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Interview with Deco

Earlier this last year, UK based-quintet Deco uploaded to YouTube a mashup of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” and Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy”. The cover intelligently intertwined the two hits into a swirling synth-pop symphony, and quickly racked up over 4 million views across the world as well as plays across BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, Radio X and more. It even received the seal of approval from both Bronski Beat’s Jimmy Somerville who said he was “blown away” by the version, as well as Oasis’ Liam Gallagher who shared it on his official TikTok account.

This was Deco’s major moment in the spotlight. The group had been steadily building momentum via performing on some of the UK’s biggest stages from including Isle of Wight Festival to Truck Festival, as well as their own sold-out tour – leading them to be nominated for Best Live Act at the AIM Awards, up against AJ Tracey, Bombay Bicycle Club and more.

Now signed to imitable Ultra Records – the group have just released their debut single, and their follow up to the aforementioned mashup. This time, it’s a pulsating cover of britpop classic, “Bitter Sweet Symphony”.

House of Solo caught up with lead singer Max Kendall to find out more about the track and what the band have in store for 2022. 

 Hi guys! Thanks for speaking with us today. What have you been up to these past months?

What haven’t we been up to! We’ve spent this year writing – a lot. We’ve also somehow played over 40 shows this year during a pandemic and we’ve just released our first new music in over a year! I guess we’ve also been creating the fun 80s reworks for social media on the side too!

Tell us about your new single “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, why did you choose to cover this track?

I think it’s a song that reminds us all of our childhood – it’s a great track and has got quite an anthemic feel to it. We love trying to put our spin on things and this one felt quite natural to have a go at!

The original by Verve is obviously a britpop classic. Are you all fans of the band and this genre more generally?

I mean The Verve are icons of their era. They were a shoegaze band before they had the hit with this track too so they spanned quite a large period of the 90s. Legends really!

How many takes did it take to get the music video right?!

Haha, we had to do it in one such was the time pressure – John recorded his part on a boat which didn’t help things.

You’ve got a track record in covering classic anthems, most notably with your mashup of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” and Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy – when did you work out that these two tracks would slot together so well?

The morning of the day we posted it – I was trying to do something similar to what we did with Bitter Sweet Symphony. Just put an 80s spin on it but then suddenly it turned into Bronski Beat and I was like, “wow, this hauntingly, really works!”.

And how did it feel to get the nod of approval from both Bronski Beat’s Jimmy Somerville and Oasis’ Liam Gallagher?

I mean, that was amazing. Really unexpected on top of what was already a very crazy thing of video going viral. I remember I was having a vocal rehab session on zoom, and a notification popped up on my phone “Liam Gallagher mentioned you in his TikTok video”. I just said my therapist “Sorry, I just need to go to the toilet a sec”!

You’ve just signed to Ultra Records, who on the label would you like to potentially collaborate with in the future – and what track from their roster would you like to cover? 

Sofi Tukker would be amazing!

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us! What plans do Deco have for 2022?

More touring – hopefully further afield to Europe. And mainly more tunes. We’ve had a bit of a quiet release year this year because there has been so much going on… so next year will see it all come to fruition! Thanks so much for having us!

Catch Deco on tour this month kicking off at Nottingham on 14th January. For full tour dates, head to https://www.decoofficial.com/

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