On Tuesday, May 16, 2017, hundreds of fans lined up several blocks down Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood, CA outside the legendary Roxy Theater for British Pop Rock Band “You Me at Six” Concert.
The band has released five albums scoring two Top Five albums (2010’s Hold Me Down, 2011’s Sinners Never Sleep) and a Number One album (2014’s Cavalier Youth), taking 13 consecutive singles onto the Radio 1 A-list, and has a combine 1.5 Million followers on social media.
In a search for a new sound for their latest Album “Night People”, released in January 2017 the band was thrilled to work with new producer –Jacquire King, known for his work with James Bay and Kings Of Leon. It meant decamping to Nashville, Tennessee, first for three weeks in February 2016, and again for a further four weeks in May.
Now, a decade into their career, the five friends who form You Me At Six - frontman Josh Franceschi, plus Max Helyer (guitar), Chris Miller (guitar), Matt Barnes (bass) and Dan Flint (drums) – are focused on the serious business of becoming Britain’s biggest and best rock band.
In an exclusive interview backstage Josh told me how they are planning to do that:
“Well, we’ve already had a good crack at it. We’ve had number one albums, played arenas in the U.K., and we just keep trying to develop our musicianship, and just trying to…well, our fan base help with this. They keep us relevant because they keep supporting us in the way they do, but to continue to grow within the ever-changing stratosphere that is the music industry, so I think we have our sights set on setting goals that we’d like to get to, but I think our main thing from day one was longevity since we’ve been doing this now our eleventh year. It’s kind of like we’ve already ticked off all our accolades, and now it’s just, you know…because no one’s told us to stop. It’s like one of those things like no one said, “Ah, the joke’s over. Now you go home.” So we’re just going to keep going until someone says, “lights out.”
Josh also told me how the band chose the band’s name:
“So basically, when we started the band when we were about 14, 15 years of age, we used to go out quite a lot in a place called “Woking” near where we lived, and we used the phrase “you, me at six”. It was like an abbreviation for our time and our place to meet. That was sort of the phrase we used the most, and we basically…our mate was putting on a show and said, “I need to know what your band’s called for the flyer” and we were like, “Well, just say ‘You Me At Six’ for now and that will do the job.”
Josh was incredibly energetic and charismatic, singing his heart out and jumping all over the stage, and the crowd was singing along with him. The Virgin Records band played an hour and a half set that included hits “Night People”, “Loverboy”, “No One does it Better” and “Room to Breathe”.
Josh told me about the band’s inspiration:
“I’d love the idea of the marriage between guitar music and hip hop. When we were making our record, we weren’t really listening to other bands. We were listening to Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J. Cole and NWA.”
Josh has spoken out against ticket tout websites that use bot systems to automatically buy up tickets, calling for them to be made illegal. He appeared before the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport select committee to question the practices of secondary ticket websites and to called for a ban on botnets, he told me:
“Yeah, the thing is, that famous Lady Gaga song, “Until It Happens To You,” and I think the catalyst for us was, or at least when it twinged my mind, was seeing the way, we put on a special show, and I saw this issue of like massive amounts of tickets being on these secondary websites and like fans are like going fucking shits about it, and I’m like who’s speaking up for these people like they give us artists a living and a purpose,” he continues…. “It’s already been done in America and New York. One of the last things Obama did was he passed legislation to make it illegal to sell a ticket above face value, and that’s really what it’s about. It’s about like, okay, you and I live in the same town, right, and I go around and buy all the milk, and you go to the shops and there’s no milk left, and you come to me and go “how much for a carton of milk?” and I say four times the amount you could have paid for it half an hour ago. That’s not morally or ethically right. There’s no transparency between the eyes, the fan base. It’s like this distortedness that happens, and what we’re asking for as a band is a group of musicians, as Max mentioned the names, is that we understand the value of that relationship and what that means, so not allowing other people to have the power or really the sort of potential to make those decisions that we did make alongside them. If I want to charge you 100 pounds to come and watch You Me At Six play, we talk about it as a band, and we charge 100 pounds, but we don’t want that. So how dare you make that decision sometimes before the shows have even gone on sale?”
After the concert, the band had an impromptu after-party with friends at the “Rainbow Bar & Grill” right next door to the Theater.