Years & Years are a very good band. This is a solid pop fact that you can take to the bank. And it’s a fact that as of THIS MORNING can be supported by the findings of the BBC Sound Of 2015 panel, who voted for Olly, Emre and Mikey to win this year’s poll.
We had a chat with the band on the phone yesterday. Olly has quite a distinctive voice so his quotes are pretty spot on but anything credited to Mikey and Emre is anyone’s guess really. We’ve taken a decent stab at it but you know how it is.
Congrats etc on your win. How does winning the BBC Sound Of 2015 poll compare with being shortlisted for last year’s Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize?
Olly: It pales in comparison, really. We don’t win any money from the Sound Poll. I mean we didn’t win any from the Twenty Quid Music Prize either, because we didn’t win. Which was a shame – twenty pounds is two cocktails in east London.
How did you celebrate the joyous news, bearing in mind that Liam from The Prodigy once claimed that he celebrated going to Number One in America by having a wank?
Emre: That’s bang on the money actually.
Olly: We had a circle wank!
Emre: Olly nearly cried, which was hilarious.
Olly: I did cry a bit.
Emre: Also, we went to a Mexican restaurant and had tacos.
Olly: We had strawberry daiquiri too. It was pretty glitzy.
What were you doing in LA?
Mikey: We were shooting a music video – for ‘King’.
Which is a good song!
Which in turn is a relief, because imagine if everyone had voted for you to win the BBC Sound Of poll and you’d gone on to release a single that was a load of old shit.
Olly: I know, it could have really gone tits up.
Emre: There’s still time for that!
Olly: Yes, we’ve got some really bad ones.
This is the thing though isn’t it – Sam Smith got himself into the Sound Of poll by doing interesting music. Next thing you know: boring.
Olly: (Laughs) We’re going to try really hard not to be boring. ‘Not boring’ – we’re going to get it tattooed on ourselves. It will be the word boring with a line through it. FUCK YOU BORING.
What did the Brits panel have against you?
Emre: A band has never won the Critics’ Choice award, have they? But no, I don’t know what they were thinking.
Olly: What were they thinking‽
Have you seen a breakdown of all the voting in the BBC poll?
Mikey: No. I think it’s about 150 or 200 people who vote, I haven’t seen the numbers though.
When you think about how many different people are likely to be voting for different acts, you probably only need about five votes to get on the longlist.
Olly: HOW MANY?
Is this ruining your special day?
Mikey: You’ve really pissed on this now.
Obviously you’d need more than five votes to win it.
Olly: Thanks. Ten perhaps?
At what point did your record label tell you that they were going for a Years & Years Sound Of poll placing?
Mikey: I don’t think they even told us until after we were shortlisted.
Olly: They were sneaky!
The whole campaign last year was extraordinarily well-timed. It must have been planned.
Olly: Yeah, it must have been.
But they didn’t tell you?
Mikey: We found out when we were on the list and that was that. I suppose they didn’t want to scare us.
Olly: Or disappoint us.
Who are you fans right now?
Emre: According to our Facebook, they’re 18-to-24-year-old females, and they’re all from Poland. So you do the math.
You might have won the PBC Sound Of 2015 poll as well, have you checked?
Emre: You never know. Although, joking aside, whenever people ask us about our favourite gig from the last twelve months we tend to say our gig in Poland where we were playing this massive stage in a massive tent, and ten minutes before we went on there was nobody in the room. Then when we stepped out, the room was full. I looked over at Ollie and he was genuinely shocked.
Olly: Thank you, Poland!
Do you think James Bay would have won the BBC poll if he wasn’t wearing that stupid hat?
Mikey: The other way of asking that question is: would we have won the Brit if we’d all worn hats?
Emre: I had a beret. I’m going to bring it back for the Brits next year.
Do you think we might have hit on something here – could the Brits panel be more hat-skewed than the BBC panel?
Olly: I mean Adele doesn’t wear hats. I don’t want to accuse them of being hat biased.
Emre: I don’t think there’s a milliner conspiracy here.
Olly: Ooh, good word – ‘milliner’.
This is the first time anyone has used the word ‘milliner’ in a Popjustice interview. Well done!
Olly: Emre’s very smart.
Emre: I WEAR GLASSES!
Is the album finished?
Mikey: It’s almost finished.
Do you want to think about maybe getting on with it?
Mikey: I know, right?
Emre: We just keep writing new stuff. You could go on forever, really. We’re going to stop soon.
Is there a type of song that’s missing?
Mikey: Jazz fusion.
Emre: The songs are written, we just need to get on with recording it. It’s all this ‘winning awards’ business – it’s slowing us down.
Who would you most like to work with?
Mikey: Prince would be good. I’d like to go to Paisley Park.
The thing with Timbaland is that he’s quite hit and miss. What if it didn’t work out. Imagine Timbaland’s little face when you told him his song didn’t make the album.
Emre: It would make it though, wouldn’t it? As long as he was interested in doing it, it would make the album.
Are you going to re-release ‘Take Shelter’ to make it the hit it deserves to be?
Olly: Do you think we should?
Mikey: And do you think we should change it at all?
Get Avicii in ‘for radio’. Job done.
Olly: I don’t think we will re-release it.
FOR FUCK’S SAKE.
Olly: Sorry! I mean it’s out there. You can still buy it.
Emre: Come on people!
Olly: It’s our most successful YouTube video.
You seem to know quite a lot about your online audience.
Mikey: Olly’s very good at social media.
Emre: We shy away from it. We’re not as charming.
Olly: All I do is use emojis more.
What’s the best emoji?
Emre: The little poo.
Olly: But that’s controversial isn’t it. Because what about the girl with her hand up?
And the worst one? Because you know that live updating emoji use chart? The luggage is always at the bottom. And you think, surely, people are bored, waiting for their suitcases to come off the carousel. Surely these people will want to text or tweet a picture of a suitcase. But no.
Olly: I don’t like the buildings.
Emre: And they don’t have all the flags, so if you’re waiting for your luggage you can’t tweet about where you’re going.
What’s the most you’d consider spending on a baked potato?
Emre: £2.50 max.
Olly: I’d expect to pay £3.50.
Mikey: £3.10 is my final answer.
Who’s going to win next year’s BBC Sound poll?
Olly: Someone so new they haven’t even been born yet.
Mikey: Or, at the very least, a toddler.
Olly: Actually, we’re going to win again. We’re all going to come back with hats.
Anyway well done on winning the BBC thing. It’s always better when someone decent wins. If you’re going to have someone rammed down your throat for twelve months it might as well be someone good.
Olly: Thank you very much! I LOVE POPJUSTICE!
‘King’ is out on March 1; you can pre-order it here.