5 Seconds of Summer

Biography Project for Mrs. Hemry's 8th Grade Language Arts Class made by Julia K.

The Annandale

5 Seconds of Summer is an Australian band formed on December 3rd, 2011. The boys of 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS) weren't always selling out world tours or writing with John Feldmann, rock legend. They first started out by posting covers of songs on YouTube. But before they had formed the band it was only the lead singer/guitarist, Luke Hemmings, posted his own covers to a YouTube channel called Hemmo1969. The first cover he posted was of the Mike Posner song "Please Don't Go" on Feb 3, 2011 .

He continued to post other covers such as The Fray's song "You Found Me" and Ron Pope's song "A Drop In The Ocean". He met the other boys the same year he began posting his covers. Originally it was only the three of them, meaning Luke, Michael Clifford (guitar/vocals), and Calum Hood (bass guitar/vocals). Michael and Calum had already known each other from their 3rd grade class, but they all met as a group in music class. Michael and Luke had resented each other for years before they finally started to get along.

At first they were just goofing about in music class, writing little songs, singing covers, but never really being serious about the whole thing. But one day Michael came up to them with an idea, "Hey, lets make a band!". You might wonder where the name "5 Seconds of Summer" came from. Well, it's quite the story... Michael just came up with it. I know, amazing. And so, 5SOS was formed. They kept posting covers on their YouTube channel, now called 5 Seconds of Summer. Their first cover they posted together was of Blink 182's song "I Miss You".

Their covers were gaining attention, but not from their hometown. It wasn't popular to be doing what they were doing. They were never bullied because of it, but they did become the school outcasts. They continued to post covers of songs like a Day To Remember's song "If It Means A Lot To You" and Go Radio's song "Forever My Father".

But they had to have written their own songs, right? Right. Their first ever song was written by Calum, and it was called "Gotta Get Out". They had a few other tracks like "Heartbreak For Two" and "Conversations", but "Gotta Get Out" was their first.

Eventually this all led to their first ever gig at the Annandale Hotel. They had everything set up, but they needed a drummer. Michael remembered a guy he'd met at a party named Ashton Irwin. So he messaged him on Facebook and asked him if he'd play for them. And so they did. That night only about 12 people showed up (not counting their parents) when 300 people said they would. After they played they had a "band meeting", excluding Ashton. During their meeting they decided they liked Ashton, so they asked him to join. An thus, 5 Seconds of Summer was, officially, born. (For the second time).

Luke Hemmings

Luke Hemmings was born on July 16, 1996. He grew up with his two brothers Jack and Ben, and his parents Andrew Hemmings and ,the legendary, Liz Hemmings. His family wasn't a massively musical family, although his dad liked all older Australian bands like INXS and AC/DC. But it was Jack and Ben that had started him on playing the guitar, Ben had tried learning when he was younger but could never get the hang of it. So there was always this electric guitar laying around that Luke would pick up and attempt to play. Ben would teach him a song and he'd just play that song over and over until he was yelled at. He decided to teach himself guitar which led him to posting his first cover on YouTube.

Michael Clifford

Michael Clifford was born on November 20, 1995. He grew up an only child with his parents Daryl Clifford and Karen Clifford. His parents worked for a computer company so he'd always get tons of gear and basically grew up playing video games. He first became interested in music when his parent bought him Guitar Hero when he was around eight or nine. He began to get insanely good at it so he thought "Hey! Maybe I should try playing the guitar for real...". When he was about 12 or 13 life got a bit rough because his parents had gotten into a hard times when it came to money, but now that he's in the band, he's grateful for everything he gets.  

Calum Hood

Calum Hood was born on January 25, 1995. He was raised along with his older sister, Mali Koa Hood and his mother, Joy Hood and father, David Hood. He grew being the "sporty" one, while his sister had always been considered the musical one. He's always hear her singing at school or at home and he'd always wonder if he was as talented. He played football (soccer), and was very good at it, he even considered making it his profession. But then one day on the bus a friend came up to him with a CD which had "Green Day: American Idiot" written on it with black Sharpie. As soon as he listened to it he fell in love with music. And then when he started getting serious about the band his parents were skeptical, they wanted him to pursue his football career. But he convinced eventually convinced them otherwise.

AShton Irwin

Ashton Irwin was born on July 7, 1994. He was raised by his mother, Anne Marie Irwin along with his younger brother and sister Harry Irwin and Lauren Irwin. His father had abandoned them at a very young age which left Ashton to be the father figure to Harry and Lauren. He first began drumming when a friend of his had asked him if he played drums to which he replied, "Yeah, of course I do" (He didn't). He went home immediately and asked his mother's boyfriend if he could teach him how to drum. That was, and I quote, "the best decision of his life".

People Who Influenced Their Lives

Elizabeth Hemmings- Luke Hemming's mum who raised him (amazingly) to be the man he is today, she constantly supported him and encouraged him to pursue his dream.

Mali Koa Hood- Calum Hood's sister who really got him into really got him into music, and inspired him to start making his own music when she audition for The Voice.

Grandpa Irwin- Ashton Irwin's grandpa who bought Ashton his first ever drum set and also taught him many life lessons that he still goes by today. (Ashton recently payed him back for his first drum set).

Karen Clifford- Michael Clifford's mum who was one of the main reasons he started making music, he always wanted to make her proud.

Unique FActs

- They own a dog named Ketchup, he's a plastic, white toy. They once took him to a dog spa, while they were dressed as superheros, to have him groomed.

-To promote their debut self-titled album, they went to Target dressed as employees and tried to get people to purchase their album.

-For their second album, LIVESOS, they dressed as senior citizens and went to Target to promote it. (iconic)

(I'm not joking they actually do these things)



  • NME Award For Worst Band
  • MTV Europe Music Award for Best Australian Act
  • Teen Choice Award for Choice Music: Breakout Group
  • American Music Award for New Artist of the Year
  • Channel [V] Oz Artist of the Year
  • Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Music Star: Group
  • People's Choice Award for Favorite Breakout Artist
  • MTV Europe Music Award for Best Push Artist
  • MTV Video Music Award for Best Lyric Video
  • Kerrang! Award for Best International Newcomer
  • MTV Europe Music Award for Best New Act
  • Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards for Aussies' Fave Hot New Talent

Is it Hi or Hey?

They created their own record label called Hi or Hey Records. The question of  "Is it hi or hey?" has been rooted in this fandom from the very beginning. We still, to this day, don't know what it is.

Charts and Sales

5 Seconds of Summer is the first Australian act to debut at Number 1 with its first length album. Their debut self titled album has sold over half a million copies.

The Fans

They have managed to go from a small garage band in Sydney to being a chart topping band that sells out arena world tours. Their fan base has grown so much since the beginning and has supported them through everything. The 5SOSfam (named that because we're one huge family, cheesy I know) is also one of the most powerful fandoms there is.

What they've taught me

They've taught me that it's okay to be myself , it's okay to be loud, shy weird, and just completely different from everyone else. They've also taught me that it's okay if other people don;t like something you've created, as long as you're happy and proud of what you've created. They taught me to love myself. They just taught me to smile and have fun and just not care what other people think of me. Just let my inner kid out, be a dork, be weird. I'm happy, so who cares?


"Real bands save fans, real fans save bands" -Michael Clifford

"No matter how nasty people are in life... show kindness, smile through it and love, laugh, be good to people just 'cause you can" - Ashton Irwin

"When I was younger, I was the biggest out cast,  didn't have any friends, did have friends who didn't like me. I was a weirdo. So I got this tattoo when I joined this band and met these three dudes. These three introduces me into a band called 5 Seconds of Summer, and I learned one thing. That is absolutely OK to be an absolute reject" -Ashton Irwin

(Ashton makes me smile everyday, if you hadn't figured that out yet)

Works Cited

Luke Hemmings, Ashton Irwin, Michael Clifford and Calum Hood. 5 Seconds of Summer: Hey, Let's Make a Band! N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Comment Stream