English five-piece You Me At Six have been dominating the rock scene for well over a decade now, and with a new album set to be released in early October, they are showing no signs of slowing down. While many old school fans have noticed a change in sound from the band’s released singles from “VI”, lead guitarist Chris Miller explains this ordinary shift in sound and the general crowd reception. “For us it was a natural progression. We weren’t trying to do anything different. I don’t think there’s been any bad responses so far, everyone seems to be really enjoying it which is cool.”
While the band’s shift in sound is outlined as a natural progression, Chris nonetheless has a message to the audiences who refuse to shift their musical perspective in general, and explains how now more than ever, we have the chance to listen to new content with open ears. “It’s really the day and age we’re in now. Back in the day when you were in school, you used to ask someone what music they’re into and they would reply with the name of the genre. You either like metal or you like rock or you like punk. But for us now, everyone’s sort of diverse these days. People answer with band names instead of genres. I think it’s such a good time to be alive to be free and enjoy what you wanna enjoy so, just take it with a pinch of salt and open your mind up to different styles of music. We don’t listen to one thing, we’re very diverse and I guess that’s why our sound is so diverse.”
Recently released single Back Again is undoubtedly a perfect example of the band’s diverse sound, and how its creation came from a desire to pursue something new. “For me it’s a song about bouncing back, we were stuck in a rut for a while, and all of us were just a bit fed up for a while to be honest. You need to write a song like that to get you out of that rut. For us, we needed something bright and summery and dancey. It’s a song that a lot of people can relate to as well, you know when you’re feeling like shit or you’ve been through something personal and then finally you wake up one day and you’re like ‘actually, fuck that, I’m starting to feel good’. Everyone needs a song like that and people can relate at whatever point in their life to it. It’s a nice shift for us as well. It’s a sound that we’ve never done or committed to before, so for us it was just a really fun experience. It was like bouncing back, this is the new generation of the band.”
In terms of authenticity, it’s quite clear that You Me At Six are devoted to staying true to themselves in every aspect of their career. “We don’t really try to become anything that we’re not. You see some bands that will come out with something really artsy and they’ll change their whole image, and then an album later go back to what they were before, and I think people really can tell when you’re just doing something because it’s cool at the minute. Whereas what we’re doing is totally natural, and whether or not it was cool we’d still be doing it. It’s just the music we’re enjoying making at the moment. It’s really important to be able to stand behind what we’re doing. We wouldn’t be writing music if it was someone else telling us to write a sound, we’ve always had full creative control over our music.”
While main lyricist and front man Josh Franceschi was in charge of the deeper meanings behind the lyrics, Chris talks about how himself and the rest of the guys contributed to the musical meaning of the track. “Musically, it’s the whole vibe of it. How it’s very upbeat, it’s bright, the guitars are funky. There’s some cool little riffs going on. It’s more about a feeling. We were just trying to match the mood of Josh’s lyrics. Especially in the verses it’s quite laid back, talking about a situation or a position that he’s in, and then suddenly you get the big ring of ‘I’m back again’ and the chorus is in and then you get this huge, big, bright summery mood which really just promotes the whole lyric of ‘I’m back again’. For us we were just trying to work on something really, really euphoric and happy. I think we’ve done that.”
Remarkably, the band was directly involved in the production process, which made “VI” the first album to be officially co-produced by the band. Chris touches on this process and how helpful it was to be part of it. “We’ve all been getting more involved with recording music ourselves at home. When we were writing the album we did a lot of writing with the computer, instead of just us five jamming, we would start with a synth line or a drum beat in the computer and then go in and jam with the band. Without actually even playing together we had a new song. It was a new way of writing and an interesting way of doing it. It’s good practice and it’s good fun and it really lets us put a stamp on something before sending it off to other people. It all comes from us.”
To all Australian fans, Chris has one final message for you. “Thanks for the support over the years, and we’re working on coming back out to you as soon as possible.”
“VI” will be released on October 5th via Cooking Vinyl Australia. Pre-order your copy HERE now!