Danny Core (Broken Witt Rebels)
Broken Witt Rebels are a four-piece band from Birmingham, United Kingdom who are building up their fanbase with catchy songs, savvy media campaigns and high-profile support slots alongside festivals.
With the recording of their debut album nearing completion and an extensive headline Autumn UK Tour looming, we sat down for an exclusive and detailed chat with frontman Danny Core. So sit back, get a drink and read on…
JLTT: Hi Danny! Glenn here how are you doing mate?
DC: Very well Glenn yourself?
Right first question, where are you now mate?
I’m in sunny Birmingham. I’ve just come back from band practice and we’ve been writing some new stuff.
The next thing I’d like to say is that I saw your set at Joanne Shaw Taylor’s show at Shepherds Bush Empire in London. How was that tour for you guys?
It was great. It was phenomenal to play Shepherds Bush Empire with Joanne. She’s a local girl to us as well. What an incredible musician. Then we played the Forum (Kentish Town, London) a few days later with another band as well. So to play Shepherds Bush and The Forum in a matter of three days was incredible.
In terms of what YOU like musically, what would you say was your guilty music pleasure?
Oh guilty music pleasure? Off the top of my head… I like the Spice Girls.
I was brought up in the Nineties you know. I think the first tape my brother got me was Spice Girls and ‘Spice Up Your Life’. Girl power and all that. I’m into all that Glenn. You know what I mean?
Women’s rights and all that.
Right. What two things have you learnt never to do onstage?
Slag off the band that you’re supporting. Don’t do that. I used too and it’s not big and it’s not clever. It’s filthy. It’s vermin but when I was younger that’s what I was like. A little scumbag rat.
One of the tracks off your ‘Georgia Pine’ EP that I really like is ‘Guns’.
You had a really great video for that. Who is the girl in the video?
It was a model who worked with a company who had worked with us. The people who did our media campaign it was a friend of theirs. A model from London. (Laughs) She’s not as good looking as me though.
(Laughs) Describe your hometown in five words.
Vibrant, hard-working, focused and tiresome.
Interesting choice. There is a new song of yours that you’ve been playing live recently that I really like called ‘Snake Eyes’.
That’s a brand brand new one that.
How did that come about because I think that one’s a real winner for you guys?
Oh cheers! I wrote that not so long ago actually. I was just at my mum’s and she was making me a stew she was. At the time. I was just upstairs and I dropped D, I tuned down on the guitar and that was wrote in a matter of minutes really. On the second time round, I knew how I wanted the song to go and the riff came first. I knew how I wanted the verse to go and it was probably wrote in ten minutes. All in all. It was just about basically a gambler’s life at a time when you’re going all out for it. The song’s about that.
I mean you guys have been very fortunate because you’ve been doing these tours with Joanne Shaw Taylor and I know you’ve been on the road with King King as well. I know that you guys will be touring the UK in the Autumn. How are you guys feeling about that?
It is a great platform. We’ve been playing with King King, Joanne, Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, Whiskey Myers and Kaleo. We have been playing with some great artists and we think we’ve gained a lot of new fans as well as the ones we already had which we value a lot. We’ve been able to play some incredible venues in front of lots of new people. So it will be really interesting to see how far we can go. How our popularity’s grown and it will be a good way to play great venues and play longer sets. Changing people’s f****** lives!
I agree with you there. Thinking about music you’ve listened to and inspirations, could you name an album that you’re able to listen to listen to the whole album, start to finish?
Fleetwood Mac ‘Rumours’. That is one of the most played albums in the van Glenn. From start to finish. Led Zeppelin One is another one. They are all great yeah.
So let’s say hypothetically the singer Gregory Porter covers a Broken Witt Rebels song. What song does he cover and why?
Who’s Gregory Porter? Just out of curiosity?
Gregory Porter – jazz singer who always wears a hat.
Is he a good singer?
Yeah he is.
Better than me?
(Laughs) Well I wouldn’t say better than you per se…
(Laughs) If he’s not better than me then he doesn’t deserve to sing any of our songs!
Sounds a bit like Ray Charles.
Oh does he? If he is a better singer than me what song would I get him to sing? I’d get him to sing ‘Turn Me’. It’s a new one and it is quite bluesy but at the same time it’s quite sexy. A bit like myself.
Ok. I can appreciate that you guys have been playing for quite a while but did you enjoy school?
Yeah I did enjoy school. I loved watching football and playing football at the time. I picked up an instrument but in my own time. At school it wasn’t the cool thing to do. I would’ve got battered in school if I played guitar so I stuck to football really. But I always had a love for guitar and making music in my room I guess. It was when I left school really that I started to go ‘I like doing this.’ I was self-taught in my own time when I could.
When you are composing songs at the moment, do you compose on guitar or a keyboard?
On the guitar really. I mean to be fair, ‘Snake Eyes’ I wrote that quite quickly and I had an idea for the band. Usually a lot of our material is ninety per cent all four of us and we go into a rehearsal room and we jam out an idea. It is never usually lyrics that come out first it is always usually a song and I hear the melody within the song and write what I have in my mind. It does come from everywhere really inspiration. It is usually guitar, bass and drums.
How do you look after your voice as a singer?
I’m learning to not drink after a show because that doesn’t do you any good on these late nights. At the same time, I’ve been thinking a lot about the voice and it is an instrument. I’m constantly learning and it is not like a guitar that you just re-string or raise the action or whatever. It is something that you have to be careful with. I’m not looking after it as much as I should as I’m still drinking and stuff like that. I’m learning at the moment. Just got to have some honey and lemon.
What’s interesting is that every now and again when I hear your voice on the tracks, it does sound like an early Adam Levine (the lead singer of Maroon 5) thinking about vocal range.
Oh yeah? That’s a very cool one Adam Levine, he’s a great singer. He is a great vocalist. I’ve never heard that one before. He has got some range.
I know that it was a while ago now but do you have any fond memories of the Water Rats show in London?
The Water Rats. Actually yeah it was the first time we had three or four labels who came to see us that night. People were saying ‘Oh you should be nervous’. It was the first time our manager at the time said ‘You really need to deliver tonight’ and I said ‘Don’t you worry about us delivering. You just make sure you get us a drink.’ I had no problems with that really but it was a great show and with a fantastic crowd.
Turning to guitars, what kind of gear are you using at the moment?
I myself am using a Gretsch a new Electromatic 2016 one. Pedal-wise, we use Tubescreamers, fuzz pedals and different reverbs. My amp, I like the Orange so I have a tiny thorough-head and a one-twelve cab.
The lead guitarist has a Fender Blues Junior and he also has a Vox at times. He plays through Gibson 335 or Gretsch. He has Tubescreamers and fuzz pedals too. The bass player goes through an Orange Terror Bass with a cab I think it is a 412. He like the Gibson SG and the Jack Casadys. He has all the pedals as well.
One thing I noticed that interested me when I first saw you guys live was that you reminded me very much of a band called Free with Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraser. I don’t know if you’re familiar with them?
Yeah. I know of them but I haven’t delved deep. That’s a great compliment but we’ve had a couple of people say that so we’ll take that all day. Thank you.
That’s alright. If you get a chance listen to some of their material. I think you might like it.
Yeah I will do.
I can appreciate that you have toured North America with Whiskey Myers this year but if you got the opportunity to go back would you rather go out on the road with Aerosmith or Hall and Oates?
Excuse my ignorance, who’s Hall and Oates? You’re opening up my mind here.
Hall and Oates they have a song called ‘I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)’. Another one called ‘Private Eyes’. They are an American duo and one is called John Oates and the other one is Daryl Hall. Daryl has a live music show called ‘Live From Daryl’s House’ in the States.
I’ve never heard of them.
They also had a song called ‘Out Of Touch’ and a guy did a remix of it a couple of years ago.
(Sings) ‘You’re Out of Touch, I’m out of time. But you’re out of my head when you’re not around’
That’s Hall and Oates my friend!
We’d probably go with Aerosmith. But he’s a big silly bloke as well isn’t he that Steven Tyler? Silly looking fella he is!
He’s gone all country now though. His new album’s really good.
Has he? He needs to comb his hair! That’s what he needs.
Bit random, what’s Broken Witt Rebels diet when you are on the road?
MacDonalds! (Other fast food outlets available) Lager! Kebabs! Dog s*** stuff! It’s fairly bad. We have been talking about that. We do need to start eating better. But a lot of these bands have bags of fruit and all that. When we get to the venue we go ‘We love a bit of fruit and all that’. But we just forget to get it so we end up not eating in the day and then it is usually on the way to the hotel or home we pull into some services and eat bad food.
It is quite hard to eat healthily on the road. Especially when you are touring a lot.
A lot of bands go to the gym and I’m like ‘Forget that. I’d rather have a bath!’
(Laughs) There are lot of bands who are managing that and I don’t know how they are but good lick to them.
Are there any female artists that you guys would like to work with?
Alabama Shakes’ Britney. I’m a big fan of Alabama Shakes and I’m actually listening to them right now. Aretha Franklin’s packed it in but I’d love to work with her as well. That would be an absolute dream!
I did hear that she was retiring. Quite sad really.
Yeah but them two. But Britney from Alabama Shakes does remind me of Aretha Franklin a bit.
Thinking of the band dynamic, it seems similar to The Who. Do you guys have a favourite Who song or album?
I like ‘My Generation’. I’ve always liked that. Being brought up in the Nineties I listened to Oasis which was nowhere near as good as The Who. I just remember that it screamed a lot of attitude and Brit power.
What would you say is the band’s most reflective/thoughtful song?
The lyrics of ‘Getaway Man’ are probably very heartfelt. It is a slower one.
Is there a local band in Birmingham that you guys rate?
No one. Fair enough. Can’t go wrong there.
What’s the best advice you guys have had? I can imagine that a lot of people have been giving you tips and telling you things.
We are ourselves. A lot of bands don’t bother to go see their fans after the show which absolutely baffles me. That’s important to never lose touch of who is coming to see you and spending two minutes with people. Always be humble. I’m humble and confident. Interesting fact, a bloke said it to me the other day and I guess it’s true. I had just finished a show and I was really sweaty and he said ‘Change your shirt after your show cause you’ll get a cold’. It makes sense.
That does make sense. Is there anything else that you wanted to quickly mention or cover?
No. I’ve actually quite liked the interview. Usually they’re quite generic but you’ve asked me some cool questions I like that. A lot of them aren’t this engaging. Thank you very much for your time. Much appreciated.
Many thanks for the chat Danny. Say hello to the rest of the guys for me and good luck with the UK tour and shows in Europe with The Cadillac Three.
Will do mate. Take care.
(Thanks to Danny and all of Broken Witt Rebels)
Feature Image Credit: Eric Duvet Photography
Broken Witt Rebels latest EP ‘Georgia Pine’ is out now and you can read our review here: http://bit.ly/1rjjm4Q
The band’s debut album will be released in late 2017/early 2018.
For more information visit the band’s official website here: http://bit.ly/1WDUtwA
In addition, Broken Witt Rebels will be embarking on a headline UK Tour in Autumn 2017 with special guest Sonia Leigh. All of the dates are listed below:
Friday 6th October 2017 – Great Room Grand Hotel, Hartlepool, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2v3hZKb
Saturday 7th October 2017 – Neighborhood Festival (Festival Appearance), Manchester, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2xfvA1C
Sunday 8th October 2017 – Studio 2, Liverpool, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2wtG8xh
Wednesday 11th October 2017 – Waterfront, Norwich, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2howowG
Thursday 12th October 2017 – The Old Blue Last, London, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2xfvE1m
Friday 13th October 2017 – The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2sSi9C8
Saturday 14th October 2017 – Dryden Street Socials, Leicester, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2wlklIE
Thursday 19th October 2017 – Cluny, Newcastle, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/1NvEt7l
Friday 20th October 2017 – Corporation, Sheffield, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2we2zqm
Saturday 21st October 2017 – Stereo, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2pLxwzz
Sunday 22nd October 2017 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2hA8LPp
Saturday 28th October 2017 – Kasbah, Coventry, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2vPt5oY
Monday 27th November 2017 – Joiners, Southampton, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2pAHgZt
Tuesday 28th November 2017 – Prince Albert, Brighton, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2vUFw1r
Thursday 30th November 2017 – 02 Academy 3, Birmingham, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2hzCVT9
Saturday 2nd December 2017 – Planet Rockstock, Trecco Bay, Wales, United Kingdom
Thursday 7th December 2017 – Thekla, Bristol, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2jkOUHa
Friday 8th December 2017 – The Ruby Lounge, Manchester, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2blnShv
Saturday 9th December 2017 – Bodega, Nottingham, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2gMY3rY