Broken Witt Rebels talk their debut album and going toe to toe with the best!
Broken Witt Rebels are ready to explode. They’re good enough to go toe to toe with the best, and they’ve got more than enough confidence in their ability, and most importantly, their work ethic to get to the top.
Frontman, Danny Core has all the elegant arrogance required to mix it with the best on and off stage, while lead guitarist James Tranter is a riff-master with the coolness of Izzy Stradlin. RUSHRONROCK’s Adam Keys caught up with the pair to talk their debut album, their headline tour and their recent signing to Snakefarm Records.
RUSHONROCK – Hi guys, thanks for joining us at RUSHONROCK. How’s life on the road? You had a number of sold out shows recently…
Broken Witt Rebels – (Danny) Yeah, the London show, Wolverhampton, Liverpool, Hartlepool, Sheffield…. It’s going great, and we’re continuing to change people’s lives (hahaha). The support has been incredible, and we appreciate every person that comes to see us play. We’re grateful for every turn turnout, and every person that puts their hand into their pocket to pay for a ticket to support us.
RUSHONROCK – Your sound has been described as ‘A heady blend of blues, soul, wailing rock guitar and deeply emotive vocals’. Could you tell our readers a bit more about your sound, and where your influences come from?
Broken Witt Rebels – (Danny) Life changing, just incredible. Just imagine all the best bands in the world, let them all have sex and we’re the product of that. I’m not even sure which ones they are – just the best ones.
We’ve got loads of influences, with Stereophonics, Led Zeppelin, Kaleo, The Cadillac Three, Alabama Shakes, The Black Keys, Rival Sons… They’re some of our contemporaries, but we throw it all into the melting pot, and go from there.
We toured with Kaleo, who are incredible. They’re smashing life at the minute. They’re songs are everywhere and the world is their oyster. We share a lot in the same circles in terms of management, and they’re great guys. I’m not sure if they know what I’m going on about yet, but I don’t know what they’re on about either!
RUSHONROCK – Your self-titled debut album comes out next month. Tell us a bit about it.
Broken Witt Rebels – (Danny) We’ve evolved. We’ve always moved forward. You can see that from all of our EPs, and I think with the album it was important to tip our hats to other genres and continue move on. The album contains such variety – there’s electronic beats, which was important for us; we all wanted to delve into that.
(James) There’s a good mix. There’s blues stuff, rock stuff and some electronic stuff that we’ve been working on. There’s parts of it that’s like the XX meets Nirvana, which are two sounds that we’ve never been compared to before.
RUSHONROCK – Previously, you’ve released three EPs (This Town Belongs To Me, Howlin’ and Georgia Pine). How does the album differ to these?
Broken Witt Rebels – (Danny) Everything has been remastered, and the old stuff is on the same level as the new stuff. There’s never a moment when you’re like ‘what the fuck’s that?’ It’s all on the one level, and it’s about our struggle. It’s about being fucked over, about constantly battling. Nothing’s been given to us, and we really document that in the album.
RUSHONROCK – You recently announced that you had signed to Universal / Snakefarm Records. How do you see the deal shaping the future of the band?
Broken Witt Rebels – (Danny) We wanted to make sure the next deal was important, and we wanted to choose wisely. After meeting with them for a while and hearing their plan, we came to an agreement, and we can now get the album out.
RUSHONROCK – In October 2016, they won Best Rock Act at the first annual Unsigned Music Awards. Did that recognition help trigger the interest of major labels?
Broken Witt Rebels – (Danny) It didn’t really. To be honest, we were in no rush to sign a major label deal. Nowadays, what can a signed band do that an unsigned band can’t? Lazy bands that don’t act like a signed band won’t get far. It’s all down to your work ethic, and we were operating as a signed band, even before we signed with anyone. We’ve worked fucking hard for this, and we took our time making the right decision, having meetings, talking to different labels, before agreeing the deal with Snakefarm.
I quit my job to be a fucking god. We’ve been a full time operation for the last 18 months, and we have worked hard to get were we’ve got. By the time the Unsigned Awards came around, we felt like it was due, and we were like ‘what’s next?’
RUSHONROCK – Were the labels involved before the album was made?
Broken Witt Rebels – (James) – It’s been in the works for a long time, and some of our older songs are on there. Some songs that we really wanted to do justice with, and get them out on a solid album and get them out on a decent label. It’s something we’ve been working on regardless, but it’s all worked out with the timing of this deal. It’s all worked out really well, and everything’s ready to for (finally) for next month.
RUSHONROCK – You hail from Birmingham. How is the music scene in the city at the minute, and how did you guys fit in with your classically modern sound?
Broken Witt Rebels – (Danny) The Birmingham music scene? You’re looking at it! No, we had to work to win over the fans. We didn’t fit into the B-town that the cool kids were listening to, with their mad floppy hair, and we had to work to win them over. We had to clip our wings and look elsewhere, but Birmingham’s my home, and I’ll always be glad to be back. When we were coming out, we weren’t in with the popular kids, so we had to work to win people over.
(James) I think because of bands like Alabama Shakes and The Black Keys that have had a lot of success playing bluesy rock, we’ve been able to find our place. The music has such a wide age range and appeals to so many different people. Our fan base covers so many demographics – from 16 to 70.
RUSHONROCK – Has growing up together made you tighter as a band?
Broken Witt Rebels – (Danny) We spend an unhealthy amount of time together. More than we spend with anyone else, so it’s important to get on. We’ve got a PlayStation in the van now, so we don’t speak to each other. When we’ve got days off, we don’t speak to each other, but no… no.. it’s important to be mates and to really get on.
RUSHONROCK – Finally, what kind of live experience can fans expect from Broken Witt Rebels?
Broken Witt Rebels – (Danny) A real rock and roll band. That’s what we are. We’re a real rock and roll band that likes to give our fans that little bit extra. I like to go into the crowd and gently walk around – I don’t jump in – they’d need to have arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger to carry me!
I remember going to shows as a fan, and I loved when bands did that little bit extra. We’re from humble beginnings, and to see X amount of people come through the door to see us is incredible, and we want to give them that personal touch. I remember what it meant to me when I saw bands, and I want to give that back.
I know what I came from. It was shit, and I hated it. Working in rat infested buildings with shit on my hands.. it was shit. I don’t just like playing, I fucking love it.
(James) Are you all right, mate? You okay?
(Danny) I am mate, I just love it, and it’s important to give back. We’re not perfect, but we’re getting there.
(James) Anyone can get their music onto Spotify and get it out there, but the real musicians are the ones out there playing and getting people to come and see them play. That’s what we want to be.
(Danny) It’s important to go toe to toe with other bands, and we can do that. We’re ready to do it.
Northumbria University Journalism graduate, rock and roll enthusiast and co-editor of RUSHONROCK.com.