5 Seconds of Summer
After a serious drought, the boys are back in a massive way. Girlfriend spoke to 5SOS resident dad Ashton to get the low-down on the Youngblood era.
Ashton spills the tea
Congrats on the well-deserved success of Youngblood. How have you guys celebrated?
Honestly, playing the shows is our celebration. It’s so rewarding to play new music to our fans, especially in our home country.
Your fans are super-loyal though and have been so excited for this album...
I love watching the response to the evolution of 5 Seconds of Summer and our fans, particularly in Australia, have always been there from literally day one. I really enjoy seeing familiar faces in the crowds here and I love that our fans in Australia work really hard to introduce our music to new people who wouldn’t normally have come to our shows. That’s one of the best parts – I have a lot to thank our
Australian fans for.
Did you guys expect the song ‘Youngblood’ to do as well as it has?
I was really confident in ‘Youngblood’, I really love the song and I feel that it encapsulates where the band is at today sonically and lyrically. We feel really great about this song and it’s nice that the energy we put into it has been reciprocated by our homecoming.
You all wrote on this album, but particularly you and Luke, is that right?
Yeah, we all wrote on this album, but Luke and I travelled to Sweden in 2016 and 2017 to write a lot of the songs on the record. We didn’t necessarily write more than the other boys.
What was your process like on writing for this album?
We took influences from a lot of new music and a lot of older music. We took influence from bands like Coldplay and Twenty One Pilots, but then we also took it back to bands that I love like Massive Attack and The Cure. We combined those elements into our new music. That was the most exciting part of the process, being able to finally share some of our other influences.
“Our Aussie fans work hard to introduce our music to new people.”
What would you say are the main themes of the album?
The ones that I identify with are elements of becoming, love and loss, and also an understanding of self. They’re the main themes for me.
What was the first concert you went to?
I went to Soundwaves in 2009, because I really loved metal and rock music, and I still do. I saw Iron Maiden.
Growing up, who featured in the posters on your wall?
I had really random posters! I was obsessed with Slipknot, I had posters of Pink, 50 Cent, I had a poster of every single Simpsons character. So many random ones. I also did a lot of art when I was a kid, so I had a lot of that on my walls as well.
If you could see anyone perform – dead or alive – who would it be?
I would see Elvis. I’ve been lucky enough to see The Rolling Stones, but I would also love to see The Beach Boys, The Beatles or The Monkees.
Who do you think is killing it right now in the music industry?
I really love Troye Sivan’s new music. It actually has a strange alignment with what we’re doing right now. I really love Bloom. I love Jaden Smith’s artistic vision. And I’m really proud of Halsey because we’ve grown up together in the music industry and I’m really proud of her these days – she’s really killing it.
Which drummers were you inspired by growing up?
I would have to say I was heavily influenced by my stepdad, who was a drummer in a band. I was influenced by Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers. I was honestly mainly influenced by singers though, because I’m a singer and songwriter. So I was always into singers like Dave Grohl.
What’s the story behind your new tattoos?
I have an eagle on the back of my neck, which represents my personal freedom from my past. I have a heart on my left hand, which reminds me to see the good in people. I have a tattoo on my right hand to represent my band.
What cologne do you wear?
I wear Tom Ford. I don’t know which one! It’s black. It’s small. I don’t
remember what it’s called.
Sounds like Noir to me...
Yes! That’s it!
What’s your favourite old, and new, song to perform live?
Favourite old song is ‘She Looks So Perfect’ and new song is ‘Want You Back’.