You Me At Six: Rock music needs to raise its game

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You Me At Six say rock music needs to “raise its game” and take inspiration from genres like hip hop.

The band’s sixth album is out in October and on Friday they headlined the second stage at Download Festival in Derby.

But singer Josh Franceschi says certain bands in the genre need to try something new.

“When you put out an average guitar record don’t get annoyed when your band doesn’t get the limelight – you get what you deserve.”

You Me At Six formed in 2004 in Surrey and their last four albums have all made the UK top 10.

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Speaking to Newsbeat at Download, Josh admits they’re constantly trying to do something new and says the whole genre should be doing the same.

“This goes for us and everybody else – raise the game, get in the studio, write some songs and get working hard, because the guys and girls making hip hop and RnB are in the studio 24/7.

“Even when they’re on tour they’ve got a studio on their bus and they don’t stop working.

“Maybe we should take a leaf out of their book.”

He’s not alone in thinking rock needs to change.

Ben Bruce, founder of York based band Asking Alexandria, told Newsbeat the genre is “stuck in a rut”.

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Ben Bruce co-founded Asking Alexandria

“Rock bands aren’t given a lot of creative freedom. They’re told by their label: ‘We’re paying for this so you need to sound a certain way’.

“It was the bravest genre in the world at one point. Now it’s complacent and we stick to the same format of releasing one album every two years.

“It’s boring and it’s dated.”

He says hip hop, pop and EDM are constantly using different ways of uploading music for their fans.

“And they collaborate, they work with each other on tracks – whereas with rock bands this doesn’t happen.”

The 29-year-old guitarist says the pressure Asking Alexandria felt to sound a certain way led to a “dark point” early on in their career.

“We all got quite depressed and ended up drinking too much and takings drugs.

“We even had to find a replacement singer for an album.”

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Parkway Drive singer, Winston McCall

But Winston McCall – singer in Australian metal band Parkway Drive – says even though rock “isn’t the largest musical subculture on the planet” anymore it’s still an “exciting time” for the genre.

“There’s always a place for music that stays the same. I don’t think every band needs to continually push the barriers.

“I think what makes music good comes down to honesty, the personal connection.”

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