Australian pop rockers 5 Seconds of Summer are blowing up, thanks in part to the band’s current tour with X-Factor-contestants-turned-boy-band One Direction. The schoolmates got together in 2011 and rose to YouTube fame by posting covers of tunes such as Justin Bieber and Chris Brown’s “Next to You,” plus a catchy mix of their own songs.
We caught up with guitarist Michael Clifford to chat about the band’s current tour with One Direction and his prized Joan Jett Signature Melody Maker.
Congratulations on your current tour with One Direction. That’s huge! Tell me about One Direction’s involvement with 5 Seconds of Summer and how the tour came about.
We started out making music in Australia and releasing covers on YouTube. Louis (Tomlinson) from One Direction found us and got in touch, and then one thing led to another, and here we are! We just played a show in Montreal and are about to drive 500 miles on a tour bus. It's insane!
What’s it like on the road with One Direction? Do you have a favorite moment from tour with them so far?
It's been awesome. Favorite moment was playing Jones Beach in New York. It was the first outdoor show we have played, and it was amazing.
You’ve been playing some big U.S. headlining gigs, as of late. Does it feel different playing the U.S. verses tours in Australia and elsewhere?
We didn't really know what to expect from the fans in North America, but they're amazing. Maybe because we aren't from here they react differently, but it’s incredible. But we love playing shows at home and can't wait to get back soon.
Let’s talk guitars. What’s your go-to Gibson guitar?
The Gibson Melody Maker DC Joan Jett Signature. I first discovered them at the start of the U.K. tour, when Gibson invited us to their London showroom. It was insane, just walked into this room full of guitars, it was insane! They let me borrow one and have been playing them ever since. Thank you Gibson!
What other Gibsons are in your rig?
I use two Joan Jett signatures, and for the U.K. leg of the tour, we had a Signature T Les Paul Goldtop and a Slash Signature.
What make Gibsons special?
My first proper guitar was an Epiphone Les Paul, so Gibsons will always be special to me!
What’s next for 5 Seconds of Summer? Are you working on new music?
We're always working on new music! We're going to be releasing an album as soon as we possibly can!