As the end of the year approaches and we prepare for the holidays, the music biz tends to look back and celebrate the best releases, concerts, award show moments, tweets, late night performances of the calendar year—everything and anything tangentially related to our preferred artistic medium. These mullings often lead me to wonder about those who never even entered our periphery, the “Wow, what happened to ____ ? Where have they been for the last year?” conversations that inevitably arise when a famous musician isn’t hocking Oreos at Target, or whatever.
It’s no radical mode of operation: Where In the World Is Taylor Swift? is a popular genre of writing for most gossip blogs, but I’m genuinely worried about four, 6-foot-something, missing-in-action boys: the Aussie dudes of 5 Seconds of Summer. Let’s break it down, shall we?
In 2011, four pop-punk boys from Down Under came together to cover Blink-182 and All Time Low and other Warped Tour bands and posted that shit on YouTube. It became immediately clear that these teens were talented instrumentalists; they could all sing and harmonized flawlessly with one another (a band trait that cannot be revered enough) and eventually gained a following so large, they caught the eye of One Direction and opened for them on two stadium tours. During that time, 5 Seconds of Summer released two full-length albums, 2014's self-titled and 2015's Sounds Good Feels Good.
The band quickly became ravenous for a rebrand—they were never a boy band in the traditional sense, but they resonated with that audience: young, female, and loyal as hell. A Rolling Stone cover story inspired controversy, a real moment of earth-shattering transparency for its PG-13 audience (plus me), but most fans stayed close to the object of their musical affection. But that was in December of 2015. Where the heck have they been?
In June 2016, 5 Seconds of Summer emerged from their six-month slumber with “Girls Talk Boys,” an original—and certainly funky—track for the Ghostbusters remake. They disappeared quickly after, reemerging as a featured artists on “Take What You Want” by Japanese rock band ONE OK ROCK (I’d liken them to Linkin Park stateside. A big fuckin’ deal!) in January of this year.
This summer, they played a few festivals, something boy bands typically avoid. (If you’re big enough to sell out stadiums on your own, why open for Foo Fighters or whatever?) They’ve been rocking the same perfectly poppy pop-punk material for years, and recently have been doing more than just hinting at studio time. But, like, have you even seen them around?
It’s been three years, which is forever! What do they even sound like anymore? What have they been doing? When will they return my calls? As of Saturday, they’ve been a band for six years... where is that dang third album?
If you have any information on the disappearance of 5 Seconds of Summer, please hit up our tip line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Only you can help us find them.