The 1975came into the forefront of my Spotlify playlist after I saw them play SXSW. While there has been a lot of new music from some of my favorite bands to satisfy me recently, The 1975 were a new discovery that grabbed instantly.Finding a new band is an exciting feeling for a music fan and when your job revolves around those discoveries, it makes your mind wander. #musicrules.
I did some research and tired to find what I could on these Manchester natives, but at the time there wasn’t much. I reached out to their US label Vagrant Records to at least get a few of my burning questions answered via email. Take a look at this new interview with front man Matty Healy about their beginnings as a band, their unique sound and why they come off as the cool kids at school you’re dying to hang out with on weekends.
Give us the background on the group. Where did you all meet and how did you all find this unique sound together?
We met at school. We kinda started out of boredom i guess. I hadn't quite secured my social identity by that time, i was still really flirting with the boundaries between 'scally' and 'mosher' - i've never been 100% sure on where lay my allegiances.
Anyway, Hann come up to me, probably about 15, and said 'Do you wanna like……play drums in my band?' I thought 'Yeah go on then that'll be a laugh'. The original line up of the band was Me (on drums), Hann and Ross on guitar and bass (as they are to this day :)) Our mate Owen on another guitar and Elliot was the singer. We were shit. I actually remember playing a song in rehearsal and Elliot just looked at me and said 'I reckon we are shit'. So we thought let's get a drummer, so I could be the singer - Elliot left understandably. We found George in the corridors of the music bit at school. He was dead weird, but I thought he was jokes. We've never left each others sides since really. There was no real scene in our town at that time and we were all looking for some way of expressing ourselves I suppose. Some woman called Sheila started this run of gigs for underage kids (I think she was like a hippy council worker) and they soon turned into a riot. We would go and play there, doing covers of punk songs and ghostbusters etc. It was so drunken and personal. After doing that for a while we wrote a song and thought 'Let's just do this! This is well better than going to school or work'. So we went under loads of names, made loads of different music and now we're here - as The 1975.
What has it been like to have all of your success in the UK?
We genuinely did not expect our popularity to accelerate in the way that it did after we released 'Sex and 'Chocolate' - we've been away since January so we've not really been witness to much of the developments back home. It's strange. Exciting though. We cannot wait to play for new people.
We fell in love with you guys at SXSW; really your confidently cool vibe was incredibly refreshing for us here in the states and everyone has been buzzing about you guys. Has there been a noticeable difference from the UK fans versus the US fans?
I think if you're playing good music in New York or Manchester people are gonna react the same. There's not a massive difference in the Uk and US crowds, at least not for us anyway. We are very inspired my american bands and artists, so we've always felt that our music would at least…'work' in America. Our album in particular is all based around the workings and moods of John Hughes - and he's very American. The reception it did have though was totally un expected. People really seemed to love us haha. It was quite humbling and we're just happy that people seem to be connecting with what we do.
You have a very different sound from anything else here in America, how do you approach song writing as a band and what do you think influences you as a band the most?
Well I don't really talk about the writing process very much, not to be perceived as enigmatic or cool, it's simply one of the only things we have left that's just for us. But our music is built up of syncopated loops and hooks, both vocally and musically. Rhythm is paramount - and everything is treated the same way. Rhythm and flow precedes all melody; from the vocals, to the guitars, everything.
What inspires you most when writing? Do you pull from your own experiences?
Our new single, “The City” was written at a time where we found ourselves caught up in bouncing between flats and houses and friends and girlfriends I suppose. It was the first piece of music that anybody could have ever heard by The 1975, so it's very important to us. I think that there's a lot to be said about us in that song both sonically, musically and personally. It's a love song - a love letter to the baffling cacophony that is teenage self exploration in places loud and inspiring.
Who are some bands you would like to tour with?
Phoenix, The Weekend, A$AP,Joey Badass, Chris Malinchak, Haerts, BearFace.
When can we expect a full-length album -- and what are your touring plans for all your loving fans here in the US?