The 1975’s Matt Healy on The Younger Generation, Having Hope & How We’re All The Same

Images Universal Music Malaysia

For all you haram-baes (a stan name that Matty has given some of us on Twitter), today is an exciting day as The 1975 have finally dropped their highly anticipated third album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. Before the album release, The 1975 have spoiled us with five singles and a bunch of music videos. We got to see Matty dancing on a sidewalk in ‘Sincerity In Scary’ with a bunch of easter-eggs that hardcore fans can catch, and we witnessed their very own emotional social commentary in ‘Love It If We Made It’. And now thanks to Universal Music Malaysia, JUICE got in touch with lead singer Matthew Healy, better known to fans as Matty.

In this phone interview, we discuss the album and how Matty views the world. Known for his songwriting and his endearing eccentricities, scroll down and see what he had to say… 

We know that A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships will be coming out today, besides the five songs that you guys have released, which number are you most excited for the fans to hear?
Umm, I think it’s ‘I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)’ is the song that I’m most probably excited for people to hear just because I think that’s the example that everybody thinks what this record is gonna be as it’s very different from the last two records… It still has the vibe of The 1975 but I think there’s an idea that maybe the song ‘It’s Not Living When It’s Not With You’ is the only song that sounds familiarly like The 1975. But I feel like this last song [on the album] will be everyone’s favourite.

In the song ‘Love It If We Made It’, you listed a lot of horrible things that are happening right now as we speak, yet still maintaining the hope for humanity. As a young person who is aware of all this, how do you maintain being optimistic?
I have like a day to day relationship with people that I know who are much younger than I am, like artists that I work with that are 20 years old or 18 years old. And I see so much passion, intelligence and compassion coming from that generation and that gives me faith in the future. The only option at my end is that, what’s the point of trying to fix something if you don’t have some kind of hope, you know?

In terms of sound and instruments, what were you guys aiming for on this latest project? Cause it seems like you guys are really experimenting with music based on the five releases..
Not being bored? We’ve been in a band since we were thirteen and by the time I got to this record I was like “I don’t care about what people fucking (think).. like I care about the 13 year old version of me sitting there and listening to records”. So I care about my music in that way but I don’t care about me not being allowed to do certain things because it’s outside of the circle of genre or what’s expected.

The way we make records is that the four of us live in a house together for a year, there’s a lot of love in the room and we love making music. So the one thing that we’re not gonna do is let it be boring.

In the last interview you had with us, you said that you felt a duty to be socially responsible as possible and all of your anxieties are like what others can relate to. Since you’re doing it now with more political-charged lyrics do you feel a slight sense of relief?
Not like pride or a relief but I know where I stand now with myself and with people. Cause I said that I was gonna do something and I did it. I think that’s important to me you know.. I feel grounded.

How does it feel like knowing your music has impacted and resonated with so many people in a small South East Asian country like Malaysia here?
It blows my mind and it makes me realise that if everybody did what I did for a job, the world could be a better place than it would be. Because everybody would be making art and it would be pointless that we need politicians. But I don’t mean what I do, I mean like travelling the world in the way that I do and doing what I do. Because when I travel the world, I go to all corners and I play.. a gig. It’s the same reaction, it’s the same people, it’s the same ceiling, same atmosphere.

Usually people would ask me in interviews like “What’s the difference between Germany and Japan” or “What’s the difference playing a show either here or there” – the answer is that there is no difference and you don’t know the differences.

You go to all these places and do something that unifies people and that kind of blows my mind. It also kind of breaks my heart at times. Doing what I do makes me feel amazing because it’s AMAZING that they believe in what I do and I see so many people get help by it. It also makes me realise that if everybody could do something like that, they wouldn’t be scared of anyone.

The last and first time the 1975 were here in Malaysia was 2 years ago at Good Vibes Festival, with two new albums on the way, is there a chance that you’ll be coming back soon?
In Malaysia? Yeah, hundred percent. I imagine it to be like the last time, when we’re travelling the world twice in two years. So we’ll definitely be there, yeah..

(source: GoodVibes)

Just like any other country, the socio-political climate in Malaysia right now is a mess and the younger generation are genuinely frustrated with the bleak economic future handed down to them. What advice would you give to all the youngins who listen to you?
I think the best thing that everyone could do is listen, open up all topics of conversation and criticism. That includes movements on the left and movements on the right. So like, we need to be able to talk about things subjectively.

We need to talk about things like religion subjectively, we need to talk about an influence without people getting personally offended. We need to be a good listener. Be a good listener.

To stream ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’ by The 1975, click here

For more interviews, click here.