Healy shared the information on the Neil Griffiths podcast The Green Room on Monday.
The conversation began when Healy talked about his position in pop music. He said many fellow pop acts “aren’t really saying anything about the world about themselves, or about the world”. He said that’s why it’s apparent to him that he needs to use his “cultural position” for good.
Griffiths then gave a few examples of pop star who aren’t overly political, which is why Swift’s name came up in the first place.
Healy first talked about how “alternative” figures don’t exist in pop music, and the new “alternative” people are in hip-hop culture. He then went into talking a bit about why pop musicians sometimes take awhile to make a political statement.
“The thing is, they’ll wait until something’s been workshopped … enough to feel like they’re making a statement when they’re not,” he said about the pop stars turning to activism. “That Taylor Swift song about supporting gay people didn’t come out 6 years ago. It didn’t. It came out when we all kind of knew that, or not that we knew that because there’s a long way to go for gay, bi, queer and trans people in this world, but culture has caught up. … At that point, you pretty (much) know that you’re kind of not really making a statement.”
However, he praised pop musicians for being able to reach so many people with their music. He spoke specifically about Swift, and his drive to create music with her.
“I would never slag Taylor off, I think Taylor’s amazing,” he said. “And Taylor I want to produce your next album.”
His comments about Swift come after he spoke with Zane Lowe on Apple’s Beats 1 about his desire for Swift to create a minimal record like Bruce Spingsteen’s Nebraska.
“Taylor Swift doing an acoustic record?” Healy said. “I can’t consider a report that may promote greater than that. Like, Taylor Swift’s intimate return to nation. After all, you’d wanna produce that! She’s gonna sit on that concept, however Taylor, should you ever need somebody that can assist you arrange the mics in your acoustic report, simply so , I’m there.”
You can listen to the new podcast where Healy discusses pop music and activism below.
Healy talked extensively about the band’s first show in Dubai, where he kissed a male fan during a gig to protest the Arab state’s anti-LGBTQ laws.
He first discussed the extents he went to avoid being arrested at the show in Dubai, which included vacuuming all his clothes and buying new bags. He even said that his hotel left him a note from the authorities “reminding me that, you know, having sex outside of marriage is jailable. Basically, if I try and fuck someone here in this hotel – which I wouldn’t – but if I did that, I could be arrested or deported.”
He then talked about the restrictive laws in the country, especially against women. He did so by talking about fans he encountered in Dubai who weren’t allowed to attend the 1975 show.
“I’ve been meeting so many kids walking around and I’m like, Are you coming to the show? And they’re like, Oh, I can’t, my dad would not allow me, or my religion doesn’t allow it, and all that kind of thing,” he said. “So that’s sad because I think that art is for everybody. But I understand that I’m quite a – I don’t know what I am – an outspoken… bisexual… I don’t know, whatever I am. So they’re probably not really into my vibe over here, the dads.”
Even though Healy avoided being arrested for drugs and other things, he didn’t care if he went for jails if it meant standing up for what he believes in.
“I would go to jail for what I stand for, you know – I feel like I’m in one of the only punk bands in the world,” he said. “I’m profoundly anti-religion and I always have been. I don’t agree with a dogmatic, pious adherence to scripture, because I believe that creates more pain for more people on a global level than it does solace for people on the individual level.”
“I think it’s a selfish act. But I also understand that religion and culture are two very, very, very different things. So I understand the idea of if you say to somebody, I don’t know, ‘your religion is stupid’, it can for some people be the equivalent of somebody saying, ‘your face is ugly’, because it’s so deeply ingrained in who they are. I would never come over here and be disrespectful to people to make a point.”
“But I’m never going to not going to not stand up for women. I’m not going to not stand up for gay people. I’m not going to not stand up to minorities,” he continued.
Matty Healy later went on to talk about how he doesn’t cater a 1975 show to the place he’s playing — they all are the same and happen organically. He made the statement after being asked about the band’s first show in Russia.
“I said this a million times: every 1975 show is exactly the same. They have slightly different colored hair over here, or they’ll have a slightly different skin tone over here. But at 1975 shows I play to the same group of kids every single night,” Matty Healy said. “And the kids in Russia were so cool. The coolest. I mean, imagine being young and liberal and a bit like me in Russia? I can’t imagine what it’s like.”
He then elaborated on that finale sentence.
“I can go on stage and say whatever the fuck I want about anything in the UK. And you know, nothing’s ever going to happen to me in the UK.”
“In Russia – this is difficult to talk about – I’m not that worried about my physical safety because I’m over that now. I worried about it for like three years but someone kicks my head in or someone stabs me or something like that: whatever. What I was worried about was like, maybe because of [2018 track] ‘Loving Someone’ and all of the pro-gay imagery in my show, I was worried about a right-wing group turning up to the show afterward. I wasn’t worried about me, I was worried about the kids.”
Matty Healy later went on to discuss the band’s most recent single and video “People”. The song is the band’s first single from upcoming album Notes On A Conditional Form. You can see that video below.
He talked about the song’s message of people realizing they’re fighting for a common cause, instead of trying to bring each other down.
“It’s like, if you’re trying to make the world a better place through being nasty to people, it’s not going to work,” Matty Healy said. “Debate is not about finding a middle ground any more – it’s about point scoring. We – the young and the liberal – even though it’s not our job and it’s not our responsibility, we need to be the most patient, the most compassionate and we need to be the most understanding of the ignorance that does exist.”
In addition to the new track, the band also confirmed Notes On A Conditional Form will drop February 21, 2020. The date was previously speculated after fans uncovered information suggesting this is when it would be released.
Healy talks about a lot of different topics in the interview. One of those being the way punk music is a form of protest and rebellion.
“I think it is but punk makes me excited and sad at the same time, because if you look at punk and OG hardcore, ’70s to the early ’90s, and all of the movements that happened, these kids believed that they were going to change the world. Not just culture, which they did completely, they thought that they were going to change the world,” he said.
When asked if he believed his music would do the same thing, he had a solemn response.
“I would like to think so. But what happened is after they did all that, Donald Trump became the president. So did punk really work?” he said.
You can read the full interview here.
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