The way we set about it,” begins Don Broco’s frontman Rob Damiani, on the subject of the band’s new album, “we didn’t necessarily say, ‘This is the direction we want to go in’ at any point. We wanted to see through all of our ideas and not pigeonhole ourselves into any particular type of song or sound.”
If there was one defining factor when it came to writing ‘Automatic’, it was freedom. Having begun work on their second offering back in 2013, the primary target for the four-piece were simply to try things they hadn’t had the chance to before.
“We wanted to push ourselves in musical directions that we hadn’t really probed too far in the last record,” offers guitarist Simon Delaney, “while developing musically as Bobby developed lyrically.” “The only thing we decided amongst ourselves is that we didn’t want it to be a carbon copy of the last album,” Rob continues. “That meant scrapping a song if it sounded like it could’ve been a bonus track on ‘Priorities’; that was probably the only time we’d be like, ‘Nah, maybe we should take this song in a different direction to make it exciting for us.’ We had an ‘anything goes’ policy. If we thought it was a good song, then we wrote it.”
Writing their second album was something of a new experience for the group; not only was it the first time they wrote with all four of the band’s current members, it doubled as their first foray into working with someone outside of the band as a producer.
“I think there were a lot of new experiences on the album,” Rob admits. “It was the first time we got to write outside of the three of us,” he says, gesturing to his bandmates, Simon and drummer Matt Donnelly, before turning to their newer bassist Tom Doyle, “so that was exciting. There were moments when we were feeling each other out and seeing what works and the best way to make the process click. That was quite interesting.”
Then there was teaming up with their producer, A’s Jason Perry. “It was really cool to work with someone who had done a lot of big albums before and had a lot of experience,” the frontman continues. “Someone you can trust, to a degree. We would always question every decision any of us would make, including his, but it was still nice to have someone with that know-how and experience. We have only ever worked on our band and our music, so to have someone from outside was cool.”
The results – at least in the eyes of the band – speak for themselves. “It’s got more character than the last album,” concludes Simon. “This has way more depth and personality behind it, and that’s to do with the fact we spent so much time with the instruments and techniques.”
Taken from the August 2015 issue of Upset. Don Broco’s album ‘Automatic’ is out now.