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McFly – Power To Play
Seven No.01 singles. Six albums, two of them chart-toppers. One hiatus. One reunion. Hundreds of shows. Thousands of fans. Millions of streams. Countless awards. After all of that, McFly still have one question for you.
Where Did All The Guitars Go?
Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Harry Judd and Dougie Poynter are taking things into their own hands in a way they never anticipated. Throwing off the shackles of expectations, focusing on the things they love the most about making music together and delivering their biggest, boldest and most brilliantly noisy statement yet. That statement is ‘Power To Play’, an all-out celebration of rock music in all forms that takes McFly back to the very reason they started their journey in the first place. “I think that we have got to a place where we have simplified the process, removed the hurdles and started to write music the way we used to,” Harry smiles.
Being able to get back on the road, and finally getting to tour ‘Young Dumb Thrills’ also helped to fuel that creative fire. From packing the Avalon stage to bursting point at Glastonbury to surprising pop-punk fans at Slam Dunk Festival, and with a sold-out arena tour across the UK to boot too, through to making their way back over to Brazil for the first time in a decade, every show reminded them why they love this band and the community they have created so much. It also allowed them to focus on their guitars, making their back catalogue sound as fast, fun, and fierce as they possibly could.
“All those shows were spiritual in a way,” Dougie remembers. “We were playing shows again for the first time since coming back, so it felt like we were doing everything again for the very first time. The amount of gratitude I felt, I don’t think I have ever felt that way before. For me, this is my entire purpose and playing live cements that. You can’t escape music. It has this magical ability to do things to you that nothing else can. That’s the thing that will always pull you back.”
And the final piece of the puzzle was the realisation that they didn’t owe anything to anybody. Off the back of their reunion in 2019, beautifully chronicled in their 2020 documentary ‘All About Us’, the four realised how they could live their lives away from McFly in a way that it could be the cherry on top rather than the whole cake. “We’re a different band now than we were,” Tom muses. “We all know there is life outside of McFly now, and when we were young, it consumed our lives so much. It needed to, but it was a lot. Returning to the band after discovering who we are without it, we saw that we are better together. That’s why the band needs to be fun now. It needs to have a reason for us to be together.”
Power To Play
This all culminates in ‘Power To Play’, a record where the fun really is at the forefront. There’s hair metal cheese, glam rock glitter, heavy metal attitude and punk snottiness, all wrapped tightly into a carefree and cartoonish shell. There are hints of Van Halen, Metallica, Poison, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, and even a bit of Fugazi thrown in for good measure. Produced by Danny alongside Jason Perry, with help from friends old and new James Bay and Steven Battelle, it is a record built on pure collaboration bringing the best out of everyone. There’s the all-out worship of ‘God of Rock & Roll’ and wind-through-your-hair liberation of ‘Taking Back Tonight’ rubbing shoulders with the vulnerable ‘Make It Out Alive’ and furious ‘I’m Fine’.
“I believe that there is a huge proportion of our fans where this will be their favourite McFly album,” Harry adds enthusiastically. Even for the McFly fans who like the more pop-swing side of our sound, there’s stuff in there for them to love too. But ultimately, we are saying, ‘Fuck it’ and doing precisely what we want, and that feels so good.”
To do what you want is to be playful. To play is to have fun, and to have fun is to feel alive. If it takes pushing the limits of your power to make fun a possibility, then you push as hard as possible. Because life is all about the things that make us shine. A song, a film, a piece of art. They are what matter the most, and if these past few years have taught us anything, they are the things we have when we have nothing else.
That’s why McFly are using their time the way they are now and why a record like ‘Power To Play’ is so vital for them. It’s the core of what it means to create these songs that can last a lifetime. To indulge in what makes their hearts and souls glisten more than anything else. To share that joy and wonder with the world, hoping it will affect somebody else similarly. And to be in that place in your 20th year as a band is an extraordinary place to be.
So, do you have the power?
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