I'm a 20-something music journalist living in a pop culture climate with Korean one-hit wonders rule the internet and Simon Cowell's latest manufactured commerical music juggernaut becomes worth more money in one night than I will ever be if I became a millionaire and killed off my future rich husband for his money. Gone are the days where my friends and I would pore over stacks of Smash Hits magazines, searching for the latest photo of Justin Timberlake's bleached-noodle hairstyle to argue possession over. Now, with the dominance of social media and such technology closing the divide between bands and young fan demographics on a seemingly extreme scale, hype surrounding the new 'it' artists reaches fever-pitch so much quicker that it's not wonder these bands become such treasured commodities.
Sydney's 5 Seconds of Summer are the latest musical group to have earned the hearts and fierce loyalty of many young girls nation-wide. The lads, who have drawn many comparisons to the likes of One Direction (and have even garnered the attention of kudos of the band themselves), aim to separate themselves from the labels and produce music which will set them apart. Still, the attention must be a bonus.
Ashton Irwin, Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford and Calum Hood took time out of a busy recording period in London to answer some questions I had for them. Eager 5SOS fans, read on and swoon.
Thanks for taking the time out to answer some questions guys; you’re in London at the moment aren’t you? How’s the winter treating you?
Thanks for talking to us, this is the first one we have done for you guys; nice to meet you. Yes! We are in London at the moment and the weather is ridiculous and freezing and it's barely ever light, haha! But in a way, it's nice to be out of the 40 degree heat back in Australia.
I must admit, I’ve only just been schooled up on who 5 Seconds of Summer are and what you’re about. One of the common comments I’ve received as I’ve done research on the band is that the girls are fanatical over you guys. Music aside, you’ve really achieved the ‘band’ dream, hey?
It was a dream of ours to be up on a stage playing our own original music and to have crowds sing our songs back at us! At our first show in Sydney months ago, that happened, and it was the most amazing thing ever. From then on as a band, we have been working as hard as we can; I guess you could say the "band" dream gets bigger every day and we are always setting more and more goals for us. The 5SOS family are made up of some of the coolest and most amazing supporters anybody could ask for. Sometimes it can get a bit crazy, but we still love them all.
How is the album writing process coming along? Did you ever envision that you’d be writing and recording in London? I mean, the band only really came together in 2011, is that right?
The band became the four piece it is now on December 4th 2011, and none of us ever imagined that we would be in another country on the other side of the planet recording our first ever album a year later! The writing process is one of the best bits for us; we all are songwriters and it's awesome to produce something as a band and make some epic songs for our fans!
Where are the bulk of your influences coming from in terms of music? Being in one of the musically richest cities in the world must be eye opening for you all.
Yes! The music culture is amazing here and nearly everyone loves music, so it's a really good place for us to create music! Our influences are pop punk and rock bands. Bands like McFly, Blink 182, Green Day, Busted, All time Low, Boys Like Girls. We like lots of music and have been listening to a lot of different stuff since we got to London.
5 Seconds of Summer, like many artists these days, have a strong hold on social media platforms. How much harder do you think it would be without the likes of Facebook and Twitter to promote the band’s music and image to the levels you are now?
It would be much harder to share with our fans without Facebook and Twitter for sure! I think fans have changed and how they support musicians has changed. People want to know about you and who you are; without the ways to speak to them, I really don't think we would be where we are today. It would be much harder!
5 Seconds of Summer has drawn many comparisons with One Direction since the band’s inception and has since gained the attention of the UK band itself. What’s your opinion of the insane levels of hype to surround bands such as yourself in today’s music climate?
Many comparisons to One Direction are made, agreed, but we get really confused; all you have to do is listen to our music. It really does not sound nothing like 1D. Also we can't dance.... I guess it is just a perception of Australians that if there is a band of young men, you must be like the next One Direction.
On drawing the attention of One Direction, their endorsement would have won your band a huge amount of exposure as a result of a few simple tweets. It’s bizarre to think your sphere of influence has grown so much since 2011, isn’t it?
It's crazy! we still can't believe what's happened to us! We sure are very grateful to all the fans and people that continuously support us and our music.
For the amount of fans that rally behind your band and other current bands like you, there’s an equal amount of critics. How do you handle the amount of negative press that surrounds ‘boy bands’ of today? Surely it’s got to be a maturing experience as much as anything else.
It's okay, because we aren't a boy band and people are always going to talk. As long as they are talking about you, then I guess its a good thing. Not everybody is going to like and suport what you do, but as long as we like it and the fans who have supported us from a year ago like it, then that's all we can ask for.
If I’m correct, 5 Seconds of Summer will be recording in London for the next few months before coming home, where your already loyal fan base is going to be eagerly waiting. What can you tell them about your plans for 2013?
Well we have big dreams and so do our fans! It's a journey for the band and the fans to go on together. We are excited for 2013; who know's what it's going to bring and what we are going to accomplish! I mean, look at 2012 - that was crazy for us! Hopefully 2013 is just as crazy.
Finally, I have a 15 year old cousin here in Adelaide who is one of the 5 Seconds of Summer-obsessed. Can she be expecting a show in her hometown any time soon? What can she and the many others be expecting from a 5 Seconds of Summer live experience?
With the 5 Seconds of Summer live experience you should be expecting a rock show, guitar solos, and high energy! We love making a crowd move and creating a big energy throughout the show and we hope to leave an impression so you leave wanting more! What's your cousin's name? We'll make sure we give her a shout out on Twitter; we love meeting our new fans.