SURREY rockers You Me At Six raised a few eyebrows when they teamed up with a songwriter who has penned tracks for the likes of Adele and Kylie.

The five-piece brought Eg White on board as well as Athlete frontman Joel Pott to collaborate on songs for 2018’s VI. Typically rock bands write their own material but You Me At Six frontman Josh Franceschi told Weekend that ‘throwing out the rulebook’ for their sixth album was one of their best decisions.

He said: “If you’re passionate about what you’re doing and want to evolve then nothing should be off the table.

“As a songwriter I wanted to learn more about my craft and how I can be better at doing that and that’s why we went into those sessions.

“It’s a little bit taboo. Some people think co-writing is for pop stars but it’s not. It’s just about being in a room with like-minded people who may not be in your group but can bring something out in you.

“If you go back to the same old drawing boards you’ve been going to for 12 or 13 years and are expecting different results it’s very unlikely that will happen. So I think this was a worthwhile pursuit and a healthy one. We threw out the rulebook with VI and now even more so with the songs we’re working on in the studio right now.”

You Me At Six – who headline Neighbourhood Weekender’s second stage on Saturday – may be thinking about their future in terms of their evolving sound.

But they have also been thinking about their early days after recently celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut, Take Off Your Colours. with a series of special shows that they played the record in full.

Josh added: “When we were writing those songs, aged 15 or 16, in our bedrooms and in our crappy rehearsal space in Surrey, we never imagined that 10 years later people would even care what we were doing with our lives let alone coming out to shows in the volume that they did.

“I feel very lucky to be part of something that has stood the test of time and it was a real celebration with and for the fans.”

Josh reckons hard work and a ‘big old slice of luck’ is the key to cracking the music industry and the shows have had him reminiscing about the old days.

The 28-year-old said: “We basically put together tours through Myspace and we’d do things like jump on a Megabus or get an early train cross country to get to a show and then sleep on someone’s floor.

“I’m not sure if that’s something that up-and-coming bands would do now. I don’t know if that’s fair but these days there’s more focus on getting a cool social media following than there is in going out and earning your stripes playing pubs and tiny venues. That’s what built us.”

Josh added: “I remember the first time my parents dropped me at the airport. They were super emotional because their 18-year-old kid was going on tour in America with his five mates and the oldest person in our touring crew was our manager who at the time was 24.

“He’d barely left Leeds let alone toured America so that changed things and taught us a lot. At that age you’re really discovering who you are and then to have a top five record when we were 20 was just insane.

“At times it was definitely testing but everything you go through is part of a process of figuring out what you’re made of and what you have to offer.”