warped tour coverage: an interview with you me at six
  • FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2010

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They're probably the biggest pop punk band in the UK at the moment. Having just gotten off a headlining tour of their home country with US radio heavyweights (and fellow Warped Tour 2010 band) We The Kings, You Me At Six have been making a cannonball-sized splash across the pond as well as right here since the success of their 2007 debut Take Off Your Colours. And with their most recent release Hold Me Down, these English boys are currently on this year's Warped Tour. I caught up with them to discuss everything from music to how Warped Tour makes you an alcoholic.


Can you introduce yourselves and tell us a little about your musical backgrounds?

Dan Flint: I'm Dan, I play drums in You Me At Six.
Max Helyer: I'm Max and I play guitar.
Dan: I guess I started playing drums 'cause I had joined a new school in like a music program so my mum thought it would be a good idea and my dad went out and bought me a drum kit. Then I went to college which is where I met the rest of the guys in the band and thats where You Me At Six is really.
Max: It took me bloody ages to get a guitar. My sister was playing piano, I was like I wanna play guitar for four, five years my mum and dad, it took me that long to actually get one and they're like are you just gonna give up? And I was like nope. Started playing, went and got guitar lessons, played in a few bands before, met all the guys and pretty much just carried on playing music. I enjoy writing music for myself so yeah.

What was the toughest part of learning to play guitar?

Max: I think the toughest part when you start for me when you pick up guitar was you gotta' listen to the sound and if things sound right and like, the scales like... 'cause if you know a scale, it makes it a lot more easier to know where youre gonna go for the next chord and when you play the next part of the song because you already know whats gonna sound right. So if you dont know the scale youre going to jump to some random place on the guitar board and it wouldnt sound right but if you knew the scale youd be like alright, this sounds like this and now Im going to go to that part next and play it there and itll sound right.
Dan: I guess the thing is with the guitar as well, 'cause Ive been picking up the guitar a bit recently, and like our other guitarist Chris was saying to me yesterday its all about experimenting, making mistakes and figuring out for yourself what sounds good or what you think sounds good.

How did the band get started?

Max: Me and Josh [Franceschi, vocals] used to play in a band before and its through our local scene that Josh knew Matt [Barnes] our bass player and it was a coincidence that Matt lived two doors away from Chris [Miller] our guitar player and we met Dan in college and pretty much started off middle of 2007.

Whats the best part of being in You Me At Six?

Dan: Best part of being in You Me At Six...getting to travel the world, play shows, meet a lot of other cool bands.
Max: I think you meet a lot of real people on the road as well, a lot of true people. It's hard to meet real people at home and I think you experiment a lot in life when you're on the road, kind of grow up and you learn a lot more about life and how you should be as a person.
Dan: Yeah you learn about yourself a lot being on the road.

How do you think youve grown as individuals and as musicians since being in the band?

Max: I feel like I've...this tour I feel like I've become an alcoholic because I mean, everyday you're always going to be around people that are just drinking!
Dan: The thing is on Warped Tour there's always a party, an after party, and always a barbeque so you feel like, you play a show, and you feel like you might as well grab an alcoholic beverage.
Max: And it happens everyday! And I'm just like, right, theres only so much my liver can take now, I'm gonna be dead soon.

Are you a beer or a hard liquor person?

Dan: We're English, we're an alcohol person [sic]. English people just drink.
Max: The thing is about the tour when you see everyone just drinking everyday, when your buddy says no and your buddy's had enough then you've got to say no 'cause if you keep doing you're just gonna' get ill. But I keep doing it anyway! so I'm just like oh my...

Ever perform hungover?

Dan: Oh yeah.
Max: Many a times.
Dan: Every other day.
Max: Most days.
Dan: It's like the best hangover cure though.
Max: Yeah cause you get the adrenaline when you play.
Dan: You sweat it out and then you feel good after that.
Max: You feel like you've worked it all out.

So where do you get your inspiration from and who are your biggest influences?

Max: I get my influences from alcohol. I'm joking, that's just a massive joke there. We listen to bands like Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday, Incubus.
Dan: Thrice.
Max: Yeah I'm personally a massive fan of Thrice. I'm also a massive fan of Every Time I Die.

You know Taking Back Sunday's from like a few miles away [from Uniondale]?

Max: Yeah.
Dan: Really? Thats cool.

Do you listen to the original Taking Back Sunday?

Dan: Yeah. They're getting back together.
Max: I'm a massive fan of Envy On The Coast as well, they're from around here, but they just broke up. I was a bit bummed out by it, I feel my friends on the tour that are aware of that band are like, dude you heard Envy on the Coast broke up? and I like their new CD so much, it's like, a shame.
Dan: Yeah it's a shame.

They're doing three last shows in August.

Dan: We have to go to one.
Max: Here?
Dan: We won't be here.
Max: We won't be here. We'll be on Warped Tour. Oh well. Yeah we take influences from all those people and we listen to old school music as well like personally I'd say The Police as well, Matt would say Bob Marley, Queen.
Dan: When I was growing up, it used to be like Led Zeppelin and stuff like that 'cause that's what my dad was into.
Max: I got into Pink Floyd that way. I think we just take a lot of influences from music and anything that we like, we try to have our own spin on it and try to create something for ourselves.

For the fans coming out to Warped Tour do you have any sets that you'd recommend they watch?

Dan: Bring Me the Horizon, theyre always amazing. Every Time I Die, All American Rejects...
Max: They leave the tour soon though.
Dan: Yeah. Enter Shikari, it's like their last day or two or so.
Max: If you wanna go see a really good band is a band called Parkway Drive. Theyre quite like a metalcore band but I think one of the best sounds and they're really melodic as well. They get the crowd going.
Dan: If you just like walk around youre always going to see a good band. Thats the good thing about Warped Tour.

*****
Hold Me Down is currently available on Virgin Records. Check out the boys on Warped Tour this summer. -hanna kasper

* * * * * * * * * * * *
MP3: "Stay With Me"
You Me At Six on Myspace

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