New Hope Club walks into the conference room to greet the press prior to their series of shows in the country and despite comprising only three members, the pop rock act manages to fill every corner of the venue with the positive atmosphere they exude. The otherwise business-like character of the room mellows down with cheery laughter as member Reece opens the discussion with the group’s impression of the Philippines: “We love the fans here. They like to chase you and scream and that’s good.”

It was the British trio’s second visit in the country —the first one being in October 2017 as a supporting act for The Vamps in their Middle of the Night Tour— and they shared their apparent excitement to be back for their own solo shows. The group spent some time with their Filipino fans from January 19 to 21, performing songs from their EP Welcome To The Club in a series of shows held at Uptown Mall in Bonifacio Global City, Eastwood Mall in Quezon City, and Venice Grand Canal in McKinley Hill.

Isabela Vinzon of The Voice Teens performs as a special guest in New Hope Club’s three-day show series in Manila | Photo by Jeremee Baes

Billboard Philippines sat down with Reece Bibby, Blake Richardson, and George Smith, collectively known as New Hope Club, to talk about their plans for the year, their individual views on their co-members and favourite stage performances, and their aspirations as a team.

Welcome back to the Philippines! Since you started off the year with a series of shows here in Manila, can you tell us a little bit about what we can look forward to from New Hope Club for 2018?

Reece: Yeah! Hopefully there’s gonna be lots of new music, maybe an album, lots of shows, more tours, and all that good stuff. But we’re starting it off very well with the first shows of 2018 in the Philippines with some of the best fans in the world, so I’m very excited about that, and its been a good start for the year. Hopefully we continue just the same.

As a group what’s your biggest aspiration for this year?

George: I think definitely to play in as many countries as we can in our own shows. That would be a lot of fun. To travel the world again and to see a lot of our fans.
Reece: To do a tour of our own would just be really cool.

New Hope Club performs at Eastwood City | Photo by Jeremee Baes

You did mention during the press conference that you enjoy performing live and have a lot of fun with it. What are your personal favourite songs that you really love to perform?

Blake: My favourite song to perform is “Fixed” because I feel that it has a lot of energy and it gets everyone clapping. I feel like it’s a good way to leave everyone very happy.
George: I think my favorite is “Water” it’s quite a lot of fun to play live and get the crowd going.
Reece: Mine’s also “Fixed”. I actually really love to play “Tiger Feet” which is a song that is for a film Early Man. We haven’t performed it in a proper show yet and we’re very, very excited ‘coz we’re gonna play in The Vamps’ tour as well and it’s just got so much energy. It’s all rock ‘n’ roll, so we can’t wait to play that.

You do play with a lot of great acts. Which act that you’ve never played with do you really wish that you can perform with some time in the future?

Reece: I think Shawn Mendes would be really cool because we kinda got like, a similar sound.

For those who would like to get to know you more as individuals, what one word would you use to describe yourself?

Blake: Ooh, one word, hmm.
George: Should we do each other’s? It’s a lot easier.
Reece to Blake: Spontaneous.
Blake to Reece: I’d say funny.
Reece to George: George, umm…
Blake: Cute.
George: Cute?!
Reece to George: Unpredictable!
George: I’ll take that.

New Hope Club sits down with BillboardPH: Blake and George think of one word to best describe Reece | Photo by Psylocke Antonio

How about as a group? How would you like to be known as or remembered as?

Reece: I think I’d like to be known as the band that writes their own music, just loving life and just enjoying. And amazing live shows. I want to be known as that band with crazy, crazy shows, crazy visuals. “You should have seen the visuals, man!”

George: “Oh my god! The pyro!”
Blake: “They have this wristband that lights up!”

What’s the ultimate dream stage?

George: To play a stadium show is an ultimate dream, I think. A stadium tour.

Following that note of positivity, can you say a few words for your fans here in the Philippines?

Reece: Yeah, just keep being the way you are. You’re absolutely amazing. Every time we come here, it makes us full of joy and it makes us happy because everyone is just full of energy and everyone’s so nice here. Just keep doing what you’re doing because you’re making everyone happy.


One-on-one interview courtesy of MCA Music, Inc.