"We go out there feeling like we have something to prove"
While discussing the 10 records that changed his life, Don Broco guitarist Simon Delaney whips through an eclectic bunch of discs, from dance pop classics to noughties metal anthems.
But we shouldn’t be surprised, as Don Broco are a similarly genre-straddling bunch. After all, this is a band who this year have sandwiched a stint on the road with Aussie pop titans 5 Seconds of Summer between slots with metal megastars Bring Me The Horizon.
“We did some dates in the summer with the Bring Me guys and it went really well,” Simon tells us of the ever-so-slightly bizarre touring commitments. “It’s exciting to play for fans that are into heavier bands than us because we go out there feeling like we have something to prove.”
They clearly made an impression on the Bring Me fans, as they will be back on the road with the Yorkshire metal heroes later in the year.
“We were over the moon to be offered the UK arena tour support,” Simon enthuses. “They are an incredible live band; they throw everything at it. You see bands on the circuit who scrimp on their live show so they can take some money home. Bring Me throw everything at their live show to make sure everyone has the best time.
“It’s a huge contrast from 5 Seconds of Summer. We pride ourselves that we can do polar opposites of the rock spectrum and not be out of place. We just do what we do and hope that people dig it.”
But does switching it up from playing for pop rock fans to dedicated hard-rockers mean that the Broco boys have to change up their show?
“We discuss tailoring our show, and when we put the setlist together we’re conscious of the scenario that we’re playing, but if it is a support slot then you have a set amount of time to play your best songs,” Simon replies. “Whether they are soft songs or heavy songs, you just have to go out there and do it and people will make of it what they will.”
So there you have it, eclectic and damn proud of it… which brings us nicely on to the 10 records that changed Simon’s life.
Don Broco tour the UK in August - full dates are below.
05 Bedford, Esquires
06 Bedford, Esquires
08 London, Islington Academy
09 London, Islington Academy
10 Southampton, Engine Rooms
11 Southampton, Engine Rooms
13 Norwich, Open
14 Norwich, Open
15 Bristol, Marble Factory
16 Bristol, Marble Factory
1. Ash - 1977 (1996)
“That was the first guitar record I ever bought. I read about them in Top Of The Pops magazine and I had their poster on my wall. My dad bought me the Ash chord songbook as well.
“That was the first time I got an idea of chord progressions and how you put a song together. That album had a huge influence on me.
“It was so raw as well - I was eight or nine years old and I hadn’t heard a guitar record like it before. The success that they had was crazy. It’s a different world now for a band to get exposure like they had.”
2. Radiohead - The Bends (1995)
“It is super-hard to pick a favourite Radiohead record. This was the first Radiohead album I bought.
“I found this album through seeing them perform the track The Bends on Later With Jools Holland. I remember that performance freaked me out; I had never seen anything like it.
“Thom Yorke freaked me out - he was rolling his eyes and convulsing. Jonny Greenwood had this weird wrist brace on… everything about it freaked me out, but I loved it.
“That album has superb dynamics; it has soft and really heavy moments. Jonny’s use of effects blows my mind as well; the noises he creates are so inspiring. He’s a big inspiration to me in making mental noises on guitar.”
3. Prince - Purple Rain (1984)
“I’m a huge Prince fan. I discovered Prince by watching the movie Prince. But then again, I think everyone is aware of Prince as soon as they are born - you are instantly aware that Prince is a thing.
“But it was that movie that showed me how much I enjoyed his style. There’s not a dud on that album. I love Prince to bits, but he does have albums where there are times that I lose a bit of interest, but with Purple Rain track after track blows me away.
“It is easy for people to see Prince as a charismatic personality and overlook that he is one of the greatest guitar players ever.”
4. Reuben - Racecar Is Racecar Backwards (2004)
“This harks back to when I was about 15 and going to gigs regularly. On the touring circuit near me, the same names kept cropping up like Biffy [Clyro] and Reuben.
“For me, Reuben are the best British band of that time. It’s all about Jamie Lenman’s voice; he has such a distinctive tone. He’s a different guitar player as well - a lot of what he plays isn’t that conventional, but it is super-interesting.
“The intro to Stuck In My Throat was so brutal - it was heavy as hell, but the chorus was still so catchy. When we started a band, that was what we wanted: to be super-heavy but catchy as well. Reuben had a lot to do with our musical development as a band.”
5. Incubus - Make Yourself (1999)
“I heard this one, and then went back and discovered the earlier Incubus albums.
“The nu-metal era was huge when I was a kid. Out of all of those bands, there was a real crop of mediocre bands, but Incubus were a shining beacon that emerged from that scene. They were such a cut above the rest.
“I had seen Drive played on MTV2 and loved it, so went out and got the album. The guitar playing is incredible. It’s so innovative in terms of effects and tones.
“There is a lot of stuff from that era that make my toes curl when I hear it, but Incubus still sound super-fresh.”
6. Davie Bowie - Let's Dance (1983)
“I got into Bowie through my dad - he’s a big Bowie fan. I was always aware of Bowie from a young age.
“When I started getting into writing songs and having an interest in production, I listened to this record and the production is mind-blowing. The songs are incredible as well.
“The way this record was produced, there are all these extra percussive elements, and the bass comes to the forefront and there’s real guitar subtlety. There’s also big guitar moments and riffs, but the guitar also at times takes a backseat.
“There is a real level of intelligence in the guitar playing that I had never thought about until I heard this record. Nile Rodgers just brought the funk element to Bowie, and I love that.”
7. Alkaline Trio - Good Mourning (2003)
“Growing up, this band played a big part in my teenage years. My cousin bought me this record for Christmas, and I didn’t really know much about the band.
“They’re one of those bands where if you like Alkaline Trio then you absolutely love them. The big thing for me about them is the vocals. There’s something about Matt Skiba and Dan Andriano, the bass player -they both have this tone that gives a sense of sincerity to the darkness that they have.
“It sounds so sombre when they’re singing; it is so dark. I could listen to Matt Skiba singing all day. He’s been a real breath of fresh air in Blink as well.”
8. U2 - Joshua Tree (1987)
“I’m a big U2 fan. I dig The Edge. I’m a huge fan of delay, and he is the unrivalled master of guitar delay.
“This record is one of those that I have gone back and bought in different formats as I’ve got older. I’ve had it on cassette, MP3 and vinyl. I can listen to that record all day.
“It is such a well-produced piece of music. There’s a lot of songs on there with an element of sensitivity on them - it is so legitimate. When I listen to Bono singing With Or Without You I get goosebumps.
“I know U2 are a Marmite band, but they just connect with me.”
9. Biffy Clyro - The Vertigo Of Bliss (2003)
“Biffy are the band that I have seen the most times live.When I first learned to drive, me and our singer Rob would drive all over going to Biffy shows.
“We would go and see them a couple of times in a week. This record embodies everything Biffy are about.
“It is super-raw in the production. They’re not afraid to go off on tangents - some of the songs will go off with weird refrains, or they’ll chuck in a super-heavy riff right at the end of a song.
“That is exciting to me; that is what I love about Biffy. Here, they were starting to incorporate strings as well, and they are the best at incorporating strings into modern rock music.”
10. Deftones - White Pony (2000)
"Deftones are one of those bands that were around before the nu-metal boom, and this album was one I embraced in my teenage years.
“I don’t think anyone does heavy and melodic as good as Deftones. They are so heavy, but Chino’s voice brings this delicate nature to even the most brutal riff. He soars above and between it.
“The first heavy song I remember listening to was Knife Party, but then you’ve got stuff that caresses your ears like Digital Bath.
"That record takes you on a journey of massive heavy moments and then pulls the rug from underneath you with these tranquil moments.”