You Me At Six are a band that haven’t stopped since they rolled out their debut album ‘Take Off Your Colours’ in 2008. The English five-piece have toured Australia more times than I can count from headline shows, to opening for the likes of Paramore and Bring Me The Horizon, to also playing Soundwave twice. Their love affair with Australia has always been two sided, and our eyes are peeled for any new tour dates that will see them finally returning to our shores. But in the meantime they have new music to feed our emo soul’s.
Taken from their forthcoming eighth studio album ‘Truth Decay’, their new tracks ‘DEEP CUTS’ and ‘No Future? Yeah Right’ are perfect examples of the two sides of You Me At Six that listeners have come to know and love over the years. Returning to that high-octane pop-punk sound, their anthemic energy is at an all time high. Reflecting on mental health, self-care, and self-awareness, these tracks have a darkness at their core that is elevated by punchy production that brings the message face to face with the listener.
I chatted with Lead vocalist Josh Franceschi from You Me At Six about returning to their roots on new songs ‘No Future? Yeah Right’ and ‘DEEP CUTS’, explored healthy coping mechanisms, and reminisced on touring with Enter Shikari in the early stages of their career. Check it out BELOW:
THOMAS BLEACH Your new single ‘No Future? Yeah Right’ is an anthem in its own right, and packs quite the punch. Can you explain the creative process behind this track? Did it come together quickly?
JOSH FRANCESCHI: It’s an interesting one for us as when we put it together we didn’t feel like it had what you described as “packing the punch”, so we got Rou in to bring that. I thought it was a cool song, and it had a lot of angst and frustration and it embodied what the record was, but it didn’t quite have that next level, and he really brought that. I think ‘DEEP CUTS’ and ‘No Future? Yeah Right’ is a good representation of where the record is going to go.
TB: I also think sonically it’s going to add a really anthemic layer to your live show again.
JF: Yeah, At the very start of the process we were questioning how we bring back the energy to our band. On our past couple of records we had been flexing our creative muscles, and I think most bands do this at one point or another, but they move away from what they’re good at doing and try something else because they think other people will get bored. ‘SUCKAPUNCH’ was a hybrid record of so many things we liked; whether it was dance music, hip hop or RNB. It didn’t really have much of “us” on there. I mean, it had enough for it to be our record and for it to still feel good. But when we started this next record we sat around a table and questioned “who are we?”, “what are we trying to say?”, and “if you were a You Me At Six fan, what would you like us for?”. So we were trying to figure out how to tap back into that and make a record that is indicative of what people have grown to like the band for over the years.
We circled back and even listened to our old records like “Hold Me Down’, ‘Sinners Never Sleep’, ‘Cavalier Youth’ and ‘Take Off Your Colours’, and explored what we think we did well and how we could represent that in 2022. So a lot of that was energy, and returning to our emo pop-punk roots. I think ‘No Future, Yeah Right’ has a bit of flexing of the other genres we like, but a song like ‘DEEP CUTS’ is straight-up You Me At Six. It’s everything you’ve known our band for in one song. And there is a lot of that on the record. The feedback from fans on the song has been amazing, I read someone saying “this song feels like home”, and that’s what we really wanted to create. If you were wondering where your favourite band went, well they are here, and we are ready and waiting for you.
TB: I looked at some of your recent setlists and you’re still playing older songs like ‘Reckless’, ‘Loverboy’, ‘Bite My Tongue’ and ‘Underdog’. So with this new album and songs like ‘DEEP CUTS’, and ‘No Future? Yeah Right’ bringing such high energy, are there any older songs you want to bring back to the live set and give a new sonical perspective?
JF: Yeah! We are currently putting our setlist together for our album tour that kicks off from January next year, and there are definitely some older songs there. I think we’ve asked a lot of our fans over the years with accepting some left turns we’ve made, so we want to make sure when you come to a You Me At Six show that it’s all your favourite songs from front to back in one set, and it’s more of a celebration of the band as a whole. There are a few songs that were semi-retired that are coming back with a vengeance.
TB: I would love to see ‘Crash’ back in the setlist…
JF: Well, you never know… you never know *laughs*.
TB: Back to ‘Not Future? Yeah Right’’, the song is all about breaking the chain of a negative cycle. So when you find yourself going into a negative headspace, what are some of the things you do personally to help break out?
JF: It’s an interesting question because I feel like I’ve actually just come out of one, and I often do this thing where you have to live in it for a bit longer than you’d like to. If you try to put a bandaid over a bullet wound, it’s the sort of thing you are going to feel again in a few weeks or months. As sucky as it is, I try to live in that rock bottom/traumatic space, for as long as I can mentally and physically take it. I allow myself to feel shit, and then I go “okay, that’s gone now. That was last week. And now it’s time to get up and get on with it”. I think exercise is key. I’m not talking about going down to the gym and pumping weights for three hours, I’m talking about fresh air and being outside. And I think that’s why music is such an amazing vehicle for breaking a cycle of negative shit. You can put on one of your favourite artists, and particularly ones from your formative years, and be transported somewhere else.
I also talk to myself a lot. Some people have said to me that they think that’s weird. But actually checking in with yourself and talking to yourself as if you were your best mate, and getting the advice that you’d give your best mate, is actually really healthy. Running away from my problems has never worked for me, it’s always come back and spiraled worse down the line. So I’m trying to really practice living in the good and the bad moments in equal measure, as I think that’s how you get proper perspective of both. So here’s hoping!
TB: Your arm is twisted easily, hey?
JF: It doesn’t take much. It is very easy. But I did do 6 months of being sober at the start of the year and got into shape. If you feel good physically then you are going to feel good mentally. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m at my best when I’m taking care of myself physically and mentally. So I try to avoid the booze train, but every now and then you do get back on it.
TB: You’ve been pretty much touring non-stop for the past 14 years minus the pandemic. So is there something you always do when you’re on the road which is purely for you, and to help maintain a calming energy and mental health?
JF: Naturally with the routing we have a day off every 3 or 4 days, and I like to fucking sit around and stay away from everybody. I love spending time with them, but if my social battery is running low, I need to preserve and recharge it. So on days I just like to take it really simple, and hopefully there is a dog park around, or get some good food, and go for a walk and stretch my mind and my legs. I like to read if I can too. The best thing is when you’re reading a good book and you get really into it.
Back in the day we used to spend the night before a day off getting super fucked, and to get over the hangover the next day we’d go out drinking again. There would be a group of 15 of us on tour doing that. But since the pandemic, this upcoming US tour is our first proper extensive six week tour, so I’m hoping those bad habits we had before don’t come back.
TB: This track hears you collaborating with Rou Reynolds from Enter Shikari. You’ve both been on the touring circuit since the beginning. I remember seeing you both at Soundwave in Brisbane in 2010. What has been one of your favourite memories with them over the years while overlapping touring schedules?
JF: I met them when I was like 15, and we were playing a venue where there wasn’t a stage, and we were just playing on the floor. And it was during the MySpace days, and they were headlining and we were supporting. We were both in the top 5 unsigned bands in the UK at the time on MySpace, and we talked about it recently at an awards ceremony, and we were reminiscing about that, and also how mad it was that both bands are still thriving and doing well. We just both keep having these beautiful unexpected victories.
The reason we’ve always gravitated towards them is because they are real dudes. Enter Shikari is a bi-product of them as human beings. They are good human beings, brothers, husbands, mates, sons before any bullshit. They are a really successful band but they don’t buy into the hype. They don’t act like they are anything special. They are just real ones.
TB: I have seen You Me At Six a lot since 2010. From Soundwave, to supporting Paramore twice, to headline shows, and a signing and acoustic performance at City Beach. But one show I wanted to bring up in particular to see if you remember it, because it was wild, was an early 2010 All Ages show you did in Brisbane where the venue had to stop the show because it was literally shaking and felt like it was going to collapse. So they got everyone to sit down and be still.
JF: YES! I remember that we had to come off stage while they were trying to figure it out, and I was talking to our tour manager and being such an asshole. I was like “this is our first headline show in Brisbane. I don’t give a fuck what the venue says”. And he was like “Josh, people will fall through the roof and die. You might also die. Remove the ego bruh”. I was such a dick. But now as a 32 year old bloke I can see that was fucking stupid, and that obviously the safest thing was for everyone to sit down. But what I also remember is going outside after the gig and talking to people, and I feel like it brought everyone closer, and lit the fire in our fanbase more as people were like “did you go to the YMAS show that did but didn’t really happen? We HAVE to see them next time”.
‘No Future? Yeah Right’ is out now!