YOU ME AT SIX // “It’s about understanding and recognising that You Me At Six can’t last forever”

When Surrey pop-punk quintet You Me At Six first formed 20 years ago, few could have predicted what the future would look like.

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They likely wouldn’t have foreseen eight full-length albums (two of which topped the charts in the UK), sold-out shows around the world, and a voracious fanbase. But they definitely wouldn’t have predicted their final gig would be slated for Wembley Arena. 

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That, however, is the reality that You Me At Six now find themselves in. In fact, it was just back in January that the group made a few announcements, the most notable of which was their impending breakup. Slated to see them through to 2025, it’s a decision that wasn’t made lightly. After all, how do you make the choice to call it quits when some fans think you’re in the best shape you’ve ever been?

“There’s very rarely a window where you have the opportunity to go out the way you want to go out,” explains vocalist Josh Franceschi over a beachside Zoom call. “Our ambition as a band was always longevity, and we used to joke when we first started, ‘Imagine if we were a band for 20 years,’ and we kind of became obsessed with this idea.

“Longevity was what mattered, more than commercial or critical acclaim,” he adds. “It was more about like, ‘how can we make this our job, and have it designed so that we can do the thing we love the most for as long as possible?’”

20 years together is a fair effort, and much like other bands who chose to go out on top, You Me At Six’s impending split wasn’t a decision that was made lightly. Rather, it’s been a point of discussion for some time, with the band always ensuring they’re a unit that offers something to fans, and provides them experiences worth having.

“I think it’s more a celebration of the band’s life than the band ending – that’s the way that we’re looking at it,” Franceschi says. “There’s loads of bands that haven’t been lucky enough to do what we’ve done.

“We consider ourselves enormously lucky, and let alone making one, two, three albums, but to have made eight and toured the world several times, it’s pretty outrageous,” he adds. “We feel like it’s just a good way to do it.”

Of course, any ending is fraught with difficulty. After all, we’ve seen classic examples of groups pulling out all the stops to prove it’s the end, only to reform later due to itchy feet. It took the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan five years to take out a full-page newspaper ad expressing his desire to reunite his band, and Mötley Crüe waiting four years before finding a loophole in their ‘Cessation of Touring’ contract that allowed their return.

When we started, Australia might as well have been Pluto, when we first came out to Australia, it was otherworldly. I’ll never forget that excitement, I still have that excitement when I know, when I’m going to the airport and I’m getting on a plane to Australia – I feel like a kid.
[ Josh Franceschi – You Me At Six ]

For You Me At Six, however, the future is unknown, but the trepidation of making a decision like this is what drives the likes of Franceschi forward. 

“What stimulates me as a human being is fear, and the idea of needing to be something or produce something,” he explains. “With You Me At Six, there’s definitely not a feeling of complacency, but it feels there’s nothing more that we can do right now as these five people, for this band and for our fans. I don’t want to start putting out records for the sake of it, and I don’t want to be on stage for the sake of it.

“One of our biggest aspirations as a band was to take care of each other as people, and I think we’ve done that,” he continues. “The members of You Me At Six are kind of like my first love, really, but it’s about understanding and recognising that You Me At Six can’t last forever, and some of us don’t want it to.

“It’s about recognising a window of opportunity to go out gracefully, and to go out with everybody’s hearts and minds intact and in sync.”

When You Me At Six announced their breakup earlier this year, there would have undoubtedly been a moment of disappointment for their Australian fans. After all, it was only back in July that they visited for their ninth tour of the country, so it may have felt for some fans that they’d missed the chance to properly farewell the group.

Thankfully, the group aren’t letting the opportunity to return to Australia pass by, with the announcement of a national tour to take place in late January. Kicking off in Brisbane, the group farewell Aussie fans with shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. For Franceschi, a return to Australia was never off the table.

“When we started, Australia might as well have been Pluto,” he explains. “When we first came out to Australia, it was otherworldly. I’ll never forget that excitement, I still have that excitement when I know, when I’m going to the airport and I’m getting on a plane to Australia – I feel like a kid.

“I’m like, ‘Oh fuck, I’m going to the other side of the world to play our music, and there’s a ton of people coming out, and the shows are always wicked,” he adds.

Part of the international appeal of You Me At Six might be the cultural correlation between Australians and Britons, but a visit to local shows has always felt like a homecoming for the band. Whether it’s touring as part of the Soundwave or Groovin The Moo festivals, or playing alongside Twenty One Pilots and Paramore, it’s been a special place for the group, and one that helped to cement their place within the music world.

“I remember when we first played the Warped Tour with Parkway Drive, and I watched their film they had out at the time where I saw them play The Roundhouse in Sydney,” he remembers. “It was a super seminal moment when we played the Roundhouse as a headline band for the first time. 

“We’d already played The Metro, and we played a bunch of other clubs and stuff, but we were like, ‘This is us arriving in Australia; we’re a proper band in Australia’,” he adds. “So for me, there was absolutely no chance that we weren’t coming to Australia on this tour.”

Joined by fellow Brits Holding Absence, these Australian shows will be some of the last played by You Me At Six, with their January tour seeing them lead into rehearsals for their final UK run. The band’s final show will take place at Wembley Arena, a venue which Franceschi treats with a sincere feeling of reverence given all the musical history that has occurred there. 

But for him, this final show won’t be an opportunity to feel the emotional weight of their impending split. Instead, it’ll just be business as usual until that final note rings out.

“I was talking to a mate of mine who is a professional athlete and when he used to play in big football matches, he’d say, ‘You just have to play the game, not the event’,” Franceschi notes. “I think psychologically, I can’t afford to go into any of those shows – whether it’s in Boston, Sydney, or Paris – thinking and having the sentiment every night of saying, ‘This is my last show in this place’.

“It’s of such paramount importance to me and to the lads to make sure that we’re at the very best we can be every night,” he adds. “So emotions can’t really play a part, and I have to be so focused on delivering something great.”

The plans for the day after are already sorted, however, with a big lunch set to see the band, their families, and everyone involved getting a chance to debrief and relax after such a long journey. While the band members might not know what’s on the cards for them going forward, Franceschi is focused on the future, and he won’t be thinking of anything else until he takes that final bow.

“If I can be less emotional about these shows, then I know I’ll enjoy it a lot more,” he notes. “That’s my mindset, it’s just, ‘Go make the most of it; go enjoy it; don’t worry about it’.

“Some people in bands start counting down the number of days left in the tour,” he adds. “I’ve never done that because I always think it takes away from what it ultimately is, which is about connection. 

“It’s about turning up, and turning up with the endeavor and the intent on cultivating a fucking beautiful night.”

YOU ME AT SIX and HOLDING ABSENCE January 2025 Australian Tour Dates:

Friday 24th January BRISBANE, The Tivoli
Sunday 26th January SYDNEY, Enmore Theatre
Monday 27th January, MELBOURNE, The Forum
Wednesday 29th January, ADELAIDE, The Gov
Friday 31st January PERTH, Astor Theatre

Tickets: Pre-Sale: Wednesday 15th May at 9:00am local
General Public on Sale: Friday 17th May at 9:00am local


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