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5 Seconds of Summer
5 Seconds of Summer at B96 Pepsi SummerBash 2019. From left to right: Calum Hood, Michael Clifford, Luke Hemmings, Ashton Irwin.
|Also known as||5SOS|
|Origin||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
5 Seconds of Summer, often shortened to 5SOS, are an Australian pop rock band from Sydney, New South Wales, formed in 2011. The group consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Luke Hemmings, lead guitarist Michael Clifford, bassist Calum Hood, and drummer Ashton Irwin. They were originally YouTube celebrities, posting videos of themselves covering songs from various artists during 2011 and early 2012. They rose to international fame while touring with English-Irish boy band One Direction on their Take Me Home Tour. They have since released four studio albums and headlined three world tours.
In early 2014, the band released "She Looks So Perfect" as their debut single, which topped the charts in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Their self-titled debut album was released in June 2014, peaking at number one in 11 countries, and was followed by a live album titled LIVESOS. They went on their first headlining tour Rock Out with Your Socks Out Tour to support the album.
The band released their second album Sounds Good Feels Good in October 2015, topping the charts in 8 countries, and was followed by a live documentary DVD called How Did We End Up Here. They went on the Sounds Live Feels Live World Tour to support the album. In December 2016, the band announced the release of their B-sides and rarities under the title This Is Everything We Ever Said to celebrate their band's fifth anniversary.
The band released their third album Youngblood on 15 June 2018. It became their third number one album in their home country. In the US, 5 Seconds of Summer became the first Australian act to achieve three chart-toppers on the Billboard 200 album chart. They also became the first band (not vocal group) to have their first three full-length albums debut at the top in the US. They went on the Meet You There Tour to support the album.
2011–2012: Origin and debut
5 Seconds of Summer began in 2011 when Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, and Calum Hood, who all attended Norwest Christian College, started posting videos of themselves performing covers of popular songs together on Hemmings' YouTube channel. Hemmings' first video, a cover of Mike Posner's "Please Don't Go", was posted on 3 February 2011. Their cover of Chris Brown's "Next to You" received over 600,000 hits. In December 2011, they were joined by drummer Ashton Irwin, and the four-man lineup was completed.
The band attracted interest from major music labels and publishers and signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Despite having no promotion apart from on Facebook and Twitter, their first music release, an EP entitled Unplugged, reached number 3 on the iTunes chart in Australia and the Top 20 in both New Zealand and Sweden.
Their international following significantly increased when One Direction member Louis Tomlinson posted the link to the YouTube video of their song "Gotta Get Out", stating that he had been a fan of 5 Seconds of Summer "for a while".
5 Seconds of Summer spent the second half of 2012 writing and developing their sound with Christian Lo Russo and Joel Chapman of Australian band Amy Meredith, with whom they wrote two songs ("Beside You" and "Unpredictable") that were featured on their second EP Somewhere New. The EP was also co-produced by Chapman.
5 Seconds of Summer released their first single "Out of My Limit" on 19 November 2012, whose video clip received over 100,000 views within the first 24 hours. The band were once again the subject of interest for One Direction when Niall Horan posted a tweet of the link to 5SOS’ first single "Out of My Limit".
In December 2012, the band embarked on a songwriting trip to London where they wrote with various artists including McFly, Roy Stride of Scouting for Girls, Nick Hodgson of Kaiser Chiefs, Jamie Scott, Jake Gosling, Steve Robson and James Bourne of Busted.
2013–2014: 5 Seconds of Summer and LIVESOS
On 14 February 2013, it was announced that 5 Seconds of Summer would support One Direction on their worldwide Take Me Home Tour. The tour kicked off at the O2 Arena in London on 23 February 2013, and 5 Seconds of Summer joined One Direction for shows in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand, including seven shows at Allphones Arena in 5 Seconds of Summer's home town of Sydney.
While on a break from the Take Me Home Tour, 5 Seconds of Summer returned home to Australia where they played a national headlining tour, with all dates selling out within minutes. It was around this time when the band began to gain popularity and become more well-known.
On 21 November 2013, the band announced that they had signed to Capitol Records. On 5 February 2014, 5 Seconds of Summer listed their debut major label single "She Looks So Perfect" for pre-order on the iTunes Store.
In late March 2014, their single "She Looks So Perfect" was released in UK. Despite spending only one day on top in the British iTunes store and ending its week in the lower end of the top 10, 5 Seconds of Summer became the fourth Australian band to have a UK number-one single, and the first to do so in 14 years. On 9 April, their third EP She Looks So Perfect debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 Chart.
On 9 May, they released their second single, "Don't Stop". It debuted at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart, 3,000 units behind Ella Henderson's "Ghost". It peaked at number one in 4 countries and was in the top 10 of 8 countries overall. Billboard said that, "In the vein of Green Day's "She" and Blink-182's "All The Small Things," "Don't Stop" is 5SOS' bid for a deceptively charming pop-punk anthem, with lyrics that are stickily sweet in their awkward flirtatiousness. The bridge could be more polished, but that hook is a highlight of the whole album." On 15 June, the band released their fourth EP Don't Stop which was not available to purchase in the US, Canada and Mexico.
On 13 May, the band announced that their debut self-titled album would be released on 27 June 2014 in Europe and Australia, with other releases coming later. The album won a Kerrang! award; Luke Hemmings said it was a real honour to win one, as all the band's idols are in Kerrang!. The album debuted on the top of the Billboard 200 Chart, peaked at number one in 13 countries, and peaked in the Top 10 of 26 countries.
On 15 July, the band released their third single, "Amnesia", which was the only song not written by the band members themselves, but by Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte, an American pop punk band. Billboard said of the track that, "With a surprisingly affecting vocal performance and the most searing lyrics on the album, new single "Amnesia" establishes itself as 5 Seconds of Summer's successful Serious Pose. Taking older listeners back to the relative heartache of dissolving high school romance, "Amnesia" demonstrates the versatility of 5SOS, and one wonders why it's buried at the end of the group's debut album." On 5 September, they released their fifth EP Amnesia which was not available in US and Mexico.
On 12 October, the band released their fourth single, "Good Girls", and the music video logged over two million views within 48 hours, making it their highest debut to date. On 16 November, they released their sixth EP Good Girls which topped the UK iTunes Chart.
The band released a cover song "What I Like About You" by American rock band The Romantics as the first single from their live album LIVESOS. The band released their first live album, LIVESOS, on 15 December 2014.
2015–2016: Sounds Good Feels Good
On 17 July 2015, the band released "She's Kinda Hot" as the first single from their second studio album. On 12 August, they announced that their second studio album was titled Sounds Good Feels Good. On 28 August, they released their seventh EP, She's Kinda Hot, in the UK and Ireland only. On 9 October, they released "Hey Everybody!" as the second single and announced their Sounds Live Feels Live World Tour.
Sounds Good Feels Good was released worldwide on 23 October 2015. It became the band's second number one in their home country and the first in the United Kingdom. In the United States, 5 Seconds of Summer became the first band (not vocal) to have their first two full-length albums debut at the top of the charts. The band released their third single "Jet Black Heart" on 17 December 2015, together with a music video which featured some of their fans.
In 2016, the band embarked on their Sounds Live Feels Live World Tour which included sold out stadiums and arenas. They toured across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
On 3 June, the band announced their single "Girls Talk Boys". The song was included on the Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) and was released on 15 July. On 2 December, the band announced the release of their B-sides and rarities, titled This Is Everything We Ever Said, to celebrate their fifth anniversary as a band.
On 13 January 2017, the band was featured on the song "Take What You Want" by the Japanese rock band One Ok Rock from their eighth studio album Ambitions. On 11 May, the band announced the dates for their summer tour where they played at several music festivals in Asia, Europe, and South America from August to September 2017. The last music festival they played that year was Brazil's Rock in Rio.
The band spent the rest of the year creating their third studio album with Alexandra Tamposi, Andrew Wotman, Rivers Cuomo, Andrew Goldstein, and various others. Irwin states that, outside of working on the album, they spent their time "redefining who [they] are as adult men" after touring for so long.
On 22 February 2018, the band released the single "Want You Back" and announced a 2018 promotional tour entitled 5SOS III. The band went on tour and performed at intimate venues across Europe, US, Singapore, Australia, Mexico, and Brazil from March to June 2018. Besides the tour, the group performed at music festivals, had acoustic sessions at radio stations, and made TV show appearances to promote the upcoming album.
On 9 April 2018, the band announced that their third studio album, Youngblood, will be released on 22 June 2018. The band announced the dates for their fourth headlining tour titled the Meet You There Tour which started on 2 August 2018 and took place at various arenas across Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United States, and Europe, concluding on 19 November 2018.
On 22 May, the title track was officially released as the second single from the album. It peaked at number one in Australia in May 2018 and stayed on top of the ARIA Chart for eight consecutive weeks. It also stayed at number one on Official New Zealand Music Chart for four consecutive weeks, hit UK Official Charts’s Top 5, hit Canada's Top 5, and hit US Billboard Hot 100’s top 10. In the radio format, it became the band's first single to top US's Pop Songs chart and Adult Pop Songs chart, and Canada's Contemporary Hit Radio chart. It was certified 5x platinum in Australia, 2x platinum in New Zealand, platinum in the US, the UK, and Canada, and gold in Brazil, Belgium, and Italy.
On 1 June 2018, the band announced that the release date of the album was moved forward to 15 June 2018. Youngblood debuted at number one in Australia and the US Billboard 200, becoming their third consecutive number one album in both countries. It debuted in the top 3 in the UK and seven other countries. Overall, the album reached the top 10 of 20 countries.
They performed their lead single "Want You Back" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on 11 April and on The Voice (U.S. season 14) on 8 May. On 25 May, the group performed for selected fans for a Spotify Fans First Event at Sydney, Australia. The band performed their second single "Youngblood" on The Voice Australia and on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge on 12 June.
In June, Apple Music released a documentary titled "On the Record: 5 Seconds of Summer – Youngblood", showing interviews about the making of the album. The band also had a one-night show in New York, which was held during the day of their third album's release, to celebrate the release of the documentary. On 22 June, the band performed on The Today Show’s Summer Concert Series. On 25 June, Tumblr organized an intimate show in New York City, as part of its Tumblr IRL event series, where the band performed for their fans while they celebrated their album debuting at number one in the US.
In August, the band released a Spotify-exclusive version of their track "Lie to Me", along with a cover of Post Malone’s song "Stay". In October, the band was featured in an episode of Billboard's Pop Shop podcast, talking about the making of their single "Youngblood", the single becoming a hit on the US pop songs radio chart, and their upcoming third single "Valentine". In December, they performed at the 2018 ARIA Awards in Australia, where they won three awards.
In December, the band were listed on several Billboard 2018 year-end charts. They were on the Top 10 of the Top Artists - Duo/Group chart, and they were also on the Top Artists, Hot 100 Artists, and Top Billboard 200 Artists charts. Their album, Youngblood, was on the Top 100 of the Billboard 200 Albums and Top Canadian Albums charts. Their single, "Youngblood", was on the Top 20 of the Billboard Pop Songs chart, on the Top 40 of the Hot 100 Songs, Radio Songs, Adult Pop Songs, Dance/Mix Show Airplay Songs, Digital Song Sales, and Canadian Hot 100 charts, and on the Top 100 of the Streaming Songs and On-demand Songs charts. "Youngblood" was the top selling single in 2018 in Australia.
On 21 December 2018, the band released a new rendition of their "Lie to Me" track which features American singer-songwriter Julia Michaels. The music video which was shot at a former race track was released on 18 January. An acoustic version of the single was then released on 1 February 2019, along with the accompanying music video.
On 5 February 2019, the band shared teasers for their upcoming single "Who Do You Love", a collaboration with American DJ duo The Chainsmokers. The single was released on 7 February, along with the lyric video on YouTube. In March, the band performed the single, along with The Chainsmokers, on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and the official music video was released on 25 March 2019. The band were also on tour with them on their North American World War Joy tour alongside Lennon Stella during the last quarter of 2019.
On 23 May 2019, they released the song "Easier" as the lead single from their upcoming fourth studio album. Its follow-up single, "Teeth", from Season 3 of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, was released on 21 August 2019. On 5 February 2020, they announced their fourth studio album Calm, which was released on 27 March 2020, and released "No Shame", the third single off the album, at the same time.
On 16 February 2020 the band performed at Fire Fight Australia, a televised concert at ANZ Stadium in Sydney raising money for bushfire relief. Their performance, which included the very first live performance of "No Shame", was widely praised, with Billboard writing "They were raised playing stadiums and as such were, perhaps surprisingly, the perfect warm-up act for Queen -- though such a term diminishes the impact they had in fifteen short minutes."
They released the song "Old Me" as a promotional single on 21 February 2020, before releasing it to radio as the album's fourth single on 6 March.
- Luke Hemmings – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (2011–present)
- Michael Clifford – lead guitar, vocals (2011–present)
- Calum Hood – bass, vocals, synthesizers (2011–present)
- Ashton Irwin – drums, vocals, percussion (2011–present)
Musical style, influences and band status
5 Seconds of Summer's musical style has been described as pop rock, pop punk, power pop, and pop. Rolling Stone magazine called them "emo-gone-pop". Matt Collar of AllMusic found a reminiscent of "'90s punk-pop" and "2000s boy band pop" in their sound. John Feldmann of Goldfinger stated that, "this is the best pop-punk band I've ever heard".
The group has been called a boy band in the media, partly due to having a fanbase of mainly young women. Members of the group said that they are not a boy band, with Irwin comparing the band's fanbase to Fall Out Boy which also has a sizable female fanbase. John Feldmann, frontman of Goldfinger and producer on 5 Seconds of Summer, attributes 5 Seconds of Summer's fanbase to "a fundamental change in the pop punk demo[graphic]", mentioning its gradual shift away from the majorly-male audiences of early 1990s pop punk acts such as Blink-182 and Green Day. Hemmings states that they are a rock band with a boyband fanbase.
The band cited Blink-182, All Time Low, Good Charlotte, Green Day, Nirvana, Mayday Parade, Busted, McFly, A Day to Remember, Boys Like Girls, and My Chemical Romance as their influences. For their second album, Sounds Good Feels Good, they cited All Time Low, The Used, Yellowcard, State Champs, Good Charlotte, INXS, Sugarcult, Green Day, and Mayday Parade as influences. For their third album, Youngblood, the band cited the Gorillaz, The Beatles, and Queen as influences. Hemmings describes the titular song of the album as the lifestyle they were living at the time of writing the song and as a person as well. Hemmings also refers to the Youngblood 'persona' as very dynamic waves of pushing and pulling and "give and take".
The distinct musical differences from their previous albums to Youngblood is credited to their desire to move out of their sonic comfort zone of pop punk. Clifford states that in order for the band to feel satisfied as artists, they had to push themselves "to make something new" and that the unpredictability that came with that was "the best thing" for their band.
For their upcoming fourth album, the band stated that there is an intentionally "darker sound" and that they were "inspired by dark, synth-heavy groups of the Eighties and Nineties" including Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, and Nine Inch Nails' song "Closer". They also stated that the direction of the album has been influenced by their listening to Gesaffelstein, Health, St. Vincent, Disclosure and Bob Moses.
The week after the release of their single "Easier", Clifford released his signature Gibson guitar, the Michael Clifford Signature Melody Maker. Clifford cites his main inspiration for this guitar was Joan Jett's Melody Maker, a guitar he's admired since he was 17 and refers to as "the best guitar [he's] ever played". He states that the goal of his Melody Maker was to "be an homage to the Joan Jett Melody Maker" and that he hopes "this is the type of guitar that is someone’s first guitar".
Hi or Hey Records and departure from Capitol Records
On 27 January 2014, the band announced that they would be setting up their own label, Hi or Hey Records. On the label's website, the band stated that aside from releasing all of their music through Hi or Hey Records in conjunction with Capitol Records, they would also be signing a roster of bands and releasing their music via the label. On 24 March 2015, the label signed pop rock band Hey Violet.
Philanthropy and supported causes
On 26 October 2018, 5 Seconds of Summer released their cover of British rock band Queen’s "Killer Queen". The single was released before the scheduled premiere of Queen's biopic, "Bohemian Rhapsody". The single is part of a series of covers of Queen's songs that is meant to support the Mercury Phoenix Trust, an organization founded by Queen's band members after Mercury's death that aims to provide support in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Queen's manager, Jim Beach, expressed his gratitude and excitement towards the band for supporting the cause.
In December 2018, the band performed on 24 Hours of Reality: Protect Our Planet, Protect Ourselves, a two-day web-telecast organized by The Climate Reality Project, an organization which is led by former US Vice President Al Gore that helps raise awareness about the effects of climate change.
In 2019, 5 Seconds of Summer played Celebrity Family Feud, a televised game show hosted by Steve Harvey against The Chainsmokers for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The organization grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
On 16 February 2020, the band performed at Fire Fight Australia, a televised fundraising concert for Australian bushfire relief held at ANZ Stadium in Sydney. The concert ended up raising $9.85 million. On 13 March 2020, a compilation album titled Artists Unite for Fire Fight was released as well. The album consists of selected songs from the concert, and includes 5 Seconds of Summer's live performance of "Youngblood".
For the release of their fourth studio album CALM in March 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, the band released a number of limited edition vinyls, CDs and merchandise bundles with $1 from every US exclusive purchase being donated to the PLUS1 COVID-19 Relief Fund, and a portion of the proceeds from the UK exclusive purchases being donated to the NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.
Friends of Friends
On 13 May 2019, the band announced their philanthropic brand, Friends of Friends, with the release of a limited edition clothing range. All profits from that first initiative were donated to Safe Place for Youth, a project of Community Partners that focuses on helping and empowering homeless youth. On 29 May 2019, the first-ever Friends of Friends show was held in Venice, California and featured 5 Seconds of Summer with All Time Low, Watt Zeppelin, Sierra Deaton, and various other artists. The proceeds from the event were also donated to the Safe Place for Youth project. On 26 June 2019, Friends of Friends released another limited edition clothing range with the announcement of their second benefit concert in Sydney, Australia. 5 Seconds of Summer, Amy Shark, Genesis Owusu, The Modern Glitch and other artists performed on 3 July 2019. All proceeds from the show and the clothing range were donated to Blacktown Youth Services Association, an organization that works to inspire young people to positively impact their community.
On 23 January 2020, as a reaction to the 2019-20 Australian bushfires, a new limited clothing range designed by Micah Ulrich was released, with the band stating "We are devastated by the tragic fires that have affected so many people and the wildlife in Australia. We want to contribute as best we can to relief efforts." All profits were donated to the Australian Red Cross.
In 2014, 5 Seconds of Summer won American Music Awards' New Artist of the Year, MTV Europe Music Award's Artist on the Rise and Best New Artist, MTV Video Music Award's Best Lyric Video for "Don't Stop", and ARIA Music Awards' Song of the Year for "She Looks So Perfect".
In 2015, they won ARIA Music Awards' Best Australian Live Act, APRA Music Awards' Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year, MTV Europe Music Award's Best Australian Act, People's Choice Awards' Favorite Breakout Artist, and MTV Video Music Award's Song of the Summer for "She's Kinda Hot".
In 2016, they won Teen Choice Awards' Choice Summer Music Star: Group, Choice Summer Tour for their Sounds Live Feels Live Tour, and Choice Music: Rock Song for "Jet Black Heart".
In 2018, they won Teen Choice Awards' Choice Music Group, Choice Summer Group, and Choice Song: Group for "Youngblood", MTV Europe Music Award's Best Rock, and ARIA Music Awards' Best Group, Best Australian Live Act, and Song of the Year for "Youngblood".
|2014||5 Seconds of Summer: Up Close & Personal||Themselves||Documentary|
|2015||How Did We End Up Here||Themselves||Documentary|
|2018||On the Record: 5 Seconds of Summer – Youngblood||Themselves||Documentary|
- Mini Australian Tour (2012)
- Twenty Twelve Tour (June 2012)
- First New Zealand Show (3 November 2012)
- Pants Down Tour (2013) (Australia)
- UK Tour (February & March 2014)
- 5 Countries 5 Days European Tour (March & April 2014) (Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Spain)
- Stars, Stripes and Maple Syrup Tour (April 2014) (North America)
- There's No Place Like Home Tour (May 2014) (Australia)
- Rock Out with Your Socks Out Tour (2015) (UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada)
- Sounds Live Feels Live World Tour (2016) (Asia, UK, Ireland, Europe, US, Canada, Mexico, Australia)
- 5SOS III Tour (2018) (Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Australia)
- Meet You There Tour (2018) (Asia, New Zealand, Australia, North America, Europe)
- No Shame Tour (2020) (Europe, North America, Australia)
- Hot Chelle Rae – Whatever World Tour (October 2012)
- One Direction – Take Me Home Tour (2013)
- One Direction – Where We Are Tour (2014)
- One Direction – On the Road Again Tour (2015) (4 shows in Japan)
- The Chainsmokers – World War Joy (2019)
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What the boys from 5 Seconds of Summer began to realize was, if they could combine the separate strands of pop, rock and punk music together, they would have a winning formula that would tap a huge gap in the market.
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No, this isn't the next act of the boy band era, but rather the start of a new wave of pop/rock – a wave that was desperately needed in a genre that has been feeling a little stale.Also quoted by Joe Allan on page 98 of 5 Seconds of Summer: The Unauthorized Biography, and by Triumph Books on page 25 of 5 Seconds of Summer: She Looks So Perfect, ISBN 9781629370699.
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- Summer, 5 Seconds of (26 March 2020). "UK! One more day until C A L M and we've launched a very limited bundle including a full band signed CD, signed cassettes, poster & personalised voice note from one of us! A portion of sales will go to the @NHSCharities Covid-19 Appeal. Lots of love 5SOS". @5sos. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
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