It's the 10th anniversary of "Sinners Never Sleep". An album that has definitely changed You Me At Six. The Surrey rockers will be playing the record in full in June this year, as well as releasing the first-ever Sinners… vinyl pressing featuring previously unreleased material. We went to celebrate this milestone with the band at Thorpe Park and together, we rode "The Swarm" which takes the same name of their track. The album gave the five piece a gold record, a sold out Wembley Arena and a worldwide tour.
Whilst waiting for the ride to open at 10am inside the park, the adrenaline kicks in but still got to catch up with Josh Franceschi and together we went down memory lane to revive the best moments of 10 years ago ...
10 Years since "Sinners Never Sleep". What has changed?
What's changed, essentially, it's like a lot of change, but not a lot of change. In 10 years shit happens, right? And like, now obviously, we've gone from being boys essentially, when you're in your early 20s, you don't really know what's going on. So as you get older, you realise, "okay, that's what I was going through there" and you feel different things. So I think there's been a lot of like, collective personal, and life experiences, which is wicked because it shapes who you are and challenges you, and it makes you a better person. But then the things that haven't changed at all is our foundation, which is five guys who still love making music together.
We could have at any point have not done it anymore. I mean we do in terms of our love of music and make money, because that's the real world we live in and we need to make some money. But fundamentally, we do it because we love each other. And we have something special. Yeah, we're here to celebrate an album that's 10 years old. But we've already got two that already turned 10. It's a madness. And we're just trying to just continue to enjoy it. Our mission statement was always longevity. And we've done that. I was actually talking to a gentleman who interviewed me when I was 16 at my family's house and we met up again now. It's crazy.
What was the best thing that happened when "Sinners Never Sleep" came out?
Obviously playing Wembley Arena was massive, for us it felt like we've climbed Everest. If you're a musician from the UK that is a dream.
I remember when we talked about doing it, we had just supported Paramore when they released "Brand New Eyes" and we played Wembley Arena and we were just standing there and I told our promoter "oh we should play here one day" and he said "you're never going to get near this" Well, why don't we put that bet on it? And if we do you need to buy a bottle of champagne each?" We don't really like champagne . And we don't even like champagne we just want to rub it in his face. And obviously, that happened. So that was a highlight because it felt like a proper flagging the ground moment where you're like, "We're here! Not many people get here. We're here." So it felt special. And it felt like it was also a massive celebration.
We had fans from all over the world come structure with the night. I remembered sneaking out I like seeing different flags and like meeting people . So that was a special night. And it's something that you know, we got on tape as well, so you can enjoy and the funny thing is that the first song was "The Swarm". And we had like this Pyro that went right across the arena, like explosions. And then the drape fell down and we start playing. And it was the first song and obviously cause we knew we were being filmed, we all shitting ourselves. And Dan messed up "The Swarm" so badly in the second verse. And I remember we were looking at him. I was like "I've got this, I've got this". But yeah, again. It was special.
What is the message behind the album? You probably had a different idea 10 years ago ...
Honestly, I'd be lying to you.
Do you listen to the album now?
I'm having to learn it. For the shows we are doing (laughs). Obviously there's a lot of songs that stood the test of time like "Bite my Tongue", "Loverboy", "No one does it better", you can't avoid them, "Reckless" they're always in setlist.
"Crash" well, one of the best songs ever made!
Yeah, we haven't done that for a long time. I know.
But yeah, I think honestly, like, at that time we found ourselves and then we didn't really care what was on paper what we should be doing. Like, usually a hardcore metal band would have Winston Parker driving the record, but we were like a pop rock band. And we were "Yeah, we want to scream in a song". I guess the message for ourselves internally even then was "No fear. Fuck it. It doesn't matter. It's not your band. It's our band guys". And I kind of feel still, I still feel like that song or that record really says it from start to finish. It sounds like a band has been like this our band. You don't care if it fits your narrative and what we shouldn't be. And that's important.
Especially after having made records where we haven't done that, it pokes out across the rest of them previous records so recklessly. There are some where I could go "Okay, this this album didn't really feel like You Me At Six", at moment it felt like a band that was distracted by some noise about this label or that decision. But "Sinners" is a record where we went "We're gonna do what we want to do and if they don't like it, we don't give a shit".
Are you proud of the album?
Yeah, of course, I think we're all proud of the fact that it's rare for bands in our world to have a gold album. When I walk around my house, and I see we got a gold disc for our music, I'm like, "Okay, that means that that amount of people liked it that much". They wanted to buy it, not just stream it, not just download it and leave it, they want to support us during that time. And so I always look at and go, "Well, that was a record that might change everything for us" in terms of what followed from it.
We went from playing one arena, one special night out to then suddenly being an arena band in England and playing the big venues. I think that's set us up to then EMI let us go. And because we had Wembley Arena and like, that's something we've done. We've got a great record deal with a great team, a great opportunity, I'm proud of what it did for us. I'm proud of what it did for the scene, it's a really cool crossover record. I think there's a lot of bands that might hear it now and I could be like "Okay, I feel like you probably like bands like You Me At Six or Paramore or Fall Out Boy".
What is next for You Me At Six?
Well, we just got back from making a new album, we're about 80% done with it. But the it's the same same story. When you asked me" what has changed?" We know what you got to do. We got to make an album, start like gearing up how do we go and play it to people and then we start again, you know, it's kind of like that. So I guess we got some festivals over the summer. But the main thing as a fan of music myself, of being a performer is the only thing I enjoy really about being in a band. I don't mind this because I don't mind talking to like good people that understand and care about music. I don't care about fame, I don't care about Instagram, I don't care about any of that shit. I want to be able to do the shit I love which is play for people. Especially after these last two years. I want to play Europe. I want to see my people.
“Sinners Never Sleep” is out now.
Words by Sal Fasone - Photos by Livy Dukes