Hear the name Luke Hemmings and you most likely think of 5 Seconds of Summer, the multi-platinum pop-rock phenomenon he’s been fronting since he was 15. Their fourth full-length album – C A L M – dropped on March 27 2020, just as the world went into lockdown. With tour plans cancelled and the band members separated in their homes by quarantine restrictions, Hemmings found himself in a new state of stillness, and processing the constant movement of the past ten years. He channeled his reflections into song writing on acoustic guitar and piano, unexpectedly forming his first solo debut album, When Facing The Things We Turn Away From – which he claims focuses on “trying to decipher the last 10 years and all the things that are put on the back burner.”
“The only way for me to figure out all of what happened was to write music,” explains Luke. “That’s kind of my love language, and it was very cathartic to figure out all those things. So it deals with all of that stuff and a lot of it is written from now, looking back from a bird’s eye view. I guess hindsight is 20/20, but the song was written from the perspective of being in the thick of it, and trying to figure it out as a young adult.”
Luke is still the lead singer/frontman of 5 Seconds Of Summer, and when speaking on the lasting impact that the band has had on his creative process he expresses, “I’ve been in 5 Seconds of Summer for so long that it was second nature to write for the band, so it took a minute for me. When we first went into lockdown I was writing a lot of songs on my own and trying to do more production, with no intention of it going anywhere, and all those had a very 5 Seconds of Summer sound and lyrical tone to them.”
As the talent embarks on his additional solo career he sits down with Rollacoaster to chat about the songs that grew out of a year of stillness, the important role his fiancé Sierra played in the new album, and the unexpected creative gifts of quarantine.