Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve been hearing “Chocolate” by The 1975 on almost every radio station. One of their best traits as a band is that they can make the crossover from a pop market to an alternative one with no problem in between.
I recently had the chance to interview Matthew Healy, lead vocalist for The 1975, to talk about the group’s tour this fall, their brand new number one album, and more. The transcription is below:
First off, I want to congratulate you guys, as you are somewhat being called the breakout artists of the year by many people in this business. You’ve earned massive success over the last 10 years. Has it begun to sink in at all?
Thank you so much, very nice of you to say. I don’t think it will ever sink in completely, but it has in small steps. We’ve been on the road since December and have yet to be home since. So to go home with a number one album will be one of those moments where it will really sink in. If you told me that all of this would be happening eight months ago, I would be freaking out! (Laughs)
You recently released your amazing self-titled full-length. How has the reaction been so far?
It’s been so remarkable. Our fans are giving us so much good feedback. We actually had 16 tracks that we cut off the record. It’s unbelievable how it reached number one.
It’s so deserving! I think it’s really cool how some of the songs from the EP have made it to the record like “The City” and “Sex.” People probably aren’t used to things not working chronologically; what made you guys decide to do that?
Well, I think it just worked. We knew what we wanted to be on the album. We kind of wrote the album before we were even planning on writing an album, if that makes sense.
I have to mention how “Chocolate” was really a breakout for you guys. I hear it on every radio station in every format, which is rare and amazing. Did you ever think it would take off like it did?
Honestly, not at all. We didn’t even pick it as a single, for it wasn’t even a single. It completely took on a life of its own; it was simply a track on the EP. We never even thought of making it a single so the fact it has had so much success is simply amazing.
I notice you guys follow that “black and white” trend with pretty much everything. I’m sure you get asked this a lot, but can you explain that a little more?
It means a lot of things, actually. It’s more of from a personal perspective and more of how we are perceived. I feel with everyone that there is somewhat of a detachment from how things really are—somewhat black and white. It really means a lot of different things.
Well, it works! You recently announced a tour for the fall, and I will be in attendance in New York City. I see the tour goes well into 2014. What is your favorite part about being on the road?
You know, it’s funny, I love a lot of things about being on the road. The best part is that it’s a whole new dynamic for us. We have been writing songs and making music for so long that touring was never necessarily part of what we did. We played shows once in a while, but we had never headlined anything in our lives. Now we are headlining and selling out shows, and it’s a whole new outlet for us to interact with fans. There are so many new fans and new faces to see, and watching them enjoy our music and singing along is just unbelievable. So yeah, my favorite part is that it’s a whole new dynamic for us as a band.
If you could go back in time on your years doing this whole music thing, is there any advice that you would give your younger self about this business?
I think I would tell my 17-year-old self not to worry so much. We make music because we love it, and it works for us because we are staying true to whom we are.
And what about for bands today? I think some people may think that you just made it overnight, and I also think a lot of acts think that they can do just that.
The most important thing for bands to understand is do it because you love it. Success is true happiness, and as soon as you realize that as a band, you will truly be a lot happier.
You guys have accomplished so much with a number one record, selling out tours, etc. Is there anything on your bucket list of things to do as a band that you still really want to achieve?
Yes, MADISON SQUARE GARDEN (laughs). Seriously, we have achieved everything because we do it because we love it, so that in it is the reward. But there is something about MSG that I just want to play that room so badly!
Well, I don’t play an instrument, but maybe if we try it together, it will happen faster. Although I think it’s safe to say you are well on your way!
You can stand on side of the stage and yell!
That I can do! Thanks so much for your time, Matt. Best of luck to you guys on tour, with the new album, and everything in between!
The 1975’s self-titled album is available now. You can catch them on the road at the Bowery Ballroom on Oct. 9 and 10 and Union Transfer on Oct. 12. For more information, go to the1975.com.