The Australian band’s bassist/vocalist Calum Hood chats with Fuse in the midst of their first U.S. headlining tour
In case you missed the news, an Australian pop-punk band’s four-song EP just barely missed the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 last week. These upstarts are called 5 Seconds of Summer and the teen quartet sold 143,000 copies of their She Looks So Perfect EP without any major radio support or TV exposure.
It helps that the band found a fan in One Direction's Niall Horan, who saw their covers on YouTube and made them 1D's opener on the Take Me Home tour last year, gaining them legions of fans. But it's not just the 1D connection that's made them so hot: The guys' debut international single "She Looks So Perfect"—boasting the oh-so-catchy hook, “She looks so perfect standing there in my American Apparel underwear”—is an anthemic pop-punk delicacy sure to be the summer jam for Top 40 listeners and beyond.
Plus, the dudes are undeniably adorable. When 5SOS join 1D for this year’s Where We Are stadium tour, we think there will be a lot of fans screaming loud for both acts this year.
In the midst of 5 Seconds of Summer’s first headlining trek in the States, Fuse chats with bassist/vocalist Calum Hood about their upcoming full-length album, pranking the 1D guys, fans sending them male strippers and much more.
First off, congratulations on the massive success. You guys haven’t had much Stateside promo or radio support and you have one of the best-selling albums in the country. How’s that feel?
It’s amazing for us. You know, we’re not really from much, so to have this opportunity, it all comes back to our fanbase. We’ve heard lots on Twitter and we work a lot on social media because that’s where we started really, but it’s just so good to see the fans on tour. They do so much for us and it’s amazing.
Were you guys aware that you had such support in the States?
Well, we knew we had some sort of little following, but this was the first international single that we’ve ever released so we weren’t really sure what would happen. It totally blew our minds, really.
Have you had any crazy or ridiculous fan experiences so far?
Not this tour, it’s been pretty packed. It’s been quite busy, but we had strippers sent to our house once when we were staying in LA. Male strippers, actually.
[Laughs] Just a couple fans. We thought they were trying to break into the house so we kind of hid.
Then what happened?
Um, they just ended up walking away.
How did you know they were strippers? Were they in… bathing suits? What do strippers show up in?
They were in cop uniforms. Like, really tight ones.
Speaking about your fans, we were discussing this at the office: There’s no set name for 5 Seconds of Summer fans yet. Have you guys heard any you like?
They can kind of really call themselves what they want. We go by 5SOS fans but they’re just beautiful people, really.
[Laughs] No, they haven’t yet. There hasn’t been any free underwear, which is sad because we’re running out on tour.
We’ll get the message out, hopefully we can help you guys out there.
Thank you, mate!
The arena shows start soon, how’s preparation going for that?
It’s good. Us touring is kind of like rehearsal, but I guess you can’t really rehearse for stadiums. You have to just be thrown into the deep end and go from there. We’re just really mentally preparing for what’s gonna happen.
Can you talk about the difference between doing theaters versus arena shows?
Theaters are much more intimate, you can really feel the presence of everyone in the room. In arenas, we can only really see three rows which was weird for us the first time. But I really like playing theatres.
You guys have written with a slew of different artists. There’s been Mcfly, Jamie Scott. Do you think you’ll get together with 1D and write?
Who knows, they’re writing a lot more which is amazing. If anything, it’ll probably be a spontaneous decision between us, but I’d love to.
You and the guys have been known to pull a prank here or there. Do you have any pranks planned for the 1D guys?
I’m not sure! We’re not like the biggest pranksters ever. They have very scary security guards so we try to keep our distance between them.
What’s the best part about being in 5 Seconds of Summer?
I think the three best things are being with your best friends that you grew up with, doing the thing you love and meeting all the fans. Definitely the best parts.
On the other hand, if you weren’t in this band, which band would you wanna be in?
I’m gonna have to go for Nickelback.
Yeah! [Laughs] No, I’m not sure. I do love Nickelback though, don’t get me wrong. I really like ’90s pop-punk and R&B so it varies from week to week.
So who have you been listening to lately? Any songs you’re really feeling?
I’ve been kind of enclosed with music because we’ve been working on ours so hard. It’s kind of hard to get out there and listen to other peoples’ music when you’re just in this little cave writing.
Speaking of new music, what’s the latest with that?
We’re pretty much finished with the album. We’ve written over 100 songs now and we’ve finally whittled it down to 20 or 25. We’re really proud of it because we’ve been writing for so long, so it’s good to finally have a body of work of ours.
Was the She Looks So Perfect EP the first taste of what’s to come?
Definitely, it’s like a sample product of what the album’s gonna be like. The album’s gonna be a bit more diverse and a bit more colorful. We’ve been working with some of our favorite writers and producers, which helped us a lot with our sound.
We’ve been working with John Feldmann. He’s worked a lot with The Used and Green Day, pretty much all of our favorite bands. And Steve Robson, who’s worked with Olly Murs. They’re our two main people that we write with.
We’ve written a lot of songs with Alex Gaskarth [of All Time Low] and the boys from Good Charlotte—the Madden brothers—which has been wicked for us. It’s gonna be good, it’s a fun album.
Anything else you want to add?
To all our fans in the U.S., we love you so much! Thank you so much for all your support and we can’t wait to tour the rest of America.