You Me At Six chat about their latest album, the Take Off Your Colours tour and what's next for the band
We caught up with Chris Miller and Matt Barnes from You Me At Six a few hours before their headline show at The Nick Rayns LCR on Saturday to chat about the show and their recent album release.
British rock band You Me At Six brought their Take Off Your Colours 10th Anniversary tour to Norwich on Saturday night which followed on from the release of their sixth studio album VI.
With a career spanning over 10 years, six albums under their belt and selling over 76,000 tickets across the UK last year, You Me At Six are undoubtedly heavyweights of the UK rock music scene.
Their newest release, VI, hit the shelves on October 5 and is their latest album since the release of Night People in January 2017.
Embracing new sounds and pulling elements from lots of genres, the album has been received well by fans across the country.
“Obviously the sounds a little bit different so it’s nice to see that everyone has embraced it and can get down with it so it’s cool,” explained guitarist Chris Miller.
“It went to number six in the charts, and it’s our sixth record, and we are You Me At Six – it’s quite poetic really isn’t it,” added bass player Matt Barnes.
After having difficulties during their Night People album cycle, the band have had a lot more fun this time around.
“This whole album, VI, has had the spirit of when we first started. In business terms we got new management, a new label, new everything, so everything just felt fresh and we were really energised,” said Miller.
“I am sure you can tell even just looking at the promo shots from the new album that it’s all bright and colourful in the artwork. We just really wanted to branch out and make it more fun again.”
Barnes explained how the album’s producer Dan Austen, along with the bands input, helped make this album something different to their previous releases.
“He can just bring everything to the table and we wanted to push the boat out and try some new stuff.”
“We all listen to such varied types of music now. Everyone let me put some crazy bass lines in and we let them put some crazy guitar sounds in and some weird drums.”
“It was essentially trying loads of new things, and not just keeping to the same formula, but still keeping it You Me At Six enough to sound like our band and not scare anyone off. It was a bit scary before we put it out as we didn’t know how people would take it.”
After the release of VI in October, the band set out on a UK tour to perform their new material live to fans across the UK.
Miller explained how “It’s always fun to play new songs and I think it’s just as fun for us as it is the crowd, because obviously we’ve played our older songs millions of times over, so it’s a new challenge for us and at the same time it’s fun to see people’s reactions.”
After they had completed the VI tour, they embarked on the Take Off Your Colours 10th Anniversary tour, something that fans have been requesting for years.
Matt Barnes explained how playing the old material had actually been a lot of fun for the band.
“We didn’t know if we were going to enjoy it or not. Well, not not enjoy it but not enjoy it as much as we have been enjoying it. I’ve got to admit there is one song that every time we play it I’m just like ‘oh my god, will this end’ - but there’s only one!”
“We always play our singles that we have taken to radio as well so it’s really fun playing a set that’s different to what we normally do.”
When asked whether they had adapted the songs at all Miller explained that, “At first we had planned to but then we always think that when we go to see bands and the song you’re all waiting for is a weird version then it’s a bit of a let down. I think we just wanted to give the people what they ask for and just play them as is.”
“It was a bit strange learning to play like that again as it’s a bit faster than what we do now – it was just a bit of a weird trip learning it all but we got there.”
The way in which fans consume music has very much changed over the years, so You Me At Six tried a new approach when releasing music this time around. With people wanting music as quick as possible, the band put out several songs ahead of the album release.
“It was definitely great for us to keep people engaged and keep the momentum going. I think you really have to be like that now,” said Miller.
“When you look at Spotify some people aren’t even releasing albums anymore, they do a song every couple of months so it’s a never ending cycle.”
“We wanted to still keep it traditional with a proper album but sort of move into the new ways of doing it a bit more. So I think we are going to try and keep the momentum up now and just keep everything a bit more speedy without taking too long to write an album. You can’t really stick around that long anymore.”
Now that the band have finished all of their tour dates for this year, Barnes spoke about what they will all be doing with their well deserved time off over the festive period.
“Me and Chew (Chris Miller) are going to Rye with some of our mates. Then I’m going to Sri-Lanka and Matt’s going to Thailand over New Year, so some nice little holidays away.”
“Then we come back and have three days and then we are back on tour. It’s not going to feel like we’ve had that much time off actually.”
“At the start of next year we’ve got the Europe tour and then we are out in America after that. Then it will be festival season in the UK so we’ve got loads of stuff going on. So basically just doing as much touring as we can,” explained Miller.
When asked about when fans can expect new music Barnes said, “I reckon early next year.”