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Original Guitarist Reflects on The 1975’s Early Years

Attention: fans of The 1975! Check out our brand-new biography, The 1975: Love, Sex & Chocolate. Author David Nolan interviewed key figures in the band’s story. “The big scoop,” as Nolan put it, was getting original guitarist Owen Davies to talk about the group’s early years and reflect on how far they’ve come. “He was there every step of the way,” said Nolan.

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The original lineup: Ross MacDonald, Adam Hann, Owen Davies, Matthew Healy and George Daniel (Photo: Owen Davies, 2007)

Davies was an original member of the five-piece group before they became a quartet and changed their name to The 1975. The band’s first name was Me And You Versus Them. Then they became Forever Drawing Six. Davies insists that despite misconceptions, the name “definitely wasn’t” Forever Enjoying Sex! They played as Drive Like I Do for two years. “Once we started recording our own music it was pretty much always under that name,” said Davies.

Davies said that in the early stages of Drive Like I Do, the band members were “evolving all the time with the sounds.” He explained, “If you were to listen to our early songs—one will be kind of like an early Fall Out Boy song and one will be a heavy Coheed [and Cambria]-style song and one will be a proggy song as well. We were always trying different things, sifting through what we did and didn’t like.”

Davies is still in touch with his former bandmates, and he saw them backstage at a show at the Manchester Arena this past December. He told Nolan, “I was saying to the boys afterwards that each venue gets bigger and bigger but they don’t look or feel out of place—to be honest the production quality fits a venue of that size now.”

Davies continued, “I was talking to George [Daniel, The 1975’s drummer] about the contrast between [the arena] and when we played a gig on the back of a [truck] in Newcastle in front of about two old age pensioners at some weird fair day at a racecourse. Big difference!” Davies wishes his former bandmates well as The 1975 continues to soar to new heights.

Davies did more than just share his story with Nolan. He also shared photos. Nolan recalled, “He said, ‘I’ve got these old pictures. Do you want to see them?’ How could I say no?” See some of those exclusive photos and learn The 1975’s behind-the-scenes story in The 1975: Love, Sex & Chocolate!

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