One Direction are no strangers to criticism. Former Oasis singer Noel Gallagher has taken pot shots at One Direction on a number of occasions in the past. Gallagher even described One Direction as “five nobodies who won the lottery.” Now it seems that Matt Healy, the front-man of rock band The 1975, is the latest artist to throw shade at One Direction. Speaking to Spin, Healy has claimed that One Direction lack “artistic credibility” and claimed that they have stolen one of his songs.
— MTV News (@MTVNews) February 10, 2016
When you are Noel Gallagher, you have a proven track record in the music business and have arguably earned the right to criticize One Direction, and anyone else for that matter. When you are Matt Healy and your band is playing small to mid-sized venues rather than stadiums, you are perhaps well advised to keep your criticism of One Direction or anyone else to yourself.
Healy claims that One Direction asked to meet with him and said they liked his music. Apparently, One Direction then asked Healy if he would write a song for them.
“[One Direction] didn’t seem to be actually that interested; they just wanted to play me this song that they said was really, really inspired by us.”
Healy claims the song was “Change Your Ticket,” which appeared as a bonus track on One Direction’s Four album. Healy claims that the guitar parts and vibe from the One Direction track were a straight lift from his own song “Girls.” Healy claims he asked One Direction not to make his influence so obvious and says that they agreed.
“Listen guys, fill your boots, the song doesn’t sound that much like ‘Girls.’ But the guitar and the whole vibe of it is a complete lift. So take the guitars off, and we’re good.”
Healy rather sniffily claims that One Direction should have made it clear that he didn’t have a hand in writing the song because “it would have been a bad 1975 song.”
The 1975 star Matt Healy slams One Direction https://t.co/IWBcq5NHV8
— ChristinePhillips (@christinephili) February 9, 2016
According to The Mirror, Healy then went on to call One Direction’s credibility into question.
“[One Direction] are four guys who queued up outside an arena to sing in front of Simon Cowell. Do they really have any artistic credibility? That sounds like a mean thing to say, but it’s a good question. Like, do they?”
After Healy’s comments many One Direction fans will be questioning why Healy thinks he has the right to question another band’s credibility. The 1975 have a total of one album to their name, and while it was a hit in the U.K., it barely dented the charts anywhere else. One Direction have had five smash hit albums that reached No. 1 all over the world. One Direction have sold close to 30 million albums worldwide, while the 1975’s debut album was the 65th best selling album in the UK in 2013.
One Direction have scooped hundreds of music industry awards and have hundreds more nominations. The 1975 have three awards to their name, including one for “hardest working” band and one for the “worst band” of 2014. Incidentally, the 1975 have been around in one format or another for eight years longer that One Direction.
— Amplify (@thisisamplify) February 10, 2016
One Direction’s “Where We Are Tour” in support of Midnight Memories and Four was the highest-grossing concert tour in 2014 and the highest-grossing tour ever by a vocal group, generating $282 million. The 1975 still play to 2,000-capacity venues.
It is, of course, true that One Direction were brought together on a talent show and had the might of Simon Cowell’s SyCo and Sony music behind them. The 1975 have battled through to achieving a modicum of success the hard way. It must be extremely frustrating for artists to see bands like One Direction dominate the music scene for so long, but perhaps Healy has forgotten that you need to establish your own artistic credibility before you are in a place where you can criticize others.
Healy would do well to remember that music is subjective. One Direction have an enormous fan base right around the world. One Direction have sold tens of millions of records, One Direction have won numerous awards and have become one of the most famous bands on the planet. The 1975 have none of these achievements under their belts. Healy would do well to remember that.
[Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images]