11 things we learned from Matty Healy’s in-depth and revealing Zane Lowe interview
The frontman dished all about the band’s third album on Beats 1
It’s only been just over a year since The 1975 released their phenomenal, world-conquering second album ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It‘, yet we’re already knee-deep in conversation about its follow-up. Get ready for a whole new bunch of information to salivate over, as band leader Matty Healy joined Zane Lowe on Beats 1 last night (April 27) to discuss the future of the band and reveal some trivia on their recent past too. Here’s everything we learned from the conversation.
‘I Like It When You Sleep…’ was so eclectic because Matty never wants to rest on his laurels
Post-rock instrumentals? Stadium sized pop bangers? Intimate, cinematic ballads? The 1975’s second album had the lot of them and then some over the course of its 17 tracks. People have theorised since that its lengthy track listing was down to the new chart rules that make streams eligible for that final placing, but Matty had other reasons to take us on a sonic exploration. “When we realised that it wasn’t necassiarly going to be a major label or regular record deal setup that broke The 1975, we just did it ourselves,” he told Zane. “Since then, that sense of kind of ambition or fear of resting on my laurels, I’ve never been able to get rid of. So that’s why this last record was full of everything I could put in it.”
Matty took record label refusals personally
Before Dirty Hit was founded by Jamie Oborne and Ugo Ehiogu specifically to release The 1975’s music, the band did the soul-destroying dance of shlepping their wares round record labels in the hopes of scoring a deal. Everyone refused them, which hurt the frontman. “When people were telling me it wasn’t good enough, it was like people telling me I wasn’t good enough,” he said. “So I suppose that inspired a bit of vitriol when things started happening, I was like ‘Too right’.”
Saw You In A Dream, a song by The Japanese House on Spotify
He reckons The Japanese House is leaving The 1975 in the dust
Matty and drummer George Daniel have been involved with Amber Bain’s project since her first single, ‘Still’, collaborating on production with her. That partnership, at least from Matty’s perspective, seems to be over now – “I don’t really work on The Japanese House any more,” he said. As new track ‘Saw You In A Dream’ shows, she doesn’t need a helping hand to craft gorgeous gems. “She sounds like Burt Bacharach, it’s mental,” he added later, in typically enthusiastic form. “With Amber being a woman and quite a strong, independent and powerful character, it’s great to see her moving with such confidence. She’s kind of leaving us in the dust. She knows what she’s doing.”
The next album is called ‘Music For Cars’ and is being recorded at Matty’s house
In case you hadn’t guessed that from the many, many times Matty’s tweeted that over the last few months, the title of the band’s third album will be the same as that of their third EP. “‘Music For Cars’ has always been called that and we were always going to do a trilogy of records,” he explained. Matty’s already tweeted that the third album will be released next year, so it’s not really surprising that it’s already well under way. Between touring and festivals, he’s busy working on it in his house.
The end of the trilogy doesn’t mean the end of The 1975
Before you start panicking about whose live shows will possibly match up when the third album cycle is through, don’t worry. ‘Music For Cars’ isn’t the end of the band, just “the end of an era”. “I’ve become very interested in the idea of kids saying they’re living out their lives to The 1975 in this era or that era and I kind of want to make them aware that this has all been one time,” Matty said.
There are layers of subtext within the band’s world that no one has picked up on yet
And theories that fans have come up with that have surprised the band themselves. “There are kids that have made theories that aren’t true, that I almost think should be true,” Matty revealed, while confirming there are definitely things left to discover. “Especially with the next record,” he added, “in regards to stuff that has already been referenced. I was thinking about this making ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’.” So go forth and get hunting.
The 1975’s approach to ripping artists off is to rip off themselves and they’ve tried to rip off ‘Chocolate’ “30 times”
“We knew that we were drawing references from so many people, but we didn’t like it when bands ripped off other bands,” Matty said. “Our thing was ‘how about we rip ourselves off? Let’s take our old demos – cos we know we like our band – and think it didn’t belong to us. What can we nick from that piece of music to make a new one?’” The golden rule, apparently, is to rip yourself off, but make every song sound different, which is why their alleged many attempts to rip off ‘Chocolate’ have never worked out.
There’s a very emotional screening process for what songs make it through to the records
Ever wondered how the band decide what tracks are allowed to get as far as their fans’ record collections and music libraries? It’s all down to Matty’s reactions. “If it doesn’t make me dance or cry within the first 48 hours we normally get rid of it,” he said. “The agenda for this has always been the preservation or me and George being able to sit in a room and make records. That’s the primary goal – that’s when we’re happiest.”
‘The Sound’ was nearly on the first album, but didn’t make it because Matty cared too much about how he was perceived
A lesson for all of us to stopping giving a flying one about what the rest of the world thinks about us or what we create and just do it. “The first album there was elements of that true poppiness of not caring, but I did care a bit,” he explained. “I was concerned about how I was perceived. ‘The Sound’ was a song that didn’t make it onto the first album and it was because it’s so pop.” It was Zane Lowe that convinced him to put it on ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’ by telling him he was “out of your fucking mind” if he didn’t. Wise words.
The reaction to ‘Somebody Else’ makes Matty think “people are so emo”
“We’ll do something where I’m really obviously not in pain and people will be like ‘Yeah that was alright’, and then I’ll pour my heart out and people will be like ‘Yeah, I love that’,” he explained of his observations of the reaction to the band’s music, specifically in relation to ‘Somebody Else’. Matty’s also fully aware of how great that song is. “As soon as I finished writing it, I was like ‘This is a tune’,” he said. Quite.
‘Music For Cars’ will be “the best record yet” and could feature some special guests
Think The 1975 peaked on ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’? They’re aiming to better it to the point where Matty says that’s something they have to do. Meanwhile, right at the end of the interview, he snuck in one finally cheeky tease, telling Zane: “I’m just gonna get whoever wants to work on it.” The potential results of that approach could be humongous. The countdown begins here.
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