Last week, 5 Seconds of Summer released their sophomore album, Sounds Good Feels Good, a rollicking, radio-friendly set that leans heavily toward the pop-punk of some of the album’s collaborators, such as Good Charlotte’s Benji and Joel Madden, and Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley. In honor of the album’s release, singer-guitarist Luke Hemmings and singer-bassist Calum Hood told Rolling Stone about the current favorites and longtime influences that make up their diverse and fun musical DNA.
All Time Low
Calum Hood: I have a lot of respect for this band because when I was about 15 or 16, I really admired Alex’s songwriting. I always tried to write a song like “Jasey Rae” or “Stay Awake.” Those were the two songs I always tried to replicate in any way. But now I really think they’re trying to evolve with rock music and pop music, which is really cool to see. Obviously, it’s working out because they’re playing arenas and getting a lot more airtime, which is really good to see.
Luke Hemmings: I used to watch the Straight to DVD DVD at Michael [Clifford, 5SOS guitarist]’s house all the time. They’re a huge influence on a young band like us, touring a lot, writing great music and having a great live show.
Hood: They’re my favorite band. I just really love the angst and the guitar lines and the rhythm section, especially because I’m a bassist. I’m really looking for bass lines and how the bassist and drummer work off each other. In that band, I really respect the musicianship between the drummer and the bassist, even though the original drummer left. You can kind of tell of the differences. The two albums that I’d recommend would be In Love and Death and Artwork. They’re my two favorite Used albums.
Hemmings: I’ve been into Yellowcard for a while. They’ve put out a lot of great albums. I saw them at Warped Tour, which I had never been to. We don’t have Warped Tour in Australia. Their live show was great. Some of their songs I don’t know, but even if you don’t know some of their songs, they’re still really cool to see. I fell in love with them after that.
Hood: We went on tour with them in Australia. Those guys are totally open-minded about not being pigeonholed. They’re mature enough to say, “We can gain a lot of fans out of this tour [with 5SOS].” So they came on tour with us. They’re great people, great musicians and great songwriters. They’re definitely ones to watch, for sure. I love “Deadly Conversation” and their new single, “Secrets.”
Hemmings: They’re the first band that I saw live in concert. I was 13, and when I saw them up on stage, I knew that’s what I wanted to do when I grew up. I used to play their self-titled album on my Discman going to school. They’ve got an angst and the raw emotion there; there’s a real story that they’re telling.
Hemmings: Being an Australian band, they’re really important to me. Seeing a band go from the middle of nowhere in Perth, Australia, to playing stadiums around the world is pretty incredible. They kind of invented a new song, really. They were way ahead of their time. When I listen to them now, I’m still amazed that they could sound the way they did. Michael Hutchence is an incredible frontman and a huge influence on me. I really love “Mystify” and “New Sensation.”
Hood: I really love the melodies and the guitar lines. Some of our stuff is really similar. I really like them. People should definitely check them out. I love their songs “Los Angeles” and “Memory.”
Hemmings: Like Good Charlotte, Green Day had a huge influence on me. Just the way they play live and the energy they bring to a show is incredible. They can really command a whole stadium. After American Idiot came out, I went back and looked at the other ones; I was pretty young at that point. But with American Idiot, the way they made that huge statement was pretty badass. I still love that band. As a band, Green Day is probably [5 Seconds of Summer’s] favorite. The band’s favorite band.
Hood: Their second to last album, Monsters in the Closet, was one of my favorite albums they’ve ever done. It’s kind of the same thing with All Time Low; they really are one of the bands we bonded over. They have a special place in our hearts. I remember Michael teaching me how to play “Three Cheers for Five Years” in his bathroom. There’s definitely some good memories that are attached to that band. One of my favorite songs is called “12 Through 15.” I really love the bridge and the bass line. They’re fucking amazing.