5 Seconds of Summer
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 band One Direction on their Take Me Home Tour. They have since released three 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 on 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 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.
Career[edit | edit source]
2011–2012: Origin and debut[edit | edit source]
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 in 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[edit | edit source]
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 All phones 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.
On 5 March 2014, it was announced that 5 Seconds of Summer would join One Direction again, supporting them on their Where We Are Tour in the US, Canada, UK and Europe.
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[edit | edit source]
In May 2015, the band embarked on their first headlining tour, Rock Out With Your Socks Out Tour, of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America.
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.
2017–2018: Youngblood[edit | edit source]
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.
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.
2019–present: Upcoming fourth studio album[edit | edit source]
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. The band announced on 12 February that they will be on a North American tour with The Chainsmokers and Lennon Stella during the last quarter of 2019. In March, the band performed the single, along with The Chainsmokers, on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
On 23 May 2019, they released the song "Easier" as the lead single from their upcoming fourth studio album.
Band members[edit | edit source]
5 Seconds of Summer was formed when Clifford and Hood joined Hemmings in posting covers on YouTube, and Irwin joined them during their first live gig in Australia, thus forming the band's current line-up.
- Luke Hemmings – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboard
- Michael Clifford – lead guitar, vocals, keyboard
- Calum Hood – bass guitar, vocals, keyboard
- Ashton Irwin – drums, percussion, vocals, keyboard
Musical style, influences and band status[edit | edit source]
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, 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, the band cited the Gorillaz, The Beatles, and Queen as influences. 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.