a technical and heavy element which we definitely draw some of our sound from, but then having a straight-up pop punk band as well adds a completely new dimension.
we’ve got a few live action things and a few extra bodies happening, as well as all the usual lasers and elaborate light shows
Technology is about a year old; what’s the biggest change the record has had on the band?
Aside from bringing us up to the next level in terms of venue, the record taught us not to think too much about anything. We tend to overthink and overanalyse things and this record was the first time we intentionally embraced ‘just doing it’, in relation to music, shows and videos. It was a new mindset of just doing what felt good for us and not caring too much.
Bring Me The Horizon have been saying similar things about their latest album, amo. You guys have come out in strong support of that album, so how important do you think it is for rock musicians in particular to keep things fresh and keep innovating? Its something you both do really well.
I think it’s hugely important, because when you look at pioneering rock bands who’ve stood the test of time, whether its Queen or Metallica, they’re all bands who take risks and at some point write an album that everyone says ‘what the fuck are they doing?’ about at some point. But they stand the test of time because of those risks. Even if people aren’t instantly fans of those new styles, they often pave the way for new movements within rock. More than any other genre, I think it’s so easy for rock to become stale, so it’s important to keep pushing boundaries. It might cause a bit of controversy, but it’s the most important thing for the scene.
I think it’s so easy for rock to become stale, so it’s important to keep pushing boundaries
I think you can clearly see that on your new single ‘Half Man Half God’. It definitely seems like a natural progression, but with a bit more experimentation. How did that song come about?
We haven’t really had time to catch our breath and sit down in a studio, so ‘Half Man Half God’ came about from a demo I had on my laptop which we built up while we were touring the US with Mike Shinoda. We knew we had to write something for the UK arena tour, so we hashed it out in this little back lounge and hoped for the best!
I’m sure it’ll go down well! What songs are you looking forward to bringing to the arenas?
‘Half Man Half God’ was written for arenas, so I’m super excited to see that translate to big rooms. ‘Got to Be You’ is a song I always pictured hearing in arenas, and when we played ‘Technology’ at Ally Pally it sounded insane, I’d never really appreciated the weight of it, so I’m excited to play that too.
Finally, what can we expect in 2019? Is ‘Half Man Half God’ the start of a new album cycle?
I haven’t really thought about it! We’re going to keep writing in the same spirit; as soon as we have material that’s ready, we’ll release it! I couldn’t tell you when new music will be out, but hopefully it won’t be too long before the next batch of songs.