The 1975 — from left, George Daniel, Ross MacDonald, Matty Healy and Adam Hann — appear at the Greek Theatre this weekend. (Courtesy photo)
Matty Healy has been on an emotional rollercoaster for the three years between his English outfit The 1975’s debut recording and “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It,” its recent chart-topping followup. “I went from nothing to everything, and it was something that I was struggling to come to terms with,” says the reluctant teen idol. He grew so popular, he was rumored to be dating Taylor Swift; got so sick of social media, he deleted all of the band’s accounts for 24 hours; and melted down onstage on a particularly harrowing night. “It all got very Shakespearean,” he admits.
Your fans are rabidly devoted to you. Some of the young guys have even adopted your angular hairstyle.
It’s amazing, and it’s very humbling. But I think they freaked me out at times when I first went on the road, because I was only 23, and I’d never experienced anything like that before. So it kind of gives you this identity crisis, and then that feeds back into who you are, and then that consequently feeds into the new material. Especially this new record.
How did you get linked to Taylor Swift?
She was a fan of the band, and we just became friends. And we related to each other over how mental our lives were at the time. The only experiences I’ve had with her were being in a couple of cars and a couple of rooms with her. But there were so many people flying around her all the time, I just didn’t like the pace of it.
You basically went to the edge of the abyss, right?
Yes. There’s loads of stuff to be learned by how far you can take stuff, psychologically. I used to try and hold my breath when I was a kid, and I would just do it until something started to change. I liked things changing. But it’s just a form of losing yourself, like art, sex, religion, drugs. That’s why all my work is always about the desire to fill the God-shaped hole, the pursuit of God for the lack of God within me.
How do you feel about all those devices, filming you in concert?
There’s a point in the show where I address that. I say to people, “I fear that if we have such a desire to document everything, we might miss what’s actually happening. So there’s no point in doing a show if you’re going to retrospectively experience it.” So I tell everybody to turn their cellphone off, like, “Let’s just have me and you and us for 10 minutes, and let’s just f—ing be here.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Greek Theatre, 2001 Gayley Road, Berkeley
When: 7:30 p.m. April 22