On their third album, Youngblood, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the four members 5 Seconds Summer, all finally legal drinking age in America, ditched pop-punk for new wave grooves. In their downtime, they wisecrack through fame and adulthood, with help from some key distractions.
“It’s how I get out this insane bubble we live in,” says guitarist-vocalist Michael Clifford, 5SOS’ biggest gamer. He has been playing first-person shooter Destiny 2, and he’s psyched that vocalist-guitarist Luke Hemmings has lately hopped on the Fortnite bandwagon. Bassist-vocalist Calum Hood, meanwhile, is obsessed with Zelda on Nintendo Switch.
The whole band loves The Joe Rogan Experience — so much so that it’s considering starting a 5SOS podcast. “He’s a sponge. He just learns,” says Hemmings, praising the fiery host. “I was talking about the same shit for five years,” jokes Clifford. “Doing podcasts, you grow so much intellectually.”
Hood co-wrote eight Youngblood tracks, but his playlist preferences transcend the LP’s polished guitar hooks: “I’ve been listening to a lot looped jazz stuff: Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius,” he says.
“My favorite drummers — Taylor Hawkins, Chad Smith — can play monster rock sets for two hours,” says drummer-vocalist Ashton Irwin, mindful the group’s upcoming arena tour. “Yoga gets me to that level; you’re in one position, and it hurts for a long time. There’s no getting tired.”
This article originally appeared in the June 30 issue Billboard.