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.
Don't miss Rixton's hilarious episode of Hypothetically where Fuse finds out what's more important to the band: Music or sex?