Posted: 25 March 2019
All photos credited to Jon Stone
Back at BBC Music Introducing Live, Marshall managed to grab a few minutes with Chris Miller and Max Helyer from You Me At Six, who had just recorded a live edition of Phil Taggart’s Slacker podcast. We talked about getting started in music, what's next for the band, and of course, amps. Here’s what they had to say.
You’ve been talking with Phil Taggart for his podcast about your career and the wider music industry. What advice would you give to those in the audience asking “how do we do it?”
Max: If you’re hungry and you really want to take music as seriously as we do, I’d say play as much as you can every day. I pick up my guitar every day, get behind my laptop and make music every day. Even when there’s days I don’t want to do it, I still do it. I was describing in the podcast that music is such an even playing field to make, anyone can make something from their bedroom and put it out online, but there’s certain people who are going 150% at it and they’re the ones that are going to succeed.
Did you get mobbed after the podcast recording?
M: We got a little bit mobbed after but it was really nice because people came to hear things they don’t normally hear, so about our journeys and what we’ve gone through. It was nice to talk. Some people only see the stage and us performing but they want to know the goss and what goes on behind closed doors.
Do you miss playing the smaller venues?
C: For us we are in the lucky position where we get to switch it up. We do really well in the UK and Europe and America, but we also travel to Japan and places like that where we do get to play the smaller venues. We get a taste of both worlds and I think its really good for bands to have that, it keeps you grounded and it’s a lot of fun and that comes across to the audience.
What’s next for you guys?
M: Well we are touring in Europe and America, potentially Australia and South East Asia this year too, then there’s festival season as well. We are also continuously writing and creating new music. With the world that we live in and how music is being consumed, we are in an exciting period where you just don’t know what you’re going to get from You Me At Six, and nor do we!
Thinking about when you first started to where you are now, when was that point in your career where you thought “we’ve made it”?
C: For me personally there was a couple of moments. The first time I saw one of our albums in a shop was a big ‘pinch me’ moment. After that it was playing the benchmarks in London, so going from the Astoria to the Roundhouse and then Brixton. Every time we hit a new benchmark it was a ‘wow, we’re really doing it’ moment.
Well you mixed it up last time, you went to Nashville and recorded in a way that you hadn’t before, have you got an idea of where you’d like to go with the next album?
M: I think we’d like to challenge ourselves, push our musical boundaries and not stay the same or become stagnant. I think always pushing yourself to do new things is exciting and you can feel that energy come through our music, especially with our last record ‘VI’. We had fun pushing ourselves in new directions and creatively you can hear that we’re having fun.
What about when someone comes up and asks for an autograph, are you used to that yet?
C: Not really to be honest. For us we are lucky enough to be in a well known band but we can freely walk around the streets and mostly go under the radar, but when someone does come up to you and taps you on the shoulder you suddenly remember and it’s a pretty cool experience.
What does Marshall Amps mean to you?
M: It’s one of the starting foundations of playing guitar, you think people like Jimi Hendrix with a big Marshall stack and it’s iconic. It’s one of the most known guitar brands to this day still and I think they’ve led a lot of people into playing music loud!
C: To go back to the last question the first time I ever owned a stack, proper head and cab it was like ‘oh my god, this is it!’ and that’s Marshall in a nutshell isn’t it?
M: Well even getting in the Marshall studio and getting to try equipment out. For us when we were 17 or 18 and Marshall invited us along and it was like ‘oh my god we’re being invited to Marshall to play and try their amps?!’.
It’s madness because we come from an age of buying broken second-hand gear and trying to get it to work in the early days, then you have Marshall come along and say ‘welcome, come on in’. Marshall over the years have looked after Chris and myself very well. Sometimes we’ll stray away from Marshall but you always find yourself coming back. I always find myself going back to my Bluesbreaker at home and playing through that.
C: For me every session there’s always a JCM800.
M: And a JTM45! They are staple amps and you know what you’re going to get out of them. You think ‘what am I looking for then?’ and when you’ve figured that out you just go straight to Marshall.