Interview: You Me At Six

Victoria LeggettJet-lag, sleep-deprivation and laryngitis are no barrier to emo rockers You Me At Six. VICTORIA LEGGETT catches up with singer Josh Franceschi ahead of their sell-out UEA.Further listening: You Me At SixVictoria Leggett

Jet-lag, sleep-deprivation and laryngitis are no barrier to emo rockers You Me At Six. VICTORIA LEGGETT catches up with singer Josh Franceschi ahead of their sell-out UEA.

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As if getting home from Australia just five days before the start of a major headline tour isn't bad enough, emo rockers You Me At Six were faced with an even bigger hurdle.

Jet-lagged and sleep-deprived, lead singer Josh Franceschi was told he was suffering from laryngitis and a strained voice box - and should be taking it easy.

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Now, as the band heads to Norwich for a show at the UEA tonight, he is defying doctor's orders to make sure he is there to enjoy it.

The singer said: 'When I saw the throat specialist, they said we shouldn't be going on tour. I'm on some mental antibiotics and a special diet to give me the best possible chance to do stuff.'

Presumably, even giving press interviews is putting an unwanted strain on his voice, but Josh is so determined to get out on the road and promote the band's new material, he's soldiering on.

'It's what we do,' he said. 'We love being on tour, we love doing shows.'

Having returned from supporting American rockers Paramore in Australia, the group had just five days to rehearse before the first date of the tour in Birmingham last week.

For Josh, it was even less. Having missed one day to go to see a doctor, the following day he was forced to sit and watch.

'I'm not even singing,' he said. 'At the moment it's about making sure I'm aware of what we're doing.

' But I'm sure it will be great. We always figure out a way.'

For many people, You Me At Six are a relatively new band. Last single Underdog, which was given lots of air time on Radio 1, would have been the first encounter many had had with their music.

But, now on their second album Hold Me Down and with countless headline tours as well as supporting roles with big-name acts around the world, this is just the latest chapter for the five piece.

'In terms of Radio 1 and the newspapers, they've just started to surface. It's been a long process to get where we are now,' he said. 'We're enjoying the fact we're starting to get more notice.

'But we're carrying on as normal. We don't notice what's going on around us, we're so immersed in what we're doing.'

The group began jamming in each other's bedrooms in 2004.

Soon they were hard at work touring the country and the band quickly made a name for themselves on the emo/punk rock scene. Debut album Take Off Your Colours was released in November 2007.

Having grabbed the attention of other big-name bands, You Me At Six have spent a lot of time on the road with the likes of Fall Out Boy and Paramore, playing huge arenas all around the world.

But Josh said, while those shows were enjoyable, it was nothing compared with heading out for their first headline tour in more than a year.

'The whole arena thing for us is a weird thing to do - it's not our show. With this headline tour, the people coming are coming to watch our band.

'To be able to come to Norwich and play to 1,500 people and to know they are there for us is really great.'

Tonight's UEA gig sold out months in advance and marks You Me At Six's second visit to the city.

Josh said: 'We played at the Waterfront two years ago with our first album. I remember that show, in particular, being one of my favourites on the tour.'

And he hopes this one will be even better. 'We always find that the show get better, the crowd responds better, as we tour more and go back to the places. That's the aim,' he said.

Main support tonight comes from Dallas-based six-man group Forever The Sickest Kids, veterans of three straight Vans Warped Tours, with their fresh and insanely hummable blend of power-pop and punk energy.

Opening the evening will be Florida's We The Kings who have toured the US with bands such as Boys Like Girls, All Time Low, Cobra Starship and, most recently, headlined the 2009 Vans Warped Tour. Sophomore album, Smile Kid has just been released in the UK.

t You Me At Six play the UEA on March 19.

t Hold Me Down is out now.

Further listening: You Me At Six