The 1975

Thu Dec 17, 2015
Fox Theater - Oakland
Indie Music, Music, Rock
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Critics have been bemused and thrilled by the Manchester four-piece and their amorphous drifts between brooding art rock, crisp electronica, dancefloor R&B, and 80s gloss pop. I dont think its confusing, says singer Matty Healy of his band. Feeling a lack of identity and the searching within oneself to acquire a real understanding of what you want to be, thats something that loads of people can connect with. Its so strange that with music people want so many rules.

Matty has known what The 1975 is for some years now, just waiting for the right moment to unveil their stories of lust, intoxication and the unabashed grittiness of modern youth. This record is a proper soundtrack to our formative years, he says of their debut album, co-produced with Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Foals, The Kooks). Its everything that I know and every single song on the album, at some point, has been the most important thing in my life. Ive spent my adult life working towards this album. Its literally everything I am.

Mattys adult life started young. He picked up the guitar when his dads best friend died, leaving him two guitars. His confrontational attitude was in place early too the private school kick-out (I didnt really care for being there, I got in a couple of fights. I got asked to leave, I never actually got expelled) transitioning to public school at the age of fourteen he started drumming in a punk band with eventual band mates Adam Hann (guitar) and Ross MacDonald (bass).

One day, This weird kid turned up at school, he was really tall but he looked about nine and was this odd character. This was George Daniel, drummer and soon to be Matts co-songwriter and My kind of boyfriend. Well, not really, but he might as well be, we dont really leave each others sides. The pair bonded over their dislocated childhoods Matt moved between London and Newcastle while George was born in Belgium and grew up in Seattle and the sense of isolation they felt in their new homes in the Manchester suburbs.

Adam had heard of a hippy council worker who rented out local space for kids to play shows, and the band formed in order to get involved. Everyone would go and get drunk and it was a proper scene at a time when there wasnt really much going on.

They developed an artful sophistication and electronic adventurism to their punk rumbles, it was an intriguing track called Robbers that earned them a manager in 2009. Based around a violent, cinematic tale of lust on the lam. I got really obsessed with the idea behind Patricia Arquettes character in True Romance when I was about eighteen, Matty recalls That craving for the bad boy in that film its so sexualized, and the gore with the sexual lust really merges together. It was something I was obsessed with.

For two years, they relentlessly toured the country and interest began trickling in. But the band, operating under a variety of names, waited. Theyd seen contemporaries get snapped up, restyled and spat out by the music industry and wanted everything to be in place the sound, the songs, and the aesthetic before they announced their arrival. We said were not desperate to be famous, were not desperate to be in a massive band, lets do it our way, on our terms, and make sure that our projection of ourselves is controlled by us. Throughout 2011, as their cache of self-produced demos grew to album size they decided to sign to Dirty Hit in the UK and spent 2011 touring and getting the songs just right live.

Though 1975 was the year The Sex Pistols formed and Talking Heads played their first gigs, the moniker has nothing to do with the date itself. Matty found it in the back of a beat-era book given to him by a gregarious artist he met at a yard sale in northern Majorca at the age of 19. He showed me round his house, it was like a sixties bizarre haberdashery. He had photos of him with Hendrix, I thought this guy was fucking crazy! He gave me loads of beat generation literature, Kerouac and stuff. When I went home I read them and in the back of one of them there was all these mental scribblings, it was almost suicidal, and it was dated at the bottom 1st June, The 1975. I was quite freaked out when I read it, the use of the word The really stuck with me. It was the perfect band name.

The newly monikered group headed to the studio in December of 2011 resulting in the Facedown EP the first in a trilogy of EPs to be produced by the band, released in August of 2012. Sex shortly followed in November of 2013. The final EP installment is Music For Cars, which was co-produced by Mike Crossey with the band. The band and Crossey quickly reunited to work on the bands debut album, which will be released in June of 2013.

Were not making a record to support a couple of singles, Matty says of the finished record. On your debut album, whether youre hyped or not, youve got shitloads to prove to yourself. And his hopes for The 1975? People need to get on board with what were doing and see that were for this generation. I want our music to be a part of peoples lives, properly.


  1. Fox Theater - Oakland
    1807 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA