Can 5 Seconds Of Summer Learn Valuable Lessons From One Direction?

5 Seconds Of Summer shares a lot with One Direction. One Direction shares a management team with 5 Seconds Of Summer, and in many ways, their careers follow similar paths. Of course, One Direction also gave 5 Seconds of Summer their big break when they took the Aussie pop-punk quartet out on tour with them. Worryingly for 5 Seconds Of Summer fans, there are other similarities between them and One Direction that will be far from welcome.

5 Seconds Of Summer are just weeks away from a massive world tour in support of their sophomore album Sounds Good, Feels Good. It seems that 5 Seconds Of Summer are falling into a pattern that is all too familiar to fans of One Direction.

5 Seconds of Summer wrapped up their last world tour last October, and almost immediately, they were off around the world promoting their album. After a two-month break, much of it spent songwriting, 5 Seconds Of Summer’s next tour, “Sounds Live, Feels Live,” kicks off in Japan on February 19. The tour will see 5 Seconds Of Summer on the road until October, and doubtless they will spend any free time they might have between gigs writing and recording ready to release a third album shortly after the tour concludes, ready for the whole cycle to begin again.

It is established wisdom in the music industry that boy-bands have a very short shelf-life. Bands that retain their popularity for more than five years are rare, so there is always a temptation to make hay while the sun shines. Of course, 5 Seconds Of Summer have fought hard to shed the “manufactured boy-band” image that they were labelled with when they toured with One Direction.

To be fair to 5 Seconds Of Summer, they did not come through the talent show route and they have always written the majority of their own material. They do, however, attract fans from a similar, young and female, demographic that followed One Direction in their early days. Of course, 5 Seconds Of Summer have not yet been around for long enough to see their fans mature alongside them.

There is another huge similarity between 5 Seconds Of Summer and One Direction, and it is this similarity that should be the most worrying to them and their fans. That similarity comes by way of they way they are reported in the mainstream media. As One Direction head into their hiatus, the media is already showing that they are happy to report on just about anything except 5 Seconds Of Summer’s music.

In a major feature in Rolling Stone recently, we saw the first really big effort to sexualize 5 Seconds Of Summer. In that interview, we saw 5 Seconds Of Summer members boast about their wild ways including having sex with fans, sometimes with more than one at a time. The One Direction boys have been much more discreet about their own love lives, but that doesn’t stop the gossip columns running stories just about every day as to who the boys may or may not be dating.

We are already seeing outlets like the Daily Mail reporting that 5 Seconds Of Summer star Ashton Irwin had a tattoo to add to his growing collection of body art. Sound familiar? Some media outlets have obsessed over the One Direction boys’ tattoos for years.

Also in the Daily Mail, we see the earth shattering revelation that 5 Seconds of Summer’s Luke Hemmings “wore skinny jeans and carried his guitar” as he passed through Los Angeles Airport. Again, the headlines are eerily similar to hundreds we have seen written about One Direction over the last five years. For goodness sake, we even have a report in MTV that 5 Seconds Of Summer chilled out watching Deadpool in matching onesies.

It is perhaps the sexualization of 5 Seconds Of Summer that is the most worrying trait. Try googling Luke Hemmings and see how many of the articles written about him are about who he is dating. Like this one in Youth Health Magazine, there are many many more stories about Hemmings’ love life than there are about his music.

The sexualization of these young men seems to be something that is encouraged by their management team. 5 Seconds Of Summer would do well to learn from One Direction and avoid falling into that trap.

[Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]