Community Festival - Home Crystal Palace Park 7 July 2023

Interview: You Me At Six

We caught up with You Me At Six guitarist Max Helyer about their upcoming show at Community 2018 and their love for the London.

With their anthemic British rock bangers You Me At Six were made to play festivals. The Surrey quintet have been riding high ever since the release of their number one album, Cavalier Youth, a decade ago. Last year the band released their phenomenal fifth album ‘Night People’ and we can’t wait to hear the passionate ‘Take On The World’ and certified arena classic ‘Give’ play out on the Main Stage at Finsbury Park.

Guitarist Max Heyler took some time to tell us why Community will be a special show for the band, what they get up to in their adopted hometown of London and who has a GSOH in the band.

Your sophomore album ‘Hold Me Down’ celebrated its eighth anniversary this year. What’s the biggest change been since you released the album?

Well age is the obvious one. You can tell our songwriting has improved since then with us trying new sounds, pushing ourselves to try new tricks and develop better written songs. I would also say that our live shows have drastically gotten better as we’ve now had eight more years of playing together and experiences together. Recording we all know what we are doing and one would say we are far more professional on that side of things.

How do you think crowds at a London festivals differ from other festivals?

It’s hard to say because every festival has its own vibe that creates an atmosphere, but for us London is really a home town show. It will always hold a special place in our hearts and every time we play in London they’re the special shows that we all remember doing. If it’s from the performance or just the crowd going wild, it just holds that special feeling every time we play in London!

What do you like most about performing on home soil?

Well, I would say we know what the British fans like at shows as we go to gigs ourselves. Knowing what you want to achieve with a crowd and making it happen is always a great feeling, plus there is no place like home, right?

Will you be bringing back some of the tracks on ‘Hold Me Down’ at Community?

Of course. There will be some songs from ‘Hold Me Down’, but we’ll showcase a fair bit of material – we’ve had 5 albums now and the sixth one is ready. I’m sure we might even showcase some new songs at Community seeing as it is home. What better place to give a world exclusive of our new tunes at such a great festival!

You recorded your last two albums, ‘Cavalier Youth’ and ‘Night People’, away from home. What influence did that have on the records?

‘Cavalier Youth’ we recorded it in LA and rented this amazing house in the Hollywood Hills, which basically shaped the record to sound bright, fun and positive. With ‘Night People’ we recorded it in Nashville and really focused on how we can all play together at the same time whilst recording. It also felt like some of that Nashville sound bled into our record without us realising at the time; coming away from the record, once it was finished and listening back to it, you can really feel that there is that vibe in the songs and the way we played it.

Who in the band has the best sense of humour and why?

Well we all like to have fun and make each other laugh. We all have individual things we do, but in general the laugh master is Matt [Barnes, bassist]. He’s very loud without trying to be and just generally a very funny person; you can hear him laugh from one side of the room and instantly know it’s him laughing which makes you laugh. When you find out what he’s doing it’s no doubt something where everyone is having fun dancing or drinking or generally something silly that gets people in the mood! So, if you hear him laugh go find him and I’m sure you’ll see why once you hang out with him!

What do you do in your downtime?

We do a mix of things from actually writing more music, going out exploring, going to art galleries and exhibitions, to playing sport and going to the gym. We are an active bunch of lads that like to keep busy even on our days off, but if we do have a day at home there’s nothing better than a decent box set or movie to wind down.

Where’s your favourite place to go when you have free time in London?

At the moment we’re having a great time hanging out in the Peckham area. We have a few friends from that side of town and it’s got great food and great bars. In the summer everyone will be hanging out at either Frank’s or Peckham springs.

You Me At Six

Take On The World at Community 2018 with You Me At Six and Two Door Cinema Club, The Vaccines, Circa Waves and more.