Sometimes an artist interviewing another artist is a situation ripe for awkwardness – two poor souls pushed together in the relentlessly swirling PR machine – but this wasn’t the case with You Me At Six and Yours Truly.
The Australian pop-punk favourites recently finished supporting You Me At Six on their massive European tour alongside The Hunna, performing in cities from Paris to Amsterdam, Cologne to Berlin.
The two bands were already well-known to each other, with You Me At Six’s singer Josh Franceschi collaborating with Yours Truly on their raucous 2022 single, “Hallucinate”.
That made the Sydney band ideal candidates to join Franceschi and co. on their European sojourn this year. You Me At Six were touring the continent in support of their eighth studio album Truth Decay, the follow-up to 2021’s number one hit Suckapunch, and time proved no deterrent to the band’s reception, with Truth Decay once again reaching the top five on the UK Albums Chart.
“Our goal was always longevity – we understood pretty early on that there were going to be spikes and there were going to be moments like when we first started the band: it was like, ‘Oh shit, every time we do something it gets bigger and better, is that how this is going to go?'” Franceschi revealed to Tone Deaf after the release of their latest album.
Yours Truly may not have released a full-length album since their excellent 2020 debut Self Care, but that doesn’t mean the anthems have stopped flowing. Earlier this month, RedHook shared “Imposter”, a powerful breakup anthem that featured a guest spot from Yours Truly.
Clearly not fed up with each other just yet, Franceschi and Yours Truly’s Mikaila Delgado asked each other questions for Rolling Stone AU/NZ, reminiscing on their European tour, their favourite artists and venues, and what’s changed in their music over the years.
You can read their full conversation below, and catch Yours Truly at several stops on Unify Gathering’s Off The Record tour in May alongside the likes of Thornhill and Make Them Suffer.
Who is a UK/AU artist that you can’t get enough of at the moment?
Mikaila: We went on tour with Holding Absence and became really good friends with them. I think they’re really awesome – they’ve really taken hold of the scene and become one of the bigger bands from our generation. I feel like they’re a band that everyone I know looks up to. On that same tour there was a band called As Everything Unfolds, who were really cool and have new music coming out soon.
Josh: My favourite Australian bands (outside of Yours Truly of course) would be some of the bands we’ve met around the world on festivals or tours. Bands like Parkway Drive, Northlane, Tonight Alive, Hellions… we’ve made some really good friends out of being around those bands.
It goes without saying, Tame Impala are arguably one of the greatest bands of our generation – Kevin Parker is a genius. Australia has had a good run of putting out genre-defining bands – we need to bring Australia closer to the rest of the world, you guys need more love.
If you could only eat one meal for breakfast, lunch & dinner, what would it be?
Josh: It would probably be pasta based and it would probably be a veggie or vegan spaghetti bolognese – because I just live off that stuff. OR Mexican food… like a variety of enchiladas, burritos, tacos for every single meal, I’d be stoked with that.
Mikaila: I was going to say burrito as well – you can have a breakfast burrito, a lunch burrito, as long as it’s a burrito you can have all different things in there.
Josh: I just went to Mexico with my partner and some friends and every day it was all about “where are we gonna eat?” For us Westerners, Mexican food is the best food.
What artist have you been obsessed with lately?
Mikaila: I’m in love with the new Willow album – I’ve been playing that a lot. Evanescence’s Fallen just had its 20th anniversary so throughout this tour I’ve been revisiting that album again.
Josh: I don’t have an answer to this question haha. I’ll go with someone I think isn’t that well known in Australia, which would be Holly Humberstone. I’ll go with her.
Who is the biggest liability on this tour?
Josh: I think we should leave our bands out of it and pick on The Hunna.
Mikaila: Dan haha…
Josh: Dan from The Hunna is definitely…
Mikaila: Or Duncan.
Josh: I think those two come as a double act, like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Or Dumb and Dumber. Unbelievable humans, great lads but if you want to know who’s getting themselves into the most trouble every day, it’s probably those two.
Mikaila: Even if we kept our bands involved, I would still pick them.
What TV show are you binging at the moment?
Mikaila: I haven’t been home for a long time and none of my streaming services work overseas so I’m more on my Switch.
Josh: So what are you gaming then?
Mikaila: I’m currently playing Life Is Strange: True Colours, it’s almost like a movie. I like games where you play as a character but you make their decisions and it changes the outcome of the game. You’re not really playing it, you’re more watching it.
Josh: My answer is going to be a pretty universal one, which is The Last Of Us. It’s sick. I think it surpasses The Walking Dead or anything like that. It has way more vulnerability and storyline and it was a game as well, so maybe that should be your shit Mikaila.
What are some things that have changed about you since your first release and what has stayed the same?
Mikaila: I’d say the things that have changed is that we’re a lot more open to trying new things. When we started Yours Truly, we wanted to be a pop punk band – no synths or anything, it had to sound like the bands we were listening to. We were stubborn about that.
The things that have stayed the same is that our lyrics and music are very genuine. It’s always what we feel and we’ve never tried to create something for a certain thing – it’s what this band stands for.
Josh: One of the things that has changed is that we take the live show a little more seriously. It sounds mental but we haven’t always warmed up, we haven’t always just not rolled out of bed and got on stage. The show is the biggest part of the day, whereas there’s been tours in the past where I’ve thought: “I don’t feel great, I’m just gonna get through this then go out and get smashed.” I take it a bit more seriously because I value the fact that if we’re good live, our career can continue for longer.
One of the things that hasn’t changed is the fact that we don’t take ourselves too seriously – we still have the same earnesty and naivety, in the sense that we look out for one another first and foremost and whatever comes after that is just a bi-product of a good moment or bad moment. That’s been the same since we were kids.
What is your favourite venue to play?
Mikaila: My favourite on this tour may have been the Live Music Hall in Cologne. I think it was one of the bigger venues we’ve played on this tour.
Josh: I kind of liked Amsterdam because it was really intense. The Melkweg is always a really good gig and plus it’s in the middle of Amsterdam, so you can get into the naughtiness and have some fun. Disappear for 20 minutes, come back and do your job if you need to do that.
Mikaila: Definitely went out and got some chips with lots of sauce.
Josh: Chips with sauce? Can’t believe it…
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Mikaila: I think the fact that you can’t control things. One of the first nights of this tour, I was telling you about all the things I was stressed about and you gave me some great advice…
Josh: “To worry is to suffer twice.”
Mikaila: I feel like that’s something that we keep telling each other on this tour when something goes wrong: “remember what Josh said the other night!” You can’t be upset over things that you can’t control and I think that that makes touring and being in a band so much more fun.
We got yelled at by Czech police this morning for parking in the wrong place and we all just stood there and thought: “we can’t do anything about this now, we have a show to get to.”
Josh: That makes me really stoked that you took that on board. If you spent enough time around me during the early years of You Me At Six, I didn’t enjoy any of the good moments because I was worrying so much about other things. I feel like a much happier person since I’ve been using that.
Something else I use is something I got from Robert De Niro’s Actors Roundtable Interview, which is “just be calm.” When something bad is happening, be calm, when something good is happening, be even calmer.
What was your first ever concert?
Mikaila: My first one that I didn’t have a choice on was Kylie Minogue when I was a child. I fell asleep – I don’t know how I fell asleep in an arena. The first by choice was the album release for Tonight Alive’s first album. I was about twelve years old and took my parents with me. I actually met Jenna in the bathroom and I told her that I wanted to be in a band haha.
Josh: I had two best friends in high school and our parents wouldn’t let us go to shows without an adult – so my dad took us to see Linkin Park at Wembley Arena in 2003. Then we went and saw Incubus and blink-182. The first club show I ever saw was Thrice at Islington Academy, with The Dillinger Escape Plan supporting, when I was 14 or 15. I was leaning over the barrier and during Dillinger’s first song, the singer stage dove and his foot hit me in the face.
So the first was sitting in an arena with my bootleg merch and a pint of coke zero and the next was getting kicked in the head by The Dillinger Escape Plan.
What’s your favourite tour memory so far?
Mikaila: On this tour it was definitely the Paris show. It was the first show of the tour, you guys bought us a bottle of champagne and we thought, “we’re going to take this to the Eiffel Tower and drink it there, because we’ve finally got to play a show in Europe’.” The show itself was really sick – to be somewhere completely different to Australia and have people know your songs is a very cool experience.
Josh: My favourite tour memory so far would be Cologne and going to that club where we did a DJ set afterwards. Everyone was there, we were just playing new music and having some really nice conversations. Those are the things I really value. I like an opportunity to settle down, chill out and shoot the shit.
Who is the most unreliable member of your band?
Mikaila: If it’s to do with anything organisational, it’s Teddie for sure. He booked his flights a month late and he didn’t realise until a week before we left. Anything to do with shows and being on time though, it’s me.
Josh: I’d have to go Dan Flint, because you never know what Dan Flint you’re going to get. You might get your best mate or your worst nightmare.
Haha, no it would unanimously be me. Mainly because I’m really clumsy and I’m quite limited in basic skill sets. So I think that makes me unreliable haha.
What’s your favourite song to play live?
Mikaila: “High Hopes”, because no matter where we are, there’s at least one person who knows it. That’s the part where I can let loose and know I’m not embarrassing myself anymore – that’s the one for me.
I was at Download and someone came up to me and said “you’re the one with that hero song!” haha.
Josh: Usually I’d be saying this and I’d be lying to promote a new album, but I’d genuinely have to say the new songs from Truth Decay have been the most fun to play. We’ve put out records before and toured really soon after, so the new songs tend to fall a bit flat at first. This tour, though, they’re the highlights of the gigs – playing “Mixed Emotions” or “No Future” or “Heartless” and seeing people looking at us is really fucking cool.