For our 5 Seconds of Summer cover story, the Sydney, Australia, heartthrobs welcomed Rolling Stone to hang out with them over the course of a week in Los Angeles – at the band house, at various promo stops like the Late Late Show With James Corden and out on the town at shows by friends Halsey and Good Charlotte. Here are some takeaways from a week with 5SOS.
Green Day are “the ultimate”
While most of the band weren’t even born when Dookie came out, Green Day are everything 5SOS aspire to be: a stadium-packing band with punk roots. Drummer Ashton Irwin counts Green Day’s 2005 live album/DVD Bullet in a Bible as his entry point. (“Seeing Billie Joe up in front of 60,000 people – that’s what I wanted to do,” says Irwin.) Other members point to American Idiot as their biggest influence. “I was like, ‘How did they write ‘Jesus of Suburbia?'” says bass player Calum Hood. “How did they put all these things together and make it flow even though there’s like 10 different parts and they’re all dramatically different and dynamic in how they sound? It really intrigued me.” The ultimate milestone? “Green Day have been put in a position where they can make a fucking Broadway musical,” says Hood. “That’s something we’d love to have our hand in, not just making albums. To do that kind of stuff is amazing.”
Like Billie Joe Armstrong, they don’t like being called “pop-punk”
Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong recently tweeted, “my mission for 2016? to destroy the phrase ‘pop-punk’ forever.” It seems 5SOS are on the same page. “It’s just as isolating as being called a boy band, you know, being [called] a pop-punk band,” says Hood. “I don’t want to make just one type of music. I really want to evolve as a band with our sound. Bands like U2 have songs which are almost completely different genres, and that’s what I love.”
They have big ideas for their upcoming world tour
The Sounds Live Feels Live tour will take them across the world until almost 2017, with venues like Madison Square Garden. The band is thinking about how to make songs like “Jet Black Heart” come alive onstage. “I love the feel,” says Irwin of the group’s latest single. “It feels great. It feels big to me. It feels like an arena song. I’m excited to play. I’ve been trying to picture the next [tour]. I hear it very different from what we’ve been doing so far.”
Irwin expects the tour to be bigger and better than their last tour, which he says, “felt more like the basic band thing.” “You go out there and play a few songs and then you go out there and do an encore. I want to do something cooler,” he explains. “Maybe start out with ‘Carry On’ and end with ‘Carry On’ and then maybe try some different things, take inspiration from Queen and use some piano. I just want to make it cooler and make it challenging. I got bored of the show last year. After 70 times, I was like, ‘Ah …‘ I loved it, I loved the fans there and the energy of the show, but it wasn’t really challenging.”