We met up with The 1975 at their first Glasgow headline show at the legendary King Tuts. After some major van disasters, they arrived just in the nick of time for a quick pre-show interview. We spoke to Matty from the band:
1.Are you looking forward to your first Glasgow headline show?
Totally yeah, we’ve played here quite a few times, in different bands, different names. It’s just one of those cities, one of the main ones you’ve got to do on a tour. We always look forward to it because everyone goes mental.
2. We first heard of you in bands, Drive Like I Do and Big Sleep. You gained a lot of ground in these bands. Why the name changes, is there a certain idea behind this?
It wasn’t really a plan; we changed our name originally from DLID because simply by the time we started doing new stuff we weren’t the same band anymore. We changed it to Big Sleep and that was about the time we got involved with our American label who had a big problem with the name because apparently there was another band in America under that name as well. Then we changed it to the Slow Down, which we didn’t really like. It kind of felt like no one would care if we just changed our name. Then we ended up looking for a name and ‘The 1975’ had been around for a while, just the idea of it.
3. Is there a solid reason you guys are called The 1975?
Yeah, there is, the story is basically, I (Matty) went on holiday to Majorca when I was about 19 it was in this Northern village and I met this artist when I was out there and hung out with him, he was a really interesting bloke. He gave me this beat generation literature, which was just pages of mental scribblings and I didn’t end up reading any of it for about 6 months. When I did, at the back of one of those pages. It was dated the 1st of June the 1975 and the use of the word ‘the’ really stuck out for me and haunted me for a bit.
4. How do you go about writing songs? Is there a certain thread or an idea behind the songs? They seem quite ‘night out’ orientated?
Very much so. I think there is a real honesty in those last two EPs because a lot of people have said, apart from ‘The City’ and ‘Sex’, which are the lead single stand out tracks. It’s very two in the morning kind of vibe. I think the honesty of that comes about because we recorded them at 2 am and we recorded them after nights out or during nights out. Or when we really felt it. We’ve been so lucky to produce those last two EPs ourselves. Limited studio time when it comes to producing an EP wasn’t an issue. There are a lot of broken heads and hospital beds. It’s all very immediate inspiration that goes straight into recording. We would spend a lot of time on our music; we care a lot about it.
5. You have been recording your album recently. Is the album going to sound totally different to the EPs or is it the same kind of sound?
It’s a mental record. It’s really weird. The thing with the EPs we made a conscious decision that we wanted to have lead tracks with EP tracks that kind of surrounded those. That embellished the story a bit. We took tracks off the album and then just wrote EPs around it. The ‘Facedown’ EP was written around ‘The City’ and ‘Sex’ was written around ‘Sex’ the track. I think the album is 14 tracks so it’s not like you could class ‘Facedown’ as not a song or as maybe an intro or something like that. There is no intros or interludes its just 14 tracks. The most important thing about the album is that because we have been working on it for so long, at one point or another each one of those songs on the album has been the most important thing in my life at one point or another. It’s really loads of songs that I believe define us as a band. ‘Sex’ and ‘The City’ will be on the album but it’s a majority of new songs with a single and EP coming out in January
6. Have you had any tour disasters?
Yeah today, our van broke down and we were stuck in Botany Bay for 6 hours and I’ve literally just got here. It’s been a bit of a nightmare. We didn’t think we were going to make it. We need to play without a sound check. Our sound is very important to us as a band. It’s going to be very raw but that’s what it’s about.
7. Is there anything you’re really proud of whilst you have been in any of the bands, not just The 1975.
I was really proud when we first listen back to the monitor mix of the album and I was really proud when we got plays listed at Radio 1. We had simply been told it would never happen by everyone over the years.
Is there a reason for why they said that?
We got wined and dined by all the major labels. Like brutally, we were kind of going to go with this major label and that major label. They all decided that they didn’t want to take the risk with us. We respected that but I think it really catalysed a real progression within the band. When we realised that R1, which we respect and have supported as listeners for so many years, they were really on our side. That was a really humbling moment. But everything is, we had no aspiration for this band to do anything like this. It sounds cliché but we have been doing this for us and we got used to being in underground bands and nothing happening. When we got on Radio1 and the EP charted at number 2 on iTunes for a bit it was really humbling. It’s been a lot of hard work.
8. You have touched on what is going to happen next year. Any definitive plans or tours?
We have a massive tour in January all the way through to February. Europe in February, then SXSW in March. Doing some touring in America because of our label over there. Then we are off to Australia and then try and get as many big festivals spots as possible.