Timeline to the Top: 5 Seconds Of Summer

In the space of twelve months, Sydney’s 5 Seconds Of Summer have achieved things that most bands wouldn’t achieve in their entire lifetime. To celebrate the kick-off of their world tour with One Direction, we’re taking a look at their road to success.

This Timeline To The Top features the big milestone events, videos, songs, interviews and moments that have defined this inspiring young group and seen them become one of our most successful musical exports in years. Let’s take it from the top, shall we?

APRIL 2011:
Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford and Calum Hood had a little chat at school and decided to start putting some covers up on the interwebs.

JUNE 2011:
The boys begin posting acoustic covers on YouTube. Blink 182‘s I Miss You was up first, followed by Justin Bieber / Chris Brown‘s Next 2 You.

Ashton Irwin
joins the band, & a four-piece 5 Seconds Of Summer play their first full band show at Sydney’s Annandale Hotel on December 3.

Their first full band photo!

5 Seconds of Summer

Calum Hood – Michael Clifford – Luke Hemmings – Ashton Irwin and then there were 4.


The guys covered One Direction, unbeknownst to them that they’d be touring with them just 12 months later.

MARCH 2012:
Their cover of Justin Bieber‘s Next 2 You hit 500,000 views and they come up with a super creative collective fan name.

5 Seconds of Summer

After much thought and consideration of all the amazing names you guys have come up with!!! we thought “why dont we just call them family?”
5SOSFAMILY Powered by socialditto  237 likes ·  13 comments

APRIL 2012:
To mark 40,000 Facebook likes, the guys covered Ed Sheeran‘s The A-Team.

5SOS started recording their debut EP at Studios 301.

MAY 2012:
May saw the boys playing an East Coast tour and doing a writing session with Amy Meredith (who would end up writing a song with them for their debut album two years later). Things started to get busy.

Plus, their first original video went on YouTube for Gotta Get Out.

JUNE 2012:
Transport was made easier because ASHTON GOT HIS P’S!

5 Seconds of Summer

Ashton got his P’s! We have a band driver!! 😀

Their acoustic EP is announced…

Then they caught the attention of Sunrise

The ‘Unplugged’ acoustic EP is released, soaring to #3 in Australia and top #20 in New Zealand and Sweden.

And the boys met the wonderful Smallzy from NOVA for the first time to play Buzzers Of Death.

JULY 2012:
The ‘Twenty Twelve’ tour is announced with shows in Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne as the guys get back to covers, doing Fun‘s We Are Young for Smallzy’s Surgery.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand Project U begins it’s bromance with 5 Seconds of Summer with the infamous Michael’s Nandos chat. I wonder if his order is still the same?

AUGUST 2012:
Fans packed Sydney’s Hyde Park to see the boys perform some acoustic tunes.

In September, the guys announced a national support slot with Hot Chelle Rae and their first trans-Tasman show.

But no matter how crazy things get, there’s always time for a classic 5SOS cover on YouTube.

Manager at the time Adam Wilkinson got the fab four to hop on a plane to spend their first three weeks in the UK ever, including an acoustic performance in London’s Hyde Park. There’s a pattern here…

5 Seconds of Summer

thanks to everyone who came to see us in Hyde Park today! 😀

The Hot Chelle Rae tour begins!

kicked off the month by jumping on the phone to Project U in the midst of the Hot Chelle Rae tour.

EXCLUSIVE: Ashton from 5 Seconds Of Summer from Project U on Vimeo.

The guys became record-holders on the Hot30 Countdown, hitting the #1 position six nights in a row before the show ended permanently in December.

The Somewhere New EP was announced and was quite good.

We found out that the boys are heading to London to bunker down for a few months and work with some esteemed writers and producers on a debut album, so they played us one final amazing show at Sydney’s Metro Theatre that we quite enjoyed.

5 Seconds Of Summer moved to London to begin writing and recording with massive names including McFly, Kaiser Chiefs and The Darkness.

A distressing start to 2013 as Michael dyes his hair black. Will 5SOS ever be the same again?!

The guys made friends with Niall ‘The Irish One’ Horan from One Direction!

February 2013

The biggest news yet was announced! 5 Seconds Of Summer join their new besties One Direction on their world tour.

5 Seconds of Summer

So… we have some pretty BIG news! we’re going on One Direction’s 2013 world tour as their support act! were coming to the uk, north america, new zealand and australia (excl. europe)!! HOW THE HELL AND WHY ARE WE GOING ON THE 1D TOUR? Well a little while ago a lad by the name of Louis Tomlinson stumbled across a video of ours on YouTube, and long story short he showed the rest of the guys and they really liked what we were doing. One Direction wanted a band to come on tour with them! And well, we are a band and it’s so cool that we are what they wanted! We have known for a little while but have not been allowed to tell anyone until today. We have been so desperate to tell you. But now we can’t wait to show the world our tunes! And we cannot wait to make you all proud! To the incredibly dedicated and amazing fans that have been here from the start and the amazing fans that support us now. This is a journey we all are going on, not just us boys in the band, but all of you! Really looking forward for this next year. we love you guys soooo much and cant wait to hopefully play in your country and you can come and watch us! thank you all again we appreciate every little thing you do for us. thank you!! – mikey, ashton, luke & cal. xxxx www.facebook.com/events/456256217778300/

And the boys release the very good Heartbreak Girl accompanied by one of those Pitbull-esque tour clip compilation music videos.

MARCH 2013:

Tour Diary #3 shows off just how insane the last few months have been for 5SOS.


APRIL 2013:
5SOS played a headline show at London’s Barfly to ‘kick off’ a UK-wide acoustic tour of sorts, which they sold out in five minutes.


MAY 2013:
Heartbreak Girl hit one million YouTube views at the start of the month, their first time hitting the million mark. They also played their first London full band headline show at the O2 Islington Academy – sold out, of course.

JUNE 2013:
Welcome home babes! They came back to Australia for a couple of weeks to see their family and play some headline shows in every major city. They also released Try Hard, a free downloadable song which they still play live today. The video was filmed in Blackpool, England, and they shut down an entire theme park so they could film it.

After the Australian tour warmed them up, they flew over to the USA to do the One Direction tour over there, with shows in Texas, Boston and some other places. They also played a headline acoustic show in New York whilst they were there.

JULY 2013:
The 1D tour moved up to Canada, so they decided to do an acoustic show at the Toronto Opera House which a shitload of people went to, a few days before Luke turned seventeen.

AUGUST 2013:

Ashton and Calum had a monumental writing opportunity for the album in August, getting in a studio with their hero Alex Gaskarth off All Time Low, as well as John Feldmann, who’d go on to write their most successful song ever She Looks So Perfect.

5sos gaskarth

They wrapped up the Take Me Home tour in the USA and had a bit of a swim around in a pool in LA to celebrate.

Oh honey, they’re home again. 5SOS played a headline tour, some acoustic ‘guerrilla gig’ things (Ashton is quoted as saying “THERE’S GONNA BE A GORILLA THERE!”) and then the One Direction Australian dates.

Naturally, instead of just going for a casual sight-see around LA, the boys decided they’d hire some superhero costumes and hang out the top of an SUV.


Check out 5 Seconds Of Summer at their website, chuck them a Facebook like

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