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There's more than meets the eye to the 1975

Matt Healy, the self-described leader of the "autocracy" which is his band, the 1975, has the remnants of a ridiculous haircut (that stupid shaved up the sides/racoon on top thing). But it can't obscure the pretty. For he is a stupidly good looking chap as more than a few people have noticed in the past year or so as the Manchester quartet have found a pathway  between One Direction sex-o-thrills, and leather-jacketed rock group swagger.

But nor can it obscure the clever, for he is both ferociously smart and annoyingly thoughtful, as more than a few journalists have noticed in the past year or so just when they were preparing to write another mocking "new boy band on the block" story as the 1975 went to No.1 in Britain with their mix of pop, groove and rock.

Articulate and amusing, Healy has already done some of the thinking on the question of just why the band connect in such a way that when they return to Australia in early 2015 it will be the third tour here in less than a year.  The year began with small clubs, hit Splendour in the Grass in July (where they showed Sky Ferriera, on at the same time, how to  put on a proper energised show) and will end with them filling 5000-seaters such as the Hordern Pavilion.

"Being genuinely quite a modest person – that doesn't really translate in the way I act on stage or the way my band sounds, but we are four pretty humble guys from a bedroom in Manchester – when you are objectified in such a way as we are, and there's no denying that there's a massive sexual undertone to our band, there's this whole desire for me to be a bit of a sex symbol, it's really interesting," Healy says.

"It makes me think what is it about our band? I think there is a massive desirability behind our band, to be within the proximity of us. I think that we've adorned ourselves in leather jackets almost has this feeling of the Lost Boys, especially for 16 to 17-year-old kids looking for an identity. I think there are a lot of clean lines with our band that makes sense with a lot of people."

That's a bit more than the usual "it's all about the music man" stuff you get from the shy types or the more execrable "we're the best band in the world mate" you get from the arrogant ones isn't it? Healy adds that "we are doing things differently with pop music but from a very familiar perspective" but he accepts that we may not all sympathise with him being objectified as a sex symbol.


Still, there's nothing like exposing yourself emotionally, as he does on the self-titled debut, for making you attractive to people.

"In that album I discussed elements of my personality with quite a profound distaste and talk about things I'm not really sure about," Healy says. "But because I'm being so honest and wearing my heart on my sleeve, people find that really endearing and can relate to that as they lose themselves in honesty a bit. They want to be that honest."

It's silly to pretend that if you are a good looking guy in a band talking about your feelings or talking about sex, that you're not going to be seen as a sex symbol to some people.

"Totally. I don't mind being criticised but I do resent some criticism of people saying 'oh he thinks he's amazing, he thinks he's a sex symbol'," says Healy. "What do you want me to do? I'm in this band now, so if I totally f---ed it off I'd get slagged off for that. If I tried to make my band the biggest band in the world, I'm going to get slagged off for that.

"I think the way I embrace it I have got to think like-minded people will understand, will look at me and say 'he's 25 years old, his band has not done anything for 10 years and now all that happens is when I book a show, it fills up with loads of screaming women'."

And, being Matt Healy, he's already thought about your next question.

"To say that you wouldn't embrace that in my situation is simply a lie. I am enjoying it, but like you say, there's a lot of self-analysis that goes on."

The 1975

Gig Saturday, January 17, 8pm, Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park

Tickets $62.50 plus booking fee, ticketek.com.au

Live Full-body pop show with guitars

Best track Chocolate from the album The 1975 (2013)

Hordern Pavilion, January 17

Festival Hall, Melbourne, January 15

The Tivoli, Brisbane, January 18.