5 Seconds of Summer (also known as 5SOS) are an Australian pop rock/pop punk band.
Formed in Sydney in 2011, the band consists of Luke Hemmings (lead vocals, guitar), Michael Clifford (guitar, vocals), Calum Hood (bass guitar, vocals) and Ashton Irwin (drums, vocals). The group were originally YouTube celebrities, posting videos of themselves covering songs from various artists in 2011. From there, they gained a small following in 2012 after posting a series of cover versions of popular songs onto YouTube, then rose to international fame when One Direction invited them on their Take Me Home Tour.
The group have been referred to as a boy band in the media. In February 2014, they released "She Looks So Perfect" as their debut worldwide release. It topped the charts in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Their self-titled debut studio album was released in June 2014, which peaked #1 in 11 countries.
2011–12: Origin and debut
5 Seconds of Summer began in December 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 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 line up was completed.
The band attracted interest from major music labels and publishers, and signed a publishing deal with Sony ATV Music Publishing. Despite having had 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 increased significantly once again when One Direction member Louis Tomlinson posted the link to their YouTube video of their song "Gotta Get Out", stating that he'd been a fan of 5 Seconds of Summer "for a while". 5 Seconds of Summer were once again the subject of interest for One Direction following the release of their first single, "Out of My Limit", on 19 November 2012, this time with Niall Horan tweeting the link to the video clip.
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 of the songs that feature on the Somewhere New EP: "Beside You" and "Unpredictable". The EP was also co-produced by Joel Chapman. 5 Seconds of Summer released their first single "Out of My Limit" on 19 November 2012, with the video clip for the song receiving over 100,000 views within the first 24 hours. In December 2012, the boys 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–present: 5 Seconds of Summer
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 Allphones Arena in 5 Seconds of Summer's home town of Sydney. Whilst 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.
The connection between 5SOS and One Direction extends to both artists being managed by London-based Modest Management. This has led to 5SOS being called a boy band in the media. Members of the band have said the group is not a boy band. Unlike many boy bands, they write their own songs, play their own instruments, and they are not primarily a dance group. Nevertheless, the band has attracted a fanatical following of girls much like other boy bands. Ashton Irwin has compared the band's female following 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 the gradual demographic shift away from the majority male audiences of early 1990s pop punk acts such as Blink-182 and Green Day.
In late March 2014, "She Looks So Perfect" was released in UK. Despite 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 only the fourth Australian band to have a UK number-one single, and the first to do so in 14 years. In the following week's chart the song dropped to number 10, which was the biggest drop from number one since McFly's ""Baby's Coming Back"/"Transylvania" fell from number one to number 20, also in its second week on the UK chart. On 5 March 2014, it was announced that 5 Seconds of Summer would join One Direction again, supporting them on their 2014 Where We Are Tour in the US, Canada, UK and Europe. On 9 April 2014, the She Looks So Perfect EP debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200.
On 13 May 2014, the band announced that their debut album, named 5 Seconds of Summer, 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!.
5 Seconds of Summer cite McFly, Blink-182, All Time Low, Green Day, Boys Like Girls and Busted as their influences.
Luke Hemmings – lead vocals, guitar
Michael Clifford – guitar, vocals
Calum Hood – bass guitar, vocals
Ashton Irwin – drums, vocals