Healy stars on the cover of our new issue, out now, ahead of the arrival of the group’s fourth album Notes On A Conditional Form (NOACF). After the UK went into lockdown shortly after our interview, we spoke to Healy again, this time from his isolation base, where he is working on music with drummer George Daniel and some of their Dirty Hit labelmates.
Healy spoke about what may change as the world recovers from the crisis and discussed making music in lockdown, hinting that a planned break may not materialise after all.
“Before this, it felt like, any live shows were veering on the wrong side of a progressive thing to do, but at least ours was a hub of information and it was becoming carbon neutral,” Healy said.
“Now, the problem with the world is that this situation requires sacrifice, it requires sacrifice of comfort, I can’t just say, ‘OK, I’m just going to keep doing some huge show that if everyone did, it wouldn’t be sustainable, so it’s difficult.”
I bet you we will just do a new record and I bet you it’s dope
On the idea of making music at this time, Healy said: “Things that are self interested don’t help people at the moment, but I’m trying to make things, prop up other creatives and make things myself and thinking about how it’ll be different when we do get back to a world where playing shows is part of what I do again.”
The frontman called the situation a “generational turning point”.
“There’s this idea of, ‘art is pointless because everyone’s fucking dead,’” he said. “The reality of brute human experience sometimes makes things like feel pointless. But in the face of that normally comes the most potent art.”
Healy confirmed that he’s reworking unheard music by The 1975’s previous incarnation Drive Like I Do as well as working on “sound experimentation and sound art”. He suggested that lockdown will likely inspire a new 1975 album, too.
He also dropped hints about new collaborations. “There’s a couple of people I’m working with remotely but it’s difficult to talk about because I don’t know if it will happen,” he said. “If it does then it could be exciting, everybody’s looking to collaborate at the moment. It’s funny isn’t it; the idea that we can’t physically see each other really inspires everybody to get together. It’s very odd.”
Speculation about the band’s future has intensified in the run up to the release of NOACF, and Healy dropped his biggest hint yet in our interview.
“This isn’t necessarily the last record, I don’t think it is the last record, but it’s the end of this era, whatever’s next will be very different and it will be a different time,” said the singer.
“I bet you we will just do a new record and I bet you it’s dope. I think it’s going to be quite violent. Even though NOACF is really sprawling, the later statements are ones like People. We’re still in a place of agitation and anxiety, we’re voyeurs of violence on a geopolitical level and we’re a band, so we feel a duty to talk about that. And now we’re in a pandemic, so if you don’t make a record, what the fuck are you doing?”
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