Josh Franceschi lead singer of You Me At Six

talks about the new album, playing Reading and Leeds, and more on Monday 6 October 2008

eGigs had a phone interview with You Me At Six's lead vocalist Josh Franceschi. Their new album 'Take Off Your Colours' is out today (Monday 6th October).

I suppose you've been doing interviews all day.
Yeah, it's been really cool, it's been very interesting and really good.

What are the band doing at the moment, other than all these interviews? Right now? Dan is reading about Travis Barker's plane accident and all the others are on the phone.

How long have you been together as a band?
We've been together about two and a half years, and we met through various other bands just like every other band. I've known Max about six years, Matt is Chris' next door neighbour, and then when we wanted a new drummer Dan went to college with the boys, so it all fitted together quite nicely.

What's the most rock and roll thing about any of your band mates?
Max has a tattoo, which I guess is pretty rock n roll, he has several actually, none of them are very good. He has a lightning bolt on his ankle and the word faith tattooed on his lip. Chris has long hair which makes him rock and roll. Dan, well he's Dan, he's very rock n roll.

Who has influenced you in your lyric writing these days?
Lots of people, lots of different bands, I used to listen to a lot of Eminem stuff when I was growing up, I thought he was a really good lyricist, I didn't necessarily take anything from him. Who else, I don't really know to be honest. I don't read as much as I should, but I've grown up listening to my sister writing songs. So very early on, I just got involved with the stuff.

Were you good at English at school?
I did it in Secondary School and got a B. Then I did politics, history, and film studies at college and got an A, B, C in that. I hopefully can construct a sentence the majority of the time, there are some times when I get tired and mumble just like everyone else. Everyone was pretty good at school and everyone tried pretty hard.

The new album is called 'Take Off Your Colours' where does that come from?
It was taken from a scene in a film called 'The Warriors'. The whole film is about gangs, and it's all about how you can associate a group of people to a gang by their clothing, by what they are wearing and how they behave. There's a scene where they are walking through the orphanage, and the orphans tell them to take off their colours and strip themselves of their own identity. I really liked the idea, I think the album for me, from the stuff I've written about has a lot to do with me trying to stop people either being fake towards me, or people not being themselves, or behaving inappropriately. It comes across in different songs. I just really like the idea of somebody have to strip off their own identity and just be themselves, I thought it was cool, I just liked the idea and it's always just stuck.

Funny, because before the interview I was thinking possibly it related to biker gangs and the 'colours' they wear on their backs to declare their bike chapters.
A yeah okay, but it's not really about gangs, it's just the concept it's taken from is just in that film scene.

Matt's got a clothing line, so does he try to style your dress sense these days?
Matt has got a clothing line. I would not let Matt near me to try and style me if it was the last thing on earth. We've all got our own individual style, but he wanted to be a bit more creative and put some designs he and a friend came up with on some shirts. It's coll, it's a good vibe. He doesn't really do it for money, he does it because he's bored and he wants something to do when he gets home.

What can fans expect live?
The album, obviously not in the order of the album,all the new songs will be played, and all the old songs. We don't really play covers, but we might throw something out, I don't know yet.

I saw you at Reading Festival, you drew quite a big crowd, did you enjoy the show?
It was insane, it really was ridiculous, Before we went on there was a band called Black Kids and they had a pretty busy tent, and I thought okay everyone's going to leave, I started to see people leave, and I thought 'oh f**k'. So I went off for 10 minutes to try and compose myself, because it was the first time in a really long time I'd been nervous about anything. I think it was because it was a home town area, and it was a huge deal to play Reading. Then, just before we went out our tour manager said, "Josh, we've got a serious problem!" I said, "What's the problem? What's the problem?" And he said, "People have actually bothered to come and watch you play!" I was like, what! And we looked out and I think the tent holds about two and a half and there were three thousand people watching us.

It was the time of our lives, that weekend was insane, and I can't wait to do it again next year, it was so much fun. At Leeds, there were more people because it was a bigger tent, it was four thousand there. Then there were people again on the outskirts trying to look in and stuff. I think the people on the outskirts were probably people who were walking passed and thought what's going on in there, because it was a full tent. I'd love to think that all the people who were in that vicinity during our set were all 'You' music fans, but probably not. But all in all it went well.

You said you'd be back next year, have you been invited back?
Basically, over the weekend, we were told we were one of those buzz bands. so they're looking at bringing us back next year. But, nothings been actually offered or anything like that, but hopefully we'll be asked to come back next year.

So on a bigger stage?
For us to be involved in such a huge event is a big enough to honour, so if they ask us to come back and do something stupid like the NME tent or main stage, I have no idea what they'd ask us to do, but obviously we'd b end over backwards to be there and do it.

So what other festivals did you do this year?
Give It A Name festival which is at Earl's Court, and Sheffield Arena, Wakestock festival, we were meant to do a load more, but actually it didn't work out doing them.

Your music is described as emo, is it still emo or has it got a harder edge now?
The term emo is very loosely used nowadays, I still don't know what it means, it's associated to a certain persona or certain fashion, it used to be about bands that wrote about death and self harming, so I don't understand how a song like 'Gossip' has anything to do with that. But, I guess on image side of things, I dunno it's very confusing, but I don't say "Hi I'm Josh from You Me At 6 I play in an emo band" I say,"I play in a pop rock band". I think being associated with the term emo and what is surrounding it at the moment, like the scandal with My Chemical Romance in the papers, I think it's very dangerous for a young up and coming band to get involved with that, because I don't people to associate that sort of thing with us.

You've got 'Always Attract' as an acoustic slower number on the new album, is that a new direction for you?
That was just a song that I really wanted to write, and Chris came up with an amazing guitar line, and I had these lyrics anyway and I just really wanted to get involved, and then we decided to make it a band song at the end and get my sister to sing on it. It definitely shows that the band has diversity and that we can play a lot of different kinds of music. We also have a song on there called 'Tigers and Sharks' which I think is a bit more experimental, and so the next album could well be rockier, I don't know, we haven't started writing it, we'll have to see. Of all the tracks, that song is one for the light and the candles moments of the show.

It does show you capable of pulling off an unplugged event...
Well, yeah we can, we're about to go and do an acoustic session for the BBC. A lot of the songs are written on my acoustic guitar, and other members acoustic guitars, we never really go into a recording room and just jam with an idea, we nearly always have pretty much a whole song written before we go in. But yeah we love playing acoustic music, so I'm sure we're going to do more in the future. The acoustic a show with the BBC is The 5.19 show with BBC Switch, an online thing. I don't know much about the show, we met them at Reading, but I'm sure it will be good though.

So who was the first band you went to see live?
The first show I ever went to see was Linkin' Park at Wembley Arena when I was about twelve, when they played with Lostprophets and someone else. Matt went to see One Minute Silence it was a bit bad.

What's the favourite band you're into at the moment?
My favourite band of the moment is Envy On The Coast, Mayday Parade, and recently I went out and bought all the Jimmy Eat World albums because I didn't have them. So, I've been listening to them at the moment. I'll learn a few things from them, the masters, I wouldn't be surprised if the next album sounds like a Jimmy Eat World album.

When you were at Reading Festival did you get a chance to see anything else?
I was so gutted because I really wanted to see a band called Set Your Goals and they pulled out because they couldn't afford to come over. I watched a few bands, Biffy Clyro, on the Friday, Rage Against The Machine, The Blackout, Kids In Glass Houses, Attack! Attack!, All Time Low, and The Audition. Basically we went to see bands that we were friends with, there weren't many bands that we could really go and watch, it was a very indie festival this year, I'm not really down with the indie bands at the moment. Our stage went us, All Time Low, The Audition, for the people who liked pop punk or rock music that was pretty much it on that day, apart from Kids In Glass Houses, that was about it. That was four bands the whole day, and Attack! Attack! It was cool, but very indie, very, very indie. There were a few cool bands playing though.

Josh Franceschi

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article by: Scott Williams

published: 06/10/2008 11:16


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