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'When I'm on stage, the showman in me takes over': Matty Healy of The 1975 on finding solace in the studio

The 1975 are a must-see live act - and frontman Matty Healy was thrilled to be taking the band's new album on tour. With the gigs now cancelled, he reveals how he is finding some solace in returning to the studio

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Frustration: Matty Healy says the lockdown has made it into his lyrics. Photo by Ed Blow

Frustration: Matty Healy says the lockdown has made it into his lyrics. Photo by Ed Blow

Frustration: Matty Healy says the lockdown has made it into his lyrics. Photo by Ed Blow

Matty Healy is so direct it's disconcerting. The first time I interviewed The 1975 frontman - just before the release of the band's third album, the UK chart-topping A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships - I tentatively broached the subject of his former drug addiction. He discussed his dependency on heroin with the sort of frankness that is completely at odds with big-name pop stars who try to reveal as little of their weaknesses as possible.

This time, when I ask the Cheshire-raised frontman about how he is coping with lockdown imposed to contain Covid-19, he doesn't sugar-coat it. "I'm struggling, mate." Healy has locked himself away in the studio in rural Northamptonshire where the band have recorded most of their music. He's there with bandmate George Daniel - drummer and co-producer - and a handful of unnamed musicians. He says he is trying to find positives "in this really shitty time".

When he speaks to Review, he is still coming to terms with the disappointment of the cancellation of a world tour in support of The 1975's latest album, Notes on a Conditional Form. "We were so looking forward to getting out there and playing these songs." He sighs. "In the scheme of things, it's not a huge thing - I'm not asking for people's sympathy. It's just... who saw this coming? And when does it end?"