5 Seconds of Summer, on the brink of global stardom
Patricia Esteves (The Philippine Star) - April 14, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - They’re touted as the next One Direction.

Meet 5 Seconds of Summer, Australia’s top boy band, widely tipped to be the next big thing.

But the members of the group — Calum Hood, Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford and Ashton Irwin — are quick to dismiss comparisons to One Direction and are wary of being called a boy band.

“We’re a pop-rock band. People are calling us the new One Direction in Australia, but in our minds we’re a lot different from them. We play guitars. We’re more rock (than pop). But we thought that if you put us right next to them, it would actually show people how different we are,” the band’s bassist/vocalist Calum (who was joined by guitarist/vocalist Michael in the interview) told The STAR during a phone chat recently.

The guys of 5 Seconds of Summer are admirers of One Direction but “we don’t want to be called the next One Direction,” Ashton said.

What makes them boy band material is probably their pretty-boy good looks. The similarities with famous boy bands somehow end there. For one, the group, which lists Boy Likes Girls and Blink 182 as musical influences, plays instruments during live performances. The biggest motivation for the members is to be able to spread their music to as much people as possible.

Pundits in the music industry are saying that 5 Seconds of Summer is poised for global stardom.

 Consider this: The 5 Seconds of Summer single She Looks So Perfect debuted at the No. 1 spot in the UK charts last week. The quartet is only the fourth Australian band ever to debut at No. 1 in Britain and the first to pull off the feat in 13 years.

The same single reached the top spot in Australia, toppling Pharell Williams from No. 1, which the US rapper occupied for 11 weeks with his hit Happy.

She Looks So Perfect has debuted at No. 2 on Billboard Top 200 this week. The group’s concert tour in Australia next month sold out in minutes. The current 10-city tour in San Francisco also sold out in five minutes. The band has its own army of fans.

“A year ago, we would never have expected any of this,” Calum said. “It’s crazy, we could never dream of this in a million years.”

In interviews, these boys, whose ages range from 17 to 20, have said that none of them thought or even expected they could come this far.

Two years ago, they were just performing at their school’s auditorium for schoolmates at Riverstone’s Northwest Christian College during a senior soiree.

Today, their schedule is crazy and hundreds of girls scream at their gigs.

The’ve just been on a whirlwind tour in Europe, US and Canada, as the opening act of One Direction. Both bands are managed by Modest Management.

During the interview, Calum and Michael revealed that they will have another world tour, opening once again for One Direction. Following the release of the She Looks So Perfect EP late last month, the band is set to release its yet untitled, full-studio album, recorded during the past 18 months in Los Angeles and London.

For that album, 5 Seconds of Summer collaborated with Good Charlotte’s Joel and Benji Madden and All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth, whom Michael calls as his musical idols.

“A lot of bands have to change what they sound like, but we are exactly the band that we want to be: A pop band, definitely, but we’ve got a rock and punk edge,” said Calum and Michael during the interview. “We’re not trying to be anything that we’re not. We’re not the new anything. We’re the first 5 Seconds of Summer.”

The band recounted to The STAR how the members got together. Michael said the three of them (he, Calum and Luke) were already friends in high school and performing for families and friends. Ashton was introduced to the band by a mutual friend.

“Our musicality brought us together. Ashton joined us as the band’s drummer and from there, we started posting covers of Justin Bieber and Blink 182’s songs on YouTube,” Michael explained.

The group became a sensation on YouTube and social media sites.

 But the bandmates’ biggest break came last year when they toured and opened for megastar boy band One Direction, playing stadiums around Britain, North America and Australia in front of hundreds of thousands of screaming fans.

“We’re very thankful to our fans all over the globe, none of these would have happened if not for them,” they said.

5 Seconds of Summer’s EP She Looks So Perfect was officially released in the Philippines last April 11, although upon release on iTunes last March 24, She Looks So Perfect debuted at No. 1 in almost all Asian countries like Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines.

When they learned that they have fans in the Philippines, Calum and Michael were delighted.

“We just want to tell them that we are very grateful for their support and we hope to visit Manila one day,” they said.

Here’s a few trivia about the members:

Calum is part-Kiwi and part-Scottish. He gave up his soccer career for music. The boys say Calum has the best body in the band. He is a self-confessed nerd.

Luke is the tallest member of the band. The first time he went overseas was when the boys traveled to London. His favorite song on the EP is Beside You.

Michael’s favorite band is All Time Low. His favorite series is Walking Dead. He had said that if the band wasn’t called 5 Seconds of Summer, then it would become Bromance.

Ashton tried out for the X Factor in November 2010. He had said that he would be willing to date a fan. He used to be in a band called Swallow the Goldfish. He loves Coldplay.

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