Interview: “You Me At Six is an ongoing journal”

INTERVIEW: had a chat with frontman Josh Franceschi and bassist Chris Miller from British rock band You Me At Six when they visited Bråvalla Festival in Sweden earlier this summer. The band recently released their fifth album “Night People”, which they describe as their most grown-up one so far. We also talked about spirituality, memoirs, and why they would prefer to be cats with dogs’ personalities.

R: – Will you have time to see any other bands here at the festival?
C: – No we don’t have the time, we wish we could say…!

R: – Have you ever been at festivals yourselves, and done the whole camping and sleeping in tent thing?
C: – Yeah, before we were in a band we used to go to Reading festival and stuff like that. It was always a lot of fun. Hanging out with your mates, having a few drinks.
J: – I went to Reading one time and I basically discovered that camping wasn’t for me. Haha. So, since Dan lives nearby we drove back from Reading and stayed overnight, showered, and had breakfast. So we kept droving back and forth, and thought fuck we’re not made for this are we? I think I’ve got a caviar taste on a fish finger budget. I want the good things in life.

You recently released your fifth album “Night People” – are you happy with the responses to it?
C: – Yeah, really happy. I think it’s definetly the most grown-up album we’ve done so far. I think we really found the sound we were going for.

R: – What do you like to do on your free time, like, what would you do if you got a week off?
C: – We do a little bit of different things… You play a lot of football…
J: – Yeah, I play football, and spend time with my dog. And I spend a lot of time with friends.
C: – I like to sleep, and spend time with family and friends.

G: – Are you guys religious or spiritual?
J: – Not religious. Spiritual in a sense that I don’t think there’s a powerful being above us, but I believe that those within your bloodline affect and look after you after they’ve passed on. I like to believe that this is a stepping stone to something bigger, but I don’t believe in heaven or hell. I believe in déjà vu because I get it a lot.
C: –  I get that too.
J: – We took a meditation course before our last record. We actually practiced it quite a lot in Nashville while making the record. I think it was good because we sometimes needed a distraction from the studio.
C: –  I’m not religious at all, but I think you can take things from it. For example, treat others like you wanna be treated. I think that’s a really good saying. But on the whole, I never practiced it on any other level.
J: – I think respecting what other people believe in is very important. The main drawbacks from religion is that people don’t do that. If you believe in something so strong then you go on this path where you refuse to believe what other people identify themselves with, whereas the whole premise of religion is to accept everyone for who they are. We all live and die, that’s a fact so while we’re here all human lives are equal. I think some religions make people forget that the value of life is equal. And that’s a shame.
C: – We’re just hippies.
J: – Exactly, we’re just doing what we do and keeping to our lane and not worrying what other people think. Deep question!

G: – Do you consider yourself an extrovert or introvert?
C: – I’m definitely an introvert. Not in a bad way, I just like keeping to myself. But I think everyone has a little bit of both. You can’t be around people all the time. You gotta be an extrovert on stage, you can’t hide up there.
J: – I think in some situations you tend to be an introvert, but in others you want to be the light of the party. It really depends on the mood and the chemistry.

G: – What makes you feel accomplished?
J: – Others around me being happy and healthy. Especially my family and friends. Nothing makes me more pride and happy than seeing them at our shows, and they’re fucking buzzin’. And I’m just like, the five of us brought all those families and people together, that’s a really cool thing. The pursuit of happiness and money is something that comes and goes, but that sorts of everlasting things and moments with your family and friends are special.

G: – Did you ever write a journal?
J: – Being the lyricist in the band, I think You Me At Six is my ongoing journal. When I listen to our old records I can remember that fuck, that was how I was feeling back then when I was 17 years old.
C: –  I just can’t wait to write my memoirs.
J: – I think that one day, we’ll have a journalist or author and sit down as a group and talk about our lives so far, and they can put it in a book. Or I’d just do it for myself, so I can tell my kids and grandkids about what I did for a big chunk of my life. You’d be amazed when you think you forgotten something and someone asks, “tell me about the first time we went to Sweden?”. I can remember the ice hockey hall that we played in with Paramore, and getting the boat over. All these details start coming back. So yeah, I look forward to put it down in something more permanent than just my thoughts.

G: – Do you believe in second chances?
C: – I think it depends on the situation. Everyone fucks up.
J: – It’s a human element. I think the idea of writing someone off based on one event is a bit short-sided. Even recently I’ve reconciled things with people that I thought I’d never talk to again. I think a second side of me decided to open up communication again. You just have to go to a different mindset. Second chances are good but you have to remember how you stung them or they stung you. You learn from the past a lot. How else could you possibly move forward in an educative way?

G: – What’s on your bucket list this year?
C: – The year is sort of already planned but in general…
J: – We’re going to Mexico, India, Korea, Japan… We’ve always said that we use the band as a vehicle to travel. We’ve been in Sweden six times now, and today we thought that it should be good because we’ve been here before and we have some fans here. But every time you go on stage is an opportunity for a new experience. We’re very fortunate, and our lives seems to be one long checklist that keeps being completed.

G: – Would you rather be a cat with a dog’s personality or a dog with a cat’s personality?
C: – Cat with a dog’s. I don’t like cats. I get why people do but, they’re so unpredictable!
J: – They’re also quite… What’s the word man, not self-sufficient but… Dogs are more like, following you around, while a cat would be like, alright mate, later, see you in a bit, when are you gonna feed me, alright cool. Dogs wanna know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it. It’s a blessing and a curse.

G: – So the cat it is?
J: – Well, since I have a dog I just wanna have my dog, as he is. And any dog to be fair. We’re dog men!

G: – If you were granted three wishes right now, what would you ask for?
C: – First one, to win the lottery. And then travel the world, and be happy, I guess.
J: –  Now you made a big mistake there. If you won the lottery, you don’t need the wish for travelling, because the lottery pays for that wish.
C: – Oh yeah that’s true… So I’m gonna say, lottery, happiness… and dogs, I guess.
J: – Money isn’t everything, but it gives the key to another side of living so unless you have it you won’t know what it’s like. If I had lots of money I’d do sooo many cool things. I’d build schools, work for animals or local people around the world. I wanna do good things that matter.

Interview by Gosia Machaczka & Rosanna Rundlöf
Written by Rosanna Rundlöf
Interview photo by Emil Agrell
Live photos by Gosia Machaczka

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