Q&A: The 1975
[Laughs] Not at all, but I love that! I always have to word it very carefully so it’s like, “Yeah, our singles are ‘Chocolate,’ ‘The City’ and ‘Sex.’” I love the “Sex” and “The City” thing. We used to put the “and” on our set list; we’ve embraced it. “Chocolate,” “Girls,” “Sex” and “The City.” Fucking hell. It’s like, “C’mon girls, what more do you want?” I couldn’t be more subliminally flirting.
It sounds like you never connected with New Order or Joy Division or any of those other bands so commonly associated with Manchester.
I think it’s partially due to the fact that as a band we never found our geographical location a very inspiring thing. I wasn’t brought up in Manchester. I was born in London and brought up in the north of England in Newcastle and moved to Manchester when I was about 11. That tribalist adherence to the Manchester music scene didn’t really impact on me or the rest of the band. We were the one Manchester band who wasn’t wearing that Manchester badge of honor. There are certain records I love, and I actually lived next door to [Joy Division/New Order bassist] Peter Hook, but they weren't really an inspiration for our band. Manchester has enough heroes. They don’t need another gobshite frontman.
Did Peter Hook live directly next door? Like, would you see him out doing yard work?
His daughter used to have a big crush on me. I heard a story once that he would pick her up from school and she would make him wait until I skateboarded past on my way home. I thought that was pretty funny.
The album has a strong ’80s influence. Are you drawn to any other aspect of the decade? The fashion? The film?
I suppose so, but not necessarily in a nostalgic way. I think all of the John Hughes [and] Cameron Crowe movies are huge for me. They have this antiquated, romanticized view of youth. I was born towards the end of the ’80s, so that culturally spilled over into my childhood. I wanted to make a record that represented some of the great ’80s records like “So” by Peter Gabriel or “Graceland” by Paul Simon. All of my favorite artists were at their peak in the ’80s: Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Phil Collins.
You mentioned John Hughes, and obviously he’s one of those Chicago icons. Do you have a favorite of his films?
Oh, all of them for different reasons. The girl I’m currently dating looks exactly like Kelly LeBrock in “Weird Science,” and I’ve told her that’s pretty much the reason we’re still together. So, yeah, I base my life around his movies.
The 1975, 8:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at Lincoln Hall. Sold out.