Does British pop-rock band New Hope Club hate being called a boyband?

(From left) Smith, Richardson and Bibby got together to form New Hope Club in 2015. — KAMARUL ARIFFIN/The Star

Before Star2 began our interview with New Hope Club, we were reminded by the good folks at Universal Music not to address the band as a ... boy band.

Because, you know, all three of them play instruments, write their own songs and don’t do the usual sing-and-dance routine on stage.

So, we couldn’t help but wonder if the members Reece Bibby, 20; Blake Richardson, 19, and George Smith, 19 get frustrated for being mistaken as a boy band?

“It’s not frustrating. We’re three boys. It’s so easy to just say we’re a boy band,” vocalist-guitarist Richardson said during an interview in Kuala Lumpur.

Richardson recalled the inception of New Hope Club in 2015: “We played video games, watched movies and made music. That made me realise that I want to make music with these guys. Everything just felt right,” he said.

Vocalist-bassist Bibby added: “Yeah. I remember we wrote (first lead single) Perfume together a few weeks later after that. Everything just fell into place and here we are now.”

The band would eventually land a record deal with Steady Records, a label founded by The Vamps, a pop rock band famous for songs like Last Night and Wake Up.

After supporting the Vamps for a tour in Britain in 2016, New Hope Club released its debut EP Welcome To The Club a year later.

So far it has played shows in Europe, North America and most recently in South-East Asia. New Hope Club was in Kuala Lumpur to perform a showcase.

How are the members taking to the idea of fame and playing their music to fans in different parts of the world? “We’ve been wanting to do this from a young age. We’ve been writing songs for as long as we can remember.

“We’ve always dreamed about touring and playing our own music. Now, that we get to do it, we just appreciate every second of it,” Richardson shared.

The hectic touring life and meeting fans all over the world keep Smith, Richardson and Bibby inspired for new song-writing material. Richardson said the songwriting process is different each time.

“For example, Reece could say that he has an idea. Then, we’ll get together in the hotel room and try to finish up his song. We can also do it at home while on Skype with each other.

“We just make sure that we enjoy the process. We don’t try to force it or else it wouldn’t feel right,” he said.

Vocalist-guitarist Smith believes that there is never a bad time to write a song: “We’ve (even) written songs on the plane.”

And when inspiration hits during a personal moment, Bibby knows what to do: “If I’m on a date, I’ll excuse myself and go write something down quickly in the toilet.”

Social media presence

New Hope Club also keeps itself busy by posting song covers and video logs for fans on a YouTube channel which currently has over 400,000 subscribers.

Like any other social media savvy personality, they know it’s important to engage with fans whenever possible.

“We’ve seen bands that do not update their fans on social media, and it eventually does not go well for them.

“Honestly, we enjoy what we do. It’s inspiring to get positive feedback from our fans,” Harrison said.

Bibby agreed that having an active social media presence also helps to keep the band from feeling restless: “We sit down in our hotel room and play guitars all the time. If we didn’t (do other things), then we’d be bored.”

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