TWELV Archive THE 1975 Interview

April 20, 2018 2:00 PM

Although its members are barely over the age of twenty, The 1975 are already seasoned veterans of the UK music scene, releasing their self-titled debut album to huge anticipation and fanfare. It’s rare that a band can say they’ve stayed together for a decade, but even rarer the band that can make that statement after forming at 13. Add the fact that they can count Mick Jagger amongst their fans, and you have a very unusual group of musicians making dreamy, eighties pop rock anthems with a modern, cinematic edge. The 1975 tries to capture youth in all its angst and innocence, creating a soundtrack to those brutal, but definitive, teenage years. Frontman Matty Healy wants to make you fall in love like a John Hughes movie and leave you in an electronic daze of lustful nostalgia.

How did you first get interested in music? What drew you to it and what keeps you excited about it year after year?
I grew up on a farm and I was obsessed with music in movies. I think at a very early age I realized that music has the power to command how you feel. I also grew up around a lot of musicians, as my dad’s mates were Dire Straits, so I grew up around rock stars. Then the boys, we met at 13, so our stylistic and musical vocabulary is very much one and the same because we’ve grown up for ten years together.

How did you all meet and decide to start a band together? Did you ever imagine it would take you this far?
We all met at school when I was about 13. I think when you start a band at the age of 13, it’s because making music is fun. It’s making music for the sake of music and how music makes you feel. I think that’s probably one of the main sentiments that’s stuck with us. We never really imagined anything, because we never put any music out, we didn’t feel the need to. Everyone’s always like, “How come you didn’t put a record out until August of last year, if you’ve been in a band for ten years?” I suppose the answer is because when you’re 20 and living in and out of your mate’s houses, and making music with your friends, you’re not thinking, “I have to do something with my life, or is this going to take me anywhere.”

What’s been the most surreal experience or interaction you’ve had so far?
The most surreal experience was when The Rolling Stones asked us to support them at Hyde Park. Jerry and I sang “Chocolate”, which is apparently Mick Jagger’s favorite. He came to the side of the stage and started dancing, and we all looked over and Mick Jagger was there singing our song, and doing a selfie for Instagram. That was the most surreal.

What’s the most exciting thing about being on the verge of releasing your first album and what’s the most terrifying?
I think they’re both the same. This album defines us. Every single one of the sixteen songs has been the most important thing in our life, at one point or another. I think it’s exciting because we get to release an album that’s been totally uncompromised due to time or fear, or diluted through a kind of censor committee. It’s terrifying because it’s so honest, it’s everything that we are, it’s everything that we have, put into an album. It’s a massive extension of our identity that we’re letting a lot of people see.

What’s something you still want to accomplish as a musician or as a band? Do you have any major goals or plans for the future?
I just want kids to fall in love with our band like I’ve fallen in love with bands. I want people to feel about our album like I felt about albums that I think are important, like So by Peter Gabriel or Paul Simon on Graceland or Michael Jackson on Bad or Phil Collins on Face Value. I want to make a record like that and, as a debut album, I think we’ve kind of done our version of what we wanted to do. I just want people to love it like I’ve loved albums.

How would you describe the sound of your debut album and the themes that run through it? What message or feeling do you hope it imparts to your audience?
We wanted our album to be like the soundtrack if John Hughes had written a movie about our lives. We wanted it to have that feeling of those 80s movies, that kind of lustful, youthful desire. That antiquated memory of your teenage years actualized. We wanted to make the soundtrack to our formative years, and I want people to feel that on the album.

Where do you hope to see your music career take you? What would be a benchmark of true success in your mind?
Well there are certain things that were booked, that I’m not allowed to talk about, that have already blown my mind, so I suppose something like headlining Glastonbury. There’s one venue that I’ve always wanted to play, and that we’ve just booked to headline next year. I’m going to die when we do it.

 

This Interview is a TWELV Archive from Issue 04.

 

WRITTEN BY EMILY KIRKPATRICK

 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSH MADISON

GROOMING BY CORI BARDO

 

 

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