You Me At Six visit Action Records in Preston to hang out, chat and be normal people
If you are a fan of music and you haven't heard of You Me At Six... it could be said that you might have been living under a rock for the last 14 years.
The five-piece band have notched up a list of considerable achievements since forming in 2004 as teenagers in Weybridge, Surrey, including four UK Gold Records, four Top 10 albums in the UK, three sold-out arena tours and more.
And after selling over 76,000 tickets across the UK last year, the band are undoubted heavyweights of the UK rock scene, filling the largest venues wherever they go.
Now, before heading on yet another nearly sold out UK tour, the band are going on a week-long run of UK in-store performances and signings to mark the celebrations of their forthcoming new album, VI, which is due for release on October 5 via Underdog Records/AWAL.
For those that don't know, You Me At Six are vocalist Josh Franceschi, two guitarists Max Helyer and Chris Miller, Matt Barnes, who plays bass, and drummer Dan Flint. The music they play has been fairly consistent over the years, but with their latest album they are pushing new boundaries, and branching out from rock-pop music to a more mainstream crossover of pop-rock.
Guitarist Max took time out before the release of the album and setting off on the long autumn tour, to chat about his visit to Preston on Tuesday, October 9.
Talking about playing in the small, intimate venues, he said: "I think they are the most fun ones to be honest with you.
"The small, intimate, shows are the ones I think the fans walk away from going 'Wow, I can't believe I just saw this arena size band playing a tiny little venue.'
"I know that's been some of my favourite shows when I've been growing up - going to see my favourite artistes, is when they take it back to where they all started.
"And it's something that people always remember as well."
It's also all about giving the fans what they want. Max stressed how important this was, by saying: "For us it's just constantly about giving fans what they want, and that's music.
"It's about going out there - especially in the modern day of music, you know how people can stream and listen to music - for the people, the core fan base who want to come out and want their record signed.
"You don't get that very often in this modern day and age, you just stream it, so I think for us it's just a courteous gratitude to say thank you very much for picking up our record.
"Let's hang out for a little bit, let's chat and be normal people, you know.
"There's no better connection than a fan meeting their artiste, you get to talk to them and share their experiences of what the band has done for them.
"And I think for us it's a humbling thing, and a humbling fact that people still go out and buy our records. And without these people we wouldn't be where we are today."
Where You Me At Six are today is a testament to how they have stuck together, through thick and thin. And for a band who started out as teenagers, Max says the key to them staying together and so focused is a gang mentality.
"I think really that one thing that has been fundamental to us, actually maintain and be in a band for all this time, is that we make everything fair and equal.
"There's no hierarchy. There's nobody that gets paid more. There's five of us, we all do the same work, so we all get the same split really.
"And I think that just makes it really enjoyable because there's no arguments. There's no bitterness between anybody. We're a gang mentality I think us five in the band, we always have been.
"But our strengths have grown over the years because with the music industry you have good and bad times. So when there's been good times we've lived it together, and when there's been bad times we go through that together, and we embrace it.
"And really enjoying what you're doing as well. I mean, if you don't want to play music, you don't have to play music. But for us five it's something we've always wanted to do and play, and be musicians, from a young age, so we consider ourselves very lucky - even though we've worked very hard to get what we have - you've still got to remember you're very lucky that you get to do the job that you wanted to do when you were younger."
For your chance to catch You Me At Six, up close and personal, right here in Preston, you need to purchase a copy of the their latest album from independent record shop Action Records, on Church Street, Preston. This will gain you admission to the live show and signing at Blitz on Tuesday, October 9 at 7.30pm.
For more information visit www.actionrecords.co.uk