INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – 5 Seconds of Summer fit the boy band mold: a quartet of young men with a feverish female fan base touring with British megastars One Direction. But the Australian pop-rock group identifies more with Pete Wentz than Harry Styles.
“I (grew up) watching, you know, live rock ‘n’ roll bands and I wanted to be like Tre Cool . . . from Green Day,” says 5 Seconds of Summer drummer Ashton Irwin, 20. “To be called a boy band coming from those roots and writing our own songs and starting in the garage, it’s just, I don’t think it’s the correct term for us.”
The group’s first full-length, self-titled album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s 200 albums chart this week after selling 259,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. 5 Seconds of Summer’s debut single, “She Looks So Perfect,” became a Top 40 hit and the followup, “Amnesia,” has peaked at No. 16.
Irwin says the “high-energy rock album” was inspired by guitar bands from the ’90s and early 2000s, including Blink-182 and Jimmy Eat World, as well as contemporary performers such as Imagine Dragons.
Despite that, One Direction has had some influence on 5 Seconds of Summer.
“We’ve become comfortable. I think we’re just like really very used to having each other on the same tour,” says Irwin. “They’ve had us on their tour for like two years now.”
The Canadian and U.S. leg of One Direction’s “Where We Are” stadium tour kicks off Friday in Toronto, where 5 Seconds of Summer will open.
“The way they treat their crew and stuff like that, it’s a real family type environment and really we look up to that,” Irwin says.
The rising band is also performing for larger audiences: 5 Seconds of Summer announced this week it would headline an arena tour next year.
Despite the group’s early success, social media stardom and devoted fan following, the band — which includes vocalist Luke Hemmings, guitarist Michael Clifford and bassist Calum Hood — is taking its newfound fame in stride.
“I don’t see us as having any fame factor,” Hemmings says. “We’re just dudes in a band that plays some stuff.”
They also cowrite most of their music that, like the breakup song “Amnesia,” focuses on love — or lust — and heartache.
“It feels nice to write about girls because it gets it off your chest,” says Clifford. “It’s good.”
But there’s no time for love.
“(We’re) married to the band, we always say,” says Hood.