October 23, 2015


Why Calum Hood Is 5 Seconds of Summer's Secret Weapon

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

There's something seriously awesome about 5 Seconds of Summer's loyal and intensely passionate fanbase. The members of the 5SOSFam (or the New Broken Scene, or whatever you want to call it) who love the band do so with mesmerizing totality. It's not often you'll come across a hardcore fan that dislikes any given member of the group; if you're in it, you're in it for all of them.

Still, it's not a perfect system: even with two full albums of material, the individual 5SOS members often focus their unique skills toward the greater good thanks to their democratic approach to songwriting. By doing so, some remarkable aspects of each member's personality can get lost in the shuffle. That's why, my friends, it's time to talk about Calum Hood.

When talking to longtime 5SOS producer and band BFF John Feldmann about the just-released Sounds Good Feels Good, it became apparent that the band is divided into two personality groups: The outgoing spirit of guitarist Michael Clifford and drummer Ashton Irwin, and the quietly resonating talent of vocalist Luke Hemmings and bassist Calum Hood. If Luke and Calum are the ones who naturally shy away from the spotlight more, then it's Hood who gets overlooked even more often, since Hemmings is the de facto frontman of the group.

One of the main takeaways from Sounds Good Feels Good, however, is that Calum's bass is more harnessed than ever, and that one of the shyest members of 5SOS is taking more control of the group's sound. On 5 Seconds of Summer's second album, Calum subtly becomes the group's secret weapon.

One of the most, if not the most, powerful songs on the release is "Invisible." It's a song about isolation and loneliness--the real sense of loss that comes with adolescence. In our exclusive track-by-track, we learn that the song tries to reflect the boys' suburban childhoods in Sydney, and being a kid but not knowing where to fit in. Feldmann explains:

"Calum came in and owned that song. He's not really the guy who will step in and take over situations like Michael and Ashton will. Luke and Calum are really kind of kindred spirits. Calum came in and said, 'This is my song.' I remember Michael tried to step in, but Calum slayed the chorus."

It's interesting that Hood's moment to shine spun into one of the most important tracks on the album--and at another part of the interview, we learn that he was also responsible for the call-to-action, life-affirming single "Hey Everybody!"

Engineer Zakk Cervini told us:

"My favorite part of the song is the "Whoa, whoa, oh's" that also act like the bass line. That's all Calum. Calum is an incredible writer--I've worked with a ton of musicians, [and] Calum is probably the best bass player I've ever worked with. That's the track where Calum really shines through because he sings the chorus but also because it's so bass-driven."

We know Hood is an incredible bassist, and now we know that he was the driving force behind arguably the two most crucial tracks on the new 5SOS album. Then why does it feel like the Calum is under-appreciated when it comes to the other 5SOS members? Are we reading too much into this?

So today, on the final day of 5SOS Week and the release date of Sounds Good Feels Good, let's give Calum Hood the love and recognition he deserves. Let's appreciate him for how he makes 5SOS the band they are. And most importantly, let's make sure to give each dude individual credit for who they are and what they create.