Joining the New Hope Club
New Hope Club
Joining the New Hope Club
by Kayla Marra
New Hope Club is a British boyband consisting of George Smith, Reece Bibby, and Blake Richardson. The boys came together in 2015 after viewing each other’s popular covers of songs on YouTube. While the guys still do covers from time to time, they also have music of their own. In 2017, New Hope Club’s debut EP “Welcome to the Club” was released, followed by their debut album in 2020, and now their newest singles “Getting Better” and “Girl Who Does Both” in 2022 from their upcoming studio album.
The boys began their Getting Better Tour in 2022 starting in the UK, then going on to perform in cities all over the US, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
We were lucky enough to sit down with the boys prior to playing their first show of the US leg of the tour in Philadelphia to discuss upcoming music, their musical influences, and even Philly cheesesteaks!
How did you guys come together as a group?
George Smith: We were all individually posting covers on YouTube. It’s a little up and coming app. (Laughs) But yeah, we were just posting covers individually and we found each other online. I met Blake when he was fourteen, and then we met Reece a couple of months later. It was just so important for us to get on as best friends, and obviously, we still are the bestest friends. I’d say we’ve gotten even closer over the last two years.
Reece Bibby: One hundred percent! If we hadn’t gotten closer over five years, I’d be worried! (All laugh.)
George Smith: I meant over the last two years!
Blake Richardson: We’re getting closer every day.
Congratulations on the release of “Getting Better” as well as “Girl Who Does Both”! Could you walk us through your writing process?
George Smith: “Girl Who Does Both” was written over the pandemic. We wrote it with our friends Ross Golan and Jackson. We wrote that one at my house. It’s almost a love letter. You can go listen to the lyrics if you want. When we wrote the song, we came up with almost like a Strokes vibe for it, originally. We let it sit there for a couple of months and then we revisited it. We always loved the song, we love the lyrics in the song, and we wanted to strip it back and let the lyric breathe. We actually went back in when we were in LA. We decided to strip it back almost a Simon and Garfunkel vibe.
Blake Richardson: Let’s talk about “Getting Better.” “Getting Better” came near the end of the writing process for this album. To be honest, it just came out. We were so proud of the journey that we’d been on to that point of really finding ourselves and writing all these songs. The label was happy with them, and we loved them. It was such an amazing time. We were just coming out of COVID, so this song “Getting Better” just fell out in like twenty minutes. It really sets the scene for the whole album and [shares] the message that we’re trying to put out to everyone.
I bet it was a drastic change to go from being able to play shows to none at all. How would you say the last three years have impacted and/or grown your songwriting?
Reece Bibby: Obviously, it’s been such a weird time for everyone, especially in the music business since it shut down completely, like a lot of industries. For us, it’s hard looking back on it because there was so much negativity because we couldn’t tour the album that we just released. We came off of the back of that album so excited. We got top five in our home country.
Reece Bibby: Thank you! We’re so proud, but then we couldn’t embark on a tour. We can’t even do all the things that we want to do and all the benefits of releasing an album. It was weird but to be fair, we took a lot of positives out of it. I think looking back on it we now see it as a positive time, as weird as that is. We never really had the time to sit down and look back on all the things we’ve done and really evaluate what we’ve done over the last five years.
Blake Richardson: It was a weird time, and we wrote a great album!
Who would you say are your biggest songwriting influences, and have they changed over time, or stayed the same throughout the years?
Blake Richardson: I mean, The Beatles are definitely by far number one. I think they always will. I can’t see it ever changing.
Reece Bibby: We write this album with a lovely man called Ross Golan, and he has honestly inspired us so much. He’s one of the best writers around right now. He’s been a mentor to us over these last couple of years. We didn’t meet him until lockdown stuff was over, but we pretty much spent every day on Zoom with him, getting to know him. We’ve been through so much together over these last couple of years writing the album and growing as people and as artists. Yeah, he’s got to be one of our number one inspirations now, for sure.
Blake Richardson: He definitely would look at the situation and want to put in a hundred percent. As much as we wanted it to be great, he did too. It was a dream team. I love that man.
George Smith: He gave us confidence as well. He basically mentored us and helped us push as we can go.
That’s great to have someone on the same wavelength and have the same vision. You guys post lots of covers on your social medias, what are each of your favorite songs to cover?
Reece Bibby: We cover so much. We usually cover a Beatles song when we perform live.
Blake Richardson: I like the ones where they end up not sounding like the original because sometimes it’s impossible. But sometimes we nail a cover and we’re like “You know, that could be better than the original!” That always feels good. I’m not saying that any song we’ve covered is better than the original!
I’m sure all of the people you’ve covered before have had a moment like this, what would you each say your “I made it” moment was?
Reece Bibby: For us, every time we can do something like this is unbelievable. We’re from very small towns in England and to be able to travel the world release albums, shoot music videos, do shows, and meet fans, it’s just crazy for us. We're reaching corners of the world that we never thought we’d even visit, never mind play and do it as a job. It’s just amazing for us and every step we take every week gets better. We’re growing and enjoying it along the way which is the most important thing. I wouldn’t say we’ve had one “I made it” moment, we’re just enjoying it.
Blake Richardson: I would say that we’ve had “pinch me” moments.
What was your biggest “pinch me” moment?
George Smith: I’d say getting top five in the UK. That was crazy, the fact that people actually like our music.
Reece Bibby: There are a few shows that we’ve done where halfway through the set I’ll be like “Wow, this is wild.”
Blake Richardson: The Amsterdam show was mental. We played two songs back-to-back and then we stopped. The fans screamed, and they kept screaming. It was genuinely three minutes, and we broke the decibel record.
Reece Bibby: In UK venues, I don’t know why there’s a little decibel censor.
Blake Richardson: To test how loud it gets.
All: And we broke it!
George Smith: And that wasn’t us either, it was the fans. We weren’t just yelling into the microphone. (Laughs)
What can you tell us about any new music coming up? What is the vibe of your new tracks?
Reece Bibby: I don’t think we’ve ever released music like we’re about to release. We wrote and released the first album when we were quite young. We wrote it over the five years when we were new to the industry, new to touring, and new to everything. We're still growing up. This is the first project we've really been able to sit down and plan out everything from the artwork, and every song is written by us, and production, every music video, and everything else! The whole album is done by us so it's just exciting. Everything means a little bit more because we've done it ourselves. For us, it's like a whole new era, so if you're going to listen to any New Hope Club I would listen to the new stuff for sure.
Tonight is the first night of the “Getting Better” Tour, how does it feel to be back performing in front of live audiences again?
George Smith: We’ve obviously missed it so much. It’s been a little while. We did a couple of shows in the UK last year, but to come back to the US… and as Reece said, we’re obviously not from here, we’re from tiny little towns. To come all the way here and have this amount of people show up and sing along to songs that we wrote in our bedrooms, and even the new ones.
Reece Bibby: We just hope anyone shows up! If there’s anyone in there, we’ve been successful.
What can fans expect from the show tonight? New songs, old songs, a mix of both?
Blake Richardson: New songs, old songs, probably about an equal amount.
Reece Bibby: A lot of unreleased stuff.
Blake Richardson: I don’t think we’re doing a cover today.
Reece Bibby: We haven’t rehearsed for like six weeks! It’s the first show and we’ve not really prepared like we would have wanted to, so it’s going to be an interesting one.
Do you have anything you’d like to say to your fans coming out to see you on tour?
All: Hi! We love you.
Blake Richardson: You are great. Thanks for coming to our tour. It’s going to be special. We appreciate everything you do. We love you, stay healthy, see you soon.
Lastly, we are here in Philly, have any of you tried a Philly cheesesteak yet? If so, what do you get on it?
Reece Bibby: The last time I was here I had one. I just arrived so I haven’t had one on this trip.
George Smith: I tried a vegan Philly cheesesteak, it was good.
What do you get on your cheesesteaks?
Go check out New Hope Club’s latest singles “Girl Who Does Both” and “Getting Better” from their upcoming album, and make sure you see the boys on tour if they are coming to a city near you!
Copyright ©2022 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: July 18, 2022.
Photos by Kayla Marra © 2022.