Mel EvansTuesday 10 Jul 2018 1:25 pm
The time is 2pm in London and Michael and Ashton from Five Seconds of Summer have been up since the crack of dawn, jetlagged, talking about their latest album, Youngblood.
Its just hit the third week of number one in their home country of Australia and since our chat its since topped the Billboard chart in the US and smashed a record in the process as they became the only band to have their three studio albums go to number 1.
Its fair to say these guys – who go by the names of Luke Hemmings, Ashton Irwin, Michael Clifford and Calum Hood – have got it all under control as everyone wants a piece of the Aussie group, but as they spoke to Metro.co.uk they definitely appeared cool, calm and collected about the buzz.
However, Michael admitted the past seven years have brought them to this mark – and theyre proud of that.
Its been seven years of hard work and determination to have something thats solidified and to have conscious meaning – were proud of the songwriting and production and what the band represents in 2018. The hit wouldnt have had the same significance if wed have it any earlier.
Youngblood is the four-pieces third album, and its titular tune is an earworm that burrows into any and every ear.
However successful its been so far, the lads admit they still got the jitters in releasing something that sways from their previous songs.
We were nervous to put out this new record just because its a new sound for us and its something were taking a leap with, they said. We knew it was going to resonate with our fans.
This isnt our first rodeo and we understand the market and know our fans, but I think there are some levels of nerves that go into because if you dont feel like youre taking a risk then whatever youre doing probably isnt worth it. We felt like this record was changing things for us.
The effect this band has on their fans is wildly evident, in all areas of the internet.
Before we interviewed the group we threw it out to the 5SOS fandom to ask for their own questions.
The torrent of interest was immediate, the love for them reached through the screen. Many asked random questions like why Michael adds milk before cereal (unfortunately we didnt get to the bottom of that, sorry fam) but the majority just wanted the guys to know how much theyve changed their lives.
Its not something lost on the group.
We grew up as fans of artists as well and [its incredible] once you get to a point that youre able to affect peoples lives in positive ways and have any sort of impact on history at all, they said, before moving onto their success in general. Weve set some pretty high bars for Australian artists now, which is something you can only dream about and until it happens to you its hard to explain what thats like.
Being in that position is all about being grateful and being aware and proactively wanting to make a positive influence in different ways and to different people.
However, while they may have been fanboys in the past, Ashton admitted 5SOS is his main priority, as they also forge ahead with their own record label, Hi or Hey Records.
I find myself not following bands like I used to, he said. I feel like were so preoccupied with creating a strong and deeply imbedded culture among people who like our band.
However, there is one group he takes inspiration from, Twenty-One Pilots: I feel they have a worthwhile vision to follow and they have lyrics that are relevant to modern times.
5SOS got their start supporting One Direction in 2013 on their Take Me Home world tour. From there: pandemonium…that has continued.
They went onto tour with the English group twice more, on the Where We Are and On The Road Again tours.
While 1D may be no more (well, for the time being, at least) there are things they learnt then that still factor into their touring.
There are a lot of moments, be it physical or mental, Ashton said. Business-wise, we focus on a lot of things about making merchandise to represent your fans. [Being a part of One Directions tour] its such a large scale, you appreciate why people come to a show and what is it they really like about the band. We got to see that from a passenger seat for a second there.
Having announced their Youngblood world tour, which will see them stop off in the UK for eight dates in October and November, its been seven years since they left their homes in Sydney for the world stage.
Have they ever wanted to throw in the towel and return to a normal existence?
Since day one every single day we pushed ourselves to the limit with what we can do for the band and create something as important – so in short, yes, they laughed. Theres a bigger picture and as much as the short term frustrations, such as not wanting to get up at 5am and fly to anywhere in the world, is difficult, you have to realise what youre doing is having an impact on peoples lives and these are things that matter – being tired is secondary.
Obviously your physical health is dependent on your mental health but you have to remember even though it can be really tough, it is the most rewarding thing we can be doing in our lives right now.
Youngblood is out now and their UK tour begins October.
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