Years & Years – who perform on BBC1’s The Voice on Saturday – come to Inverness Ironworks on Monday as part of a national tour following up the incredible successes the band enjoyed in 2015. Their debut album Communion became the fastest-selling debut album of last year from a UK-based band and has sold over a million copies and they sold out two dates at Brixton Academy. The band are singer Olly Alexander, bassist Mikey Goldsworthy, keyboards Emre Türkmen and drummer Dylan Bell. Mikey talks about Years & Years life below ...
1 You had an incredible year in 2015 from the BBC Sound Poll to selling out two dates at Brixton Academy. Were there any particular highlights?
MIKEY: The BBC Sound Poll was one and of course Glastonbury. For me personally appearing on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in America was a big one. There was so much though, I literally can’t believe how much we did in one year. We’re still recovering.
2 It was a pretty fast rise in the public eye. From topping the BBC Sound Poll last year, then your debut album Communion dropped and momentum just kept on going. When did it start to feel like ‘we’re a big band’?
MIKEY: When we started out I was still a waiter working in restaurants, so once the Sound Poll happened, everything changed. But I did have a moment like that when we were playing the annual Capital radio network’s Jingle Bell Ball in London at the end of the year. Coldplay had gone on and then Little Mix and we had to wait behind this curtain before going on and then it went up and I just saw all these people filling the O2 Arena and I was like "O God, what have we done?".
3 Has there ever been a point when you’ve been in the car or in a shop and your track has come on?
MIKEY: There’s been an occasional time, sometimes I’ll be in a taxi in London and it’ll come on. There was a time when we were at McDonalds in Sweden, which was a bit weird.
4 Is it a great feeling when it comes on?
MIKEY: It can be embarrassing when the family put it on or something, but it’s fine.
5 You werre nominated for four Brits, which is insane, is that something you’d aspired to when you started out?
MIKEY: Just the four, hahh.. No, not really. We first started doing it just for fun and then it sort of just swung that way. We never sat down and said "we want to get nominations for this or that". It’s something that came about quite naturally.
6 You’re heading out on your UK tour, are you looking forward to it?
MIKEY: Yeah. Absolutely. We love touring. We’ve had a bit of time off, so I’m getting a bit of cabin fever. I’m really looking forward to it starting now.
7 Any particular shows on the tour you are looking forward to?
MIKEY: Wembley, obviously. Also, we’re going to be playing on my birthday, which is pretty cool.
8 Anything about the tour dates you want to reveal?
MIKEY: Yeah, we’re definitely going to step it up a bit. We’re going to try out some new songs. We’re hoping to beat Brixton, which is going to be difficult.
9 Are there any home comforts you take on tour?
MIKEY: We bought a Nintendo 64 for the bus and we all play Mario Kart and Golden Eye on it.
10 Do you get competitive – who is the best?
MIKEY: A little bit actually. Our drummer Dylan is really good at Golden Eye and I’m pretty good at Fifa actually.
11 Have you begun work on a next album yet? I imagine being out on the road all the time makes it hard to write.
MIKEY: No, not really yet. There’s probably not going to be anything coming out this year. After touring we’ll probably take some time to start writing. We don’t really write on the road, it’s definitely a separate thing.
12 What else have you got planned for 2016?
MIKEY: The touring is about it really. Some more things will pop up, like we’re going to tour with Ellie Goulding in America, which will be crazy. And festivals are starting to get worked out too. We are doing Coachella in April, which will be great, definitely hot.
13 How did the band form?
MIKEY: I moved over from Australia, then I met Emre online and we were just faffing around making music. I met Olly through a friend of mine at a party and we just starting rehearsing together and it took off from there. We were all in London at the time, Olly was acting, I was working in a restaurant and Emre was an architect. Emre actually helped with the Brighton FC stadium, so hopefully they’ll get promoted to the Premier League. I’m a Liverpool fan and their former manager Sami Hypia played for Liverpool, so I have a bit of a soft spot for them.
14 How do you compare Scottish crowds to other crowds?
MIKEY: I feel like the more north you go the louder the crowds get!
Years & Years, supported by MØ, plays Inverness Ironworks on Monday. But first, you can see them perform new single Desire on The Voice this Saturday at 7pm on BBC1.