Interview by Francijn Suermondt
Rising stars Broken Witt Rebels have been touring with Glastonbury rockers Reef. Amongst others, they have already shared stages with Joanne Shaw Taylor, Kaleo, Whiskey Myers and The Cadillac Three. The rebellious rocking foursome have also performed at many of Europe’s leading festivals, including Download, Wacken, Stone Free, Reading and Leeds, Isle of Wight, The Great Escape and Ramblin’ Man.
Myglobalmind.com interviewed the cheeky Broken Witt Rebels chappies to discuss amongst others things, music, wizards, ice cream and statues of footballers.
Fran: I’m here today with Danny Core vocalist and James Tranter guitarist with Broken Witt Rebels backstage at the Exeter ‘Lemon Grove’. How excited are you about paying with Reef in their tour?
Danny: Massively yeah, it feels like we have been with them now for a while, it’s been a really long time this tour! We have been to Europe and all over the place. It’s something new. It’s something different, the Reef guys are great ….. lovely jubbly!
Fran: You guys are pretty young …so do you remember the ‘Glow’ album from Reef?
Danny: Yeah, I mean the first and second album I remember listening to them a lot actually
Fran: So amongst others you have shared the stage with Joanne Shaw Taylor, Cadillac Three and also performed at many of the big festival in Europe. What’s been your career on the road highlight so far would you say?
Danny: Well we toured with Whiskey Myers in America, that’s was great and probably our biggest career highlight is that we have just got back from recording our album in America this year. We stayed in Austin for a month …. That’s my highlight how about you James?
James: Yeah me too !!
Fran: Brilliant! So how about festivals in the UK next year? Do you have any booked up? Cos you played at Ramblin Man Fair already didn’t you ?
Danny: Yes we have…..
James: But you know, we do not really know until we are told where to play ….
Danny: Our booking manager and label sort all that out for us, you know we have been so busy with other things that we haven’t had time to really think about it. But I am sure they will all be open to use putting suggestions in.
James : Yeah, they know where we want to play, so I’m sure those places will be in discussion.
Fran: I’ve got to ask you, where does the name ‘Broken Witt Rebels’ come from ?
James: From Jesus Christ himself
Danny: Luke (bass player) woke up one day and he had had a dream with Jesus in it saying something about ‘Broken Witt Rebels’ ….he phoned me and he said that he had had this dream, Luke isn’t even religious! Then when he told the rest of the band, James said that he had had a similar dream! It was weird!
Fran: Wow that’s amazing!
Danny: I’m the only one who is religious, so I’m a bit gutted I didn’t have the dream!
Fran: I reviewed your ‘Snake Eyes’ EP and I said and I quote “You would be mistaken in thinking Broken Witt Rebels hail from Tennessee, but in fact they come from Birmingham (and not the one in Alabama), but this too is heard with the English twist in their music, nicely woven in with the Americana” So am I correct in thinking that your big influence is southern rock ?
Danny: Absolutely we write from where we are and have toured with bands like Whiskey Myers and Cadillac Three, but not only that England has been a great export for bands like the Stones and Zeppelin who also had an American influences….and we are just one of many bands who have touched on the Americana. It helps that we have toured with a lot of American bands.
Fran: So what were your favourite bands that you have listened to growing up, I mean if you had to pick a band who would they be?
James: Fleetwood Mac
Danny: Duran Duran
Fran: They were my guilty pleasure growing up!
Fran: So you hail from Birmingham…..
Danny: Well James is from Coventry, he comes from money. We are ying and yang….it’s like the Titanic, I’m Jack and James is Rose.
Fran: Oh so you are downstairs Danny and you James are the one wearing the dress?
Danny: Yeah that’s right ….
Fran: So obviously you have great Birmingham bands like Black Sabbath and Magnum … how has that effected how you started thinking about music?
Danny: Well I like Magnum, I like the mint ones, I like the vanilla ones …
James: Yeah chocolate ones ….
Fran : Almond ones too? So yes, that is bound to help you with your music writing isn’t it!
Danny: Yeah, I mean everyone loves a bit of ice cream don’t they? But yes we love Sabbath, ELO, Ocean Colour Scene and we are inspired by all those guys.
Fran: It is no surprise that you were crowned ‘Unsigned Rock Band Of The Year’ at 2016’s Unsigned Music Awards in London. How did that come about and how are things going now that you have been taken under the wing of Spinefarm Records?
Danny: We were on their radar for ages, we chose to be unsigned for a long time, we were in a great strong position being unsigned, we won the award and we got the opportunity from a number of labels that were giving us offers which we were grateful for. But we were in no rush and wanted to make sure that we made the right decision. But even now, unsigned or signed, it makes no difference to us as our fan base is so strong.
Fran: So why Spinefarm? If you had a pick of the crop, which it sounds like you did have …..
Danny: They had a good plan, they had a good message …
James: I think it is a deal which suited want we wanted and what they wanted ….
Danny: We like the personal touch, do you know what I mean and it made sense. It’s album one and we make the rules you know? We are in no rush to give our music away …
Fran: Let’s talk about writing your music, how do the dynamics within your band work within the writing and recording process?
James: Luke writes all of it really, Luke on bass, he comes to us with an idea and says “I’ve got this song, I’ve recorder it, done all the vocal and the guitar lines etc etc”. It really is that easy ! Luke’s the main guy!
Danny: He is a spell caster. He will tell you that himself, he is in to some mad wizard rock or something!
Fran: Wizard rock?
Danny: It’s like a band full of wizards or something yeah!
Fran: You were saying about your last album you recorded, that you did this in America? I know your first album was released last year, but when will the album you have just recorded be released? And who produced the most recent one?
James: Dwight Baker produced it
Fran: How was it for you guys?
Danny: It was great, we got on with him and sent him a couple of demos before touring. We wanted him to produce it, he wanted to produce it and it went really, really well!
Fran: So presumably, previously, before your recording contract, you were doing all this yourselves?
James: Yeah sort of, we still had a producer here in the UK…..
Fran: Of so it wasn’t home produced or anything …
James : No no, Luke’s good but he is not that good!!
Fran: He does sound a lot like a Wizard, does he have a pointy hat?
Danny: No but he has got a rat’s tail
Luke walks in ……..
Fran: Here’s the wizard!! What’s all this wizard rock I am hearing about?
Luke: I can’t talk about it outside of wizard society!
Danny: We call him Wizard Rat ….
Luke: Yeah my spirit animal is a rat you see ….
Fran: I’m very nosy, and I love to hear what other hobbies float the boat of musicians that I interview and how these inspire their music. What do you like to do when not playing music and how does this inspire your music?
Danny: Ummmmm, I like cooking eggs, all forms of eggs, boiled, poached, scrambled, I have even made up a way to cook eggs as well.
Fran: Go on then, tell me …or is a secret? A wizard secret ? Is it magic?
Danny: Half in the frying pan, half in the microwave, then I oven it, then I finish it off under the grill….
Fran: It sounds really complicated …
Danny: It takes about an hour ….
James: It tastes awful as well …..
James: I like collecting spoons
Fran : Are you taking the p*ss ?
Danny: He also rides a unicycle …
Fran; Are you taking the p*ss …. Again ?
Danny: You know when you go into hotels and you have the plastic spoons, he collects them
Fran: You steal spoons?
James: No I collect them … it’s different
Fran: Wizard, what do you like to do?
Luke: Casting spells
Fran: This is just going to get stupid now isn’t it ….
Band in unison: No
Luke: No honestly I like my Xbox ….
Fran: Let me guess….Warcraft? Back in the real world, do you have any Hot Off the Press News? When is your album coming out?
Danny: The album is coming out next year, the date we don’t know yet, we’ve done it, it’s ready and the management and label are sorting it all out.
Fran: And can we expect videos for the album?
Danny: Yeah, yeah ….we are hoping that everything will start around spring. And then fingers crossed, by the summer everything will be out there.
Fran: And that makes sense timing wise, cos you’ve got all the festivals to play at and promote it.
Fran: OK last question, I always ask this of people I have not interviewed before. If you had a dinner party and were allowed 6 guests dead or alive who would you invite?
Danny: Colonel Saunders, because I would like to know what is in his secret blend, Sergeant Slaughter from wrestling as I was a big wrestling fan when I was younger, Roald Dahl, James (guitarist, but only because he asked), John Major(to stop the conversation going downhill with Sergeant Slaughter and Colonel Sanders) and Ron Atkinson.
James: Mo Salah….
Fran: Have you seen his statue, it’s hilarious ….
Short statue viewing break and mirth ……
James: Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, maybe Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk, Jurgen Klopp
Fran: So do you support Man United then (tee hee hee)?
Fran: And you Luke ? Gandolph? Harry Potter ?
Luke: Chuckle Brothers ….
Fran: Oooooooh “From Me To You”!!
James: Ooooooh calm down!
Luke : Dick Van Dyke, Bill and Ben The Flower Pot Men
Fran : And who would you like to invite James (drummer) ?
James D: You four would already be there. And also Jimmy Hendrix, David Bowie and Kurt Cobain, and I would sit them next to each other. And I stick Elton John at the end of the table…I reckon he would like that! And Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics)
Fran: That’s it guys!!! Thanks so much … it’s been a blast!!!!
And finally… as promised the brand new video from Broken Witt Rebels…. celebrating the 3 nights in London with Reef, ‘Guns (Live)’