THE 1975

When The 1975 dropped their epony­mous de­but front­man Matt Healy said he wanted ev­ery song on it to be a ‘ lead track’ – seven sin­gles in and count­ing they’re not far off, but al­bum two beck­ons as a rapidly grow­ing fan base be­comes im­pa­tient. By Dave Drayt

Blunt - - Amberlin -

The Manch­ester in­die rock­ers are gonna need a big­ger pub.

When Manch­ester four- piece The 1975 first vis­ited Aussie shores less than a year ago they did what most newish in­ter­na­tional bands on larger fes­ti­vals do – they played a sideshow at the Ox­ford Art Fac­tory in Syd­ney.

When we speak to Matt Healy and drum­mer George Daniel ( who seem to be tasked with the brunt of the me­dia re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, leav­ing gui­tarist Adam Hann and bassist Ross MacDon­ald in the wings off stage) it’s at Sony HQ, the af­ter­noon be­fore their sold- out Splen­dour In The Grass sideshow at the En­more The­atre: which was, in­ci­den­tally, moved from The Metro, where it sold out in a mat­ter of min­utes.

“Ap­par­ently it’s re­ally nice,” en­thuses Daniel, after Healy has, a lit­tle un­der­whelmed, re­capped the venues they played as Big Day Out sideshows in Jan­uary as “just pubs, re­ally.”

“That’s where we feel the most com­fort­able,” ex­plains Healy, join­ing Daniel’s en­thu­si­asm, “In big, but not too big, pretty venues.”

It’s worth not­ing that with Splen­dour done and dusted, a run on the Big Day Out ear­lier in the year and ap­pear­ances at Isle Of White, Read­ing and Leeds, Coachella and a host more, there’s nary a fes­ti­val bill they haven’t graced or topped in the last 18 months. Since our in­ter­view and that sold- out En­more show the band have stepped it up again, an­nounc­ing a tour for Jan­uary next year that will see them play­ing venues of an al­to­gether larger size ( and lev­els of ‘ pret­ti­ness’ that are de­bat­able): Hordern Pavil­ion, The Tivoli, Fes­ti­val Hall... Each of the new con­verts that fills th­ese larger and larger spa­ces is ask­ing the same ques­tion: when will the new

al­bum come? And almost as many are al­ready neck deep in spec­u­la­tion on where the band will take their sound on it. Daniel men­tioned a loose plan to re­lease their sec­ond al­bum two years to the day after their de­but.

“That was an ide­al­is­tic plan, but it may not hap­pen,” says Daniel mys­te­ri­ously.

“That was the 1975- ness in us com­ing out, want­ing to have a con­sis­tency,” Healy weighs in with equal am­bi­gu­ity.

“If we did it, it would be early Septem­ber next year,” says Daniel, “Which seems a long time if you’re not in the band. We’ve still got a lot of tour­ing to do on this al­bum and we re­ally don’t want to rush with the record­ing of the next one.

“The first record, there was no pres­sure to write it for any sort of agenda, we didn’t know when it was go­ing to be re­leased or what it was go­ing to be – it just ended up be­ing an al­bum that was all the songs that we’d writ­ten, and we’d lived with those songs for a long time so what we re­ally want to do is have a wealth of ideas and re­ally live with them for a few months be­fore we set­tle on ex­actly what they’re go­ing to sound like.

“It’s tough, we have to ac­cept that it’s not go­ing to be the same process, we’re just not go­ing to have that time, and also we know this al­bum has ex­pec­ta­tion now, but we’re not wor­ry­ing about it at all, as long as we can keep one step ahead and we’re not in need of writ­ing sin­gles or, you know…

“Mu­si­cally we’ve got a lot of it, it’s just he’s a bit slow,” says Daniel, shift­ing blame to Healy, who’s still strug­gling to work out what he should be writ­ing for it lyri­cally.

“We don’t have a life and the life we do have is com­pletely ob­jec­ti­fied and idolised and scru­ti­nised…” says Healy. But de­spite ap­pear­ing to lament that fact, he has recog­nised how that as­pect of things plays into the band’s pop­u­lar­ity: “There’s this de­sire for prox­im­ity with our band, peo­ple want to be with us and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing it lit­er­ally near us.”

“But it’s one of the things we’ve re­alised we’re go­ing to need to do – to have bal­ance to any­thing is al­ways nec­es­sary,” Daniel in­ter­jects, be­fore Healy con­tin­ues.

“We need to live a bit of a nor­mal life for a bit be­cause who’s go­ing to re­late to a record about be­ing a sex sym­bol?” Daniel draws out an ex­as­per­ated, “Yeah.” “No one,” says Healy. “I don’t want to make a re­flec­tive al­bum be­cause no­body over the age of 25 wants to hear somebody at 25 be­ing re­flec­tive, be­cause you im­me­di­ately think, ‘ Well, you haven’t got a fuck­ing clue’. So there’s no point in me mak­ing… You know, I have feel­ings where I think, ‘ Well maybe, the first record was about me, so the sec­ond record needs to be about us’, and then I think, ‘ Well, what re­spon­si­bil­i­ties do I have?’ I have a voice now, so do I utilise that to make peo­ple slightly more con­sci­en­tious about world­views? Or do I un­der­stand that the rea­son peo­ple are lis­ten­ing to The 1975 is be­cause they want to lose them­selves from re­al­ity a lit­tle bit and they’re not there to ques­tion their so­cial agenda or some­thing like that.

“So I think, ‘ Do I just carry on writ­ing love songs based around the in­ci­den­tal mo­ments and minu­tiae of life and I think that’s kind of what I need to do. Be­cause I think that’s what peo­ple want. I’m go­ing to be crit­i­cised ei­ther way and I think I’d be more crit­i­cised if I came out and started be­ing like…

“On the road again,” Daniel in­ter­cepts in his best Amer­i­can ac­cent.

“Or like fuck­ing try­ing to be Bono and things like that,” says Healy.

For now, Healy has fin­ished one song com­pletely. Per­haps their next visit in Jan­uary will give more in­di­ca­tion of whether or not he has com­menced be­com­ing fuck­ing Bono.

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