5 Seconds Of Summer have spoken about how winning the Worst Band prize at the NME Awards three years in a row affected them. In a new interview with the NME.
“Y’all called us the worst band and that affects a guy”, says drummer Ashton Irwin. “That guy at 28 doesn’t give a fuck and I actually think it’s awesome. But when you’re seventeen and eighteen you go, ‘I’m in the worst band? What?’ And it’s like what do you mean? What does that mean to me? What did I do wrong?”
“That’s just a relative example of how things can be said about the character of the band [that] really do affect the stability of the whole thing”, he adds.
Yeah, I mean, you might not like 5SOS much, but calling them the worst band in the whole world in any given year seems a bit much. Three times, as well! It’s almost insulting to bands who are worse than them.
The NME has now stopped giving out the Worst Band prize at its annual awards – 5SOS being the last band to win it in 2017. So I guess they now hold the title in perpetuity. The other ‘worst’ categories at the music magazine’s annual awards bash – Worst Album and Worst Dressed (latterly Least Stylish) – had already been phased out by then.
The prizes were hangovers from when the NME Awards was attempting to be an anti-BRITs event – a response to the more mainstream and corporate UK music awards show. But the worst this and that prizes seemed increasingly stupid as the NME Awards itself became bigger and glitzier. And they always went to easy targets anyway, so weren’t even that fun.
There was one more negative prize in the proceedings, that being Villain Of The Year. That was also dropped in 2020, making the whole NME Awards shebang a big, positive love-in. Although that particular category did then return in 2022, going to Victorian ghost Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Back in 2019, James Blunt complained that he’d never actually been sent his 2006 Worst Album trophy, saying in an interview – again with the NME: “It’s just really mean to get an award and not [be sent] it. I’d put it in pride of place, right above my bed so I could look up at it and see it every day. That would be the best award in the world to have”.
This story is discussed on this edition of our Setlist podcast.