The process of creating a new album always calls for finding different sides to yourself as an artist. There’s always a story and new approach an artist takes on within each song. If you’re a band geek like me, you love hearing all the details the lies within the new tracks, (and then some). We had the pleasure of speaking with You Me At Six guitarist Chris Miller, who gave us just that. Read what he has to say as they prepare to tour the US after taking a break in the States for a while. With the new album VI, released in 2018, established band You Me At Six discovered the depths that their sound could reach, while continuing to keep the aura of what fans have grown to know and love. They are ready to take to stage to give their fans a great show.
Molly Manuszewski/I’m Music Magazine: First of all, I just want to address this new album, I dig it. When listening, I noticed some really awesome beats and background sounds that really allowed VI to come together nicely – the beginning of “Fast Forward” for instance. Can you tell us more of how the album came about (writing, musical composition, etc.)?
Chris Miller/You Me At Six: Writing the album was a very natural process. We didn’t really have any time constraints and started immediately after the release of our previous album Night People. This allowed us freedom without any pressure. With VI we approached songwriting a bit differently. We always want to challenge ourselves and keep the process fresh for us as songwriters. We embraced a more laid back approach and nothing was off the table. Songs came about differently this time whether it stemmed from a beat Dan/Max had on Logic or us 5 jamming in a room in a band setup. We wanted it to feel fresh and allowed all our influences from different styles come through. Before we may have stopped writing a song because it didn’t feel like You Me At Six where as this time we were open to anything and everything. It was a very refreshing experience.
I’ll admit, it was hard for me to choose a favorite off VI, but I love “Miracle in the Mourning”. Do you have any personal favorites and why?
For me it changes all the time, at the moment it’s probably “Straight to my Head.” I feel this song really incorporates everything people love about You Me At Six but embraces a more modern sound. The chorus is really euphoric. “Miracle in the Mourning” is also up there. That song was probably the hardest to record and we went through several different iterations of it before it was what you hear now. It was a challenge but we loved every minute of it.
Can you give us some insight on the fan’s reaction to VI?
The reaction to VI has been amazing. We were unsure of how people would react to the ‘new sound,’ but confident at the same time that the songs still held everything that fundamentally made us who we are. It’s great to see people embrace a more contemporary approach to us writing songs and I can’t wait to carry on with new music. I feel like we are at a great stage in our career and to have people still excited about a band 6 albums in is amazing.
You Me At Six is touring the U.S. in early 2019! What are you doing to prepare?
We will be bringing everything we can to these live shows. We are excited to play some new songs and get back to the States after a bit of a break touring there. It’s always a great time.
What are your thoughts and feelings on coming back to the States?
We are excited to come back and perform. It’s a big place and wish we could spend more time there. We have been many times over the years but look forward to paying more attention to our fans in the States this time around and moving forward.
What can fans expect from a You Me At Six show?
Lots of energy! We put as much effort and energy into our live shows as we can. We always focus on giving it 100% percent every night whether it’s a small club or big arena. We love it when the crowd gets involved so you can expect lots of Josh getting the crowd hyped up and jumping around with us.
After recovering from the loss of Josh’s dog Harley by a good ol’ game of bowling, can you describe the making of the music video for “Back Again”? How did it all came together?
It was a great time. We wanted to do something ‘tongue in cheek’ and the idea of playing off a cult film like “The Big Lebowski” resonated with us. We wanted the video to be fun and it was a chance to dress up like idiots and have a few beers whilst bowling. We try not to take ourselves too seriously – we have done the whole ‘cool’ music video in the past and don’t feel it resonates with people as much as us messing around. People try to be far too cool these days and we just want to have a laugh.
Originally you guys caught my attention with “Take on the World” from Night People. So once discovering more of your songs, it was a pleasant surprise to hear different sounds for different moods. How would you describe You Me At Six’s overall vibe?
We’ve always been a band that indulge in different genres and sounds. We fully believe in not putting out the same album twice and I think that’s been the key to our longevity as a band. There’s something for everyone and we’ve shown that in the past and present. Put a song like “Time Is Money” featuring Winston from Parkway Drive next to a song like “Losing You” from VI and they could be completely different bands but they keep the same fundamental traits that make You Me At Six who we are. No artist wants to do the same thing twice and it keeps it fresh and exciting for us as musicians. We are not scared to think outside the box and try something new.
My favorite question to ask (if I don’t already know the answer), where did the name You Me At Six originate? Personally, I never forgot your band name the first time I saw/heard it.
The name came about by chance. We had been playing together for a while when we were teenagers without a band name, as we hadn’t played any shows. When the time came and we got booked for our first show we realized that we needed a name! “You Me At Six” was a phrase that we used to use on online messaging as a way of saying what time we were going to meet up, whether it was for hangs, beers, practice or whatever. We thought it was fitting for that one show and then we never thought to come up with anything else as it seemed unusual and not cliche.
Obviously, every band goes for differentiation and strives to flee comparison, which is exactly what has been achieved here along with the success of VI. However, every band has a muse, and knowing that Blink 182 is one of the band’s influences, would you say they have an impact on your sound?
I’d say yes many years ago. When we first started we were very much trying to sound like our American contemporaries in the pop punk/Warped Tour/Drive Thru Records scene. As a bunch of 16 year olds writing songs for the first time you naturally take influence from the bands that got you into playing music. Our local scene was built up of metal and hardcore bands so we very much stuck out like a sore thumb in terms of the music we were making. This actually was an advantage for us as we were very different to everyone else at the time. Right now in the present we take influence from everything and anything. We listen to things that we wouldn’t normally in the search of inspiration. We could be listening to hip hop one day and acoustic ballads the other. There’s inspiration in everything.
Who are you listening to right now?
There’s too much to list but some of my favourite artists from this year have been Anderson Paak, The XCERTS, Dua Lipa and Portugal. The Man.
What’s the most memorable interaction you’ve had with a fan?
We have had so many over the years. We have so many loyal fans, some of which having been to over 100 shows. It always awesome to hear how our music has affected someone, whether it got them through a difficult time or changed their perspective on life. It keeps us keep writing and we ain’t stopping anytime soon.
By I’m Music Magazine Contributing Writer Molly Manuszewski
Chart-topping UK rock band You Me At Six – comprised of vocalist Josh Franceschi, guitarists Max Helyer and Chris Miller, bassist Matt Barnes, and drummer Dan Flint – released their triumphant sixth studio album called VI, and will be touring the U.S. in support of it in early 2019. Tour dates are below, and the ticket purchase link is: https://youmeatsix.lnk.to/live.
You Me At Six – Back Again Tour 2019 North American Dates:
2/21 Boston, MA @Brighton Music Hall
2/22 New York, NY @Gramercy Theatre
2/23 Philadelphia, PA @Underground Arts
2/24 Washington, D.C. @9:30 Club
2/26 Toronto, Ontario @The Opera House
2/27 Detroit, MI @Saint Andrew’s
2/28 Columbus, OH @A&R Music Bar
3/2 Chicago, IL @Bottom Lounge
3/4 Denver, CO @Marquis Theater
3/6 Seattle, WA @Chop Suey
3/7 San Francisco, CA @Great American Music Hall
3/9 San Diego, CA @Music Box
3/10 Pomona, CA @The Glass House
3/11 Los Angeles, CA @Teragram Ballroom
3/13 Houston, TX @House of Blues
3/14 Dallas, TX @Granada Theater
3/16 Atlanta, GA @The Masquerade – Hell
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