Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Q&A: Matthew Healy

Matthew Healy

The son of actors Denise Welch and Tim Healy is frontman of the English four-piece indie band The 1975, who will be releasing their debut album next month before heading to Belfast on tour

Things have happened quite quickly for the band since you released your first EPs last year

Yes, last August I was writing demos, and since then, we've recorded an album, toured the world and supported The Rolling Stones. It's overwhelming.

The band formed around 10 years ago. Have the years flown by?

Yes, but there were changes in line-up, and the surge in popularity has been dramatic in the last year. We've released an album's worth of stuff already.

How much have you noticed the rise you've all enjoyed?

It's not been as mad as I thought. I spent a lot of time at home near Macclesfield, just driving around, going to friends' houses, recording and things, listening to the radio. I thought that when the band broke I'd hear our music in places and on telly, but really, when your band takes off, you're not around to see it because you're so busy working. Our single Chocolate was in the charts for 17 weeks, and we were out of the country for 15 of them.

Supporting The Rolling Stones and Muse recently must have been highlights for all of you

Yes, it was just amazing. I mean, The Stones ... It's quite obvious how you would feel supporting them, I can't get over it. But for me, Glastonbury was the real big one; 35,000 people coming to see us and singing along at 1pm. That was a proper moment. When you hear all that singing, you realise your songs don't belong to you anymore.

When did you write Chocolate?

We wrote it in our rehearsal room at my parents' house. That's where we wrote all the songs, and where I grew up, but they separated and sold the house. I moved out this morning so I'm now technically homeless. Chocolate, along with the rest of the album, was written there, and last night was the last I'll ever spend in that house.

It feels pretty poignant, really.

How has your parents' split affected you?

Well, it's an odd time – my band is just about to break, we've got a massive tour coming up and an album to release, but at the same time I've nowhere to live properly and my family isn't the same as it was. I don't need anywhere to live as I don't have a day off 'til December 20, when I have two weeks off.

The last song on the album ends with the sound of a door closing, as I knew I wouldn't be there much longer.

Lots of albums are referred to as snapshots of the time they were written. Is this in that category?

Yes, completely. It couldn't be more prominent. The photos in the artwork are of our rehearsal room, the same room that's in the original video for our single Sex. That's where we played the first note, and the last beat of the new album. It's a real book-end thing. But we're on the start of a new chapter, and can't wait to see what's next

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Wanderlust may be too powerful to resist. Planning a long holiday will be a pleasant diversion from work. You don't have to have fancy accommodation. You're willing to rough it for an adventure, but you do want to get good value for your money. Doing some research into the best places to stay and eat will pay off handsomely. Take along a friend who is free spirited and eager to explore unfamiliar vistas. The two of you will make great travelling companions.More