Rising band getting more than 5 seconds of summer

Posted Monday, Aug. 04, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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This Australian pop-rock group fits the boy band mold: a quartet of young men with a feverish female fan base touring with British megastars One Direction. But 5 Seconds of Summer 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,” said 5SOS 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 last week after selling 259,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. 5SOS’ debut single, She Looks So Perfect, became a Top 40 hit, and the follow-up, Amnesia, has peaked at No. 16.

Irwin said the “high-energy rock album” was inspired by guitar bands of 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 5SOS.

“We’ve become comfortable. I think we’re just like really very used to having each other on the same tour,” said 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 kicked off Friday in Toronto, where 5SOS opened. The tour comes to AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Aug. 24.

“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 said.

The rising band is also performing for larger audiences: 5SOS announced last week they would headline an arena tour next year.

Despite the group’s early success, social media stardom and devoted fan following, the band — which includes lead vocalist and guitarist 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 said. “We’re just dudes in a band that plays some stuff.”

They also co-write 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,” Clifford said. “It’s good.”

But there’s little time for love.

“(We’re) married to the band, we always say,” Hood said.

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