A few hours before their main stage set at Slam Dunk South, we sat down with Rob Damiani (Vocals) and Tom Doyle (Bass) from Bedford rockers, Don Broco. Topics covered include Rob’s long-lost first love, their new album, and a story about cooking beans…
How are you guys doing today?
Both: Very well thank you.
And obviously your set’s not till later, we’re assuming you’re looking forward to it?
Rob: Naah. Dreading it. … But yeah, can’t wait! Every time we’ve time done Slam Dunk, it’s been insane. We’ve done a wicked set with Enter Shikari here as well.
T: Yep, The Forum, that was awesome.
R: So yeah, it’s got a good vibe.
So being from Bedford, does that mean your allegiances lie in Hatfield [wink wink] or Leeds? Or even Wolves?
R: Well, Wolves is untested.
T: It’s quite interesting, because obviously Leeds was the original, so it’s special for that. Hatfield’s the one that’s close to home and close to our heart, but also, we always have a great show in the Midlands so I don’t think we can pick between them.
R: We’ll decide at the end of the weekend, it would be wrong to choose now.
So Leeds set the bar high then?
R: Leeds set the bar pretty high.
Well hopefully Hatfield will do well today… So the next questions are all themed around the song titles from your new album Automatic. We’ve tried to roughly theme one question per song, so let’s see how it goes. Also, this is a test to see if you can remember your own track-listing…
1. Super In Love – Have you ever fallen super in love with an inanimate object, if so what and why?
T: I mean, you’ve gotta phrase your answer to that very carefully.
R: Umm, I remember when I was a kid, I was in love – I had a lot of spider man toys – and my favourite was a bit more expensive than the others and you could move all the arms and legs and you could do a lot of these really cool acrobatic positions… and I took him to the Isle of Wight on holiday… and lost it. And I think that’s the first heartbreak I’ve ever truly felt.
R: It was my favourite one. We replaced it but it wasn’t the same. It was that one.
T: It’s never the same.
R: It was that particular one that I loved, and I don’t know where it went. I felt so low at that point, it must have been love.
T: Well I think, along the same lines, I used to have this costume that was made by my mum. I was really into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I had a Donatello costume. And basically she’d sewn a load of foam in this kind of rucksack and made me my own shell. And yeah it was amazing, I used to wear it everywhere.
2. Automatic – Would you rather automatic clothes, or automatic hair?
T: Automatic hair.
T: Clothes are easy to put on, hair can be a nightmare.
3. What You Do To Me – [this was a really difficult one] So it’s Tom’s first album that he’s written with you guys… now what does Tom do to you [Rob] that makes him so special?
R: Wow… In a non-sexual way?
T: Well it’s not gonna be sexual, is it?
R: Well I don’t know what you do to me…when I’m asleep…staying round your house.
T: I think you should answer the question now.
R: Well, I guess Tom gives me that sound advice and he’s got a good moral compass on him. Like when I’m ever going a bit over the top, and getting a bit carried away with myself, Tom’s a good check on me.
T: I bring you back down to earth.
T: It’s not intentional!
R: It’s not even like that. Sometimes I get carried away with stuff and might go a bit mental with things, but Tom will be like “No, take a step back from things.”
T: For example, yesterday on the way to Leeds, Bobby was like, “I’m gonna cook this breakfast” but we were trying to leave, so he puts some beans in a pan, cooks them up ready to go and then realises he’s got no time to eat them. So I’m like, “Don’t worry Rob, put them in a tupperware with some toast and eat them on the road.”
R: Yeah I was getting carried away.
T: A tin of beans is too much for one man.
R: I was in a bit of a panic to be honest. We had to go and I was like “Should I chuck them away? They’re hot beans. We need to go”. I was stressing and Tom was like the voice of reason.
4. Fire – If you were allowed to fire anyone, from any job, who would it be?
T: It would have to be Lord Alan Sugar from The Apprentice. That would be incredible.
Right, what’s number 5?
You’re terrible at this Rob.
5. Nerve – What makes you most nervous before a show?
T: I think just generally having people there that I know really well. Parents are quite an important one.
T: It’s quite a difficult one I think, cos they’ll look at you like “What are you doing with your life?” And it’s nice to go: “Here’s a good show for you…hopefully”.
T: Erm, Let You Get Away? [To Rob] You really are terrible at this.
6. Let You Get Away – What’s your favourite getaway location?
R: Ooh, I think Spain. It’s quite easy to get to and we managed to get away to Spain when we were getting a bit bored of writing albums round my front lounge. It was one of the most spontaneous things we’ve ever done as a band. We just booked flights then and there. Went to Spain for a week.
T: Took the guitars with us.
That’s pretty handy.
R: And then ended up writing a song about it.
7. I Got Sick – Who’s the worst in the band for holding down their drink?
R: Simon. Definitely.
T: One of the first tours I did with the band, Simon managed to puke up on a fan.
9. Tough On You – Who would you say are your toughest critics?
10. Further – What’s the next big milestone for Don Broco?
T: Yeah definitely, it’s a big one.
And finally, what are your personal favourites off the new album?
R: Keep On Pushing.
T: What You Do To Me.
Thanks for chatting to us guys, we can’t wait for the new album and good luck with the set later on.
Interview By: Lizzi Hart