Matt Healy says struggle to get signed 'really hurt'
Michael Baggs

11:32 6th December 2013

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Matt Healy of The 1975 has discussed the band's early years, after the band's manager Jamie Oborne recently stated that the Manchester band had been rejected by every major label before they hit the big time.

The 1975 are one of the big success stories of 2013, but struggled for nearly seven years to get the attention of the mainstream, and frontman Matt Healy has revealed how the attitude of major labels hurt the rising stars.

"The reason it got hard was because we SO knew who we were and what we wanted to do," Healy told Gigwise. "Every major label came and heard our songs, and they all said 'you don't know what you want to be', 'you don't know what kind of band you want to be' and we would say 'no, it's a generational thing, people will like that about us, it represents the mindset of our age-group'.

"So every fucking major label said no to us. I eventually realised, the reason we got so upset, is you can judge and you can make fun of things that people do, but when you start judging what people ARE, that really realy hurts. This band is who I am. It's not just something I'm doing. It's not some frivolous activity. It is the definition of my personality.

"So when you've got grown-ups, loads of grown-ups with loads of money when you've got no money, and every single one of them comes to your house telling you're not good enough and you don't actually know what you're doing, it really hurts. But on the other side, it made us think 'fuck it, lets do it ourselves, they don't know what they are talking about'. They didn't, and we've been really successful this year, and that's because we stuck to our guns. The one major label who didn't turn us down, and didn't even talk to us in the early days was Polydor - so we went with them."

Below: watch 'The City' by The 1975

He adds, however, that despite taking such criticism from record label execs as they struggled to get signed, he has no anger towards people that turned them down, despite thinking 85% of people in the music industry are 'mongs'.

"We don't resent anything," he adds. "It's not their fault that they're short-sighted. They've got bosses and stuff like that. I don't resent the music industry and I'm not one of these people who thinks everyone in the music industry is a mong, I think 85% of people in the music industry are mongs. There are diamonds in the rough."

He also reveals the irony of seeing the band's album artwork in the lobby of Universal records London headquarters - home to many labels that had rejected the band.

"It was a bit of a statement when our album came out and went to No.1, the neon box from the artwork was in the office window at Universal, and when you looked through it, you could see behind it, every single label that turned us down. But no, I don't have any time to resent it.

"It's not their fault. They didn't mean to fuck it up, did they. They just got it wrong. Everyone gets it wrong. I got it wrong for seven years."

Below: The 1975 perform triumphant show at The O2, Glasgow

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Photo: Peter Kaminski/