One of the most surprising records for me this year is the latest album by The 1975. My preconceptions of this band's music as simple, catchy pop have turned out to be so wrong. The album, called I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, is filled with ambient music, electronica and a good dose of '80s sheen. I wanted to talk to frontman Matty Healy about his influences. He's someone whom I'd met a few years ago when he performed a fascinating solo Tiny Desk concert. On this edition of All Songs Considered, he plays DJ and talks about growing up in a family where his parents, both English actors, shared lots of the music they loved.

And a footnote here: We talk about musician Leon Russell. This conversation happened just a few days before he died.

You can hear the full interview with the play button at the top of the page or read edited highlights below.


Interview Highlights

On his dad's love of soul music and why Matty Healy is drawn to it

"It's always been about conviction. And I think that my dad found that in black music, like soul and blues and stuff like that. He would always be about like — 'Listen to this, listen to this voice.' I remember it well, whether it be Percy Sledge's 'When A Man Loves A Woman' or the conviction in Otis Redding."

On making music with his "right hand man," drummer George Daniel

"It's normally down to both of our obsession with other artists' music and then kind of really in-depth, maybe over-analytical, conversations about one part of one song. And then that'll turn into an obsession about one sound which will then inspire — you know, it's all accidents. Just like that brilliant [Brian] Eno thing where he says, you know, 'Inspiration doesn't come looking for you.' You can't just sit there and expect something to happen. It's like, an hour and a half after playing the same sound when you move the module a tiny bit and then, 'Oh that's interesting. Oh, there you go!'."

On his love of "All My Friends" by LCD Soundsystem

"I'd found my song. I'd found my forever song. I'd found the song that I knew was going to inform every single song that I ever did. The fact that it's two notes. And this song, it makes me think about life, it makes me think about death, it makes me think about friends past and present. And it's kind of everything to me. And I have rinsed this song in my career. Technically, emotionally. I'll say that with a complete, unabashed freedom. If I wanted to [make music], it needed to be as good as this. It needed to be funny, it needed to be self-aware, and it needed to be beautiful, and it needed to be culturally aware and it needed to mean something."

On what it means to him to be in a pop band in the age of Brexit and Donald Trump

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