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This Article will be published on 27th May 2015 at 15:14:03

Interview: Years & Years

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After topping the BBC’s Sound of 2015 list, Years & Years are the name on everyone’s lips.

Others that have topped that list include 50 Cent, Adele and Ellie Goulding, so it wouldn’t be too much of an understatement to say they’ve got big shoes to fill.

years and years

Last year’s winner was Sam Smith, and if his astronomical rise to fame is anything to go by, the London trio have got hell of a ride ahead of them.

Backstage at Common People festival in Southampton, I asked the band about just that, how has BBC Sound of 2015 changed their lives so far?

Mikey Goldsworthy, one of the band’s synth whizzes said, "We’ve got loads more Facebook followers’ with vocalist Olly Alexander adding ‘and a lot more Twitterers tweeting us! I guess everything has changed really. This year has just been crazy; the schedule has been busy every day. It feels like a bit of a rollercoaster ride really."

There’s one standout moment that highlights the band’s success so far, Emre Turkmen, the band’s other synth whizz explains: "We had a number one which is the most insane thing’."

The band’s second single ‘King’, released back in March reached number one on the Official UK Chart and judging by the crowd’s reaction when they performed the track later that evening, it really was a game changer for the band.

Radio One are very loyal to the band’s they support, and with this Years & Years were invited to play at their Big Weekend in Norwich. Having performed there the day before their slot at Common People, Alexander said, "It was our first festival of the season so it was quite nerve wrecking, there were so many people there! I felt it was a good show though."

Turkmen added, "You were dancing like you were having a good show! Usually if Olly dances it means he’s having a good time."

Backstage Olly Alexander is humble and incredibly nice, displaying a grin from ear to ear, which is commendable with this being one of a very long string of interviews.

On stage, he transforms into a confident vocalist and, as Turkmen touched upon, an energetic dancer – an element that brings the crowd closer to the performance as they dance along. From the Big Weekend, to Common People, the band’s slot on this Sunday afternoon in May is their first on a Main Stage.

With a summer schedule full of festival performances, I asked the band which ones they were most looking forward to. Alexander enthused, "I’m really looking forward to Glastonbury, Reading, and T in the Park, I haven’t been to any of those festivals." 

Turkmen added, "For TV Jools Holland is the one. For festivals, as someone from England, Glastonbury is the pinnacle."

Years & Years have already performed to sell out crowds having joined both Sam Smith and Clean Bandit on their tours. I asked the band how support slots compare to headline shows.

Alexander notes "They're totally different. We were really lucky to get onto the support slots we did, obviously they were two really good acts, you just learn so much on a support tour, the pressure is off a little bit."

Turkmen added, "Also, both of those acts are huge! We managed to play on big stages to a ridiculous amount of people before we were deserving of it, so you get to experience it, and hopefully it makes you less nervous by the time you have to do it yourself. Sometimes you feel like the audience are like ‘who are these guys?’ but the crowds on those tours were so nice."

Onto headline shows, the band will perform at Shepherds Bush Empire in early June, their biggest headline show to date. "It’s so good to have your own show though’", admited Alexander.

"You get more time, and a dressing room!" 

Communion, to be released in July this year,is the debut album from the band.

Having followed the band for quite some time, for me it feels like a long time coming, saying this to the band was met by a unanimous ‘us too!’ But are the boys ready to release their baby into the wild for fans to hear?

"Yeah, I think we’re ready, we want it to be born and we want people to hear it. Like you said, it feels like a long time coming, we’re super proud of it, and there’s actually a lot on there that people have probably already heard, there’s some new stuff as well, about 50% of it is brand new material.’ When asked to describe the album in three words, my stereotypical question was thrown back at me with the words ‘erm, songs by us?"

Touché, Turkmen, touché, I’ll be more original next time.

Years & Years are a band that pride themselves on doing everything live, Turkmen touched upon this when asked what to expect from their slot at Common People. "We always wanted our live show to be a proper live show. We’re an electronic band, and that’s why we got Dylan our drummer in, that’s why we lug around all our equipment, because we want it to be a live performance! Also when bands play live it’s a different experience, that’s what we aim for."

Alexander admited that there will also be some slower tracks thrown into the mix: "They’ll be one emotional one, or maybe two, depending on time. They’re still there, they still exist. We wrote another one recently actually. You’ve got to have variety."

At this point in the interview my time with one of the hottest bands of 2015 is almost up, so I ask them, aside from world domination, what does the future hold for Years & Years?

Goldsworthy quiped ‘a private jet each’ although Alexander disagrees as he hates flying, he’d prefer ‘some sort of commemorative china’ – before long we’ll all be buying a special edition Years & Years Royal Dalton set, just you wait and see.

Read our review of Common People festival, here.




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