The Rebirth of the 1975

The U.K. pop group just made its wildest album yet — but first, Matty Healy had to get healthy

On June 1st last year, the 1975 played a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden. It was a huge moment for the English pop provocateurs, who had recently broken through in the U.S. with their second full-length LP, 2016’s chart-topping I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It. “There’s a picture of Michael Jackson playing the Garden right before you go on,” says singer-guitarist Matty Healy, 29. “I remember staring at that, thinking, ‘This is fucking crazy.’ ”

Truthfully, though, Healy doesn’t remember all that much about that night. “It was a strange time,” he adds. “I mean, I was still doing quite a lot of drugs.”

Healy founded the 1975 in the early 2000s with drummer George Daniel, bassist Ross MacDonald and lead guitarist Adam Hann, friends from secondary school near Manchester. They spent years alternately mocking the idea of rock stardom and embodying it to the fullest; with its nonstop lyrical wit and its shamelessly catchy melodies, I Like It When You Sleep was a breakthrough. “We’d been the best emo band out of Manchester in 2009, and then the worst pop band of 2015,” says Healy, whose parents are famous TV actors in Britain. “We didn’t give a fuck.”