Digital Exclusive Cover: New Hope Club Talks Music, How They Met, What’s Next, Self-Love + Their Favorite Things
Northern England natives Reece Bibby, Blake Richardson, and George Smith, who make up the trio, New Hope Club, have spent countless hours writing songs together in their bedrooms, each drawing from the vast musical skills he’d honed his entire life. They shot to fame quickly as the trio headed out on tour with The Vamps and quickly scored a record deal, soon introducing the world to their massively infectious yet emotionally honest brand of guitar-driven pop. Glitter sat down with New Hope Club to discuss their sound, their debut album, how they use their voice for change, and what they want to do once social isolation is lifted. In the meantime, make sure to follow along on social for all the deets on their “Stay at Home Tour.”
GLITTER: How would you describe your sound?
GEORGE: New Hope Club’s sound I’d have to say is quite organic. We all learned guitar growing up, as well as other instruments along the way, and it only feels natural to include these as a part of our sound. We take inspiration from bands such as The Beatles and Oasis, and I think you can hear that in our music. All three of us sing, so we like to use harmonies and we like to write fun, uplifting songs so that people are excited to hear live and are left feeling happy.
GLITTER: What was it like creating your debut album?
GEORGE: It was like a dream come true. Ever since I was little all I’ve ever wanted to do was to release an album. It was really important for us, with this being our first album and all, that it shows off the journey that we as young people have been on since we first met when we were around 15 and 16 years old. It took a little while for this album to come out but we wanted to be sure that it was the best it could be, and the only way that could happen is with time. The album is a collection of new and old songs that we’ve written and we couldn’t be happier with the tracklisting for our debut album.
GLITTER: What was your big break?
GEORGE: Our big break would have to have been when The Vamps took us on tour with them for the first time back in 2016. We had never played a live show as a band before and then our first ever performance was in front of 15,000 people. To be honest, that was probably the scariest day of my life. Looking back on old videos from this tour, it’s so funny watching how small we are on such a big stage.
GLITTER: How do you use your voice for change?
GEORGE: We always try to support charities. Recently we have been working a lot with Teenage Cancer Trust and they are doing such an amazing job, so we wanted to help out in any way we could. We show our support online and try to help raise as much money as we can. We also just want to spread the word of what incredible work they’re doing.
GLITTER: What would be a dream collaboration for you?
GEORGE: My dream collaboration is probably Sir Paul McCartney. He is a living legend, and to even write a song with him would be the biggest honour. Us 3 boys are some of the biggest Beatles fans you’ll ever meet. We love their music and we always pay homage to them at our live shows by playing at least one Beatles song. If time permits we might even squeeze in our 7-minute mash-up of our favourite Beatles songs.
GLITTER: Who is on your playlist right now?
GEORGE: Right now I can’t stop listening to the brand new Dua Lipa album. I really love what she’s doing right now, the songs are so fun and energetic. I’m also loving a bit of the new Blossoms album, another very cool vibe and I love the playfulness of it.
GLITTER: Favorite fashion indulgence?
GEORGE: JACKETS! Boy, I love jackets. Nothing is better than a new jacket. My suitcase, whenever we head off on tour, is full of jackets. I like to switch things up and keep things fresh. When in winter, I’d tend to go for a bit of a longer jacket to look a little smarter. When in summer I’ll keep it to a thin, lighter jacket. However, as we know, the English weather is all over the place so you gotta pack for all weather.
GLITTER: Favorite place that you have traveled to?
GEORGE: I love every place we’ve traveled to. If you’d have told me 5 years ago that I’d have been to all of these places, I would never have believed you. If I really had to choose one, then I’d probably have to go with LA. LA holds so many memories for us as a band. We used to spend months at a time out there on writing trips and it’s got the coolest vibe. I for sure one day want to live over there.
GLITTER: Best social platform for fans to find you?
GEORGE: The best platform to find us on would probably be YouTube (NewHopeClub). We are always posting new songs/covers on our channel, so if you want to binge a little while you have the time I think we have something like 300 covers up on our channel. There’s something there for everybody. But if you want more daily updates, than Instagram and Twitter is also good. We keep our fans updated daily with what we’re up to, so be sure to head to @NewHopeClub if you want more daily updates.
GLITTER: Where did you all grow up?
REECE: Me and Blake grew up either side of Manchester, and George grew up just outside of London.
GLITTER: Can you tell us about your music history and what instruments, if any, that you play?
REECE: I (Reece) started playing drums at the age of 3 since my dad was a drummer, then started learning guitar at around 9 and eventually bass, which I play in the band now. George and Blake both play piano and guitar.
GLITTER: You are all the same ages as most of your fans. What messages do you hope to send them through your music?
REECE: I think it helps that we are the same age as our fans; we are experiencing very similar things at this stage in our life. The only difference is we are writing about them and putting our feelings into song form. I think that’s why our fans relate to our lyrics as much as they do. I hope that our music is an escape for our fans, and when they come to a live show we can celebrate that feeling together.
GLITTER: Can you tell us about ‘Let Me Down Slow’ and what went into creating the track?
REECE: “Let Me Down Slow” is all about going through a breakup and having one last request: that if you are going to end it all, give me a reason why help me understand. We got R3HAB on the track, which was amazing because he’s a really talented guy and brought a whole new energy to the previously acoustic track.
GLITTER: Best advice you were ever given?
REECE: The best advice would have to be just to enjoy yourself. I think sometimes it’s easy to get dragged down with the bad times, but really everything is relative, and there will always be difficult things we have to overcome. The truth is we are living our dreams, travelling the world with our best mates, and performing to the most amazing supporters, who are singing our lyrics back to us. For us, The Beatles are our idols, everything they did was just so slick, they were just normal lads from Liverpool who made an empire. I don’t think anyone has ever come close to what they have achieved.
GLITTER: Social distancing has become the new normal for now. What are your favorite things to do right now throughout the day?
REECE: All I’ve been doing whilst in isolation is eating lots of junk food, writing lots of songs, watching lots and lots of TV, video calls with my friends, and playing on my Xbox.
GLITTER: How are you using social media to connect with fans during social distancing?
REECE: To make up for not being on tour right now, we decided to go on a “Stay At Home Tour” where we live stream acoustic performances, release new videos every week and do Q&A’s all the time. Our fans are getting us through these crazy times.
GLITTER: What’s the first thing you want to do when social distancing ends?
REECE: We have all missed our families very much, so the first thing I will do is go down to my local pub with my grandad and have a pint whilst we watch the football match. Then hopefully go back on tour!
GLITTER: How long have you been creating music and how did you get started singing and writing together?
BLAKE: Music has always been a huge part of my life. Growing up, music was always playing for my sister and I to sing and dance along to. I remember having little toy guitars which I’d pretend to play at 3-4 years old, but I got my first real one at around seven. I had lessons at school and just fell in love with being able to create music without pressing play on the CD player. I kept practicing and started to write songs around the age of 11; it was a time where everything I wanted to get off my chest I was able to do so in a song and then feel a little better about it afterward. After doing this for three years, I decided to put covers onto YouTube, which is where the boys and I found each other. From the day we met, we started writing songs, something that was so exciting because it was so surreal to see people your age who also wrote songs.
GLITTER: Who are your musical influences?
BLAKE: Our musical influences! There are so many…. the biggest variety of old to new! Our biggest influence though would 100% have to be The Beatles. I can not even explain how much they inspire me every day; they are the best of the best. To write that many amazing songs is unreal and also to develop the sound and keep challenging to be different and better is so inspiring. That’s what I hope and plan to do in NHC. Always find a way to improve and try new things, they won’t always work but we will keep at it until they do.
GLITTER: What was it like having the track make it to Spotify’s prestigious New Music Friday the day it released?
BLAKE: It’s so awesome! There are so many amazing artists that get on that playlist, so to be joining them is really really cool and also a great opportunity for us to be able to have our music heard by listeners who maybe haven’t heard our stuff before.
GLITTER: What is your songwriting process like?
BLAKE: Writing songs changes every time! There isn’t really a routine that we stick to but usually, it starts from going through our voice memos on our phones and listening back to ideas we have had and seeing what we like. Whether it’s a little chorus melody or a lyric, to get us rolling.
GLITTER: Can you tell us about your new track and video coming out this month?
BLAKE: I am SO excited for the new song and the new video to be coming out! This song is the first song to be released after our debut album that came out in February, so it’s the start of a new era. It definitely holds a new NHC sound and I think it’s the best song to date!
The video also is a new a look and new era. I don’t want to give too much away, but I am the proudest I’ve ever been of a video and really think you will love it!
GLITTER: Can you each name a highlight of your career?
BLAKE: A career highlight for me would have to be the Love Again World Tour 2019. We travelled everywhere from Asia to Europe to USA/CA to UK and back to Asia. The tour was so surreal seeing supporters from all around the world wanting to spend an evening with us to sing songs and have an escape and amazing time. It was a tour I’ll never ever forget.
GLITTER: You’ve had established artists praise your work, can you tell us who and how that made you feel?
BLAKE: It’s always an honour to hear established artists praise and respect the music we make because these are people that have inspired us and helped make us who we are. It makes us feel very happy and is always a proud moment for us.
GLITTER: Glitter has a Celebrity #SelfLoveCampaign, and we want to know, what’s self-love mean to you?
BLAKE: Self-love to me means being happy and confident in yourself. Being proud of the person you are becoming and have become. Believing in the decisions you want to make, and aspiring to achieve the dreams you want to happen.
GLITTER: Favorite ways to center yourself and relax?
BLAKE: To relax I think drawing and painting is always soothing for me. It takes my mind away from the stress and lets me be creative and free.
GLITTER: Favorite foods to snack on?
BLAKE: Favourite thing to snack on would have to be a cup of tea and biscuits! If that counts!
GLITTER: What are your top 5 binge-worthy shows?
- New Girl
- Game of Thrones
- Manifest (I just started but is really good so far!)
- Tiger King
GLITTER: Any other projects you can tell us about that you’re working on next?
BLAKE: We are always writing new songs and especially during this quarantine period, I have barely left my home studio. Putting the second album together is so exciting and I can’t wait for you guys to hear what’s next.
GLITTER: Any special talents outside of music?
BLAKE: Any talents outside music would be painting. I don’t know if I’m any good, but I enjoy it!