The 1975’s Frontman Matty Healy’s Lollapalooza Commentary on Malaysia

The 1975
The 1975 | Shutterstock

The 1975’s Frontman Speaks Out: A Lollapalooza Recap

In a recent performance at Lollapalooza, Matty Healy, the lead vocalist of the English pop-rock band The 1975, remarked about Malaysia. Healy, known for his candid and often controversial stage presence, advised his fans, “You want my travel tip? Don’t go to…” before the band interrupted him with the opening chords of 1975’s hit song, “It’s Not Living If It’s Not With You.”

While Healy didn’t explicitly mention Malaysia, his comment clearly referenced his recent troubles in the Southeast Asian country. The band’s performance at a music festival in Malaysia was abruptly halted due to Healy’s on-stage kiss with bandmate Ross MacDonald, an act that violated the country’s stringent anti-homosexuality laws.

The incident raises a broader question: How should artists navigate performances in countries with anti-LGBT laws?

Explore The 1975’s best songs.

The 1975: A Brief Background

Formed in 2002 in Wilmslow, Cheshire, England, The 1975 is a pop-rock band known for their eclectic sound and thought-provoking lyrics. The band comprises lead vocalist and principal songwriter Matty Healy, lead guitarist Adam Hann, bassist Ross MacDonald, and drummer and primary producer George Daniel.

A page of scribblings inspired the band’s name in Healy’s copy of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” dated “1 June, The 1975.” The band members met in secondary school and began performing together as teenagers before professionally releasing music in 2012 under the independent label Dirty Hit.

The 1975’s discography includes several chart-topping albums, such as their self-titled debut album, The 1975, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, Notes on a Conditional Form, and Being Funny in a Foreign Language. Their music has earned them numerous awards and nominations, including four Brit Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards, and nominations for the Mercury Prize and Grammy Awards.

The Controversy in Malaysia

In 2023, The 1975 was banned from performing in Malaysia due to “controversial conduct and remarks” during their performance at the Good Vibes Festival. This included a same-sex kiss onstage between Healy and MacDonald, and Healy openly criticized the country’s strong anti-LGBT laws. The remainder of the festival was then canceled by local authorities, leaving many vendors at the venue with unsold food.

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