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Fearless Again: You Me At Six Redefine Their Future By Looking To The Past On 'Truth Decay'

Monday, 06 February 2023 Written by Maddy Howell

There’s a lot to be said for a reset, just ask You Me At Six. When the five-piece hopped on a plane to Thailand in late 2019 to work on their seventh album  ‘SUCKAPUNCH’, frontman Josh Franceschi believed it could be their last. However, over the course of just a few weeks, a lot changed.

Individually burnt out on every level, as they found themselves locked in a blissful bubble of sunshine, peace, and clarity, each of them entered into a healing process with zero distractions.

Creating within a freeing environment, away from the turbulence of their ordinary lives, the five of them felt re-energised and that enthusiasm for the task at hand only built in January 2021 as the record rocketed to the very top of the UK album chart.

“As individuals, we needed ‘SUCKAPUNCH’, but it was unexpected,” Josh recalls. “We didn’t go into that campaign thinking we were going to have a number one. That wasn’t even on our radar. Looking at it, I don’t think we needed to be reminded that we had a lot to offer or that we were an important band, but there were some other people who needed reminding. We’re You Me At Six, and that’s not a joke. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’ve got an unbelievable fanbase who are the bloodline of this operation.”

‘SUCKAPUNCH’, which formulated a hybrid of sounds they loved, from dance, to RnB, to hip-hop, was released into a world at a pandemic-induced standstill. They celebrated their first number one in seven years on a Zoom call with friends. As the hangovers subsided, one major question clouded Josh’s mind.

“We did all those things, but who are You Me At Six? I know who the best pop band is, I know the best metal band is, and I know who the best rock band is. However, I didn’t know who You Me At Six were,” he admits.

“We needed to figure that out, so we listened to our back catalogue and landed on our favourite period of our career, which was the emo era. We were known for that, people fell in love with us for that, and I thought it’d be fun to see if we could do that again without it feeling contrived.”

Reminiscing on their past, a spark of joy lit between Josh and his bandmates as they began writing new material in a style that felt comfortably familiar. Testing the waters to ensure they weren’t heading towards a disingenuous nostalgia trip, it wasn’t long until the magic clicked, and they dove in headfirst.

“If the motives are genuine, then it will sound and feel it, and it felt like You Me At Six,” Josh says with a smile. “We’re not forcing anything, it’s just quintessential You Me At Six. It’s a little more refined, a little more sophisticated, and a little less sassy, but it’s still fuelled by those intricacies and those characters.”

A blissful marriage of the past and future, the resulting LP ‘Truth Decay’ is not just You Me At Six unveiling the band they want to be, but the band they were always destined to be. Rediscovering their love for the music that inspired them as young adults, 15 years on from their debut album, they are joining a thriving alternative scene before a whole new generation.

“There’s a generation of not just kids, but also adults who feel so misrepresented, misunderstood, and underappreciated,” Josh explains. “A lot of people my age are going back and listening to their old favourite bands as a crutch. It reminds me of a time that wasn’t tampered with, a time that was mine, and ours.

“It was something that drew me to the scene, and now emo is cool as fuck! You got punched at college for dressing alternative when I was younger, but now it’s seen as a celebration of how colourful our society is. I don’t think the alternative scene has had a moment as potent as this for a while.”

That moment comes at the tail end of one of the most polarising periods in human history, and after the division sparked in the last few years, You Me At Six are ready to push forward with honesty and integrity. Their most earnest record to date, ‘Truth Decay’ amplifies the need for self-worth, self-love, and acceptance in a world that so rarely values such traits, with Josh opening up more than ever before.

“It’s been challenging growing up with four other blokes, and I found it very difficult to be a man over the last few years. There’s been times where I’ve turned my back on being vulnerable in our music because I didn’t want anybody to see chinks in my armour,” he says.

“I’ve realised over the years that the real strength as a writer is when you can be completely open. I’m glad that we’re in a place where if my mate called me up tomorrow and told me how they were feeling, I wouldn’t just sit with them, down a pint, and move on. Now I understand the magnitude of those conversations, and I’m equipped to deal with it. As I’ve become more emotionally mature, that’s bled into my music.”

That growth is evident in each moment of ‘Truth Decay’, and having taken the time for self-reflection over the last few years, the group have never been more confident in who they are. Now, Josh and his bandmates know what life would be like without You Me At Six, and frankly, they’re not interested. Standing united with one goal in mind, it’s time to prove that no one does it better.

“It’s weird how you can make records completely paralysed by insecurities, but also with a sense of complete fearlessness, and we straddled both worlds for a long time. We’re revisiting that era of our band without being riddled with insecurities, and it was beautiful to make a record where it felt fearless again,” Josh finishes.

“Other bands do it really well, but no one from England does it better than us. They kept the seat warm, but we’re the best. I want people to be aware of what we’re good at, and recently we’ve been a bit too vague. It’s time to reclaim our position.”

You Me At Six's 'Truth Decay' is out on February 10 via Underdog Records/AWAL Recordings.

You Me At Six Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon February 06 2023 - MANCHESTER O2 Victoria Warehouse
Tue February 07 2023 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 City Hall
Thu February 09 2023 - NOTTINGHAM Motorpoint Arena
Fri February 10 2023 - CARDIFF Cardiff International Arena
Sat February 11 2023 - LONDON Alexandra Palace

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