By MIKE CHAIKEN
Faster than the speed of light, 5 Seconds of Summer’s U.S. tour sold out in a mere 4 minutes.
Officials at the Oakdale in Wallingford, where the guys from Australia arrive on April 25, said the show was probably the fastest seller ever at the Connecticut venue.
Not bad for a group whose latest effort, the EP “She Looks So Perfect” had not even been released yet (although the pre-order began on Feb. 25 sending the effort to No. 3 even though there was nothing for the fans to hear yet), and airplay on radio or video channels is pretty much non-existent.
The EP finally hit iTunes last Tuesday in the U.S. and Mexico. And it immediately shot to the number 1 slot.
The band, which is Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood, and Ashton Irwin, comes from the western suburbs of Sydney. The guys, all still in their teens, built a fan base after posting videos on YouTube. This was followed by a 2013 tour across the world with British phenoms One Direction. 5 Seconds of Summer now has 9 million-plus combined Twitter followers, 1.5 million Facebook Likes and over 40 million YouTube views. They managed to do all of this before ever releasing their first single.
Calling from London during a tour of the U.K., Michael and Ashton, in a tag team interview, said the swiftness by which the tour in America sold out caught them by surprise. And the pair said it was an awesome surprise on top of that.
Coming from Australia, Ashton and Michael never thought they would find such success in America. They said they felt lucky to have such immediate support of their fans.
Michael and Ashton said that when they first came to the United States to tour, they didn’t know what to expect from music fans in America. And they said never in their “wildest dreams” thought they would be able to say their headlining tour would sell out every city in mere minutes.
“It’s just crazy to have that many fans,” said Michael.
5 Seconds of Summer began as just a bunch of guys playing in a garage. And Michael said they never really thought much about having the kind of success they have now found.
However, when Ashton joined, Michael said, they began to rethink their career moves. Michael said Ashton helped the band direct itself toward becoming something bigger than just another garage band living outside of Sydney.
The first single in the U.S. for 5 Seconds of Summer, and the title track and lead off track, for their new EP is “She Looks So Perfect.”
That’s a lot of confidence in one song.
Why pick “She Looks So Perfect” as their introduction to what is to come from 5 Seconds of Summer?
Ashton and Michael said they have been working on the first full-length album from 5 Seconds of Summer for the past year and a half. And they have written 100 songs for it. But they said they were looking for the “perfect” song that captured what they do “perfectly.” And Michael and Ashton said, “She Looks So Perfect” just felt like the right choice because it’s different from what most people are hearing on the radio right now.
Tune into 5 Seconds of Summer on YouTube or via their new EP, it’s clear the foursome loves its pop punk circa the 1990s. Ashton and Michael cited Green Day and Blink 182 as favorites. They also said Good Charlotte was one of the first bands they saw in concert. The band also offers up a nod to the 1980s with their cover song of “What I Like About You,” which was originally done by a band from Detroit called The Romantics decades ago.
As for what fans can expect from the 5 Seconds of Summer full length album waiting in the wings, Michael and Ashton said it will be pretty similar to what fans are getting from the four track EP. And, for those paying attention, the guys said the album is nearly ready to roll with just little tweaks here and there to make it “perfect.”
As noted, the band built its career initially on the web. In fact, before it was released on the new EP, “She Looks So Perfect” was winning over audiences with a fun and bouncy video on YouTube.
Michael and Ashton said social media has been key to building 5 Seconds of Summer’s relationship with its millions of fans.
However, given their social media roots, Ashton and Michael said it will be pretty amazing to have some product out for their fans actually to own rather than stream over YouTube. They said it was a long wait for the EP to come out, but they were glad they took their time to some really good music for 5 Seconds of Summer’s loyal fans.
Although the web has been where 5 Seconds of Summer has built its fan base, Ashton and Michael said live performances are where the band is most at home and where its strengths lie. The band said fans coming to the sold out Oakdale show on April 25 can expect a 5 Seconds of Summer party vibe and an overall good time.
After the U.S. tour, Ashton and Michael said 5 Seconds of Summer finally will be returning home to Australia for a tour. It will be the first time home (except for a brief detour around the holidays) since the middle of last summer.
And asked if they had a message for their fans who helped them reach such phenomenal success already in the States, Ashton and Michael said they couldn’t do anything without the fans. They said they couldn’t thank the fans enough for what they have done for 5 Seconds of Summer.
5 Seconds of Summer comes to the Oakdale in Wallingford on Friday, April 25 at 8 p.m. The show is sold out. However, LiveNation’s website has posted there have been some resale tickets available. Go to Oakdale.com for more information. For more information about the band, go to 5SOS.com.
Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver.com.
By MIKE CHAIKEN