years and years

Words by: Aimee Phillips
Photography: Jack Alexander
Assisted by: Kelly Gellard
Styling: Anne Lauritzen
Assisted by: Dominyka Josvilaite
Grooming: Elaine Lynskey

On the band’s sophomore album title, Palo Santo.
“The album is called Palo Santo for many different reasons,” explains frontman Olly Alexander. “We had this song called ‘Palo Santo’ that was written really early on in the process – I think it might have been the first song that we wrote – and I’ve always really loved the title. Plus, the album title translates literally to ‘holy wood, which I thought was really funny because it’s a bit of an entendre.”

On how creating and writing for Communion differed from Palo Santo:
“That period of your twenties, 24 to 27, I feel like you do a lot of growing up. I’ve definitely found it a big transformation. We went from being a band that no one knew about to having a #1 album and touring the world. That experience alone was totally life-changing.”

On their fanbase:
“I’ve seen the way our fans respond to the music and seeing it work shows that I can stick with my gut feeling. You think, how the hell has that happened? I feel like I’ve just won a lottery ticket.”

years and years

On achieving a more transparent gay horizon in society, and the role the music industry plays:
“I think every artist has a different journey, but what’s great about 2018 is that artists can have a huge platform and fanbase on social media, which labels can’t extort. That can be a way for an artist to save themselves, and that’s why we’ve seen a real encouraging rise of queer artists like Kim Petras and Troye Sivan.”

On seeing fans and performing in Korea:
“Recently, we played a show in Korea and it just blew my mind that we had fans in Korea screaming for us at the airport. I was like, how the hell has this happened? Life has interesting twists and turns! That was a real ‘pinch me’ moment.”

years and years

Issue #9 featuring Olly Alexander of Years & Years and many others is now available for pre-order HERE.