You Me At Six’s Josh Franceschi Discusses ‘Cavalier Youth’ Album, Band Goals + More
You Me At Six have already built up a big fan base overseas and are starting to break through her in the U.S. with their current single ‘Room To Breathe.’ The group is promoting their ‘Cavalier Youth’ album and getting ready to return to North America for dates this fall. ‘Loudwire Nights’ host Full Metal Jackie recently caught up with You Me At Six frontman Josh Franceschi and got the lowdown on the ‘Cavalier Youth’ album and their burgeoning success.
It’s Full Metal Jackie here at Loudwire Nights. Josh Franceschi, the singer for You Me at Six, is on the show with us tonight. Josh, your initial success came in the U.K. Since then, what’s been the most unexpected thing about the reaction to the band in other parts of the world?
Yeah, I mean predominantly we started off getting a lot better in England. I would probably say the most surprising thing for us up until recently in America with our song ‘Room to Breathe’ would be the reactions we have had in places like Australia. It’s probably our second biggest market would be Australia. It’s where we sort of play our biggest shows other than England. That is always pretty crazy. Yeah I would probably go with that.
How important was the social aspect of literally living together while recording ‘Cavalier Youth’ compared to being remote and isolated from each other while making an album?
I would say that living together just sort of really hones in on the more collaborative effort. You know when we made ‘Sinners Never Sleep,’ our third record, we made that in California, as well. I think it was quite difficult to get into a routine because we lived in a sense of Hollywood. We were young so we were going out basically every night and we made ‘Cavalier Youth.’ We rented this sort of Entourage-esque TV-show house. It was pretty massive with loads of rooms, a big pool, a very social place. It meant that we did our socializing really at this house in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. That there made the studio a strong work environment. It meant that we often went home and worked on the songs at home after a studio session. It helped with us all living together to then always be around each other’s space and continue to make the record and the songs as good as they possibly would be.
Was there a clear goal for ‘Cavalier Youth’ prior to going into the studio or did the direction of the album really develop through the course of recording?
Yeah, the ambition of ‘Cavalier Youth’ ultimately was to get a No. 1 record in England. That is what we wanted to do. That is what we felt that would be us really making a dent in the music scene. Not only in England but I think that it helps internationally having that accolade. But in terms of the sounds changing throughout the recording process, we had all of the songs written before we went to America to record the record.
What I would say is that Neil Avron, our producer, was an integral part of our pre-production and we have never really done pre-production before. He is an incredibly talented man and he sort of brought all of his expertise over the years as a producer and mixer to really sort of inspire and push us as songwriters and not just to stick to a predictable formula like we have made with our other records. He also brought such a vast amount of experience into adding other instrumentation whether that be electronics or keys or pads or other drum parts. I think that that also helped to shape the album as well.
How much did these new songs change from idea, to finish album, to concert stage.
I guess when you watch songs in your bedroom or in a rehearsal space you usually write it on a few guitars or if we are writing in a rehearsal space, you know, very stripped back, simple set-up. They start as initial ideas and they start as something that you are writing as a small group of people with no sort of idea of how the song is going to change throughout the process and then you go to the studio and it’s not about having a raw version of the song anymore or a demo version of the song. It is about making it as sonically sound and as polished and as near perfect as you can get it.
You have the options in the studio of making a song to really give it more depth and more perspective. Then when you go into the live arena setting with the song you have the factor that you are playing in front of an audience and you can see how they feed off of the songs. Then, you also have the recreate the record version of the song live and that takes time and a lot of rehearsing because we want it to be perfect when we are playing. We don’t want to use tracks. We don’t want to use cheating methods. We want it to all be purely musicianship on stage and so we spend a lot of time sort of trying to get the right sounds on the guitars and I do a lot of practicing as a singer. So yeah, we work towards that.
You Me and Six formed in 2004, ten years ago. Once a band reaches that benchmark what changes in terms of goals and how you plan for the next five to ten years of your career?
Well, I think that we have been together for almost a decade and when we started we were school kids and we would play in each other’s bedrooms or garages or cheap rehearsal spaces. It is all DIY and the ambition honestly was to avoid going to university. We all wanted — I only did my first year at college but the other guys completed their courses and we just wanted to basically do what all our favorite thing which was playing live shows and touring the world. We never thought that we would leave England and we never thought that we would get past the 500-cap mark but you know in the space of 18-months we went from playing to 150 people in London to 2000 people in London and that is just the way that it happened for us.
Now we are at the point in our career that I say moving forward that we want obviously to make a name for ourselves in America. It is a place where we spend a lot of time but yet because of our new label here it feels like, and the way it seems to be working. It is almost like a baby-record because they just heard of us in that capacity in America so it is very exciting and it’s very motivating. The end goal is to A) still be a band in five to ten years time, B) hopefully, still making great records and great performances onstage.
Thanks to You Me At Six’s Josh Franceschi for the interview. The band’s ‘Cavalier Youth’ album is currently available via Amazon and iTunes. Catch the group on tour this fall, sharing stages with Young Guns in North American. Tour dates can be found here. Tune into Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie’ Monday through Friday 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.
Watch You Me At Six’s ‘Room To Breathe’ Video: