You Me At Six in Glasgow this weekend

YOU Me At Six have already topped the charts this year, and are set for two sell-out gigs at the O2 Academy this weekend.

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You Me at Six perform at the O2 Academy on Friday and Saturday nights
You Me at Six perform at the O2 Academy on Friday and Saturday nights

Yet the Surrey outfit are thinking ahead - and want to play the Hydro.

"I think we're trying to get our band to that next level and you want to start hitting arenas," says bassist Matt Barnes. "We'd want to start showing off a bit more, and not just be a band that plays music and then goes offstage.

"You could get some visuals that really add to the atmosphere and I'd like to say we could get to the Hydro, but I won't jinx it.

"Glasgow is an obvious big one for us as, Scotland always goes mental for us.

"The one that always sticks in my mind was at the SECC in 2012 - it just went off. It was one of the best gigs we've ever played."

No wonder Matt isn't keen on risking anything - 2014 has been very kind to the five-piece so far. After years of hard work, fourth album Cavalier Youth became their first No.1 record, confirming their status as one of Britain's biggest rock bands.

After a stressful period working on third record Sinners Never Sleep, Cavalier Youth proved a much less tense time, which Matt believes was down to the band working with producer Neal Avron, who has worked with the likes of Linkin Park and told the quintet exactly what he expected from them.

"Neal made everybody feel really comfortable with the writing process, and it was nice to have someone with different ears listening to the songs and giving different output," says the bassist.

"That really shaped Cavalier Youth because he was brutally honest. He'd say 'this is good but this could be a lot better', and that made us go backwards and forwards until we improved it. I like strong criticism, I don't like it when people say everything is amazing straight away, because it really isn't."

The band has been criticised by other sources, though. Some fans have expressed disappointment for the group cutting out songs with screaming in favour of more polished rock tunes, which prompts a strong rebuttal from Matt.

"I know there's a lot who've said they wanted screaming on it, or that there's not enough guitars on it, but I think that people are maybe neglecting what we've done on this record," argues.

"Hopefully people will open up their ears and realise we're not just following a trend, just like when we featured the screaming - that suited us at that time but that's not where we're going now.

"I still like bands that scream, but we're trying to progress and I don't think you can write the same record again...it's a cheapskate way of doing things."

If that criticism comes with the territory when releasing a new record, then Matt has a novel way of relaxing - he runs his own fashion label outside the group.

"I like to look and dress well, and have my own ideas as to what I want," he says.

"I don't really stop working, I work day and night and when you have passions that's what you do. You can't expect everything handed to you."

"We're not doing this to make a quick buck, we're doing it because we love music."

l You Me At Six, O2 Academy, sold out, Friday/Saturday, 7pm

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