Interview: Josh Franceschi from You Me at Six
You Me At Six frontman Josh Franceschi joined us last month to talk about touring with their new album, Night People, what the band have been up to recently, and their exciting plans for the future.
The band are on the US leg of their tour after doing the rounds in Europe and the UK and they’re joined this month with support from The Score.
Night People came out in January, how’s that been for you?
It’s been busy. It’s been very busy. Which I guess comes with the territory of touring a new record, but of course for us we took a bit of time off so it was great to get back on the saddle, so to speak. [We’re] playing countries and cities in England that we’ve not played either ever or for a very long time. So that’s been really cool, and we were quite selective in our support bands in both Europe and the UK. We’ve ended up touring with some really great bands which helps the days move a lot faster because you can just sit and watch your mates play music… I can’t really complain too much
So, of course you had the break beforehand, did it make it different promoting this album to what it’s been like for previous albums?
[I] just think it came back with way more energy. To be honest, the main reason that we took a bit of a break was A, that Max [Helyer, guitar] and I still hadn’t had actual physical time to be able to buy our houses. Everybody else had moved out of home and bought a house, whereas I think I rented somewhere for a bit, Max was still at home, and then I was back at home for a bit. And I was like, look, I’m pretty serious in my personal life with people and I want to make a step into being a man-adult-thing, and so yeah [I] just needed that and I was just mentally and physically burnt out and I can’t write an album when I’ve got nothing in the tank. Just a few months, it wasn’t long just a few months, to sort of forget that I was Josh from You Me At Six and concentrate on just looking after Josh. It was good. So yeah, came back full of beans and the hunger back in the belly, not that it ever really left but I just never want to do You Me At Six without it truly being a hundred percent there. I think, for example, if you’re touring and people have paid good money, and worked hard for that, and they come and see you and – because it is all about that connection really between the audience and stage – if they can sense that you A, really don’t want to be there, or B, that you don’t care, it’s really not fair on them. And I knew that I was both those things that at that moment in time.
The little tour in Autumn, was that part of your coming back with a punch, as you said?
To be honest, it was just like, because we recorded our album live, we’d been told by our producer quite a lot that “as soon as this record’s done you should start playing shows don’t worry if it’s going back into big venues, just get on stage,”. That was the kind of reason why we did that Shepherd’s Bush tour we did and even this, with our agent we picked out some cities that we hadn’t [been to] for a long time and wanted to go play there. I don’t know if this is our last tour of Night People. I guess it depends if we feel like there’s a demand for us to continue, but we’re already in a different headspace and already away from Night People so maybe it won’t be too long for new songs and stuff like that.
What’s the reception been like for the new tracks, particularly performing them live? Any things that you prefer to perform or any that don’t go down so well?
[The] thing that I’m finding, I don’t think it’s a question of things not going down well, I think it’s more of a question of people still are learning and growing attached to more, or just aren’t getting the record yet, because it was a little bit of a departure, it wasn’t Sinners Never Sleep part two, or Cavalier Youth part two… We tried a few different things, but also at the same time, we didn’t necessarily want to go back to – going back to what I just said a minute ago – we didn’t want to go back to something that wasn’t a hundred percent authentic and felt right. So we did what felt right and that was the album.
You were saying about songs you don’t feel that connected to. Do you guys feel that with older songs that you wrote as long as ten years ago, playing them live do you ever feel as though they don’t mean as much anymore?
I think the meaning of them now is just different… When we do play, I mean, There’s songs from Hold Me Down we still, we don’t really play too many songs off that record, the songs we do play are essentially just the songs that were bigger songs and the singles. Songs from Take Off Your Colours we only, we only ever play stuff from the record purely with the fact that we think our fans will enjoy it… It means nothing to us in terms of – we don’t sit there putting the setlist together and go ‘I can’t wait to play Save It For The Bedroom’, but then we play it and we see what that song, or songs from that record, means to groups of people from the audience. That’s when it really matters, because then we thrive off that energy. You don’t go into it thinking that it’s going to be a big moment in the set, but we’ve been playing Save It For The Bedroom on this tour and it’s a real moment. You feel the room almost gasps because they can’t believe we’re playing Save It For The Bedroom, it’s really funny. But yeah, we, and I, get a lot of pleasure out of making other people happy and ultimately that’s what a performer is. It’s all well and good to be like ‘ah we’re lads who play in a band, whatever’ but ultimately when you’re on stage you’re a performer, that’s your job… not twenty four seven, three hundred and sixty five days a year, but for that hour and a half you are solely there to entertain people.
You mentioned Take Off Your Colours and Save It For The Bedroom, Take Off Your Colours is nearly ten years old now, and a couple of rumours have been going round during this tour that you might have said you might like to do an anniversary tour, anything you can confirm with that?
We’d like to do it. The problem also at the same time is that we’re battling internally about it because some of us [are] really on board with it and others, and I understand why, are sort of worried that it then makes the band feel like a nostalgia thing. We don’t feel like we’re there. We don’t feel like we’ve come out of retirement and we’ve got to play those songs because people want to hear them. We feel like we’re still relevant and we’re still getting booked for the big festivals and playing the big slots and filling the big rooms, so it’s almost like do we need to do it? But at the same time, again going back to what I said, that I think there will be, if we can find the right time and place next year, then we will do it because… it will be purely for the fans… We will get nothing out of it other than a bit of ‘funds’, but other than that we won’t get anything out of it. It’s not all, life is not all, about money, as you guys know I’m sure. I don’t know, for me I don’t mind. There’s certain things I would never do again, but I would definitely do something with that in mind because I feel like it could be, yeah it could be something that people could get really excited for and that’s what music’s about. Live music’s about giving somebody something to look forward to if they’re having a bit of a s*** time. So I’d like to be a part of that.
You mention Reading and Leeds, you’re headlining the second stage this year, are you excited about it?
Yeah massively. Reading came to us and said ‘look we’re going to offer you one slot or this slot, what do you want to do?’ and the other slot they offered us we’d done already. We didn’t want to do something that we’d done before – we either want to headline the main stage or we want to do something that was a bit more creative. For us I think this is probably our first chance at a big festival to really prove that we can put on a really great show at night time, and we can battle against Kasabian, and Bears’ Den, and Billy Talent and those other massive acts that’ll be playing at the same time… I have nightmares about going on and the tent’s like an eighth full and it being a disaster. But if that happens, that happens. But you know I feel like it [will] really [be] a night, a moment in time, that we’ll cherish when we do it.
A little bit of a change of topic before we end off, earlier this year you were doing a lot of campaigning about ticket touting, and you were in parliament speaking. Has there been any more developments on that recently?
Yeah recently… the government announced there were going to be heavily unlimited fines for people discovered to be doing it, physically or online. But obviously there’s a large group of us now that’re very focussed on eradicating the secondary ticket market altogether, which is what we’re trying to do… Rome wasn’t built in a day and change isn’t always easy to push through, especially when it benefits, the current situation really benefits, so many in power in the situation. But we’ll try.
Check out the full interview on Mixcloud below: