5 Seconds of Summer grace the cover of Rolling Stone, all five wearing nothing but painted-on lyrics. But the edgy photo is just the start of the uproar and the controversy as the Australian pop-punk band is getting much attention, but not quite what was intended.

5 Seconds of Summer

Photo: 5 Seconds of Summer
Credit: PR Photos

The band from Sydney, Australia, typically known as 5SOS for social media and hashtag convenience has suddenly got fans screaming and not in the usual teen idol manner. The four members did indeed pose in nothing but song lyrics and their hands strategically placed so as to literally speaking, not let it all hang out.

Yes, the entire lineup is on the Rolling Stone cover under the banner “The World’s Hottest Band.” That would be Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood, and Ashton Irwin who collectively had freewheeling and profane banter on mature topics. Calling it candid would be an understatement as they vacated the family-friendly, parental approval zone.

Well, this poses a problem, image-wise as Five Seconds of Summer’s brand has skated between the worlds of boy band teen pop music sensation and straight out punk-rock. Their second album got favorable reviews from critics who saw there is substance here, not just bubblegum pop. Were they solely in punk-rock territory hardly an eyebrow would be raised, or at least, a lot fewer eyebrows.

Their brand is one of the topic they address, as Ashton Irwin tells, Rolling Stone, “Seventy-five percent of our lives is proving we’re a real band. We’re getting good at it now. We don’t want to just be, like, for girls. We want to be for everyone. That’s the great mission that we have. I’m already seeing a few male fans start to pop up, and that’s cool. If the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and all those guys can do it, we can do it, too.”

And, as if to solidify the rock star persona, the band had some choice words to describe their off-stage activities. Describing, for instance, an approach to down time after songwriting and recording sessions that their collaborator, Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, recommended. Irwin said he said to band members, “He’s like, ‘You guys ever look up sh-t on the Internet?’ We’re like, ‘What type of sh-t?’ He’s like, ‘Girl stuff, like, hot girls dancing.’ So he goes on YouTube and writes ‘hot chicks dancing’ in the search. And we sat there watching hot chicks dancing. It was such a creepy dad-on-the-Internet move.”

And it went on from there as there were confessions of other such uses of the Internet. And we got the scoop on some offline activities too as Luke Hemmings said, “When you put four young dudes on a tour bus, playing theaters, then arenas, you’re going to have sex with a lot of girls, I guess.”

At one point, Michael Clifford, is quoted as saying, “Oh, man, this isn’t helping the article at all, is it?”

Well, it’s helped the article get a lot of attention and backlash from fans. But again, this is a band that’s straddling two world. Their first big break was touring as a supporting act for One Direction, after all.

It goes on from there, as band members talk about offline activities with much the same candor, and RS dutifully keeps intact ever expletive and colorful detail.

As the social media outrage continued, Clifford Tweeted, saying, “I hate when people include everything in an article EXCEPT the reason we’re a band; the fans.”

You can see the full interview here. It’s quite a long article and who knows what may happen if and when fans read it through as suggested. You can see the 5 Seconds of Summer Rolling Stone cover photo below.

A photo posted by Rolling Stone (@rollingstone) on