Artist Interviews:
Y Not Festival 2015

Helen Burt speaks to Don Broco, The Sherlocks and The Ruen Brothers at the Matlock-based festival

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Don Broco

“We don’t feel like we have had that many lucky breaks”

How does your new album Automatic differ from Priorities?
Tom Doyle: It still very much sounds like Don Broco but we’ve pushed everything that we liked about Priorities that little bit further. We have worked hard to make it stand out.

Why have you chosen to perform at quite intimate venues during your upcoming UK tour?
TD: We were thinking “What’s the best venue to launch the album from?” and we obviously wanted to do a hometown gig so Esquires in Bedford was the first venue that we thought of. From then, we thought it would be a nice idea to take it back to where we first started when we were touring Priorities.

What do you guys do when you’re not doing music?
Matt Donnelly: There’s not really much time to be honest. We are a full time band – the last few months especially as we have been building up to an album release. It almost seems like every moment of the day is consumed by something.

Has it been luck or hard work that has got you to the stage you are at now?
TD: I think we have worked really hard. We don’t feel like we have had that many lucky breaks, to be honest. We have put the effort in touring all the smaller venues and trying to make a name for ourselves. Obviously it’s a bit of luck as well – people ring you at the right time and like the music.

You’ve toured as a support band alongside many acts, including You Me At Six. Who has been your favourite act to support?
TD: That’s a tough one, maybe Four Year Strong in February 2012, because it was the first proper tour we had done. We had only done our own tours before that, which were very DIY. It was the first time we ever had an agent,. He got us on this tour and it was properly organised with an international band. Instantly it felt more professional so we had to up our game from then on.

The Sherlocks

The Sherlocks (Strawberry Photography)

“We’re the new Jam”

What can we expect from your performance tonight?

Kiaran Crook: Energy and good songs – being modest. A lot of movement from the crowd, not from us.

So who would you guys compare yourselves to?
KC:The Police, The Clash, The Jam – we’re like a new Jam.

What have you got planned for the near future?
KC:We’ve got Leeds and Reading coming up at the end of the month, then we’re going to release a new single called Heart of Gold a couple of weeks after that.

Do you all originate from the same area?
KC:We’re two sets of brothers. Guitarist and bassist, singer and drummer. We live about two seconds from each other.

Are you nervous about tonight?
KC:Not one little bit. We’ve done over 500 gigs. We’re more nervous doing this interview.

Can you tell me about your favourite performance so far?

KC:We headlined the Leadmill in Sheffield. We sold that out. That was one of our best gigs.

Ruen Brothers

RuenBrotherspresspic1-Andrew Whitton credit-rgb

“We usually fall out over petty stuff really but it gets pretty heated!”

So you just performed on the Quarry stage. How did you find it?

Henry Stansall: Yeah, it was great. It’s nice to play more towards our hometown. It’s still a little far from Scunthorpe but this is reasonably north, isn’t it? It was great to see people singing along to the songs, getting into it and having fun. That’s what festivals are about.

What can we expect from your EP Summer Sun?
HS: So that’s coming out mid-September and there’s going to be a track called Motor City on it, which is about when we got stranded in Detroit. They flew all our luggage to Nashville and we got stuck with no clothes or anything. We tried to get on a flight, we couldn’t, so we ended up at Motel 6 at 2am and I’m there washing my underwear in the sink with a bar of soap. So Motor City describes that joyous occasion. Summer Sun was recorded at Shangri-La studios in Malibu with Rick Rubin, it’s got [RHCP’s] Chad Smith on drums and [The Faces’] Ian McLagan on keyboard, who sadly passed away at the end of last year, so this was probably the last record he did. It was a real honour to have him perform with us.

So how did you meet the band who played with you today?
HS: Our managers actually knew some guys that wanted to play so we rehearsed for a couple of months with them and got it tight.

You recently toured the US with George Ezra. How was that?

HS:That was an amazing experience. When we were working on the album we were on the West Coast for some time and we’ve been to New York and Nashville but we’ve never really seen Middle America and we got to go up into Canada as well, which was great. We nearly got wiped out by a tornado one night. It was pitch black, fork lightning everywhere, the van was swaying, and our tour manager who was driving us goes: “Guys, everybody keep an eye out and let me know if you see a tornado.” We thought he was joking but he looked really nervous. So yeah, it was exciting.
Rupert Stansall: We did a cover just recently of the The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face alongside our movie footage that we took whilst touring the States.

Didn’t you shoot your first music video on your iPhone?
HS:Yeah, for our first song Aces, and it was picked up by Dean Jackson from BBC Introducing Nottingham. He heard the track that we recorded in our bedsit and we recorded the video on my iPhone. When we moved down to London we had no money, shared one room together and just hoped for the best – and it turned out all right!

Where does your rockabilly influence come from? Were you brought up on that kind of music?
RS: Kind of. We were brought up on a lot of Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters, which isn’t quite so rockabilly, but from that we explored Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly.
HS: We had a good diet of music growing up – The Stones, Van Morrison, Roy Orbison, Bruce Springsteen.
RS: We wanted to incorporate a bit of that style because it’s the best way to play guitar.
HS: We also played pubs and clubs of the north for years – Scunthorpe, Grimsby, Hull. We would play Elvis, Cash, Searchers and Buddy Holly – just things people wanted to hear in the pub. We must have done 1,000 gigs before we moved to London. We did everything. It took a lot of work.

At what age did you begin to play together?
HS: Around 10-11, when we started secondary school.

Is there ever any sibling rivalry?

HS: We have the odd disagreement. There was a bit of rivalry today when Rupert spilt his entire coffee on my bag so that started an argument, of course. We usually fall out over petty stuff really.
RS: It gets pretty heated!
HS: We spend so much time together it’s inevitable, but in general we’re pretty good.

Y Not Festival was at Pikehall, Derbyshire, 31 July-2 Aug 2015. Read our review here

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Y Not Festival 2015

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