YOU ME AT SIX

ROCK’S LOVE AF­FAIR WITH RO­MAN NU­MER­ALS: A NEW CHAP­TER

Kerrang! (UK) - - Welcome -

J

osh Franceschi has mixed feel­ings about You Me At Six’s fifth al­bum, Night Peo­ple. Both cre­atively and com­mer­cially, he feels it missed its mark. The front­man brings up the short­com­ings of his band’s last al­bum a lot while dis­cussing You Me At Six’s next chap­ter – not to put a downer on things, but more be­cause pin­point­ing where record five fell short for the band has helped in­spire num­ber six. It gave them a wake-up call.

It’s for this rea­son that the Sur­rey group locked them­selves away at Al­ces­ter’s Vada Stu­dios with pro­ducer Dan Austin to work on new mu­sic. The res­i­den­tial na­ture of the studio meant that there were no dis­trac­tions for the band, giv­ing in­spi­ra­tion a chance to strike in late-night hours – some­thing that Josh be­lieves was miss­ing from the Night Peo­ple process.

Last week the band un­veiled two new tracks from the re­sul­tant record, VI. Fast For­ward is a snarling call to arms, while 3AM is a jam with some se­ri­ous groove. More im­por­tantly, though, both songs hold the zeal on which You Me At Six made their name. Ker­rang! caught up with Josh to tell us more about this forth­com­ing record – due out on Oc­to­ber 5 via the band’s new AWAL im­print, Un­der­dog Records – and their re­turn-to-form era… How would you de­scribe You Me At Six’s just-re­leased new songs, Josh? “Fast For­ward feels like a big punch in the face, and 3AM feels like a nice, ten­der spoon after a long night of par­ty­ing. I think they both show the dif­fer­ent sides to the record. When we self-as­sessed Night Peo­ple, our main crit­i­cism of it and our­selves was that it was quite linear, and that it didn’t re­ally chal­lenge the lis­tener in the way that we would have liked to – in the way that we usu­ally do. If you look at a record like Sin­ners [Never Sleep, 2011], which is so across the board, it re­ally takes you to dif­fer­ent places, to dif­fer­ent moods at dif­fer­ent times.” The songs are taken from new al­bum VI. What can you say about the sound of the record as a whole? “There are more el­e­ments of hip-hop and R’N’B on this record, which we’ve been search­ing for in the past few records and haven’t re­ally been able to ex­e­cute – and I think we’ve done that on this one. I think there are no two songs that feel or sound the same on the record.

“You can tell that this is a band on this record who were do­ing 14-hour days [in the studio], and we were just liv­ing and breath­ing ev­ery sin­gle thing we did. I hope peo­ple en­joy it in the same way that we en­joyed mak­ing it.” Where did you record the al­bum? “With a guy called Dan Austin, and we did it at Vada Stu­dios. We ac­tu­ally made [2012 sin­gle] The Swarm with Dan a few years ago – he was Gil Nor­ton’s [Foo Fight­ers, Jimmy Eat World, Twin At­lantic] en­gi­neer. The first song we did with him was Fast For­ward, and I just re­mem­ber turn­ing round to him and be­ing like, ‘If you can take this record as per­son­ally and want to own it as much as we do, then I feel like we’re go­ing to do some se­ri­ous dam­age work­ing to­gether.’” Did you feel that you had more con­trol over the record­ing process this time out, com­pared to Night Peo­ple? “To­tally. I would say that, as a band, we ba­si­cally co-pro­duced this record.

“Ba­si­cally the main piece of ad­vice that we were given was: ev­ery­thing good about a record – and this might sound dumb, but it’s some­thing that you can lose sight of when you’ve made a few – has to come from the artist. And I think maybe on Night Peo­ple we were re­ly­ing on other peo­ple to bring [the songs] to life. Whereas with ev­ery song on this record we knew ex­actly what we wanted

“WE KNEW EX­ACTLY WHAT WE WANTED TO ACHIEVE ON THIS RECORD…” JOSH FRANCESCHI

to achieve when we were mak­ing it, rather than just fuck­ing piss­ing in the wind.” What did you learn from mak­ing Night Peo­ple that helped when mak­ing VI? “Night Peo­ple feels like the hand­brake was al­ways on. Whereas with this record, we’ve re­ally spent a lot of time un­der­stand­ing what we like and what we’re good at do­ing and em­brac­ing that, and not be­ing fo­cused on things that are re­dun­dant. I think one of the big­gest things that any­body who’s cre­ated mu­sic needs to be able to do is self-mo­ti­vate to get the best out of your­self. I think there’s a bit of com­pla­cency, a lit­tle bit of lazi­ness at­tached to our last record. But that was also very much in­stilled in us by those that were ei­ther work­ing it or mak­ing it. That’s not a blame game, I take full re­spon­si­bil­ity for us un­der­achiev­ing in the way that… I don’t look at that record and go, ‘Oh, I fuck­ing hate that record. It’s crap.’ But what I do know is that it’s nowhere near the level which we can, as mu­si­cians and as a band, get to.

“I’ve been say­ing for a while that we’re in over­time here – if the mu­sic in­dus­try for You Me At Six was a com­puter game, we’ve com­pleted it. We’ve done ev­ery­thing we wanted to do. You can al­ways do more. But we’ve done ev­ery­thing that we set out to do and what we wanted to do. So for Night Peo­ple we didn’t nec­es­sar­ily have the hunger to de­liver, but we have the hunger to de­liver on this record and I think you’re gonna hear that in the songs. I gen­uinely stand by the fact that peo­ple are go­ing to look at this record as a re­ally im­por­tant record, not only for You Me At Six, but maybe across the board in terms of gui­tar mu­sic right now.” You’ve just an­nounced a UK tour. What do you hope th­ese new tracks will bring to your live show? “I think they’ll bring a fresh­ness. I can see Fast For­ward fur­ther down the line that that’s go­ing to be a song that peo­ple are go­ing to fuck­ing go hard for. And 3AM will be the song where they’ll be singing along off their nut; there’s a feel-good vibe about it.” The record is be­ing re­leased on your own la­bel im­print, Un­der­dog Records. What mo­ti­vated that? “There’s no bet­ter way to back your­self than by set­ting up your own record la­bel to do it. So, yes, it’s com­ing out on Kobalt/ AWAL, but the main in­cen­tive of the im­print is so that in the fu­ture we will have the op­por­tu­nity and the set-up to sign other artists of all gen­res – not just rock mu­sic and pop-punk mu­sic, we just want to make it the home of good song­writ­ing, re­ally.

“When­ever I think of the Bri­tish rock scene and what it’s done for us… I like to think that over the years we’ve looked after other bands that have come through, but this is just an­other thing that we can do to stim­u­late the home that we came from even more. Hope­fully, in years to come, if this re­lease of our own record goes well, we’ll be in a po­si­tion to ad­vise and help bring to fruition younger gen­er­a­tions of mu­si­cians and their de­sire and their pas­sion and their vi­sions, and for it to not be com­pro­mised.” Fi­nally, what do you hope this new record achieves? “I think peo­ple in months to come, maybe years to come, when this record comes out, they’ll look at this record as be­ing the best You Me At Six record across our whole back cat­a­logue. I’m re­ally con­fi­dent of that.

“I think Fast For­ward is a state­ment of in­tent with what we’re do­ing. If you liked our band in the past, and you maybe left the party on Night Peo­ple, you’re def­i­nitely com­ing back in.”

YOU ME AT SIX’S NEW AL­BUM VI IS OUT ON OC­TO­BER 5 via Un­der­dog Records/awal. the band tour the uk in oc­to­ber – see the gig guide for more in­for­ma­tion

You Me At Six: “We have the hunger to de­liver on this record…”

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