“I would go to jail for what I stand for” – The 1975’s Matty Healy talks playing countries with anti-gay laws

He also tells NME that his band would play both Israel and Palestine

The 1975‘s Matty Healy has said that he would risk going to jail in order to uphold his principles, he told NME.

The frontman, who headlines Reading & Leeds Festivals this weekend with his band, was speaking to NME for today’s Big Read feature.

Speaking on the day the band were to play a show in Dubai, a country with notorious anti-gay laws, the frontman affirmed that he would do whatever it takes in order to stay true to his beliefs.


“I’ve been meeting so many kids walking around and I’m like, Are you coming to the show? And they’re like, Oh, I can’t, my dad would not allow me, or my religion doesn’t allow it, and all that kind of thing,” the frontman said of the Dubai show.

“So that’s sad because I think that art is for everybody. But I understand that I’m quite a – I don’t know what I am – an outspoken… bisexual… I don’t know, whatever I am. So they’re probably not really into my vibe over here, the dads.”

On the night itself, Healy kissed a male fan at the show, defying strict anti-LGBTQ laws in the country.

“I would go to jail for what I stand for, you know,” he told NME in advance of the show. “I feel like I’m in one of the only punk bands in the world.

“I’m profoundly anti-religion and I always have been. I don’t agree with a dogmatic, pious adherence to scripture, because I believe that creates more pain for more people on a global level than it does solace for people on the individual level. I think it’s a selfish act. But I also understand that religion and culture are two very, very, very different things.


“I would never come over here and be disrespectful to people to make a point. But I’m never going to not going to not stand up for women. I’m not going to not stand up for gay people. I’m not going to not stand up for minorities.”

The frontman also said that he wouldn’t avoid playing in countries with these kind of laws, saying: “There are definitely people here that the victim of those oppressive ideas, and I’m not a diplomat or a politician.

“It’s like the Palestine/Israel thing – I would go and play both places. Not because I’m taking a side but because there are young people there who are not representative of the government, and I believe that in countries that may be war-torn or separated due to political ideologies, the only thing that unifies people is culture and art. It’s more my job than anybody’s to go places like this, you know.”

The 1975 returned last night with new single ‘People’. They headline Reading Festival tonight (August 23). Read the full NME interview with The 1975 here.

Check back at NME for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Reading & Leeds 2019.

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