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By PANIZ GEDERI
British rock band You Me At Six have returned to the UK with their new single, Lived A Lie, receiving widespread acclaim and hitting number 11 on the UK Singles Chart. We had a chat with drummer Dan Flint ahead of them setting off on tour around Europe with 30 Seconds To Mars. Time for us to reflect on what the band has achieved in the past year, and all their exciting plans for the future.
Good morning Dan and welcome back to the UK! How are you?
I’m doing quite well; I think I’m over the jet lag now! I’m just enjoying being home to be honest.
I feel like a few congratulations are in order, it’s hard even know where to start! Congratulations on Lived A Lie and the great response it received, on having headlined Wembley, on the new album release…!
Thank you very much, that’s very kind of you!
No worries! Tell me, what it was like headlining a sold out Wembley arena and joining the ranks of such iconic bands like Green Day?
To be honest with you it was very hard to enjoy at the time, being the one on stage. It was so much pressure, and I’m so glad that we filmed it so that I could sit down afterwards and properly enjoy the show-side of it. All I remember thinking was…oh my god, just don’t mess up. But once we came off stage, that was when we hung out with our friends and family and were able to take in the fact that we just headlined the Wembley Arena! It was the most incredible night of our lives… In terms of being able to join the other bands in in the ranks, it’s an amazing feeling. When we go around the world and meet other bands, the first thing they always say is “Oh, so you guys headlined Wembley!”. It’s definitely one of those bragging rights where we’re able to turn back and say like “Yeah, we did, no big deal…”. It’s an awesome feeling.
It seems to me that you guys have just seen such a huge growth just in the past few years. I remember going to see you at a small Banquet Records in-store in 2009 and it’s unbelievable to think that in just 4 years’ time you would have progressed to selling out Wembley! What do you think has contributed to You Me At Six’s rapid success?
I think it’s mainly down to our fans. I mean, the last night of our American tour in Philly was sold out and we were just like… “since when did our band sell out a 1,000-capacity venue in Philadelphia?!” We’ve never had really major label backing over in America, it’s just down to fans spreading the word about good music. Over here in the UK we’ve been lucky enough to have some great support from Radio 1 which has really helped us.
You seem to have quite a good internet army as well; the Sixers are very passionate about you and keen to spread the message!
[Laughs] Yeah, they’re a crazy bunch! They’re a lot of fun and we owe everything to them.
Your new album, Cavalier Youth, is set to be released in the coming months. I’ve heard that you guys are switching things up a little on this record and playing with your sound. Can you tell me a bit more about the sort of vibe we should expect from this record?
Well. It’s hard to define, but it’s definitely not the typical You Me At Six record. There are a few wild cards on there. We feel like we have some really well written songs this time, we spent a lot more time sitting down and making sure every part of every song was the best that it could be. When we were writing we went away and lived in a house in the middle of a forest in Reading for a few weeks, and one time we even got snowed in for a bit…
Wow! It’s like tour but extreme!
Yeah! We were literally stuck in a house and all we did was write music. There’s definitely some songs on there that have taken influence from different genres, so instead of just being a straight-up rock album, there’s songs on there that sound like ‘Temper Trap’ or something completely different. But then obviously we’ve got songs like ‘Lived A Lie’ which everyone’s heard already. So it’ll be the kind of record where if you’re already a fan of You Me At Six it’s going to be your favourite album to date, but if you’re new then you’d like it too. For example I played it to my mum, and this is the first time that she’s heard one of our albums and thought straight away “yeah I could really like this; I think it’s really good”.
Before, we wrote albums like Take off Your Colours when we were 16 or 17, and people of that sort of age would like it. We wrote Hold Me Down when we were 18, and probably 18 year olds liked it, and 20 year olds liked Sinners [Never Sleep]. I feel like Cavalier Youth has a far greater appeal to anyone from 8 to 80 years old, just because they’re well written songs. We’re really proud of it and can’t wait to have it out!
It also seemed like a really creative process, the way you guy recorded this album. I read that you guys even started switching instruments at one point and you got to play bass, how did that come about?
We did that more for fun. We were recording a part to a song with some huge drums and mallets, and Matt [Barnes] turned around and asked if he could do it, and I was like “yeah of course man, do it!”. It was more of a fun thing. And it came down to one of the last days, and I was like, “I haven’t
played bass! If you got to play a section of drums then let me play bass!”. So I did one of Matt’s bass fills in one of the songs. And I think that sums up the record really, we had a lot of fun making it. It was just a bunch of people doing what they love to do. It was probably the most fun summer I’ve had in my entire life, and it’s great that at the end of it we came out with an awesome album!
So now you’re back and the next thing coming up for You Me At Six is supporting 30 Seconds To Mars on the European leg of their tour. What are your expectations for that? Have you met the 30 Seconds To Mars guys yet?
Yeah we’ve met them a couple of times, we’ve done a few festivals with them. We also used to be on the same label, EMI, so we met them a couple of times because of that. They’ve always been really cool to us; we’re just excited to get out there with them. We’re looking forward to going out into Europe and playing these huge venues there as that’s something that we haven’t really been able to do before. The opportunity to be able to play to that number of people in those new markets will be an incredible experience but also a great platform for us to promote ourselves out there. I know that this tour has helped get us some press and radio across Europe that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. It’s been useful to say “We’re going on tour with 30 Seconds To Mars and playing these huge venues with them” and these radio stations are like “wow that’s amazing, we’ll definitely put your songs on the radio!”. Right now I think we’re on the radio in places like Norway, so yeah, that’s just another step in the You Me At Six journey! It ends this year at the O2 Arena which we’ve never played before, and like Wembley I really hope we get to headline it one day.
Now back to you, Dan. You’ve just released the first episode of your own cooking show, Cooking With Flint! Should we expect more episodes? A homely surrey edition or maybe a 30 Seconds To Mars special?
[Laughs] The thing is, being on tour is kind of boring at times. You’ll find yourself in a Hilton car park in Omaha, Nebraska, and you think to yourself “oh my god…what are we going to do today? It’s our day off, there’s no show, and we’re stuck here in a car park. We’ve gone through everything possible that we could ever do – we bought baseball gear and an American football and chucked them about the car park, we’ve already gone to the cinema twice that day” and we’re sat thinking “okay it’s still 5 o’clock in the afternoon, what are we actually going to do?!”
Film a cooking show is the answer!
Yeah exactly! We ended up having Tom Welsh with us on tour who makes amazing video updates, he’s the one that has come up with our video ideas. People already know I like to cook, it’s all over my Twitter and Instagram, and Tom had the idea to film me cooking. We thought it’d be funny; we’d film it in a very cheesy way. But people always send me tweets about it, so we’ll try and find the opportunity to do one in Europe. Maybe I will do one at home, have a homely Surrey edition!
That’d be great! Maybe try and get some endorsement, get Ainsley Harriet on there…
I actually tweeted Jamie Oliver telling him to watch my video but he didn’t reply! So I used to be a Jamie Oliver fan… but…now I hate him.
Poor Jamie! Now from one hobby to another, I hear you boys are big fans of football and of FIFA… And what’s more is that you’re being featured on the FIFA 14 soundtrack!
That’s so awesome, how did that come about?
It came about from Josh [Franceschi] being obsessed with the game. We got to meet the EA games people at one point and told them we absolutely love FIFA, and asked if they could get us on the game. So they came down to Wembley and even the LA Palladium to watch us play, and we ended up getting on with them really well. We had a few drinks and invited them down to the studio in LA. They sat down to hear ‘Lived A Lie’- and were like “this is incredible, we’ll put this on the game!” and we were like “really…? Naaah you’re lying” but then at one point we put in our copy of FIFA and the first song that played was Lived A Lie!
You’re living the dream!
Living the dream! I think that describes us at the moment in our band’s career!
Right so. You have a few days off before you embark on your tour with 30 seconds to mars. What do you out have planned?
I plan to just hang out with some family and friends. I’m over the jet lag now so it’s just a case of seeing some people that I haven’t seen in the last month! I haven’t even unpacked my bag or taken it upstairs, I’ve left my suitcase by the front door ready to leave on Monday.
Sounds like a very hectic schedule! Well thank you Dan for taking the time out of it to talk to us!
Thank you very much, it was great!
Picture: You Me At Six