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Nero: Coachella’s Loudest Act


Our show is very reliant on it being dark at the start. But it got dark fairly quickly after we started so all the visuals looked right.

UK electronic sensation Nero’s music, to be honest, was earsplitting in the Sahara tent at Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2012. Trust us, there’s nothing more satisfying than heart-pounding, bass-dropping electro matched with sexy vocals and a light show to blow your mind. It works well as the sun falls on a sizzling hot day (104 degrees) in the desert. But this was L-O-U-D.

Nero producers, Dan Stephens and Joe Ray, teamed with lovely vocalist, Alana Watson, to deliver on all their recent European hype. Their epic live sets feature a sinisterly high, custom-built booth displaying ghetto blasters, retro TVs, old amps, an arcade machine and state-of-the-art visuals and lazars. It creates the atmosphere of a stadium rock show versus a DJ light show.

With several top 10 singles in the UK and a debut album that launched at #1, Nero are in good shape to be really, really big in America. Welcome Reality is now out on Interscope (Cherrytress) just to remind us that all this “new artist,” EDM hype is not only about domestic acts like deadmau5 and Skrillex (although one of Nero’s #1 Singles, “Promises,” is a collaboration with Skrillex). Calvin Harris recently remixed “Promises” as well, while the first US single, "Me and You,” features a remix by (no surprise) one of Swedish House Mafia, Steve Angelo. Yeah, these guys get around.

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We spoke to Joe and Dan about Coachella and here’s what they said, “We didn’t know quite what to expect because it was a daylight start and it was still light out,” explains Dan. “Our show is very reliant on it being dark at the start. But it got dark fairly quickly after we started so all the visuals looked right.”

“From the stage you could see people streaming in,” explains Joe. “It felt like that change at a festival from the rock stuff to when the sun goes down and it gets a lot more dancey.”

“We just stressed about it a lot more because when you come off of doing two months of touring your own shows—where you had the set-up exactly as you liked it—then you go into a festival, you’re a lot more limited on what you can do,” adds Dan. “But it was amazing and we needn’t have worried.”

Although Alana saves her voice for singing onstage as opposed to giving interviews, she couldn’t help but add that she loves all the nice dinners (and wine) in the US. Who can blame her?

If you missed Nero’s Coachella set, or their stint on last year’s IDentity festival, don’t worry, you’ll hear them at a club or festival near you this summer.

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