By Erin Coulehan, Contributor, DC Music Live
Hailing from Manchester, England, alternative rock band The 1975 have crossed the pond for its first U.S. tour and will be playing a sold out show tonight at DC9. The band takes its namesake from an inscription written inside a copy of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road that was given to frontman Matty Healy by an artist friend in Ibiza. Along with the date, “1 June 1975,” the inscription included descriptions of a previous owner’s descent into madness along with suicidal desires. The power of the inscription resonated with Healy who then named the band.
The music features heavy keys, ethereal guitar and smooth vocals with lyrics that explore sex, substances and fear. The band showcases its cheekiness with clever song titles including “Sex” and “Chocolate,” – what else does a girl need? – but remains tight-lipped about the songwriting process. Not to worry, we caught up with Healy who describes how he puts those lips to use when he’s not singing about sex, drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll.
You take your title from an inscription inside On the Road. Who are some of your favorite beat writers/works?
That was quite an important book for me. I was very naive and impressionable like most 19 year olds. I dunno about ‘favourite’ poems or pieces. I love Kerouac and Akbar Del Piombo, I think they’re my favorites.
What’s touring the U.S. been like?
Crazy. We drove from Texas to Milwaukee, so we’ve seen quite a polarity in culture over an intense period of time. SXSW was amazing, we did 11 shows in 5 days, it was quite intense but a great way to start out in America. We’ve toured all around the east coast since then and it’s been incredible.
How do U.S. audiences differ from UK audiences?
I think if you’re playing good music it doesn’t make much difference if you’re in New York or Southampton. If people feel a real human connection with what you are doing or saying, then it doesn’t matter where you are, the reaction will be the same.
Other than music, are you creative in any other forms?
George is a great chef. Hann is great with computers. Ross is really good with history. I’m a good kisser.
What’s been the most memorable part of tour thus far?
NYC was incredible. To play our first show there and it be sold out and as crazy as it was, we will never EVER forget how we felt.
What can fans expect from the show this weekend?
A lot of my hair and very loud guitars.
Tonight’s show at DC9 starts at 9:00pm. Tickets are unfortunately sold out, but if you’re smart, you’ll go and try to scalp a ticket anyway!