YOU ME AT SIX

Blunt - - A Day To Remember -

The Brits are head­ing back Down Un­der and this time they’re play­ing to win.

I’D RATHER WE GOT SOME KIND OF RE­AC­TION – EVEN A NEG­A­TIVE ONE – FROM SOME­ONE, THAN THAT PERSON JUST SIT ON THE FENCE AND NOT BE FUSSED EI­THER WAY.” CHRIS MILLER

When caught up with Chris Miller, Dan Flint and Josh Franceschi – who of course make up three- fifths of the UK’s reign­ing pop- rock ti­tans, You Me At Six – the lads were in the midst of what has be­come their most high- pro­file Euro­pean summer yet, and while each of them has their own unique take on what the group’s on­go­ing suc­cess ac­tu­ally means, there’s a shared sen­ti­ment amongst the trio that’s both gen­uine and still, af­ter a decade in the game, youth­fully en­thu­si­as­tic. Kind enough to spare some of his rare down­time on a self- de­scribed “cheeky day off be­tween fes­ti­vals”, Flint is pleased to re­port that the grind of the tour­ing cir­cuit is still able to throw the odd sur­prise their way.

“This year has been great for us,” be­gins the drum­mer, “you ex­pect that the Ger­man fes­ti­vals are go­ing to be good, but then we get to play all these small events that we’d never heard of, in these places that we hadn’t ever con­tem­plated go­ing and they’ve been in­cred­i­ble as well, so re­ally, it’s just been a nice time all round.”

As hum­ble and im­pec­ca­bly man­nered as his band mate, front­man Josh Franceschi is un­der­stand­ably proud of what they have achieved in 2014.

“You know, just be­ing out here and see­ing how far we’ve come, it’s like the Holy Grail of tour­ing, man. When we were on our first or sec­ond record I’d look around and a lot of the bands that we were play­ing with in the early days were al­ready calling it a day and drop­ping off, it’s just the way it is,” he muses. “Not ev­ery band gets to a third or fourth record, so the fact that we’ve man­aged to get to that place is an achieve­ment in it­self and it val­i­dates what we’ve been do­ing. Do­ing these kinds of fes­ti­vals with all these amaz­ing bands is some­thing that I can look back on and be in­cred­i­bly proud of.”

The rea­son You Me At Six are cur­rently sit­ting at an el­e­vated po­si­tion in the global rock’n’roll peck­ing order is the wild com­mer­cial suc­cess of Cava­lier Youth, their fourth and most well- rounded record to date. Rock­et­ing to num­ber one in their home­land, the disc was, rather sur­pris­ingly, met with a di­vided re­sponse from the quin­tet’s fiercely loyal fan base.

“When it comes to a new al­bum, there’s al­ways go­ing to be peo­ple that are quick to judge a band’s new mu­sic be­cause they ex­pect a par­tic­u­lar thing or sound or style, as much as that shouldn’t be the case,” Miller chuck­les. “You can take a chance and do some­thing dif­fer­ent and you’ll get shot down, or you can re­lease some­thing that’s in­cred­i­bly sim­i­lar to the al­bum be­fore it and peo­ple will still crit­i­cise it, but those peo­ple who sec­ond- guessed Cava­lier Youth at the start seem to have come around, be­cause the new songs are get­ting a great re­ac­tion when we play live.”

So you’re not overly con­cerned with the prover­bial shit sling­ing that Cava­lier Youth copped upon its re­lease?

“Not at all,” laughs Miller, “ex­treme opin­ions are great, be­cause that way peo­ple are still talk­ing about us. I’d rather we got some kind of re­ac­tion – even a neg­a­tive one – from some­one, than that person just sit on the fence and not be fussed ei­ther way.”

You Me At Six don’t have that prima donna rep­u­ta­tion that’s been as­so­ci­ated with so many of their peers, how­ever the cre­ation of Cava­lier Youth has re­sulted in an even more re­laxed and gra­cious at­ti­tude fil­ter­ing through­out the band’s var­i­ous mem­bers, which is no doubt in­flu­enced by their time spent with pro­ducer Neal Avron.

Hav­ing worked with Linkin Park, Yel­low­card, Fall Out Boy and New Found Glory ( to name a se­lect few), it’s easy to as­sume that Avron would rule his stu­dio with an iron fist and spend his days re­gal­ing his clients with tales of chart- top­ping suc­cesses and Sun­set Strip ex­cesses. If you’re af­ter that kind of read, you’d best pick up a copy of Möt­ley Crüe’s The Dirt then, as the men of You Me At Six would heap praise on Avron for hours at a time, if you’d let them.

“Neal is lit­er­ally the Holy Grail of pro­duc­ers; he’s the nicest bloke you’ll ever meet and he’s so much fun to work with,” ex­claims Flint. “On our last record we didn’t re­ally gel with Garth Richard­son but with Neal it was a com­pletely dif­fer­ent story. He makes you want to be a bet­ter mu­si­cian but it’s the way he does it. He’s so calm and thought­ful and he some­how makes you want strive to be bet­ter. For a man that’s worked with some ab­so­lutely huge artists he’s the sin­gle most hum­ble man you’ll ever meet in your life.”

Now laugh­ing to him­self, Flint re­calls a par­tic­u­larly ground­break­ing night dur­ing their stay at casa del Avron.

“We used to do this thing on Fri­day nights where we’d have cock­tails and hang out with Neal and his fam­ily – which is what it’s all about for him, just do­ing some­thing fun for a cou­ple of months at a time – and we man­aged to per­suade his wife to sneak us into his ego room to check out all those gold and plat­inum records and he was al­most like, not em­bar­rassed, but very hum­ble and shy about it. He didn’t want us to think he was show­ing off, whereas we just wanted to see the his­tory of what he’s done. That sums up Neal, re­ally.”

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