Straight back from their US tour, Jayde Smyth caught up with a jet-lagged Matt Barnes, the
bassist of British pop-rock band You Me At Six.
So, you’ve just recently released the first single from the new upcoming album
Cavalier Youth, why did you choose to release ‘Lived a Lie’ first?
This is the song with the most sort of cross-over from our old stuff to new stuff for the fans.
So we just thought that this was gonna be the right one to do really. It sounds good, it’s not
too pop, it’s not too rock, it’s just like the perfect in-between.
Just before the release of your last album, Sinners Never Sleep, there was quite a bit
of talk about You Me At Six moving away from the pop-rock stigma that’s surrounded
you since the band’s start in 2006. Was that something that you went into the studio
in the back of your heads this time around?
I mean, I would say that this album was more of a straight up rock album as opposed to any
other kind of labels. So, yeah this time we did try and make it a lot more straight up rock and
you’ll hear that in some of the other tunes. They’re not all like ‘Lived a Lie’ and they’re not all
like the next single that we’re gonna put out. But when we do put out the new single in the
next few weeks that’s when you’ll be able to hear what the album’s going to sound like.
Was there a certain sound that you went into the studio chasing or was you letting it
come to you as and when inspiration struck?
We went in with the idea of “let’s just write as many songs as possible and see what comes
out.” We never went “now let’s write a rock song, now let’s write a slow song, now let’s try
and write an acoustic bit.”
Can the fans expect any more collaborations on this album? Sinners Never Sleep
featured Oli Sykes (Bring Me The Horizon) which certainly gave it a heavier rock
Not really, I feel like we’ve almost already done that now. We did it with Winston [McCall]
and Oli and we wanted to make this album straight up You Me At Six with no-one else on it.
Maybe next time. We couldn’t really be bothered this time.
How happy are you with the album overall?
Really happy. It sounds great, the album artwork is looking great, I think the songs are
produced really well and I think they’re the best songs we’ve ever created. I’m really happy
with how it turned out, and I think everyone else is as well. Even the producer Neal Avron is
super stoked about everything; it all worked out, everyone’s in a great frame of mind.
This is the second time you’ve recorded an album in the states, what made you want
to go back?
The thing about America is they have really good studios, and I know the UK has great
studios too, but we’re the sort of band that can’t focus on more than one thing at a time.
We’re very one track minded men and if we recorded in the UK we’d have ended up being
like “I’m gonna go home this weekend, it’s my friend’s birthday, then I’ve got to do this family
gathering, I’ve got a BBQ to go to.” Whereas in America, it’s simply that you’re recording
and there’s nothing else you can do. You’re a lot more focused when you’re not around
everything that you’re used to being around at home.
Where there any challenges that you had to overcome while you were recording this
It was such a pleasurable album to record that there wasn’t really any challenges that we
faced. I felt that it went a lot more smoothly than last time where there’d be certain bumps
we’d get to and we’d be disagreeing with the producer and not wanting to do this or that.
This time we agreed with, I feel, 95 per cent of everything. We didn’t really have many
hurdles on this album, it was plain sailing really.
Like a few of your fellow band members you have a couple of side projects, your
clothing line Cheer Up! Clothing and more recently the very popular Max and Matt’s
Munchies segment. Is this a new career path for you and Max [Helyer – guitarist]?
Definitely. It’s the next thing, me and Max are quitting the band and it’s Max and Matt’s
Munchies time. It’s just funny, we know it’s so crap and we just do it to take the piss. Nobody
knows what we’re even doing. You get so bored [on tour] we’re just like “what shall we do
now” we watch so much Man vs Food, it was just a classic thing to do. Dan [Flint – drummer]
was getting jealous, pulling a bit of a strop, so we decided he could have a show.
‘Lived a Lie’ is on the official soundtrack for FIFA 2014, which Josh [Franceschi –
vocals] is incredibly proud of. Is there anything you would love to see a You Me At Six
We did have one of our songs played after one of the F1 races which was really cool, it
would be amazing if we could get that a bit more and other sports that aren’t football related.
I thought I was the only guy in the UK [that was] in a band that didn’t like football but on our
last US tour, two of the guys from Dinosaur Pile Up can’t stand it either so I was like “finally,
someone I can talk to about how much we hate football.”
So you guys are just about to support 30 Seconds to Mars on their UK tour and then
you’re joining Paramore for their Australian tour. What are you most looking forward
to about supporting both of these bands?
The shows are humongous, which is always fun. With 30 Seconds to Mars we finally get
to play the 02 in London, which has been one of our band’s dreams. We get to play some
pretty crazy shows in Germany and on the first Portugal show there’s like 18,000 people
coming, and I didn’t even realise that 18,000 people there even like rock music. I love
30STM and Paramore so it’s cool to go out [touring] with bands that you enjoy listening to as
Will the next UK headline tour be after the album is released?
Probably, we’ll release the album at some point at the end of January or beginning of
February and might go on tour with it around March. It’s all up in the air at the moment, we
don’t really know when we’re releasing anything, it’s classic You Me At Six style. No-one
We spoke to James from Deaf Havana last week about rock music entering the
mainstream charts more frequently; do you think this is a turning point in the music
It’s about time that rock music got back into the charts. Deaf Havana getting their chart
position was fantastic and there’s all these great new British rock bands coming out going
“we can join the likes of Nicole Scherzinger and Justin Bieber if we want.” You don’t have
to create shitty pop music to break the charts now which is amazing. But even bands like
Lawson, I really like those guys, they’re more pop than bands like Deaf Havana, it’s about
breaking the top 40 with guitar driven music. It’s all about actual band bands that are
breaking the mould.
You Me At Six’s current single Lived A Lie is available to buy and download now.