5 SECONDS of Summer (5SOS) are a hot new thing to hit the music industry, with their fan base continuing to grow.
Former Richmond High student and 5SOS drummer Ashton Irwin joined the band just over a year ago, playing a few dozen gigs at the Annandale Hotel in front of 20 fans.
One year on, Ashton and his three bandmates Michael Clifford, Calum Hood and Luke Hemmings have scored the gig of touring with One Direction on their ‘Take Me Home’ tour. This year 5SOS will perform to 1.3 million people.
Mr Irwin told Fairfax Media that he didn’t understand why this was happening to them.
‘‘We’re just four guys from the western suburbs in Sydney,’’ he said with a laugh during his Skype interview from the band’s house in suburban London.
For the past four months, 5SOS have been ensconced in the house where they have been writing and recording new singles for their dedicated fans.
By the time the band left Australia last November, 5SOS were producing credible, inventive, sophisticated live shows.
Having inked a publishing and publicity deal with Sony ATV, the four members of 5SOS have recently teamed up with established songwriters.
They have been recording with heavyweight producer Steve Robson, whose credits include One Direction, James Blunt and Christina Aguilera.
The band now have about 40 songs under their belt, including co-writes with established British hitmakers.
The four teenagers have put everything into taking a shot at the big time. The opportunity for the move to Britain was provided by One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan at the end of last year after a mutual fan showed Niall a YouTube video filmed by the 5SOS boys.
Within months of coming together as a group the 5SOS Facebook page and Twitter accounts increased dramatically. To date the band’s Twitter account has 225,000 followers while their YouTube account has more than five million views.
Despite their elevation to the big time, Hawkesbury’s very own boy band have only released four songs so far and have no record label yet.
Smelling a possible hit, three labels put firm offers to the band. Despite their manager’s advice, the group chose to stay independent and have recorded a four-track EP available through iTunes. ‘‘The band have had plenty of interest and offers but it hasn’t been the right time yet,’’ a management spokesman told Fairfax Media.
Mr Irwin told Fairfax Media the One Direction boys have become close friends with the 5SOS members. “I went and hung out at their rehearsal the other day. One day when we were in the studio, Niall came and hung out. We really got along with him. They’re just normal people, to be honest.
Ashton said the band’s inspiration has always been the pop-punk style of American band All Time Low and they are determined to stay on that track. ‘‘We would not have done the One Direction tour if they wanted a boy band,’’ Ashton said. ‘‘The contrast between our bands is huge and that’s what [One Direction] wanted.’’ The boys spend at least eight hours a day writing, recording or rehearsing. “We’re very self-motivated. We had to ‘take it to the next level’ like five times in the last year,” he said.