The mohawked frontman of Manchester’s The 1975 drops the phone just as our call is connected. “Oh, for f—‘s sake,” Matty Healy cringes, and I can tell I’m not his first interview of the morning. But just as quickly the frustration dissipates. The 1975 play not one but two sold-out shows at the Fillmore next week. You can read about the quartet’s quick rise right here.
Until then, here’s a quick Q&A fans may appreciate.
You started as a punk cover band, but your influences, I read, were Peter Gabriel, Michael Jackson and other ’80s artists. I only presume that punk, with three chords, was easier to play? Or did the other influences come later?
Matty Healy: It definitely came later … but that’s also the music I grew up around. And in the ‘90s, I was a witness to the Brit pop thing as a child. I was surrounded by melodic pop music. But as you said, when you first start out, it’s easier to make noise and play three chords.
What has your band been up to?
Matty Healy: We haven’t had any time off in a long time. We’ve had the last four days off and we’ve actually been able to calm down and sit around. We’ve started working on a little bit of music. We’d already started but we were focused a bit more on a piece of music we’d been working on on the road. I’ve been reading quite a bit. My stepdad just written a book and it’s amazing. But we’re perpetually on tour.
You’ve talked, previously, about how the lyrics of your debut album are your diary. Has this led to some negative attention from fans or critics? Would you want to get less personal in the future?
Matty Healy: I’ve never been (called out) on my lyrics too much. . … It’s not so much a diary as it was a scrapbook of ideas and conversations pieced together. The music is the only thing that has coherence. There’s no particular narrative running through and out of it. It’s a portrait of modern life. It’s very conversational.
You’ve played shows with Bastille. Who has the better hair, you or Dan?
Matty Healy: Who’s got bigger hair? I think I’ve got bigger hair. I can take Dan on in the hair game.
Follow Roman Gokhman at Twitter.com/RomiTheWriter.