You Me At Six have how been a band for a decade and a half – and to celebrate the milestone they’re playing every single one of their singles back-to-back at their biggest outdoor UK headline show to date at Gunnersbury Park the weekend. We caught up with them backstage at Reading Festival before their slot on the Main Stage to talk about the big day.
Dan Flint, drummer: “It’s the last show of the festival season for us, so I think it’s going to be a special thing. It’s 20 minutes away from where we live. I think from Josh’s [Franceschi, the band’s vocalist] parents’ house it’s probably two stops on the train, quite literally, so it’s all back to the Franceschis.”
Max Helyer, guitarist: “I think it’s exciting as well, as we’ve done a few festivals this year and so if you’ve seen You Me At Six across the summer you’re going to get something that we’ve never done before, and you’re going to see the development of You Me At Six from the start until where we are now.
Josh Franceschi, singer: “Which at times is quite painful, for you and for us!”
With such a long set list, stuffed full of songs they may not have played for years, are there any they’re going to have to relearn?
Josh Franceschi: “None! It’s all up there [pointing to his head] – muscle memory.”
Dan Flint: “You know what, it’s lucky we had our 10 year anniversary [of debut album ‘Take Off Your Colours’ – where they played the album in full at Brixton] last year which has a lot of the hardest ones, so the rest of them we actually play quite often…so it’s pretty much a walk in the park for us, as everything is, as we’re so immaculate.”
Josh Franceschi: “Fucking hell don’t put that in, actually!”
Dan Flint: “Can you write ‘said sarcastically?’”
But despite the band’s changing sound over the years, there are no songs they’re dreading playing as they’ve fallen out of love with them since they were released.
Josh Franceschi: “How can you possibly know where you’re going to go if you don’t appreciate where you’ve been already? Everything that we’ve done has been a beautiful mistake in its own way, so I don’t have any ill feelings towards any of them, as they’ve all shaped what they’ve done.”
Dan Flint: “There’s probably songs on the albums of those where we’d go “Christ, not sure about that one”…but they were chosen to be singles, so they were obviously a massive part of our lives and our careers, so we want to pay homage to them.”
Looking to the future, the band confirm they’re working on their seventh album, and that their genre-hopping new tune ‘What’s It Like’ will be the first single from it. The new song mixes icy hip-hop beats and chugging electronics with their trademark alt-rock sound.”
Josh Franceschi: “We make music we like ourselves. And if people like it great, and so far we’ve been very lucky to have that for the past releases.”
The new record is set to be released next year (“‘What’s It Like’ is off our new record in 2020, and it’s going to be fucking great,” Franceschi says), and the band may or may not be recording it in Thailand (“We can’t confirm or deny, could be a rumour,” bassist Matt Barnes tells us).
Josh Franceschi: “We’ve got some flights booked. Well it’s that or we’re going travelling. We were basically like shall we go travelling and maybe write some songs and record them at the same time,” explains, before jokingly adding: “We’re going to do the Inbetweeners backpacker vibe, going off to Byron bay with some dickhead playing acoustic guitar outside…”
Matt Barnes, bassist: “That’ll be us!”
The record is half written, but the band remain tight-lipped about the details. When asked about any collaborations they jokingly throw out names like Drake, Dion Dublin and Harry Redknapp (“the usual suspects”), with Barnes adding: “Susan Boyle is going to be on it, she actually really likes us…she plays us to her cat, it soothes her cat and makes her cat sleep.”
Not entirely sure these are real collaborations, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
You Me At Six play Gunnersbury Park on September 8th.