When 5 Seconds of Summer named their fourth studio album “CALM,” out Friday, the band had no idea how much that quality would be needed in the world today.
“The album title came from the first letters of all of our names,” says lead singer Luke Hemmings, 23, of bandmates Calum Hood (bass), Ashton Irwin (drums) and Michael Clifford (guitar). “And it’s also a nod to our fans that coined us that name in our early days. They’ve been using that acronym for a long time. It kind of just sums up [that] we’re a little bit older and a little bit wiser . . . But it was named before this went down, obviously.”
Of course, Hemmings is referring to the coronavirus crisis that has left the world shaken — and that certainly shook up their plans to release “CALM,” as each of the previous LPs from the Australian pop-rock band debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart. “We were gonna go all over the world, do all these kinds of things, and then we just couldn’t,” he says. “But honestly, we wanted the album out really badly. We were waiting a long time for it to come out.”
While Hemmings has been staying at home in Los Angeles, he has been communicating with his bandmates — all of whom also live in LA — through Zoom. And he has found some positives in taking this pause from their plans. On his daily walks with his girlfriend, Sierra Deaton, he says, “People have more time to say hi or give a smile. In such an unrelaxed, uncertain time . . . everyone seems a bit kinder.”
The band is partnering with the Calm app on four exclusive remixes of new album tracks “Easier,” “Old Me,” “Red Desert” and “Best Years” that are designed to chill your nerves. Hemmings says that he was already a fan of the app. “It’s a tool that I use to help with my own mental health,” he says, pointing out that his favorite features are “the walk-through meditations and stuff to go to sleep. The Matthew McConaughey bedtime stories are pretty awesome.”
As for how else he stays calm, Hemmings says, “I try and exercise every day, because unfortunately it’s extremely linked to your mental health. ‘Unfortunately’ I say for my laziness.”
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