Even if you didn't realize it, you've probably heard Nero's single "Promises." From the original being used in an HP commercial to the Skrillex remix that's garnered a bunch of spins on the radio and in the clubs, it's been one of the biggest EDM songs of the year.
Saturday night the London group returns to Houston as one of the big names playing the Something Wicked Festival, their third Space City appearance this year after rocking the crowds with their live show at Bayou Music Center back in April and a crushing DJ set at Identity Festival back in August.
This go-round finds Nero out of the studio, where they're working on their follow up to 2011's Welcome Reality, for another DJ set full of bangers and a tease or two of their new stuff.
Having already seen and felt their live show once this year, we're curious as to what this week's show will bring. We caught up with one of the members of the group, Joe Ray, via email to get his thoughts on their big year so far and how they're keeping things fresh onstage
Rocks Off: Has touring changed the way you feel about Welcome Reality?
Joe Ray: Despite hearing every tune a million times now we're still very proud of the album. Some tunes we can't wait to hear the back of! But others we know we'll be playing in every set in the future.
RO: Did you guys get any flack for licensing "Promises" for the HP commercial?
JR: We've not received any criticism, I don't think. In fact a lot of people have got in touch saying they heard us for the first time on that ad. So if it's leading people to enjoying our music it's only a good thing.
RO: As you work on new material is there a sense of pressure that you have to top "Promises"?
JR: Not really, we just want to write the music we like. If you start feeling pressurized to write a big record or try to copy the style of something else because it's worked that never comes out good. It's got to be natural.
RO: Why the focus on "DJ sets" for this tour?
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JR: Our "live show" was specially put together to tour the album in the same way traditional bands would tour a specific record. Now that's over and we're going to DJ while working on our second album.
RO: How do you keep the shows fresh for people who've already seen you this year?
JR: Playing new tunes! And I think there are probably a large percentage of people who haven't been to the previous shows.
RO: You guys end up near the top of the bill at many of the festival shows you do. What's the secret to keeping the crowd going after they've been dancing all day?
JR: Just playing the songs they know! I think in festival sets you've got to play to the crowd a bit more whereas in a club I like to drop in some different styles and experiment a little.
RO: We've heard about the differences musically, but do you notice a difference between EDM crowds in America versus the rest of the world?
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JR: Not that much, to be honest. I guess the neon rave thing died out over here in Europe, whereas at some festivals and in some parts of the States the bright pink furry boot look is very in.