What’s it like when your favorite band returns from a hiatus? Find out in this interview with a true fan.
“The Triangle” talks with a fan of popular Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer after their announcement of a new album drop and single release. Not many bands can survive a long-term hiatus — fans of One Direction are three years into an 18-month hiatus — but 5SOS seems to have stood the tests of time. The band’s revitalization from pop punk to pop rock impacted many fans, including a Drexel University Westphal student I spoke with.
The Triangle: What is your favorite band?
Drexel Fan: 5 Seconds of Summer.
TT: How long have you been a fan?
DF: Since 2013? Since I was, like, 12 years old. This was before they had an album out; they only had an EP. I saw them live in Silver Spring, MD, in Aug. 2014. That was their first headlining tour after going on tour with Hot Chelle Rae and One Direction.
TT: What impact has their music had on you?
DF: It led me to making friends who were also fans. When I was in my early teens after finding them, I had a fan account on Twitter, and I ended up meeting four girls from around the world who ended up becoming my best friends. We had a groupchat, we would FaceTime and I still talk to some of them.
TT: Would you say you were a true stan?
DF: I am.
TT: How do you feel about their return?
DF: At first, when they went on their hiatus, I stopped using my fan account, I stopped knowing what they were doing, I wasn’t as curious, but it also had to do with me growing up a little bit. When they released “Youngblood” [in 2018] I was excited. It was reminiscent of when I was involved in their lives. 5SOS was the way that I bonded with many people and shaped my lifestyle.
TT: Was “Youngbood” what you expected?
DF: Yes, because I knew that as artists grow older, their styles change, especially with bands, so I knew their style would be different. Obviously, they all grew up and became their own people so their style had to change with it.
TT: Was “Youngblood” worth the wait and how do you feel about this new wave of 5SOS music to come?
DF: I’m gonna say yes, because I was really only listening to their old music, and it’s always nice to have new music — listening to the different instruments, solos, memorizing new lyrics. I’m excited for what’s to come; I know that they’re making music that they like and is more the adult version of them compared to their original stuff from when they were ages 18 to 20.
TT: Do you have a favorite member of the band?
DF: Yes. Calum Hood, the bass player.
TT: What’s it like to have your childhood favorite band make a comeback while you are a college student?
DF: It definitely brings me back to my childhood, and it’s also exciting because there’s other people who have also grown with the band. There’s a community of people that you have similar styles or interests with thanks to the 5SOS era.
TT: Would you have preferred their old music compared to what we’ve seen sampled in “No Shame,” the most recent single, or their 2018 pop-rock rebrand with “Youngblood?”
DF: Musically, I really liked “Youngblood.” The music is really good, the instruments, the vocals, it’s a really good album. I like “No Shame,” and I am very excited to hear the rest of the new album when it drops. As for their old music, it will always hold a special place in my heart. There are songs that I would listen to for hours on end when I was 13, so those are always going to be some of my favorites.
TT: How do you feel about the new album being called “CALM,” after the first initials of each of the band members?
DF: Whenever they were releasing teasers, I saw that they were putting the letters next to each band member, so I saw it coming. It made me shook. It’s something that they would have never done before; a lot of thought went into naming this album in comparison to their older albums. When artists release music, it’s typically self-titled, so the fact that thought went into this title as opposed to just a regular song title is great.
TT: 5SOS was under the radar for three years. How did that make you feel?
DF: From a fan’s perspective, it can be kind of upsetting that they’re not releasing music because as consumers we expect instant satisfaction. As a person, you understand that they were touring for years nonstop with no breaks, and they needed a break, especially due to their age. They were deprived of their teenage years and replaced them with tours and time in the recording studio.
TT: How do you feel about their reinvention and rebranding?
DF: I like it. I think that it allowed them to be more creative in their music and let them be more happy because they are able to be their true selves. For example, at the beginning of their careers they were very much in the punk style, dressed in flannels and band tees and black. Now, they each experiment more with their own styles. Luke [Hemmings, lead singer and guitarist,] wears women’s high heeled boots and Calum dyes his hair bright colors.
TT: Do you think this new album will attract new fans?
DF: I think each album will attract new fans, just as each album made them lose fans. They seem to do remixes with popular artists, such as Julia Michaels [with “Lie to Me” from the “Youngblood” album] and the Chainsmokers [single “Who Do You Love”] which broadens their audience.
TT: How do you think other fans feel about their new music? What is the community saying?
DF: Let me check Twitter. Right now, everyone seems to be really excited for the tour. Since the music video for “No Shame” just dropped, people are excited for that. I haven’t seen any backlash with the 5SOS Fam; people are excited to see the band able to express themselves creatively.
TT: What do you hope to see in their upcoming music?
DF: I would love to see Calum sing. I want Calum to have an entire song to himself. It would also be pretty cool to hear them experiment with different instruments, maybe even get some background vocals from different artists. In their self-titled, they got Jack Barakat (from All Time Low) to sing backup.