In his recent YouTube video, the Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins shared his opinions on The 1975’s Matty Healy’s recent stage act.
During their headlining set at Good Vibes, Healy spoke against the Malaysian government’s anti-LGBTQ laws. In an act of solidarity, he also kissed bassist Ross MacDonald onstage. Their set was cut short, and the authorities ordered the cancellation of the following days of the festival.
In the video, Hawkins said:
“So what is the right thing to do? Is it to refuse to perform in any countries that have policies you disagree with? Some people say that it isn’t fair on the fans, or do you console activists in those countries before you perform there to see how best to align with them the way that it’s actually helpful?”
The frontman addressed the misunderstanding and backed Healy. He said:
“I don’t think there’s unanimously- there’s no way to please everybody in these situations anyway, obviously. But obviously, there was a spare-of-the-moment thing and the criticism, they aimed at Matty, and he’s just being performative and doesn’t care, but I don’t think you can argue that he doesn’t care- he obviously cares. He was furious. He was really angry about it. That’s obvious.”
Asked whether people would criticise another celebrity, like Beyonce, if they had done the same thing, Hawkins said it’s hard to imagine Beyonce doing it. After the comment, he added:
“I feel like [The 1975] are really determined to create a much more artsy aesthetic around the gig itself. It’s not just cashing, it’s more like an expression of… It’s something else. They are not operating within the norms of musical premators if you book a gig, you find the most cost-efficient way of doing it, and you take as much money as possible because you don’t know how long you can be up to do that for.”
Even though, according to Hawkins, how the band achieves success doesn’t seem like a budget-friendly thing, he still admires them. He continued:
“That isn’t how The 1975 do things. That’s actually one of the reasons why they’ve been such an enduringly successful band. I haven’t been around that long. They’re f*cking at the top all the time. People are always talking about the stuff they do. This is the number one example of that. But it doesn’t seem like a business strategy. It can be really costly endeavor.”
He topped it off with a question and added:
“But it has raised awareness about something he obviously cares about. Is it bad to keep your mouth shut, though, and not say anything? You get a bit less grief, but you’d be allowed in places like that, you’d be allowed. I don’t know. It just would make your life a little bit easier, I suppose.”
The 1975 frontman has done similar acts in their earlier performances as well. During their show in Dubai in 2019, though the United Arab Emirates has strict anti-LGBTQ laws that punish homosexuality with up to 10 years in prison, Healy intentionally broke the law and kissed a male fan who reportedly screamed ‘marry me’ before the kiss.
The band also has been banned from performing in Malaysia due to the frontman’s actions.
See the video below.