We might have seen Rixton break out in 2014, but the band is poised to own 2015.
Not only will the U.K. quartet (consisting of vocalist Jake Roche, drummer Lewi Morgan, guitarist Charley Bagnall and bassist/keyboardist Danny Wilkin) drop their debut full-length Let the Road, the boys will also open Ariana Grande‘s upcoming Honeymoon Tour in February and that keeps them busy touring the U.S., Canada and Europe through the summertime.
After snagging a hit with “Me and My Broken Heart” (the nostalgic tune interpolates Rob Thomas‘ hit “Lonely No More” and hit No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart), Rixton has a hot follow-up with the racing, Ed Sheeran-penned “Hotel Ceiling.” In an exclusive interview with Fuse, Rixton talks about everything from Ariana and Ed to fans and getting naked with their producer.
Hello, Rixton! Your debut album Let the Road is coming early next year. Give us the overall idea of what we can expect.
Lewi Morgan: It’s a word that’s thrown around a lot, but eclectic is probably the best word to describe it. I don’t want to sound like the guys who are all, “Oh, we’re so deep and eclectic,” but everyone’s going to have their own favorite song. Like my mum’s favorite song is different to Jake’s mum’s favorite song to Charley’s mum’s favorite song. It’s just a lot of different mixes we’re putting into an album, so I think that kind of shows as well.
Any fun stories from the studio?
We spent the whole album with a producer called Benny Blanco, he’s responsible for some of the biggest songs from Maroon 5 and Katy Perry. He’s just a huge pop hard-hitter. The kind of guy he is and our senses of humor have kind of coincided with his so it was never really a dull moment in the studio. It was always fun. If Jake was lagging on energy on the tracks—he’s recording the line 25,000 times—Benny has ways of getting your energy levels back up and he can do that and then Jake gets naked and that usually works.
What’s the track you’re most pumped about?
We have a song on the album from Ed Sheeran called “Hotel Ceiling.” We really excited about that. To be given the opportunity to write with Ed Sheeran is something we only ever dreamed of so, you know, to have that opportunity presented to us is beyond mind-blowing.
What do you guys like so much about “Hotel Ceiling”?
It’s absolutely Ed’s signature style, ballad-y and it’s very deep. But we put our own little spin on it with live shows. That’s one thing we love doing is live shows.
Did you guys learn anything cool from your time with Ed?
He just gave us a lot of advice on how to handle the industry. The whole experience and making sure you enjoy it, to take time to really appreciate the position we’re in. We had so many late-night conversations where it just got so intense and so deep that if we even try to remember half of it would be incredible.
Any other exciting collaborators on the album?
Not currently, there’s always time, I suppose. But we’re about to head out on this tour with Ariana next year. Maybe she might come forward, up on a track. Who knows?
Yeah, that’s awesome! Speaking of that, how pumped are you to do a long trek with Ariana?
We only played one show with her at the Nokia Center in L.A., but that in itself was an opportunity that was incredible. Now it’ll be a longer spin on a tour with her. Again, it’s beyond anything we’d imagine we’d ever be doing.
Have you guys had any more moments that have similarly been beyond your wildest dreams?
I remember the day we got the call that we were working with Ed. That was one of those, “This guy’s one of the biggest songwriters in the world and he wants to work with us?” [moments]. We still see ourselves as four dudes from Manchester. When such big hitters and prolific artists to come forward and want to work with us it’s just beyond.
Back to the album: Are there any songs currently on it you think Ariana would particularly suit?
To be honest, she’s so incredible I think if she jumped on anything it’d also sound incredible.
Something I think that fans—and myself included—love how you always put your senses of humor and personalities out there. How do you best share those sides of yourselves? Does it come out in your music? Onstage?
The album itself, we took the music very seriously—other than the track “Make Out,” which we put out which is just goofy and us being jackasses, basically. The rest of the album is quite serious. And I think one of the best ways to get our personalities or energy across is just through online content. We have no problem making videos where we’re just making fools ourselves.
We got a lot comparisons in the early days to Blink-182‘S “What’s My Age Again?” video and stuff like that. You know, from a humor standpoint, we completely understand that. Being compared to Blink-182—I grew up listening to them and loved ‘em—I can understand why people would make that association.
Have you guys noticed fans liking or responding to certain types of content more?
To be honest, it’s strange. We started just uploading videos where we just started following each other with video cameras because we kind of realized we did stupid stuff 24/7. And it kind of developed from there and it became a bit of a challenge to balance our serious side of our humor side, so it has to be right situations. But the fans respond really well to all content we put out: Whether it’s really serious, whether it’s live shots, whether it’s humor-based things, they just respond really good. So, we must be doing something right?
You think you’ll get Ariana to pop up in a video?
Hopefully! We’d be more than happy to have her pop up in a few videos. It depends if we can get past the security!
Who are you guys listening to nowadays?
Nowadays, we don’t really have much time…it tends to be whatever’s on the radio between promo visits. I tend to venture off on artists like a few of the rap artists that are up-and-coming, there’s an artist called Rome Fortune. His stuff on YouTube, his visuals, everything, is just on point. I get quite into it.
Chris Brown‘s latest album [X] that just came out. Listening to a bit of that. Every now and then I like to take it back to the nostalgic route with A Day to Remember, bands I used to listen to like Four Years Strong, bands like that. It’s across the board, really. We’ve all always been massive OneRepublic and Maroon 5 fans, [the latter’s] new albums recently came out, the new track “Animals” and stuff. We’ve been exploring them.
Sounds like it’s going to be an exciting 2015. Anything else you want to add or do you have a message for the fans?
Just the album’s available to pre-order now, to be released March 3. We’re just real excited for it.
Thanks to all the fans who are supporting what we’re doing. Thank you for the support, it doesn’t go unnoticed. We appreciate everyone taking the time. Whether it’s tweeting us, whether it’s coming down to our shows, whether it’s waiting outside a radio station for us, whatever it is, we appreciate everyone of them for taking time out of their lives to do that for us.
Since the early days of Rixton we’ve seen Jake donning his OnePiece in a great many #RixtonRoundUp videos. From answering fan mail to preparing for their first gig at Queen of Hoxton to zipping it over his head and just dancing, it seemed like Jake was one with his OnePiece (pun intended) which is why the joining of Rixton and OnePiece seems like it’s a match made in heaven. Check out some epic footage of what the collaboration has led to below. We can’t wait to see more from this pairing!
Who doesn’t love baby pictures, embarrassing childhood stories and watching Jake talk about his mom’s sex tape? This episode of Loose Women was filmed FOUR YEARS ago today, when Jake was promoting his made-for-tv musical “Rules of Love”. You can jump to 3:21 for the beginning of Jake’s interview (and his mum talking about him being a sensitive cry baby…hehehe)
There we were thinking our Saturday night living it up with a double duvet, large tub of ice cream and the X Factor was a party and a half, but it turns out those celebs over at the Jingle Bell Ball were out-doing us a bit, with 5SOS, Taylor Swift, Rixton AND Ed Sheeran all having a smashing time on a private plane together.
BIRTHDAY PARTY GOALS.
After shaking their thang at the US version of the Jingle Bell Ball, the gang all decided to do their bit for the environment and share a lift to work. Well, their version of that anyway, which is all riding in the same private jet over to London for the Capital FM Jingle Ball. Fancypants.
Jake Roche revealed to the Daily Star that they weren’t exactly having a nap and doing a few crosswords either, as it turns out “quite a few drinks” were chucked back. “We’re feeling pretty knackered”, he added.
Oh crikey we can just see it now. Ed standing on the table chucking the complimentary peanuts around like confetti, Rixton starting a Conga line down the aisle, Swift raiding the drinks cart for something fizzy and 5SOS nicking the cabin crew uniforms to perform a version of ‘Air Hostess’. Chaos.
Apart from a few hangovers and some well dodgy drunk dancing, one good thing to come out of the party plane was a brand new bromance between Ed Sheeran and the 5SOS boys, as they reckon he could be a good substitute for their MIA guitarist.
“Mikey lost his passport on the way to Chicago from San Francisco. It’s not going to be the same without him”, Luke explained. “Ed Sheeran has red hair like Mikey so he could have filled in.”
“We asked him to fill in but he did not respond positively. That was a shame.”
Oh gahd, so close to the dream but yet so far. We’re guessing Sheerio was probably a bit scared about getting his eyebrow pierced.
What would you do to be on this uhmazing party plane? Unspeakable things? Let us know with a quick tweet to @Sugarscape s’il vous plait, and then have a watch of this to cheer yourself up, lovely chops.
Rixton’s performance at Mall of America on Black Friday was ”pandemonium.”
The four-piece British pop band played at the Minnesota shopping centre on Friday (28.11.14) and were shocked at the huge amount of people who turned out to see them.
Speaking at the Free Radio Live concert at which the band performed on Saturday (29.11.14), lead singer Jake Roche said: ”There were over 1,000 people who came out to see us, which for us, being a UK band heading over there is incredible for us.”
The ‘Me and My Broken Heart’ hitmakers – comprised of Jake, Charley Bagnall, Lewi Morgan and Danny Wilkin – also explained they found it difficult to comprehend the scale of Mall of America as it is so different to their local shopping centre Lakeside in Essex, South East England.
He continued: ”It was no Lakeside. It was pandemonium. For starters in the shopping mall, there is a theme park, which doesn’t make any sense. There are 27 rides in this Mall of America and they are not small rides. They are terrifying.”
The band – who will release their debut album, ‘Let the Road’, in January – have been spending much of their time in the US for the last few months, but confessed it has been difficult to kick-start their career in the country because it takes so long for music to be played on the radio.
The 22-year-old frontman explained:
”We spend a lot of time over there – everything takes longer in America. In terms of the radio process, you start your song, you service it and it will take three months to hit its pinnacle. It’s huge.”
While the guys – who will be supporting ‘Love Me Harder’ hitmaker Ariana Grande on her tour of North America and Europe in 2015 – are thrilled with the reaction they have been receiving, Jake insists they always look forward to returning to the UK.
He said: ”We have been accepted really well out there and we love it but we love coming home as well, even if it’s for just 12 hours.”