Can a Quote-Unquote Band Drag Rock Into the Future? The 1975 Is Trying Its Hardest

A British group that aims to create the way it consumes, the 1975 mixes pop, R&B and hip-hop influences in an effort to push a staid genre forward.


Comments: 23

  1. If anything, "Proven Cold Sore Ointment" sounds like a throwback to 1982. I can even see the big shoulder pads and hair.
    Mashups and/or resurrections of old styles is unlikely to "save" rock.

    Self-limited by its own forms, rock and most other genres, including rap, have been played out for years. Rock doesn't need to be reinvented or resurrected--other genres need to emerge. Popular music today is at the same point as classical in 1900. It needs a Claude Debussy, or perhaps a Leonard Bernstein. But not a Rachmaninoff, whose music, while brilliant, still prolonged a thoroughly moribund genre.

    Even the photo shoot of the band is a total "outlaw rockers" cliche.

  2. If you think rock n roll is a staid genre, you're missing all the good stuff! Try:
    Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires
    The Brooklyn What
    The Beths
    Daddy Issues
    John-Severin & the Quiet 1s
    Soccer Mommy
    Hop Along
    Holy Tunics
    The Noncommittals
    Diet Cig
    The Constantines
    and, yes, the 1975.

    Talented people are making really good music and hustling hard often without major label representation. You just have to seek it out.

  3. Soccer Mommy's lead is a good guitarist and a good lyricist.

  4. The problem with rock is that I don't think there are too many bands with members that excel at their instruments.

    Dirty Projectors' guitarist is very good. There are also some good players on YouTube. But we haven't heard anything as phenomenal as "Cliffs of Dover" by Eric Johnson since that song came out.

    St. Vincent has a distinct style that pushes the genre forward, even though she really only demonstrates good guitar playing on "Cruel."

    This 1975 band is more of a pop band than anything. I'm not sure using autotune pushes the genre forward since there have been others that have used autotune before them like Vampire Weekend, which they did in an experimental/interesting way.

  5. @Tom I'm 66 and grew up listening to - and seeing - some pretty, pretty, pretty good musicians. It took me a while to realize it didn't have to be Hendrix on guitar, Ginger Baker on drums or Jaco Pastorius on bass. It's how the music comes out of a band. Rock acts I'm listening to today - Parquet Courts, Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile, to name three - don't have a Clapton, Charlie Watts or Jack Bruce. But, together, they do a great job. While virtuosity in rock n roll is great, in a band, it's all about, well....the band.

  6. I enjoy listening to 1975.
    I also enjoy listening to rock music.
    They are not the same thing.

  7. This is a good band. Bottom line. Rock and Roll should not be locked into any box. This coming from a 58yo musician. Saw these guys when I took my kids in a small venue. Glad I did. The material is written thoughtfully and I very much appreciated the technical level of orchestration/instrumentation, delivery and stage show. Sat on a bench in the corner with another "Dad" and found that my soul was pleased. What more can you ask for? Too bad they will get so big you can't enjoy them in smaller venues. Always the best way to see and hear a band.

  8. Just more of the same auto-tuned, pitch corrected gibberish that passes for music today. I watched about ten minutes of the American Music Awards the other night and it's a wasteland. People who think the 1975 or Greta Van Fleet are the future of rock need to be locked in a room for a few hours watching videos of Led Zeppelin to be reminded of what real rock music is all about.

  9. Self-indulgent poseur methinks.
    Photo at construction site? Check.
    Self-aggrandizing statements to reporter? Check.
    Flirtation with heroin? Check.
    Sugary pop songs? Check.

    Music that will stand the test of time? Not so much.

  10. I’m not your typical stoned 18 year old. The 1975 lyric to GIRLS. I’m 63 now, then I was 58! I began LITERALLY FOLLOWING this band May 29,2014. My first The 1975 concert. I heard CHOCOLATE on a fans phone summer before & I was hooked. I am a full genre music lover. I grew up in The Beatles & The Stones era! The DOORS. JOE COCKER. This band, The 1975 intensity level of their dedication to a full on 100% experience is GENIUS. Mr Healy (uh) seems very genuine to me. I’ve been to many countries and concerts to see them perform. He is motivated by his desperate desire to share his art. And I absolutely consume all he and the band give me. I’ve queued beside 14-24 year old fans from all over this world. And, as I was them once, they are me then. Hearing their stories shared is truly soul lifting. Matty gets that. He feels a responsibility to them. He admits he’s flawed and shows the beauty in the perfection of the flaw. I see the poetry in the lyrics easily. Sure, they’re all very nice to look at. I’ll not deny that. And their stage clothing this last tour UPPER TIER! Tobias Rylander must be recognized too, putting Mattys interpretations of his songs on stage screen visuals. You can look at just one frame of the stage song & you know thats MEDICINE. That’s never ever been done before but Matty did it. ( if they add smells to the new tour they’ll have completed my dream. ) As you see, I GET THIS BAND. I don’t play ALL their songs in my Nana car, but the GRANDs know The 1975 well!

  11. @Michelle Clark Bruce

    I love reading this. The last time I was at a 1975 show in 2016 I felt terribly awkward as I was clearly more than twice the age of the average attendee. I was gravitating to the "older" crowd only to learn they were parents chaperoning their kids....This band has changed my adult music life and I am so grateful for what they do. They've reinvigorated my appetite for what I knew I already liked, and yet are doing something entirely new.

  12. They sound good. But it's pop, not rock. By any stretch. Why the confusion, Joe?

  13. Recently saw Judas Priest. That's fine if the rock guitar hero is dead, but man that guy can play! Then I saw ELO and man those guys are talented. Then I saw Beck and man that guy has talent. Then I saw the Foo Fighters and they plum wore me out! So much great music, so much fun.

    Reading suggestion? Fargo Rock City. Strips down why people like all types of music. If Rock is dead, music is dead, and neither is true.

  14. A rock band with autotune? C’mon, no way. The roots of rock is blues, and the godfather of blues had his guitar tuned by the Devil himself and when he sung you could hear his fear. Autotunes do. Not. Rock.

  15. @Mat Autotune is an amazing music making tool. I love what producers and artists are doing with it. It's like an instrument unto itself.

    Bigger picture, complaining about autotune in rock is like complaining about bands 'selling out' back in the 90s. Feels very dated and counter-productive. Rock is increasingly irrelevant because unlike basically every other popular genre, there is a concept of orthodoxy that is almost comically limiting and makes it almost impossible for a rock band to break new ground. It's like the rules governing counterpoint in the Baroque era...just ready to be violated in the interest of advancing the genre forward.

    I don't love the 1975's music but I know that some kid will listen to them, grasp the wide possibilities within the framework of 'rock', and make more original rock music than they would have otherwise. That is so exciting to me.

  16. The 1975's Baskin Robbins cake gallery assembly line music.

    "Its been around for too long".

  17. The 'tootime' video steals from artist Rineke Dijkstra's famous 'Buzz Club' video of 20 years ago. No, not sampled: steals

    Original ideas are hard to come by, I guess.

  18. It is pure poofy pop - disposable - forgettable - exchangeable - and certainly not Radiohead nor Arctic Monkeys.

    There are many genius British rock icons but not these guys.

  19. "Rock bands have been around too long" - Matty Healy

    I agree.

  20. Ugh! If Rock bands have been around too long, in comparison they aren't going to take up much time. They are clearly a pop band and their music sounds pretty disposable. I can easily see a tween ten years from now being embarrassed that they liked this group.

  21. When I think of Manchester, I'll continue to smile at thoughts of the Buzzcocks, Smiths, Joy Division, Magazine.

    The 1975? Not so much.

  22. I'm curious about the mention by brand name of the cigarettes that Matt Healy smokes. Smells like product placement to me as no other such references are contained in the interview.

  23. Rock-and-roll is LONG past its expiration date. It needs to die. It did more damage to music than anything but rap/hip-hop. It is time musicians embraces the craft and skill of melody and lyricism. No more square, basic rhythms that a two-year-old can produce. No more abusing amplification to cover up the fact that you cannot actually play a real instrument. No more deafening of listeners. No more promotion of drug culture. Or youth culture. Grow up. Learn and make real music. It's rewarding.