'The coolest of the cool': Matthew Healy and Jamie Oborne talk ambitions as The 1975 drop album number three

'The coolest of the cool': Matthew Healy and Jamie Oborne talk ambitions as The 1975 drop album number three

Today is the day that The 1975 release their hotly-anticipated third album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, but will it turn them into musical icons?

Frontman Matthew Healy and the band’s label boss and manager, Dirty Hit and All On Red Management founder Jamie Oborne, certainly believe so.

Earlier this year, when we visited the band in Los Angeles to interview Healy and Oborne for the cover of our mammoth Q4 special, the manager revealed turning the band into icons “was always my fantasy”.

Healy told us he quickly developed an understanding of what it would take for the band to reach that level.

“By the time we got to being The 1975, I’d been in an alternative band, whatever the name, for six or seven years,” he said. “I understood what bands were, it was a time when everything was freeing up and genres were breaking down and we wanted to be at the vanguard and what we like is taking the best things…”

He used Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash to emphasise his point.

“Slash said to be truly iconic you need to be identifiable in silhouette. Those taglines have always stuck with me. It was never a contrived idea, but a love of fashion and cultural history, were already within us,” he said. “It felt like we had our own vocabulary, the music we were listening to was avant garde hip-hop and the photos we were sharing were situationist photos from the Paris riots. Different types of iconography. The coolest of the cool, the best of the best, referencing everything.”

The best artists are always magpies,” Oborne noted.

The 1975 appeared in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge this week, and there has been a deluge of positive press and reviews around the new album. They are set to play an intimate show at Camden Assembly next week. An arena tour begins in January.

Oborne – who has celebrated the group’s upcoming headline sets at Reading & Leeds – told Music Week the momentum has been there since the beginning.

“It was very obvious to me early on. We put a tour on sale and it sold out and we hadn’t done anything,” he said. “I played music to people who I trusted and they immediately got it and could see that it was greater than the sum of its parts. As soon as we started releasing music and videos, it had a life of its own.”

Oborne puts that down to Healy and his “emotional honesty”.

We haven’t achieved the perfect statement...

Jamie Oborne

“It’s the gift of being able to write major keys that lift people without even realising… that’s always been there, it’s nothing to do with me or any amount of exposure. That’s why I’ve always been quite protective of what we allow to happen and the things I put in front of the band,” he told Music Week.

“I’ve always wanted to inform myself of everything and I think that’s why I’m quite kaleidoscopic in my approach to presenting these ideas,” Healy added. “Zero attention span, zero cultural interface. Everyone in the band is obsessive and fucked up.”

Healy told us he feels The 1975 are “on a path to greatness”, with fourth album Notes On A Conditional Form set to follow A Brief Inquiry… in 2019.

“It just seemed obvious to do two records,” he said. “It’ll be difficult and fraught with bullshit but…”

Oborne shares the singer’s enthusiasm. “The thing I love about The 1975 is we’ve never done something where I’ve felt it’s the pinnacle, we haven’t achieved the perfect statement…”

Stay tuned to musicweek.com for news of The 1975’s sales for the new LP next week. Subscribers can read the full interview with Healy and Oborne here.

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