11:05 Thursday 16 May 2013

Success is sweet like chocolate for The 1975

Written byBY JAMES BRINDLE

2013 has been a huge year so far for Manchester four-piece The 1975. Single Chocolate has been dominating the airwaves for months and the band are looking forward to a hectic festival season ahead. We spoke to frontman Matthew Healy about an incredible start to the year.

“IT has just been mental.”

The 1975 singer Matthew Healy admitted he could not foresee his band’s meteoric rise to stardom this year.

Single Chocolate has captivated music lovers across the country and made The 1975 one of the hottest new acts of the year.

“We were in my bedroom just six months ago making a recording and thinking about maybe getting a chance to record an album and now we are supporting The Rolling Stones,” a clearly overwhelmed Healy told us.

“The last couple of months – particularly since the release of Chocolate – have been crazy.

“We were played a gig at London Borderline earlier this year to 350 people and now we are playing two nights at the Brixton Academy to 5,000 people a night.

“You imagine it all but you don’t think it is actually going to happen. We’ve been together 10 years so it hasn’t happened overnight.

“We just put out an EP to test the water and it ended up being played on Radio 1 by Huw Stephens and Zane Lowe. It was crazy.”

Much of The 1975’s success can be put down to support from Radio 1.

The band, along with the likes of Bastille and Haim, have been championed to the hilt by DJ’s in both the daytime and evening schedules.

Healy admitted that the support from the station has been vital.

“It has been very important and very humbling,” he said.

“We’ve grown up listening to Radio 1 and that world did not seem plausible to us.

“It was a real validation of what we always believed – that we had the material to transcend the scene we were in.”

Chocolate, with its infectious chorus, is set to become the festival anthem of the summer.

So can Healy believe how it has captured the music buying public’s imagination?

“Not really – it was just a song in my head and words in my head that now lots of people know,” he said.

“The idea of Chocolate came about years ago so the things I think about when I hear that song are so far removed from other people’s point of reference.

“It is such a personal song to me as well so to hear it everywhere is quite emotional for me.

“I’m proud of that record and I think it’s a good blueprint for our band – it says a lot about us.

“I remember thinking when we wrote it, ‘right our album needs to be 13 of them’.

“It was amazing to hear people singing it back to me, especially in America.

“When we played Chocolate in Washington DC I could not even sing it because the crowd was singing the words so loud.”

The success of Chocolate looks set to be replicated with follow-up single The City which has now found its way on the Radio 1 playlist.

Healy agreed that the song was another infectious hit in the making but he said there was more to come from the band’s forthcoming debut album.

He said: “The original demo for The City was really lo-fi and it was a little love song but when we got to the studio I thought we should give it some teeth and it became a really bombastic song in the end.

“I think every song on the album is infectious – there is no filler – every song on the album has been a favourite at some time and I think that is the way to do it.”

The band head off on a UK headline tour this month before a packed summer schedule and Healy said the band cannot wait.

He said: “I can’t describe how much we are looking forward to each tour at the moment as they are getting bigger and bigger and there is quite a lot of hype at the moment.

“But it is not making us scared or bashful – it all gives us confidence. There is no pretence with our band, no element of pandering to an audience.

“People have got excited about music we just made for ourselves.

“I think we’ve got 200 shows booked this year and have already played 80 so it’s pretty busy. We just don’t get a day off – I think the next possible one is July 17.

“We are playing every single major UK festival and some in Europe.

“The stuff we have had to turn down in the last week is insane – I mean we had to turn down a support slot to Rihanna in Europe.”

The festival schedule includes all the major events across the summer and Healy said it was hard to pick a highlight.

He said: “Glastonbury and Reading/Leeds are highlights but honestly we can’t wait for all of them.

“I mean Bestival has got Elton John and Snoop Dogg playing but then I also can’t wait for the small ones I have never even heard off. I can’t wait.”

The 1975 perform at Nottingham’s Dot to Dot Festival on Sunday, May 26 and at Birmingham Institute on May 28.

They have also announced dates in September at Birmingham Institute, Nottingham Rock City and Stoke Sugarmill. See the venues for tickets.

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