You Me At Six talk ‘VI’ and that Community 2018 performance
Finny P went off for You Me At Six‘s set on the Main Stage at Community 2018. Now, the guys are back again (gettit) with new album ‘VI’ out next Friday and a ‘Take Off Your Colours’ anniversary tour in November and we CANNOT wait.
We caught up with You Me At Six bassist Matt Barnes to find out why you need ‘VI’ in your lives and what it was like to do that ‘3am’ video dance routine.
What was it like to play at Community?
I would say Community was probably our favourite festival we’ve actually ever done. We all came offstage saying how much fun it was. We’ve been moving away from the heavy rock thing for a few years now, so we didn’t really know if a more mainstream crowd is going to take to us. Super good show, I love playing Finsbury Park.
The last time I saw a band at Finsbury Park was Rage Against The Machine… Going from seeing one of my favourite bands of all time, to playing that place five years later was a magical moment.
You’re releasing your new album VI on 5th October. What can we expect from the album?
I’d say that we are still You Me At Six. When you’ve got Josh’s voice on top of anything we are going to be You Me At Six, but we don’t have any songs like ‘Bite My Tongue’, we don’t have any heavy songs. We’re probably never going to be as heavy as we used to be, but don’t get me wrong we haven’t just lost all of the guitars and replaced everything with synthesizers or something mad.
What were you listening whilst you were recording?
A crazy eclectic mix. People were always taking over the speaker and it could literally go from rock to country to pop to hip hop to rap to classical…I’ve always loved hip hop because I play bass and it’s just a rhythm driven genre.
We’ve got a song called ‘I O U’ and that essentially stemmed from when we were writing and we were listening to some hip hop and we thought, ‘how can we have a hip hop song without it being hip hop and still have a You Me At Six, Red Hot Chilli Peppers vibe to it?’…Some of the songs that made the record I don’t think we really thought would make the record.
You had writing sessions for the album with Eg White (Adele, Linkin Park) and former Athlete front man Joel Pott. Why did you decide to work with other writers again? What did they add to the album?
Our management on this record were trying to get some writers in and Eg White’s name was being thrown around and he’s been in a room with Adele and crazy big artists. We’re obviously not going to turn down learning something from someone who’s written number one records.
Joel Pott used to be in Athlete and they’re a great band and it almost like hanging with a mate as we literally just pick up the guitar and have a little jam.
You started out when you were really young and you’ve been together now for about 14 years. What advice would you give new bands?
I remember being asked 8-10 years ago and all we would say was, ‘get out there and play gigs at your local venues’. That’s now not how you do it, you can’t go and play loads of gigs at your local venues, because not many people are going to these gigs anymore, and there’s nowhere to play.
All you need now is a keyboard, a digital workstation and a microphone and you can bang out some demos and say, ‘this is the band, this is what we want to sound like’. Upload them to anywhere you can get them on, like YouTube, try to get your word out there that way.
It is hard because there’s so many people doing this on laptops and it’s quite flooded with new bands and new songs…but there’s a lot more people on their phones ready to listen to music which is a positive.
You’re heading out on a 10th anniversary tour to celebrate the release of your debut album, ‘Take Off Your Colours’. What one song are you looking forward to playing live?
None of them? Nah, I’m joking [laughs]…I’m quite excited to play ‘Tigers And Sharks’, that’s our slow one off that record; we’ve played it before, f**ked with the structure a bit and changed it up, made it more like a jam song – I’m really looking forward to playing that.
There’s one song on the record called ‘Call That A Comeback’, which we’ve never played live…we’re going to have to get in a room and relearn that song. Josh probably won’t even remember any of the lyrics, it’ll be quite funny, we need to start practising for that.
You covered Drake’s ‘Don’t Matter To Me’ during a Radio 1 session. Would you ever play it live?
We actually talked about that the other day, because Josh actually wants to be Drake and loves Drake. He was like, ‘maybe we should play it live?’ I did enjoy playing it. We did another cover of James Bay ‘Wild Love’ the other day as well and that sounded pretty cool. We used to play a cover of ‘Poker Face’ on Live Lounge probably eight or nine years ago and we used to play that all the time, but we haven’t played a cover since then so maybe we should bust one back out.
The ‘3am’ video features an amazing synchronised dance routine. Are you naturally a good dancer? How long did it take you to learn it?
None of us are naturally good dancers, no one knows how to move. When we turned up, it was rehearsal dance studio, so we’re walking through the front door and I think most of us were hungover and it was just like, ‘what the hell are we doing?’
When it started off Dan and Chris especially had faces like slapped ar**s…they were stressing out, Dan just before we started said ‘I don’t want to f**king do it’. 10 minutes later he had the world’s biggest smile on his face and he was like, ‘this is actually really fun’.
We all had quite a good time during that day. We weren’t great at it, we didn’t do one take where we were completely in time…It was funny, don’t know if we’ll do it again.
‘VI’ is released on Underdog Records on Friday 5th October 2018. Visit Live Nation to buy tickets for the Take Off Your Colours tour.