5 Seconds of Summer are locked in a dead heat with Beyoncé and JAY-Z for the No. 1 spot on this week’s Billboard 200 albums chart. When the Australian quartet released its long awaited third studio album Youngblood last Friday (June 15), they had no idea -- just like us -- that the Carters were about to unleash a tantalizing collaborative record the next day. Outside competition aside, the 5SOS boys were in giddy, good spirits over breakfast in New York at their Lower East Side hotel on the morning of Youngblood's release.
They’ve got good reason to be. After promising an album in 2017 and failing to deliver, 5SOS’ first album in three years -- an interminable wait compared to their early-career output -- satisfied a frenzied fanbase and launched a new era in the lives of guitarists Michael Clifford and Luke Hemmings, bassist Calum Hood, and drummer Ashton Irwin.
“We were so comfortable in pop-punk because that’s what we grew up listening to,” Clifford says, referencing a two-year span that saw 5SOS release two LPs, tour relentlessly, and rise to international fame with “She Looks So Perfect." (Yes, the "American Apparel underwear" song.)