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New Hope Club: Albums, Skinny Jeans, And Brand New Music

Photo By Ellisha Iddon

Having started the year with a bit of some much needed relaxation, British pop-trio New Hope Club are fired up and ready to take captive of 2023, beginning with their brand new single Don’t Go Wasting Time, which came out on 27th January 2023, giving fans a little flavour of what’s to come in the month’s ahead, especially with their second album on the horizon.

Now in their 8th year as a band, we took the opportunity to catch up with members Reece Bibby, Blake Richardson, and George Smith as we reflected what the journey has been like so far in a evolution which has seen them gaining loving admiration from music fans across the globe with their powerful music in their quest to become the biggest band they can possibly be.

Firstly Happy New Year to the three of you. Pleased with how 2023 has begun so far?

Reece: Yeah, it's great. We started the year just having a little break because obviously this is going to be a busy year for us. We've got a lot of touring, a lot of songs coming out, maybe an album. Yeah, there's a lot going on. So we just thought we'd take like a couple of weeks just to enjoy the calm before the storm. But now we're leading up to our first single of the year. So yeah, very excited.

So before we get into that, and so what does a break in the world of new clubs look like? What are your priorities for that perfect inner peace?

Reece: We spent some time in the California countryside. And although we expected a nice calm, sunny day, it was absolutely pouring down the whole time haha! So we just, we chilled, and we got stuck into the recording and stuff. To be honest, even though we say we will ‘take time out’ we never really switch off.

I think that is because we’ve always been creative people, especially when we're together - the change of scenery is just the added bonus.

George: For me its about just being able to get out of town, even if it's for a couple days because when you get straight back you feel refreshed. It's also nice to spend time seeing your friends and family as well. Doing small things like that just helps you feel ready to take on the rest of the year.

Refreshed and focused you step into 2023 with your brand new track, Don't Go Wasting Time, which came out officially on 27th January 2023. What has the lead up to the release been like?

It’s been great! We actually played this song on tour when we toured last in the UK and in Asia and stuff. And it always goes down really well at live shows. I remember we played to about 15,000 people in Korea. There is a line in the song that goes “He said, he said, don't go wasting time, Forget all of your mistakes, Forget all of your mistakes, Today's another yesterday…” and before we knew it the whole crowd was singing it back to us. It is definitely one of the more ballad type songs we have released so far.

George: It's a very personal song to us. I think leading up to any release of a song is always nerve wracking as an artist, because its your baby, and something that you've held onto for a while. So we're naturally nervous and excited when it comes to any new release.

Photo By Ellisha Iddon

So when the fans are getting behind your newer material, what does that feel like for you as creative people and as a band in general?

Reece: It's amazing. I think nowadays especially there's so much content from everyone. Everyone's releasing and making music or doing something online and it's really nice to know that since we've been doing this for a long time, the fans have joined us and being a part of this since the beginning.

When we first began it was by doing YouTube covers in George's front room when no-one even knew who we were, but since then the fans have stuck with us, and become part of this family. They have continued to celebrate anything we’ve ever done, and the three of us are so grateful for all of the support and the amazing fans we have.

George: We've taken a lot more ownership as well with these new songs. We've written them all, completely ourselves and produced them up ourselves. Like we said earlier, it's definitely nerve wracking for us but it's also exciting for the fans to get to hear who we are as people.

Blake: It was amazing, man. Obviously the first album was written and released when we were so young. We didn't have the control that we wanted at the start, and to now be releasing music that is a true reflection of our words and our message to the fans, it’s a reminder of the reason why we do it. It's just really nice to be able to give them something that's truly honest from us.

We are all very excited for this year too, especially for our fans to hear more new music and for us to play that all around the world as well.

Photo By Ellisha Iddon

So if you think back to the bands that you guys got a lot of comfort and strength from and then think how your fans are now getting a lot of confidence, strength from your music. How does that resonate with your own mind?

Reece: Yeah, it's crazy. We're just big music fans - we love music, we love creating and we ourselves are fans of a lot of bands. I think some of our best memories together are being at gigs. Watching a band that we love and singing along to the same lyrics and meeting people that have the same interest as you. I think music just brings people together. It's like a safe place for a lot of people. It's pretty innocent. It's just peace and love.

George: Yeah, when we see fans who have made their best friends at one of our concerts that’s so touching.

I think music just brings people together. It's like a safe place for a lot of people. It's pretty innocent. It's just peace and love.

Reece: It's also kind of crazy that you think that these people spend time out of their day listening to your music, watching your videos, and then they come to the show. They'll actually make a friend there because they have that same interest in our music as well as us as people, so yeah it's crazy.

Blake: I'm with the boys. It's obviously super special. Like we said, we've always been fans of bands and bands have changed our lives. So to hear that we have been a part of helping someone through something, it's those moments that are super surreal. To be able to touch hearts all around the world, especially when we come from very small towns in the UK is something really special.

Photo By Ellisha Iddon

So the song itself is the new song itself is about letting go of your past mistakes, think back of some of the mistakes you made in life. But what also some of the wisest lessons you learned?

Reece: Definitely the biggest mistake was when we used to wear really skinny jeans haha. Seriously though mistakes happen and sometimes mistakes can be good things as well.

George: I think the song is about mistakes and feeling like you're not heading in the right direction. But it's also about motivation and moving on from that and finding yourself again.

We wrote this song during lockdown when it was really tough, day to day, to find motivation, but we needed to because we were writing this album. I think that it was about just thinking back and looking back on lessons taught to us from our parents. We've all had similar upbringings. We've all had parents that we've learned everything from and we look up to them. So Don't Go Wasting Time and the message behind it has always been in our minds which is never stop going and always keep pushing. That's pretty much been the story of our life so far I think.

Photo By Ellisha Iddon

As we know, New Hope Club has got this amazing, loyal and growing fan base. So to the fans that have continued to support you, as well as the new fans who have just joined the journey, what makes them what makes you smile about them?

Reece: Just how they continue to support us for the past seven years. They also tell us if we need to get a haircut too which makes me smile too haha!

We're also very close to them. Whenever they message us we always try to make sure we reply even during any live streams and stuff. It's always nice to just kind of stay in touch with them because they do so much for us, so the least that we can do is just be kind back and stay in contact with them continuously too.

Now Blake I hear that you're going to be appearing in the Brian Epstein Beatles biopic Midas Man. Tell us more?

We're still working on it, actually. I don't know if the boys had mentioned this yet but the Beatles have been a crucial influence in our music careers. We've always looked up to them so much and they've always just been such a huge inspiration.

So to be given the role was obviously nerve wracking because I'm not an actor. My go to has always been music, but I've always thought that at some point of my life this could also be something I want to go into, and starting that by playing someone such as Sir Paul McCartney who I look up to has been one hell of an experience.

The thing as well is with Sir Paul McCartney, everyone knows him, everyone knows how he plays, how he sings, how he talks, so there's a bit of pressure on getting it getting it right, but I think I'll hopefully do all right haha!

Photo By Ellisha Iddon

When you think about your amazing journey and about how you bring out each other's strengths, what would those things look like?

Reece: Well, we've lived together since we were like 16 years old, like pretty much even in the same room for the first couple of years so we know each other very, very well, maybe a little too well haha! But yeah, it's crazy that we've literally known each other for so long. We're bestest of friends, like brothers, which is nice because pretty much none of us have brothers.

I just think we continually check ourselves, and we want to make sure that we can be the best that we can be. Obviously, we never want to settle and become complacent assuming we’ve made it.

Blake: Ideally, we want to be like the biggest band ever. I mean, that's a crazy thing to say but you don't know unless you just keep pushing yourself and keep trying. So I think that's one thing for us is just, we never want to stop. We want to keep working hard. Keep touring, keep seeing all the fans. Hopefully they go and tell their friends about us. And then you know, it just keeps going and keeps going. So yeah, I think we just keep ourselves on track that way.

Photo By Ellisha Iddon

Related to that. If you think about your 2023 vision board, what are your priorities?

Blake: I mean, definitely, to do tours, play shows, again, all around, see the fans all over the world. And to release the second album that we've worked on for the whole of COVID and beyond by trying to make this album the best it could be.

We are at the point where we are now finessing the little bits so that hopefully we can get it out there for people to listen to. We're still finessing little bits then the next step will finally be in a position where people can listen to it and enjoy it.

Blake: It is a lot different from the first album. Obviously we are still the same boys, but we've come a long way since then, and to get that album out and to see the fans singing, that would be a dream. At that point the dream would be to get the album to number 1 and go platinum everywhere in the world. So fingers crossed.

How about you guys?

George: Pretty much the same as Blake, just want to get out, do some big shows, break some band records, biggest crowds, biggest stage. Longer show, I want to break all that. I want to break all the records for the longest time.

You continue to bring a lot of happiness to many music funds across the world, especially like we mentioned, but is there any other country that always feels like a second home?

Reece: We've been lucky in a lot of places where people have really made us feel at home and made us feel so welcome. I mean, America, you know, LA's probably the band's second home, because we spend a lot of time there. We wrote the album. And we live there for half the year. But, I mean, Asia has always been amazing for us. We did our first ever headline festival and we've done some amazing shows. And yeah, the fans and crowds are just absolutely crazy over there. But I mean, there's so many places like Mexico and the south of America it is incredible. We need to go back there this year. That's another aim for us and Europe as well. For example the time we played a show in Amsterdam was one of the best shows we've ever played as a band. Yeah, everywhere. Honestly, I couldn't speak highly enough of all the crowds that we've met and all the fans.

Photo By Ellisha Iddon

Do you feel that island records have allowed you to grow and to be yourselves?

Blake: Well, we actually only recently signed to Island. we signed to them quite deep into writing the second album, actually. We have a lot to thank Hollywood Records in America, as well, for taking a gamble on us. We ran a lot with so many amazing writers, but it got to a point where, we believed in our own ability and wanted to prove that we could do the second album. Island just allows us the time to do that, and to experiment and even during the times when we wrote some weird songs.

So now that the new song is officially out there what's the best way to embrace it?

Blake: I hope people enjoy it as much as we do. But to embrace the song for the first time, maybe keep a box of tissues handy as it might make a few people cry, but then sometimes that emotional spirit that makes up the DNA of a song like Don't Go Wasting Time, like we said before can also be a good thing too, so yea we hope that just comes across.

Well, it's been a pleasure speaking to the three of you. Looking forward to the next chapter what is putting that fire in your belly?

Blake: The fire in the belly? For a start just how we're very excited about this song. I think the message is really important as well. We're going to Asia soon which we are really looking forward to. Hopefully we'll also get to work with some artists out there and stuff and do some interesting collaborations this year.

Fantastic. Well, I wish you all the best guys and long may the celebrations continue!

The brand new single Don’t Go Wasting Time is available to listen to now via all major platforms.

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Article By Thushara Chandrasiri, Photos By Ellisha Iddon

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