KEEP CALM

South Western Times - - Entertainm­ent - Kathy McCabe

Calum Hood hasn’t left his Los An­ge­les home for more than a week. Nei­ther have his 5 Sec­onds of Summer band­mates Luke Hem­mings, Michael Clif­ford and Ash­ton Irwin, who shared with their fans mid-week he was “start­ing to get sick”. Man­age­ment said there was no ev­i­dence he had COVID-19 but he was feel­ing un­well.

Like thou­sands of mu­si­cians around the globe, the Aus­tralian pop-rock chart slay­ers have re­mained con­nected to their mil­lions of fans via so­cial me­dia as they’ve counted down to the re­lease of their fourth al­bum ti­tled CALM over the past week.

The ti­tle was given to them by the 5SOSFam fan base, who have used the acro­nym of their ini­tials for the past nine years since the four teenagers formed their band in Syd­ney’s western sub­urbs with dreams of world dom­i­na­tion.

“It’s def­i­nitely a crazy time. I never thought I would live to see a pan­demic like this,” Hood said.

“But it has re­de­fined the way we ap­proach our al­bum re­lease be­cause we can’t be to­gether or around large groups of peo­ple.”

And in­deed, they would have been do­ing the rounds of hun­dreds of ra­dio sta­tions, meet-and-greets and fan launches for the roll-out of CALM if COVID-19 hadn’t com­pletely al­tered our so­ci­ety.

The four mem­bers of 5SOS see their CALM al­bum as a mu­si­cal snap­shot of their ar­rival as young adults af­ter land­ing in the midst of hys­te­ria-fu­elled teen fan­dom when they found suc­cess as 15 and 16year-olds.

“Com­ing off the back of our third record, there was a sense of free­dom about our abil­ity to write a body of work we could be proud of as we’re grow­ing into early adult­hood,” the 24-year-old Hood said.

“We re­ally look up to bands like INXS and Mid­night Oil who al­ways stayed true to their roots.”

CALM is out now.

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