On October 22, English DJ-production team Nero will release a deluxe version of their 2011 debut, Welcome Reality. The expanded Welcome Reality Nero website, starting at 3 P.M. EST today (September 24). A free download, which is good bang for your dubstep-drum and bass-house buck.edition will feature "Promises," the smash remix collaboration with Skrillex, as well as new tracks "Won't You (Be There)" and "Etude." Before that, though, Daniel Stephens, Joseph Ray, and vocalist Alana Watson, will release the former as a download on the
" 'Won't You (Be There)' is something we wrote initially to play out in our DJ sets," says Stephens of the new track. "It's a club tune. It's a fun thing to play out at gigs. We wrote it earlier this year, in April, and have been playing it for quite a few months now. It's been going down really well with audiences so we thought it made sense to let people have it!"
Simple. Stephens does point out, though, that the track shouldn't necessarily be thought of as a preview of the material on a new full-length Nero album. "We have been drawing a line and saying that it isn't a single from our second album," he says. "It's just a cool release to put out there to fill the gap while we work on our next album. With the way the music business is, it seems like your output has to be fairly constant. This seemed like a really good song to do that with."
"Etude," the other new track on the upcoming Welcome Reality release also had its origins in live sets. Stephens says that, "We've been opening our DJ sets with 'Doomsday' for two years. So we thought it's probably time we write a new song! 'Etude' is 123 BPM as opposed to 120 [for 'Doomsday'], and they're in the same key. We can mix the tunes. The track was written with a mind to how we can play it in clubs, which is something that we never think about when we're writing album stuff. That's stuff that we write to be listened to closely as well as danced to."
As far as the new album, which Stephens says is due "sometime in 2013," Skrillex helped open some sonic doors for Nero. "We've naturally been influenced by his sound on some of the stuff we do," explains Stephens. "He's got that American sound, that hard American electronic sound. It's a brighter, warmer sound. There's definitely been some cool common ground and overlap between what he does and what we do."
Fans can look forward to hearing new material when Nero return to North America for a tour starting October 24 in Montreal. "We're starting to test out a couple of the songs that we might include on the album," says Stephens. "They have more traditional song structures, with verse and choruses and bridges. It's been interesting to play for people. The response has been really good so far."
Stephens is also eager for the tour for reasons that have nothing to do with music. "The time around Halloween is always a lot of fun in the States," he says. "Shows around that time almost have a festival vibe." Don't expect him to put on a costume, though. "I never do that," he says with a laugh. "Our audiences do such a good job of getting dressed up that I can leave that to them!"