5 Seconds Of Summer talk new album CALM and recording with rock royalty...
At the end of the gruelling world tour for their second LP, Sounds Good Feels Good, Australian pop-rockers 5 Seconds Of Summer were completely spent.
They'd gone straight for the relentless promotion and gigging on their debut into the studio and then back out again for a world tour that lasted for more than 100 shows.
They took a break, and, to all intents and purposes, returned a different band. The Blink-182 and Green Day esque stylings of their first two records are gone, as are producers and co-writers like John Feldmann and All Time Low's Alex Gaskarth.
In come groove, a light-touch R&B, darker sounds and writers like Charlie Puth, Ryan Tedder and Max Martin protege OzGo. That's a trend that has continued on new LP C a L M, which arrives in hmv's warehouse today.
We spoke to drummer Luke Hemmings about the making of the album and how they recruited Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello and U2's The Edge for the LP...
How did you want this album to move on from what you did on Youngblood?
"We felt confident with the lyrical and sonic progression we made on Youngblood and particularly that people liked it. We took what we learnt and just made an album expanding on those progressions and tried to make something better than that of the music we’d made before."
How was the writing process for the album? Did you end up with a lot of songs and slim down? Or did you focus on a smaller collection?
"We had probably the least amount of songs completed to choose from this album. I think we knew what we wanted and anything that wasn’t good enough or didn’t feel appropriate wasn’t pursued any longer."
You’ve got some big writers on the record, Charlie Puth, Ryan Tedder, Andrew Watt, how did you go about choosing collaborators for the album?
"We worked with Andrew Watt and Ali Tamposi on the previous album which produced two of our favourites, 'Youngblood' and 'Lie To Me', so it felt natural to continue those relationships and expand on where we left off. Watt helped bring these connections in where appropriate."
There’s also a guest spot from Tom Morello on the album, how did that come about?
"Again that was through Andrew Watt. I think we joked about how cool it would be and then it actually came to fruition which was amazing. It was the same with The Edge playing on 'Best Years'."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a theme to it?
"We can only speak from experience and what is happening in our current lives or going on around us. It speaks of young men growing up and making mistakes and moving forward to ultimately be better for it and be better men. It also speaks briefly about the age we live in. It’s important to look at an album as a bookmark in time for us and to be able to move on from it and learn from it."
Which song on the album took the longest to get right? And which came together most quickly?
"The opener 'Red Desert', that took a minute to get right. 'Best Years' came together very quickly."
When did you decide on CALM for the album title? Were any other titles in contention?
"We didn’t have a title for a long time. With this album being a massive growth period for us and the band truly understanding the importance of the four individual artists in the band, we felt it was a fitting name once it came about. It’s also a nod to our fans as they have been using the C A L M acronym for years, per our names Calum, Ashton, Luke and Michael."
What are your plans to take the album out live?
"We want to create a show we have never done before and like with everything else we do, push it forward and making better than its predecessor."
You’ve got four records now, how will you decide what makes your live set?
"It’s a mixture of keeping the people we play to happy and also keeping us happy playing the set each night. It will be a mix of new and old but most likely leaning towards the last couple of years, I’d say. It depends how the album is received!"