1975: Guitar music is still relevant

“Here’s something from the past – a guitar solo,” Matty Healy declares to the Radio 1 Big Weekend crowd as 1975 guitarist Adam Hann steps up to the plate.

It’s the first but by no means the last during their headline set in Middlesbrough which brought the festival to a close.

They were one of several guitar bands on the bill which also included Catfish and the Bottlemen, Foals and Vampire Weekend.

Despite his on-stage suggestion that the staple of a rock show was at risk in modern music, on reflection Matty claimed things aren’t quite as dire.

“I was trying to make Hann as nervous as possible,” he tells Newsbeat after coming off stage.

“I think I was joking, I hope I’m joking… because I think as long as guitar music is interesting, then it’s still relevant.”

Having been backed by BBC Music Introducing, The 1975 have risen through the ranks of not only Big Weekend, but festivals all over the world.

Matty says they’re conscious of making sure there’s plenty of people following in their path.

“We’re all music obsessives.

“There are really interesting guitar bands around like Black Midi and Pale Waves.”

The latter are signed to the same label as The 1975 and have toured with them several times.

Image caption

The 1975 headlined Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Middlesbrough on Sunday

They’re also about to record an EP to follow their 2018 debut album, which Matty will have a hand in overseeing.

“It’s so good to have such a creative mind on our side,” says Pale Waves singer Heather Baron-Gracie, who performed at the festival earlier in the day.

“When we were on tour he’d just walk into our dressing room and say: ‘Let’s try this on the new stuff’ or ‘that’s not really working’.

“They’re really inspiring to a band like us.

“Because they’ve been doing it for so long we really respect what he has to say.”

Matty says having that level influence on the careers of younger artists is something he takes very seriously.

“We’re working with so many new artists.

“We’re so lucky to be able to do shows like this and then try to bring people with us and create the same world for them.”

Watch The 1975 perform at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

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