Interview: Surrey pop-punkers discuss feuds, future and Final Night Of Sin
Grace Carroll

11:06 5th December 2012

You Me At Six made a name for themselves in 2008 with the release of their debut album, and they haven't slowed down since. The Surrey based pop-punkers have an upcoming sold-out, Final Night Of Sin show at Wembley Arena - which is being filmed for a live DVD - as well as a live album recorded at Abbey Road studios, so there's no doubt that the boys have been keeping busy.

We caught up with bassist Matt Barnes to take some time out of the band's busy schedule in order to chat to us about pre-show rituals, showering at festivals and how to deal with criticism from other bands...

Hi, Matt. You've got Final Night of Sin coming up, which will see you play Wembley Arena. How does it feel playing such a huge venue?
Pretty amazing, really. It's such an iconic venue that we've all looked up to and seen massive bands at during our lives, so it's just going to be an absolute huge deal for us to play there, really. All our friends and family can watch us at the same time because it's in our local hometown - it's just something that is absolutely amazing.

Could it be the start of a move to playing arenas on tour?
Maybe, we don't know yet. Hopefully it's a start to playing arenas, because all arena bands are absolutely amazing and massive. Linkin Park, for instance, are an absolutely incredibly band and they play arenas. They're a band we especially look up to, so - yeah, we'd love to after this show actually be an arena band, but you can't just expect that to happen. It would be lovely, but if it doesn't happen then I'm not going to kill myself.

That's good to know. Do you feel a lot more pressure for an arena show?
Definitely. The thing about arena shows is you actually have to put on a massive show, you can't just sort of rock up with your little back drops, and just get on with it. You've really got to work it. That's why we've basically ended up spending all of the money we made from the show on the show. There's literally not a penny that's actually going to, well... us. If you know what I mean. We've got loads of special stuff planned for it. It's all a secret. I can tell you that it is going to be amazing.

Do you have any rituals before you go on stage?
We all just sort of get together and say a bit about, like - when we were on tour in the States we'd say a bit about what we did today and that it's cool. It's not a religious thing, but it's a definitely a thing that we say to each other - just being like, 'don't take this for granted, we're lucky to have what we have, blah blah blah.' We just think about that, really. It's nice - it keeps Chewy [Chris Miller] grounded. He's the diva of the band.

So no crazy rider requests?
Not really. We just keep it plain and simple, you know - just loads of booze, loads of drugs, loads of hookers. Just the usual rock 'n' roll.

Apart from the hookers and drugs, what's the most rock 'n' roll thing you've done?
We don't really do much rock 'n' roll things, that's the thing. We don't sort of go to hotels or mess up the dressing rooms or do stuff. We're pretty tame, we're nice boys.

Blood Red Shoes were less than complimentary about You Me At Six in an interview earlier this year. How do you deal with criticism from other bands?
Well, if the band is better and bigger than mine, I will sit back and say, 'Yeah, you're right, your band's bigger and better.' But when your band is playing second from the bottom and we're playing fourth from the top on the main stage at Reading festival, I don't think you can say anything.

You might get their fans attacking you on Twitter now...
Oh, I don't give a shit. When they headline Wembley, I'll apologise.

Have you had any run-ins with any other bands?
We never start anything. Like, we're one of these - we wanna be mates with everyone. If other bands want to be dicks, that's their opinion. Like I said earlier, we're lovely boys.

You've played a lot of festivals. What have been your best and worst festival experiences?
I'd say best was probably this year's Reading festival, actually! We played on the main stage - fourth from the top on the same day as Paramore and The Cure - and that was definitely the best festival experience. We couldn't quite believe how many people turned up - the same amount of people who turned up for us, turned up for Paramore. It was absolutely crazy - like, what the hell, that that could ever happen.

But the worst experience, I can't really think. I'd say, looking back at it, waking up on any morning at any festival. Like back in the day, when we were like sixteen, seventeen, waking up in the morning and just being like, 'I want a shower.' Me and Dan actually went to Reading festival four years ago. We camped out and when we woke up in the morning, Dan was like, 'Shall we go home?' I was like, 'yeah.'

We went all the way home, had a shower, got changed and then drove back again in the evening - we simply needed a shower. That was pretty funny. It wasn't that far for us - just like 45 minutes down the road. The most pain in the arse thing was like parking the car again and getting back there.But yeah, I love showering. It's the only thing I hate about festivals, I can't handle waking up and feeling clammy.

Do you have any plans yet for the follow-up to Sinners Never Sleep?
Not really. We're going to play Wembley and see what happens, maybe chill and put some ideas down together but there's nothing mega in the pipeline. We just want to live like normal people for a while. Since we were sixteen we've been on the road non-stop, so we don't really know what it's like to go home and have a house and see your friends on a regular basis.

Your first album was quite pop punk. Was it difficult to break away from that?
It's just growing up. I do think we were pigeon holed a little bit but at the end of the day, it was what we wanted to write. At the time, our favourite bands were Blink, New Found Glory, all that sort of Drive-Thru scene, so that's exactly why we wrote like that. Nowadays we can't really stand listening to that pop punk over and over again, because it's old. Now our favourite bands are more like the Foo Fighters and I love, like, reggae and shit so it's just sort of growing with the times. We never meant to write a pop punk album like we never meant to write a more serious album, it just sort of came like that.

If the band went on a reality show - like Coach Trip or Come Dine With Me - which show would it be and who would win?
We've always talked about doing a Come Dine With Me special, because me and Dan love cooking. I always think I can win, he always thinks he can win, we know that Josh, Max and Chris can't win but it would be absolutely hilarious watching [Josh] Franceschi trying to cook a meal. So - I think Come Dine With Me: You Me At Six special. I think it should happen. We'll pitch it to them, and see what they say.

Do you have any News Years Resolutions?
I haven't really thought about that, to be honest. I should probably start going to the gym a bit more because I've had a membership now for like a year. I did start off going once every couple of days but now I go once every other week, if that. So maybe hit the gym some more, get the guns built up again.

And what do You Me At Six have planned for 2013? Except for Come Dine With Me.
Nothing, really. We want to sort of go on a few more tours and just see what happens, but there's no plans set in motion. We don't know what's going to happen.

Thanks for chatting to us, Matt. Pre-order You Me At Six's live album here.

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