So, the last time we spoke to you was back in February and you were just about to release Chocolate… What’s changed since then?
‘Haha, quite a lot! My life, for a start – I don’t have a home anymore, and we’ve released the album and a couple of EPs… I can’t really believe it to be honest with you. We’re all really excited for the tour in September too, because it’ll be the first time that people who know us from Chocolate have been able to buy tickets to see us – our tour in May sold out before we even released Chocolate to the radio, so this will be the first tour that everybody will be able to come down to.
Were you ever expecting Chocolate to do as well as it did?
‘We never expected any of this. We’re just some guys making some tunes, and Chocolate was just another one of our songs that we wrote when we were just knocking about. I never thought of any of our songs as ‘hits’, so to speak – we just wrote them for us. I guess it’s what defined us – it exceeded everybody’s expectations and provided us with a platform to really make a statement with our debut album.
You’ve just announced another UK headline tour for February next year – are you excited?
‘We can’t wait. We’re touring constantly around the world from September, so we’re going to America, Japan, Europe, Australia… Yeah, we’re gonna be on tour forever.
What’s your favourite song to play live?
‘It depends, to be honest. Chocolate and Sex always get an amazing reaction, so those are the ones where I really get to ‘feel the love’ in the room… The thing is, nobody’s heard the album yet, so I think that once people have heard the album it’ll make for an amazing show. People had been coming to our shows and listening to a set that was mostly made up of songs that they don’t know, yet they’ve still been really into it – how into it are they going to be after they’ve heard the album?
You’ve just released your debut album – are you proud of it?
‘We’re very proud of it. It’s everything that we’ve ever worked for – the only reason that it’s been made is because we’ve worked for it, and we’re very proud that we’ve had an opportunity to make an album like that. We’ve gone from changing our band’s name every night when we were on tour with Little Comets to this.
Why did you decide to release four EPs before you released an album?
‘We just wanted to make sure that people had a wealth of material to emotionally invest in before we released an album.
‘We wanted people to understand who we were before we released our debut album – we couldn’t really have said ‘Hi, we’re The 1975, here’s our sixteen-track debut album – oh, and there’s a saxophone solo on track four’, because people would have just been like ‘okay, who are you?’.
‘We wanted to really express ourselves and to make sure that we’re a real band – a lot of bands nowadays seem to put out a song and ride on it for ages until they have to make some sort of half-arsed album full of filler, whereas we wanted to just release so much material that you couldn’t help but notice us. We just wanted people to have music from us.
Was it always the plan to release four EPs before you put an album out, or did you just go along with whatever felt right at the time?
‘Na, we just kinda went along with it. Everyone was like ‘Oh, they’re doing a trilogy of EPs!’, so we decided to put out a forth one. We just stopped putting EPs out when it felt right to do so. They were all written and recorded in one week periods too, which was interesting.
Your debut album is self-titled – why?
‘It was always the plan to have it be eponymous, because it just spans too much of our identity to ever name it. There’s no set of words that we could use to describe that album, and there’s nothing that ties it all together better than The 1975.
What’s your favourite track on the album?
‘Ah man, there are loads! Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You is very special to me, but I think that’s because it’s about me leaving my little brother. I went home to move out, and that was the song that me and George recorded in the few days that we had to move out. It’s just about leaving, and guilt, and stuff like that. I mean, the whole album is the story of our adolescence. Every one of those songs, at one time or another, has been the most important thing in our lives. Each one was at one point the song we thought was our best, or the song that we thought defined us as a band – because we’ve had so much time to work on these songs we just love them all dearly.
You supported Muse and The Rolling Stones this summer, as well as a load of festivals – what was your highlight?
‘Oh God, there’s just so much to take it at once about this summer… When I was up on the metal rigging at Leeds, which was the festival that I used to go to every year as a punter, seeing a full tent of screaming people that were just spilling out of the tent… They were all there to see my band! I couldn’t believe it. It was the first time that I’d been on a stage at Leeds Festival, so to go there and play one of the busiest sets of the festival was just absolutely crazy.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
‘It’d have to be Reading and Leeds, combined. Definitely. It was absolutely amazing. I don’t know how many people were there, but we couldn’t actually see anything outside of the tent – it was just a sea of people. Everyone went insane right from the outgo at Reading. There were girls crying, screaming fans, people upside down… I don’t know how they do that! It wasn’t even crowd-surfing, they were just stationary with their legs in the air! Mental. At Leeds I scaled one of the big metal rigs, because it was my only real chance to get a good video… It was amazing.
What made you want to start playing music in the first place?
‘I’ve just been in love with it since I was about four years old. I just love the idea that it has the power to command you how to feel… I dunno, it was just all around me when I was a kid. My dad’s mates were all in bands, and I just wanted to be like my dad’s mates.
Describe yourself in three words?
‘I can’t. Sorry. I know it sounds really boring, but I’d hate to do that – it sounds like my idea of hell. I struggled to narrow an album down to sixteen tracks, so if you want me to describe myself in three words you’re asking the wrong guy.