While enduring months without gigs, Don Broco hit the studio to create Amazing Things - an album that channels the angst of 2020 into stadium-sized riffs and stage-ready anthems. Guitarist Si Delaney discusses his gear and how to create tracks out of “pure gibberish”.
What did you want to achieve when you started making Amazing Things?
“We wanted to keep the theme of heavy, banging live tunes. When we were writing, we were envisioning how it was going to hit live. That was the main focus because what gives us the rush is playing live and feeling the reaction in that environment.”
This record feels angrier than your previous releases. Do the lyrics influence the degree of heaviness you employ?
“It’s actually an interesting one because the lyrics are always the last piece of the puzzle. Normally, I’ll write a load of music, create a pretty fully formed demo, send it to the boys and they will top-line loads of different melodies over the music.
“Then we’ll come back together and listen to tons of melodies – which will be pure gibberish – and then Bobby will put lyrics to it at the very end. So maybe my heavy riffs have informed his angry lyrics – I’ll take the credit!”
In terms of gear, what could you absolutely never be without?
“My absolute favourite amp of all time – if I could be buried with one amp – is the JCM800. I just think it’s the best all-rounder for my kind of playing. When I got to the point where I could afford a decent amp, it was always an 800 that I wanted because I knew that I could probably do anything with it.
“It’s such a beautiful clean-sounding amp, it sounds amazing driven, and it sounds amazing with any effects in front of it. For me, that’s the building block on which everything can be based. I don’t think there’s a single song I’ve ever recorded that doesn’t have my 800 there.”
And your number one guitar is…
“If the JCM is my staple amp, my staple guitar to pair with it is my PRS Custom 22. It’s a 1997, and it’s a beast. It was my first PRS. It must have been eighth or ninth-hand because it was beaten to shit when I got it, which was the only reason I could afford it at the time – it was like it had literally been dragged through a bush!”
It’s hard to draw comparisons between Don Broco and other bands, but which players have particularly inspired you?
“My favourite guitarist, I think ever – because I’ve always come back to him throughout pretty much my entire life as a guitar player – is Mike Einziger from Incubus. I’m always seeing things in his playing that I haven’t seen before.
“The way he uses effects and tone in a one guitar band environment – that’s another really big thing for me – I love how he fills the space without overplaying. He’s always been, and still for this record, my biggest guitar inspiration.”
- Amazing Things is out now via SharpTone.