Years & Years

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We interview rapidly rising synth pop trio Years & Years.
They've spent their Autumn touring with the likes of Clean Bandit and Sam Smith. Now Emily Pratten has the chance to chat with Years & Years, the electro-pop trio who are quickly sky-rocketing to fame.

How has the tour with Clean Bandit been going and what has been the best venue so far?
All: They’re really great guys. Bristol was a really good night.
Emre: Manchester was great actually.
Olly: Glasgow was good. Most of them have been good to be honest.

When can we next expect a headline tour from you guys?
Olly: Next year! Probably at the end of February or March time.

Have you had good support from your own fans at the shows?
Olly: There’s always a little pocket of fans who know our stuff, but usually by the end of the show the crowd is on your side which is a good feeling.

What is your favourite song to do live?
All: Take Shelter.
Olly: Yeah, I like Take Shelter too actually. Also because it’s probably the easiest to sing.

What are your favourite bands that you’re all listening to at the moment?
Olly: I’ve been listening to a lot of Shura at the moment.

So who would you say are your favourite bands ever?
Emre: Off the top of my head – I mean, I haven’t listened to them in a long time – but when I was a kid, I loved The Beatles. And I love Radiohead, probably more than any other band. Smashing Pumpkins, Marvin Gaye… there’s too many.
Mike: Yeah, I’m quite similar. Radiohead are a big one for me.

I’m trying to imagine a Thom Yorke / Years & Years collaboration and it’s quite special. If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be?
Olly: Oh that would be good. Prince would be good.
Emre: Apparently Michael Jackson is living in Canada. So technically, he would be a good collaborator. I don’t believe it though.

What would be your weapon of choice if you were serial killers?
Olly: A crossbow.
Emre: You’re so sneaky, you don’t want to get your hands dirty.
Olly: I answered that really quickly. I’ve obviously thought about it.
Emre: I’ve never thought about it, which is probably the healthy way to be.
Olly: Just imagine if you were in Battle Royale or the Hunger Games, what would your weapon be?
Emre: I’d probably just be like Dexter, knock you out and cling film you. Very clean.
Michael: I just watched this thing on Samurais, so probably a Samurai sword. I totally wish I was a Samurai.

And continuing on this slightly darker theme, what would your last meal be if you were on death row?
Olly: (To Michael) You’ll probably have a really good one for this.
Michael: Peking duck. Plum sauce.
Emre: Turkish meatballs.
Olly: Probably mac and cheese.

So it’s crossbows and mac and cheese. Fans will read this and ask if there’s a PO box they can send gifts to and Royal Mail are going to have to release a statement saying stop sending us these things. If anyone could walk through that door (alive or dead) and join us for a beer and a chat, who would it be?
Olly: I’d like to hang out with Jeff Buckley.
Emre: Marlon Brando. But a young Marlon Brando.

How young? A Streetcar Named Desire?
Emre: Yeah, yeah. Not old Brando, he didn’t do well.
Michael: Mine would probably be Bruce Willis.

Your videos are very good and fairly arty. How do you come up with the concepts for them?
Olly: Well it kind of comes from all of us. We all like making interesting and weird videos and if you get the chance to make a music video there’s so much you can do in three minutes, it’s exciting.

What’s your favourite one that you’ve done?
Michael: I like Real.

Any plans for an album?
Olly: It’s well under way.

Is King going to be on it? Because that’s one of my favourites.
Michael: Yeah, King is definitely going to be on it.
Olly: I’d say the album is actually half done. It’s getting there.

Do you have any ideas for album names yet? What about ‘Crossbows & Mac And Cheese’?
Emre: Haha, yeah. We’ve actually been going through names, but we’re still not there yet.

If you could cover any song, what would you want to cover?
Michael: We’d all probably pick something different.
Olly: Yeah, we’d all probably argue over it. I thought today that a good cover would be Sexual Healing.
Emre: Well no, because you can’t really better that.
Olly: No, but it’s not about bettering it though.
Emre: It also has the immortal line “I’m hot just like an oven for some loving”. But it’s one of my all time favourite albums. If you’ve gone for Marvin, I’ll have to go for something else. I really want to cover a Smiths song.
Olly: Which one?
Emre: The Headmaster Ritual. Or maybe There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, but you really couldn’t better that either.

You’re going to be on Jools Holland at the end of this month, how are you feeling about it?
All: Excited and terrified.
Olly: I’m really scared – I can’t think about it too much. We get two songs but you do the pre-recorded show for the Friday night and on Tuesday night it’s just live, so it’s one song live on Tuesday and then two on the Friday show.

Radio 1 have had Desire as their Track of the Day. How are you feeling about all the new fans and attention etc.?
Emre: Actually, people sometimes grab my phone and make me follow them on Twitter which I’m not that into, but I don’t actually check Twitter that much.
Olly: It really is quite surreal.

And lastly, what are your favourite films?
Olly: Spirited Away.
Michael: The Big Lebowski.
Emre: Pulp Fiction.