1883 Magazine

Following our rave review of The 1975’s EP, Facedown, we’re excited to exclusively premiere the video for their latest single, ‘Woman’. Eerie and reminiscent of Jeff Buckley’s early live performances, their last track of their EP displays a musical style the Manchester four-piece are perfecting, complete with reverb-soaked guitars and emotive vocals with a distinct twang. Intrigued by a band who sound so accomplished so young, we didn’t hesitate to delve into their mindset with an interview with the entire band- that’s Matt Healy on vocals and guitar, Adam Hann on guitar, Ross MacDonald on Bass and George Daniel on Drums.


Why ‘1975’?
The 1975 came about when I was about 19. I was on holiday in Majorca, wandering around a  town called Deia. I ended up stumbling across this artist called David who was selling all his of his possessions from a chair in his garden. We would talk for ages and he gave me this collection of beat generation literature, Kerouac etc. When I returned home I was finishing reading one of these books and I found these suicidal scribblings from a previous owner. Really mad. At the bottom of the page it was dated “1st of June - The 1975”. The use of the word ’The’ preceding a date really stuck with me. It seemed like a good name.


You grew up in Manchester, what was that like? How did it influence your music?
George and I grew up all over the place to be honest. He was born in Belgium, I was born in London and we moved around a lot as kids. We grew up as teenagers in Manchester. It was an amazing place to fall in love with music because every band would pass through there. We would live in the Academy. By the time we were teenagers we wanted to be a band. It was more the gig scene and girls and everything that came with that time and that city that inspired us. We’ve never been a ’Manchester band’ - trying to follow on from The Stone Roses etc. Obviously we love and respect the city’s musical heritage but we don’t feel burdened by it like many bands from here seem to...


When did you start playing music together? How did it all come about?
We met at high school, queuing to use the drum kits and amplifiers. We made our first record when I was 15. That would have made George 14 and Hann 16 - so pretty young. We were really heavy. It was awesome - we made so much noise for no reason other than to make noise. Justin from Yourcodenameis: milo produced the whole thing. I loved those recordings.


What inspires your music?
Fashion, girls, John Hughes, pop, garage, Kerouac - we are a very personal band. At the risk of sounding cliché, our personal lives seem to be what we draw inspiration from the most. We seem to always be in pursuit of a truly honest musical connection, I love seeing the interplay between our music and fans at gigs, it’s what we do it for.


Is there a difference between playing in London and Manchester? Do you have a cult set of Manchester fans?
We’ve always been very underground. We’ve tried not to push ourselves on people until we thought the time was right and we were ready - therefore we’ve never done a headline show. You can feel a crowd warm to you if you’re supporting someone in Manchester, once they’ve realised you’re one of them. I love playing Manchester. I think London gets a bad rep, we’ve had some great shows in London too.


Who do you look up to musically?

I couldn’t possibly list everybody I admire musically. Michael Jackson, The Streets, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, D’Angelo, Peter Gabriel, Sigur Ros, TLC, Phoenix, Daft Punk, Mariah, Whitney, My Bloody Valentine - loads of ’em.


What’s the worst show you’ve ever played?
It depends what you class the worst as. Playing in Stornoway to 3 fishermen? Getting in a fight on stage in Hull? Taking too many ’jokes’ antibiotic things and throwing up all over the place whilst Hann’s amplifier blew up in actual flames and nearly burned the place down? We’ve been together for so long in so many versions of this band we’ve got hundreds of worst shows. Retrospectively, they always turn out to be the best.

What’s your favourite bit about being in the band?
Well being in a band is all I’ve ever done. I did school and that but I just saw that as oppressive nonsense - getting in the way of all the ’being in a band’ I was doing. My favourite thing about being in this band is making something of ourselves. The feeling of creating something that people really appreciate and having an affect on strangers and that - it’s really nice when that starts happening. Plus you get to knock about with your mates all day and be self indulgent for a job!


Are there any alternatives to music? Do you have any other talents?
We’re very into film and fashion, etc. but we produce all of our records, along with other musical projects that we have - so most of our time is caught up in music. Any talent we have, we try to utilise it musically.


Where do you hope to be in a year?
Well today is the 26th of August, so I’d like to think we’d be playing our album to a bunch of sunburnt kids at Reading and Leeds.


Facedown is available to download here and you can keep track of The 1975 via their Twitter or the band’s Facebook page.


Words by Elspeth Murray & Amy Lynam

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