By Matt Pais
RedEye music editor
12:00 AM CDT, April 7, 2014
Old news: The popularity of One Direction. Actual news: The exploding success of 5 Seconds of Summer, the quartet of Australian teenagers who will open for 1D during two late-August shows at Soldier Field and sold out their entire North American headlining tour, including a stop April 17 at Riviera, in a measly five minutes. If that doesn’t impress you: They’ve already been No. 1 on the iTunes album chart in 42 different countries. Also of note: The members of 5SOS actually play instruments and write their own songs.
By phone in late March before the group’s EP, “She Looks So Perfect,” arrived April 1 on Capitol Records, singer Luke Hemmings, 17, and bassist Calum Hood, 18, got goofy.
What they know about Soldier Field’s usual occupants, the Chicago Bears:
Calum Hood: I’m going to have to go for I don’t know anything.
Luke Hemmings: I don’t know anything about the Chicago Bears, but I know a few things about bears. I know they eat fish out of rivers sometimes. They like salmon. They’re cuddly-looking, but they’re very vicious. I don’t know anything about the Chicago Bears, but I imagine that the team is made up of bears.
With fans throwing plastic boobs and Rubik’s Cubes on stage, what they wish people would throw:
CH: Katy Perry would be nice. If someone could throw Katy Perry at me.
LH: I think on stage I would like a cheeseburger to be thrown at me.
CH: Yeah, but you’d feel bloated after.
LH: If it fell on stage and it was toward the end of the show, I’d save it and I’d eat it after the show.
CH: It would be cold.
Who is going to throw Katy Perry:
CH: I’m hoping that her mother is a big fan.
If they’ve ever felt stereotyped because of their age, or that they weren’t being taken seriously:
LH: Yeah, I think that’s going to come with the age we are. Obviously we’re probably too young to be doing this I guess. I think we’re only going to be called a boy band or not really a serious artist [for now]—I think after our CD comes out and our EP comes out people will hear what we do and that we write our own songs and we play our own instruments. I think people will [get it].
If it’s still a boy band if you play your own instruments:
CH: I guess we share some traits with different boy bands. But we are boys in a band. So it’s understandable.
LH: People’s perception of a boy band is so different these days. We don’t get angry about it.
Of the more than 100 songs they wrote for their forthcoming album, five titles for songs they won’t be using:
1. “You Are Not Alone”
2. “Like the First Time”
3. “Get Away”
4. “10,000 Miles”
5. “Sweet Disaster”
How Hemmings would spend his time if he had only five seconds of each season:
Summer: “I’d be at the beach”
Winter: “I’d be snowboarding”
Spring: “I’d be frolicking through the flowers”
Fall: “I’d be frolicking through the leaves”
Five weird things they say they do (since Hemmings’ Twitter bio says the band does “weird [bleep] sometimes”
1. Get naked a lot. (LH: “When we first got our tour bus in America, I remember in the first half an hour of meeting the tour bus driver he saw me naked. I thought that was kind of weird. I was running up and down the tour bus without any clothes on, and he manages to see me. It was funny.”)
2. Brush their teeth before each show.
3. Their accents.
4. Dance around and pretend to be different bands.
5. Wear tight pants.
Something no one knows about One Direction:
LH: I think people think they’re maybe not hard workers, but they’re some of the most hard-working people that I know. They’ve done so much to get where they are now. I think they’re very deserving of what they have.
Why Hemmings said he plans to be close friends with Justin Bieber one day:
LH: [Laughs] It’s part of the master plan. I think he’s such a great guy, and I’m a really big fan of what he’s done. He’s under a lot of pressure all the time, and I think I’d get along with him. I think I’m a nice enough guy to get along with him.
CH: I think the media makes him out to be a worse person than he is. I think he’s a cool guy.
LH: “Good Guy Justin” is what we call him.
Why Bieber’s scrutiny and problems don’t make them nervous about their next few years:
LH: I think for a band like us, we’re all really close friends. We grew up and went to school together. We’re not by ourselves. If there’s a problem we can talk to anyone in the band. There’s other people around us. Everyone in the band are on the same level. We know and help each other.
CH: We’re all in the same boat.
If there was a documentary made about 5SOS, what it would be called:
“Five Seconds of Summer: Why Aren’t They Wearing Pants?”
5 Seconds of Summer
7:30 p.m. April 17 at Riviera Theatre. Sold out.
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