Matt Healy Things Only Super Fans Of The 1975 Know

Leading the way for British band The 1975 is their inimitable singer Matt Healy. At first, the group was indistinguishable among other emo acts, so they rebranded as The 1975, changed to a slick rock sound, and released their 2013 self-titled debut. Less than a decade later, the group released their fifth album and by that time, Healy admitted his reputation was divisive. "One could criticize me for loads of things, but you can't criticize me for being insincere. Annoying, whatever. But I'm not insincere," he declared to The New York Times. "I know I am pretentious, but I'd be the first person to tell you that," Healy also admitted to The Guardian.

Known equally for his live show antics and his poignant lyrics, Healy's personality developed thanks to familiar items of the early aughts. "I remember torrenting music, talking on MSN, and creating my first Myspace," he recalled to The Fader. Yet, Healy always thought a little differently than others around him, which helped turn him into an overnight star. "Last August I was writing demos, and since then, we've recorded an album, toured the world and supported The Rolling Stones," Healy told the Belfast Telegraph

"It was like every fantasy and dream becoming a reality all together," Healy gushed to USA Today about Mick Jagger dancing to one of his songs. This dream wasn't always easy, with Healy's journey including family tragedies, substance abuse, and controversies. These are just a few of the things only the biggest Healy fans know.

Matt Healy's relationship with his family

Long before singing to stadiums filled with thousands of fans, Matt Healy was a young boy growing up in Newcastle, England. This northeastern city is a long way from London, where Healy was born, and by age 10, he and his family moved to Manchester. Entertaining is in his blood, as both his mom Denise Welch and his dad Tim Healy were actors. Yet, young Healy remembers his family friends included a wide range of professions, including welders. In his opinion, as he told Clash Music, becoming a rock star was "partially to do with the creative environment I was brought up in."

Healy also has a complicated relationship with his upbringing. For example, the band wrote many of their songs at Healy's parents' house while he was still living with them. Then, as he explained to the Belfast Telegraph in 2013, "they separated and sold the house. I moved out this morning so I'm now technically homeless." Healy also admitted that his parents separated at a pivotal moment for the band. "We've got a massive tour coming up and an album to release, but at the same time I've nowhere to live properly and my family isn't the same as it was," he explained. 

That same year, he was also coping with the death of his grandmother, "whom I was really close to, earlier this year, and I've been trying to finish a song, but I can't because I keep crying writing it," Healy told The Herald.

From odd jobs to becoming a frontman

Like many teens, Matt Healy worked a series of temporary jobs outside of his clear passion for making music. For example, he once worked at a call center. "I loved to impress myself and my mates while living a life of sh*tty jobs," Healy joked to Clash Music. He only lasted a week at British clothing brand FatFace and "f***ing hated it," he confessed to NME. His first job ever was for a coffee shop called Caffé Nero. In an adorable throwback, Healy's mom posted a photo on Twitter of her son wearing the shop's t-shirt and clearing a table. 

Even after forming The 1975, Healy wasn't the only one to continue with strange positions. He and the rest of the band had already been together for ten years but became delivery men for a Chinese restaurant in Wilmslow, England called the Flame and Wok. The band's drummer George Daniel first started working there, followed by lead guitarist Adam Hann, and finally Healy. "By the end of it, we were just delivery drivers," Healy recalled to NME.

After a day of work, Healy would then write music. According to the future frontman, he was always dreaming of bigger plans but was still cautious for fear that the band might not break out. "I always thought if we go for it and we're not 100% sure what we're gonna do then it might not work, so we waited," he told Clash Music.

Details about the earliest days of his career

For a band that brought rock to a new generation, The 1975 started their career in perhaps the most un-rock 'n' roll venue imaginable — a senior citizen center. Matt Healy remembered the location had a bingo hall, which also featured a small stage. According to the singer, an employee at the center hosted concerts for local kids. "The first gig we ever played was there, to a room of about 250 kids who were all going absolutely mental," Healy told Clash Music. Being only around 14 years old at the time, the frontman had his first taste of being a rock star. "Once we came offstage we decided, right, that is it — that's what we want to do with the rest of our lives," Healy added. Reflecting back, he never thought becoming a famous singer was out of reach. One of his earliest childhood memories was watching Michael Jackson. While his father's friends considered the "King of Pop" to be from another planet, Healy remembers deciding, "I'm a lot more like him than you. I totally get what he's doing."

According to Healy, the band formed since there wasn't much else going on in town. "We met at school. We kinda started out of boredom," Healy dished to B3 Sci. After performing covers, the group began creating original songs, which, as Healy revealed to Gigwise, was "a lot better than going to work — or going to school."

Here's what Matt Healy's tattoos mean

The most noticeable physical feature of Matt Healy apart from his different hair styles are his tattoos. Part of the reason for his love for tattoos came from convenience. When Healy was 17, a tattoo parlor opened up right next door to the house of his friend and drummer George Daniel. The singer recalled that he and Daniel would go into the shop and let employees practice on their legs. As a result, his legs are full of "insignificant, silly tattoos that don't mean anything," Healy told Hit Network

Yet, he also has many meaningful tattoos. Healy said one of his favorites is a heart on the inside of his arm that says "Allerton," which he explained is a reference to his favorite book "Queer" by author William S. Burroughs. The singer also mentioned he loved the tattoo on his chest, which he got to remember his late grandmother. He admitted that his grandmother hated all the ink on his body and made Healy promise to never get a tattoo of her once she died. "Then about 16 hours after she died, I got a tattoo on my chest," Healy said. It says, "Annie. True Love," per Body Art Guru.

Among his many other tattoos is a cartoon by artist David Shrigley and even a tattoo that says "Wabi-Sabi" inside his mouth. "It's a Japanese aesthetic paradigm about the impermanence of beauty," Healy explained to The Guardian about his inner lip tattoo.

Matt Healy was responsible for naming The 1975

Similar to legendary British rockers The Beatles, The 1975 purposefully have "The" attached to the band name. It was around 2003 when the band first formed but between then and their 2013 debut album, the group went through several line-up changes, Healy explained to the Belfast Telegraph. Early fans wouldn't even recognize The 1975 name, as the group with Matt Healy went through multiple names too. Some of the old band names were Talkhouse, The Slowdown, Bigsleep, and Drive Like I Do.

During a trip to Majorca, Spain, Healy stumbled upon the home of an avid rock 'n' roll fan, who invited the singer into his home. The homeowner then lent books about the Beat Generation, including one by author Jack Kerouac, per The Guardian. In this book, Healy recalled, "I found a page of scribblings. It wasn't really disturbing or dark or anything ... the important thing that stuck with me was that the page was dated '1st June. The 1975,'" Healy told The Guardian. "At the time I just thought that the word 'The' preceding a date was a strong use of language," the singer recalled. While at first the scribbling appeared inconsequential, upon reflection, Healy realized that "when it came to naming the band, it was perfect."

Matt Healy wasn't always a singer

Matt Healy remembers the day when the first idea of The 1975 began. The group's lead guitarist Adam Hann was seeing a girl that he knew, so she came up to him and declared, "My boyfriend wants to start a band and he knows that you played drums," Healy recalled to GQ. He accepted and initially pulled double duty in the band as both a drummer and singer. The group then invited another singer named Elliott who was in another band at the time to perform with them. 

According to Healy, the tryout was a disaster and Elliott left after one rehearsal. That same singer went on to be in a band called the Editors. "Yeah, I was originally the drummer, but then I met George, and it changed my life," Healy said about George Daniel, the current drummer for The 1975. Reportedly, Healy and his other bandmates first connected with Daniel while all attending the same school. Now as the singer instead of the drummer, Healy experimented with vocal styles ranging from "scally" to "mosher," he told The Guardian.

Even after cementing himself as an extremely talented singer and songwriter, Healy's skills on the drum set didn't completely disappear. In 2019, musician No Rome tweeted that his song "5 Ways to Bleach Your Hair" featured Healy on the drums. Sure enough, in the music video, Healy is seen playing the drums in the background while wearing a coonskin hat.

Life as Matt Healy, the star

Starting out as four friends making music in a bedroom, Matt Healy and The 1975 had their lives completely changed following their debut album. All of a sudden, the band was famous and touring all over the world. Healy was especially popular as the frontman and face of the group, even becoming a sex symbol. While he called his experience of fame and "becoming objectified sexually" interesting, the lead singer admitted to The AU Review that fame eventually became boring.

"We've not lost our sense of grounding or a sense of where we came from" Healy explained, while admitting that his aspirations changed after becoming popular. He even felt surprised by life in a famous band. "It's not been as mad as I thought," he told the Belfast Telegraph. According to the singer, instead of being at home and basking in success, "when your band takes off, you're not around to see it because you're so busy working." This also comes with tremendous opportunities and stress that few ever experience. "I have never been so nervous in my entire life," Healy recalled to Vogue about opening for The Rolling Stones in London.

Although Healy became a well-known figure in entertainment, he disliked some of the expectations of fame like being friends with other celebrities. This was especially true for fellow musicians. "Why would I be mates with whoever because we're both in the charts? It's f***ed," the singer told News Corp Australia Network.

Matt Healy has a distinctive on-stage presence

When The 1975 started to take their show on the road and began growing their fan base even more, playing live shows became the norm for young Matt Healy. "I've gone from nothing to being on tour. And now, I've never not been on tour," he told Teen Vogue. More than simply singing into the microphone, Healy became known for his unpredictable behavior during the live shows. By 2022, no one could guess what Healy would do on tour. This included kissing fans but spitting on others. Healy would say random things in an autotuned filter, like empathizing with people with seats all the way in the back of the venue. "I love you, though. S*** seats to be fair," he said (via The Tab).

During a tour stop in 2022 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Healy is seen taking his shirt off, sipping from a flask, taking a few bites from what appeared to be a raw steak, and finally performing a few push-ups. That same year, in the middle of a concert in Newport, Kentucky, fans witnessed the lead singer get a tattoo on his chest that said "I'm a man."

To sum up his performances, Healy explained that he simply wants to put on a good show and for his fans to have a great evening. "It's a party at the end of the day," he told Variety.

What Matt Healy thinks about social media

From the early days as a band, The 1975 grew up in the social media age and learned how to navigate life online and connect this to their music. "We have been careful with our presence as a band," Healy told Fame Magazine in 2012 about social media. "We've found that a less is more approach has been truer to ourselves. This band is our life so we want to keep certain elements of it for just us for now" he explained. By 2018, social media had become such a normal part of pop culture that the group released an album called "A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships." Many of the themes on the album came from Healy, who realized, "all of our communication with other people — is mediated through the internet," something he explained to The Fader.

Personally, Healy explained he is much more focused on crafting thought out song lyrics than writing social media posts. To him, social media was mostly a way to build interest for The 1975 instead of expressing his actual opinions, as he told The Believer. Though he admitted that a single tweet could reach significantly more people than any of his lyrics, Healy still believed the most in his craft as a musician. "I've thought about every single word on this album for two years," he told Pitchfork. Healy's motto when it comes to life is: "It's better to say good things less than to say average things more."

Everyone Matt Healy has dated

While Matt Healy is certainly not everyone's cup of tea, there is a conflicting appeal about the singer. "He's the most annoying but somehow the smartest person in your class where you're like, 'I really want to make out with you but you're such a dick,'" a fan told Mashable. There were rumors of a relationship between Healy and Taylor Swift in 2014, after he wore a Swift t-shirt during a live performance. Swift was then in the audience during Healy's concert in Los Angeles and was also spotted by paparazzi wearing a t-shirt of the band. While it was never confirmed the two were anything more than supporters of each other back then, Healy and Swift appeared to stay friendly over the years, as he let Swift listen to The 1975 album "Being Funny in a Foreign Language" before the public release. Healy and the band also worked with Swift on her album "Midnights" but their collaboration was scrapped, Healy told Audacy Music

Ultimately, Healy and Swift did eventually date, but they broke up after just about a month together in 2023.

In 2022, Healy posted a photo on Instagram of himself kissing musician Phoebe Bridgers. Comedian Bo Burnham stands behind both the musicians in the photo and instead of a relationship for Healy, this photo sparked rumors that Burnham and Bridgers were allegedly together. As for Healy's romantic relationships, he was linked for years with British musician Tahliah Barnett, also known as FKA Twigs. After breaking up, Healy appeared to be dating a Canadian influencer named Charlotte Briar D'Alessio.

An explosive controversy for Matt Healy

One of the darkest days in music history was during a 2017 Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. That evening, there was a terrorist bombing attack that killed 22 people. The 1975 were in the United States touring then, but Healy took a moment during one concert to talk about the tragedy in a town he grew up in. "I'm f***ing pissed off," Healy told the Detroit crowd, as seen in a fan video. "I'm bored of nationalism and I'm bored of racism. It's over. Nationalism, religion, all these regressive things, they're over. We can't carry on in the way that we're carrying on," the singer pleaded. "We're from Manchester ... the actual place that we used to hang out, someone put a bomb in there tonight and then killed a bunch of kids that were going to a f***ing show in Manchester," he declared to the crowd. The emotional speech prompted cheers from the crowd but a few years later, many of those same fans were confused by Healy's actions. In the music video for the song "People," Healy appears to be wearing an explosive vest while holding a detonator. He pushes the trigger and turns into hearts and thumbs up emojis.

Figen Murray, a mother of one of the Manchester bombing victims, condemned the clip and tweeted that Healy should "be very ashamed." Healy explained to Genius the track "came from a place of anger" and was about censorship of progressive thoughts.

When Matt Healy's comments went too far

On The 1975 track "Love It If We Made It," Matt Healy lists off numerous pop culture references and phrases. One of the lyrics says, "Rest in peace Lil Peep," in reference to the popular young rapper who died of an accidental drug overdose. When talking about the reasoning for including the lyric in the song, Healy explained that Lil Peep's death was part of a bigger problem in hip-hop. "At the moment, with SoundCloud rap, it's become a bit of a drug-taking competition, and that happened in rock and roll," the singer told The Fader. SoundCloud, the online music sharing site, helped launch Lil Peep's career in addition to other big names like Billie Eilish and Juice Wrld, another rapper who died from an accidental overdose. Healy then continued his thoughts by sharing that he believed misogyny "still exists in hip-hop because [the genre] is so young, but it'll stop." The lead singer added about rap music, "the scene's relationship with women hasn't caught up to its relationship with itself, but that's something that will happen."

Following The Fader interview, Healy received backlash for his statements. The negative press was so strong that Healy, who rarely posts personal messages on social media, apologized for his comments on twitter. "This bit of me talking in an interview reads as patronising, uninformed and reductive. And to be fair it is. And I'd like to apologise," he said in since-deleted tweets.

The truth behind Matt Healy's drug use

Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll is a common phrase for a reason. Drug use for rock stars is well documented, like with the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. Matt Healy also admitted to taking drugs but it got to a point where his bandmates became concerned for his well-being. The rest of The 1975 had an intervention with Healy, who lashed back and essentially told them that he could do anything he wanted as the lead singer. Healy regretted his words and the next day told the band's drummer George Daniel, "I should go to rehab," per Billboard

As of 2022, Healy had gone four years without using heroin. The singer said staying sober was "kind of easy for me, because it's so scary, gross, dirty, and no one f***s with it — you don't go for a pizza and someone puts heroin in front of you," he told Pitchfork. Instead, Healy focused on exercising and eating well so he could stay in top form for worldwide tours with the band. As far as vices, he continued to smoke marijuana but admitted he was trying to reduce his consumption. "I'm an addict, so it's not fine. I don't wanna be addicted to anything anymore," he confessed.

According to Healy, his change of attitude worked. "I've managed to get to a place where I know nobody around me is particularly worried about me running off and scoring," he told The New York Times.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

How tall is Matt Healy?

In photos alongside his three other bandmates, Matt Healy appears to be rather short in comparison. In reality, he's about as tall as Taylor Swift, both just under six feet in height. During an interview with The Fader, Healy admitted that the biggest misconception about him was less about the meanings of his lyrics or personality but rather how tall he was. "Everyone in the band is 6'4" and I'm 5'10", so everyone thinks that I'm 5'5". That's one of them," Healy said.

In a video posted by a fan, a woman next to Healy asks how tall the singer is. Healy then puts his arm around the fan and explains, "I'm 5'11", 6-foot in these shoes." The frustrated frontman then asked, "How can I be f***ing 5'5", 5'6"?" He was referring to the assumption that he is short in stature and quipped, "I am sick to f***ng death of this. I am a big boy!" 

In the earlier days of the band's success, Healy's personal style often involved black jeans and Chelsea boots, which are known to have a heel to provide some extra height. Healy then dropped the heels for his on-stage performances after figuring out that sneakers made a lot more sense for live shows. "I've only started wearing trainers onstage recently and it liberated my life," he told Vogue. "It opened up a new world — how much movement it gives you," he added about wearing sneakers.

What masculinity means to Matt Healy

Matt Healy has a varied taste in looks, from formal suits to wearing lipstick and painted fingernails. "My whole thing is about personal expression," he told Teen Vogue. From a young age, Healy had a unique way of expressing himself that his male peers didn't always understand. He told GQ, "I did get slapped about a bit in Manchester for having long hair and looking like a poofta when I was a teenager, but who didn't get stuff for being slightly different?" 

Growing up, Healy said he embraced his effeminate ways even if it meant sticking out. "All the straight boys who tried to start a fight with me, I always tried to make them laugh or charm them," Healy told The Fader. He also explained that some of his role models growing up were musical artists who weren't portrayed as macho, rock 'n' rollers like Prince and George Michael. Healy said becoming a pop star like these men was the perfect job for a "zero judgment" environment.

As he grew older and became a more experienced song writer, Healy continued to explore what it meant for him to be a man. He joked to Pitchfork that many of the songs on the 2022 album "Being Funny in a Foreign Language" were "all about my dick." He further explained, "I think it's because there's such potency to the idea of the dick, and so much fragility in modern masculinity, and my masculinity."