You Me At Six’s Max Helyer: “The best way to describe how I write a song is that I look at it as though I’m a painter”

You Me At Six
(Image credit: Daniel Harris)

For pop-rock titans You Me At Six, the road to Suckapunch has been long and winding, fraught with potholes and speed-bumps aplenty. But now, on the cusp of the album’s hotly anticipated release (after a handful of COVID-related delays, of course), rhythm guitarist Max Helyer looks back on it all with a sigh of relief and a slight chuckle. It took him and his bandmates almost two decades to reach the level they’re at – the level they’ve always strived to reach, but never quite knew how to climb – and now that they’ve finally made it, there’s nothing but good vibes. 

Helyer describes Suckapunch as the definitive You Me At Six album, and such is certainly palpable when listening to it – from the glittery and lowkey “What’s It Like” to the absolutely mental “MAKEMEFEELALIVE”, LP7 showcases the band at their absolute most daring, unafraid to subvert traditional pop tropes with gritty punk attitudes, bassy electro-driven soundscapes and fiery rock ’n’ roll riffs. To achieve such a diverse and dynamic set of musical gems, the band took it upon themselves to spread far and wide outside their comfort zones; in Helyer’s case, that meant putting down the guitar and exploring the world of digital audio workstations.

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…