• The Wanted: Bringing Boy Bands BackPosted March 18th, 2011 At 6:19 pm By MTV ASIA
    The Wanted (L-R: Nathan Sykes, Tom Parker, Jay McGuiness, Siva Kaneswaran and Max George)

    The Wanted (L-R: Nathan Sykes, Tom Parker, Jay McGuiness, Siva Kaneswaran and Max George)

    Text and interview: Lennat Mak

    Boy bands. Now that’s something you’ve heard a lot about back in the nineties and the early noughties. As far as the golden era goes, *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Blue, Westlife and among many others, came conquering and staked their claims across the world with their smoldering good looks, synchronized dance routines and sweet vocal harmonies. And then, like all generation defining genres before them, came the dissolution. The music climate shifted and favored the angular, post punk guitar riffs. For the past five years at least, indie rock bands became the new pin-ups. Boy bands suddenly became a rare commodity on the charts.

    But music trends, like fashion, move in circles. Take That, one of British most well-loved pop groups, made a successful come back in 2006. In 2008, X-Factor gave birth to JLS, who took the charts by storm and won the 2010 Brit Awards for British Breakthrough and British Single for “Beat Again.” At the 2010 American Music awards, Backstreet Boys joined forces with New Kids On The Block, called themselves NKOTBSB and did a fine return-to-form medley performance. Word has it that after a successful joint tour, the two boy bands are collaborating on a greatest hits album featuring both classic cuts and fan favorites.

    Without a doubt, boy bands and pop music are enjoying their walk in the sun again. And the latest group to hit this bout of pop resurgence is none other than The Wanted. Made up of Max George, Jay McGuiness, Siva Kaneswaran, Tom Parker, and Nathan Sykes, the British-Irish boy band has already released an self-titled debut album with a chart-topping No. 1 single, “All Time Low.” It was also revealed that the group signed a U.S. record real with Def Jam and will have a crack at the much elusive Stateside success. The boys know it’s not going to be an easy task but with hard work and a firm belief in their music, everything is possible, as we found out from the boys themselves.

    * * *

    It’s been a pretty good run for The Wanted last year. What’s the biggest change in your lives since you’ve joined the band?

    Nathan: I’ve been abroad! I’ve never been abroad before the band. We are busier and we’ve got more to do. And we have an album!

    Tom: Just meeting different people from different cultures, I think. I’ve always wanted to do that and I haven’t got the chance to, until this job. It’s amazing.

    Jay: And we bump into really, really famous people! We’ve done a few gigs where it’s a massive bill of artists. Everyone just kind of looks into room to room and is pretty exciting to meet everyone. I think everyone is just normal and feels that “I’m nothing special,” pop star or not.

    Siva: It’s always the music, isn’t it? Music is more important.

    You have a U.S. record deal coming up as well. Are you excited to break into the U.S. market?

    Tom: It’s the one thing that we really want to do when we first got together, trying to break into the U.S. and the rest of the world. We know it’s a difficult market over there but we work hard and we are proud of our work and our music. So hopefully, it’s going to work over there.

    Nathan: We are going to spend a lot of time in the U.S. but we won’t be based in there. We are probably going to do it in chunks, a week here, there and back.

    Tom: There will be a lot of jet lags!

    According to reports, there are no more singles from the current album and that the band is currently working on new materials. How is that coming along?

    Jay: Yeah! There are a few that we’ve started recording already. And we are writing loads of songs and sieving out the good stuff. We are waiting to finish but the roots are there. It’s going to be a step-up from the last album.

    Max: We are trying to make a better album than the last one. We’ve sort of gone back to square one again. We love all our songs but “All Time Low” is just really special to us. It’s the sound we wanted. So we’re going back to “All Time Low” and we are building it from there again. We want this new album to be twice as good as the first one.

    Siva: We’ve taken a little more time and make every song a hit.

    All killers, no fillers?

    All: Yeah!

    Tom: We’ve a new single out in the U.K. called “Gold Forever” that we did for Comic Relief…

    Jay: That’s a killer! That’s a killer and a half. Heavy weight! (Laughs)

    Tom: That song might just be on the new album. We are really not sure yet but we’ll see!

    What do you guys think of the recent resurgence of boy bands?

    Tom: Pop has gone through a bad phrase about five years ago and became something that people don’t want to listen to anymore. But I think people like Lady Gaga have brought a new kind of cool to pop again. Pop can be diverse and you can spread it over a lot of other genres like rock, dance, soul and it’s still popular music. We have done that by bringing many genres together for our album.

    What do you think the new generation of boy bands is going to be like?

    Jay: Hopefully more music driven!

    Max: We are the new generation really.

    How about JLS?

    Max: I think JLS is great! They are part of a TV show called X-Factor and is sort of molded into what Simon Cowell wanted them to be and they have done amazingly well.

    Jay: They are more like old-skool boy bands like *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys with their dance routines.

    Max: JLS worked really hard and they have really good songs too. For us, we are more from the roots. We did our school and club tours. With us, it’s not really like “All boy bands are back!” I think people are excited that aside from being a boy band, we do have really good music.

    I guess it’s something to do with the music trend as well. When pop died off, indie came into the spotlight and all of a sudden, every single band out there is playing indie rock music and eventually, everyone started to sound the same. Then you guys came about.

    Jay: We are refreshing, right? (Laughs)

    How about your musical influences?

    Tom: We’ve  got different influences really. Nate’s into John Legend.

    Nathan: Yes. John Legend is a legend. Stevie Wonder and Boys II Men!

    Tom: I’m into more rocking music like Oasis.

    Jay: I’m quite folky so I like Cat Stevens and Fleetwood Mac. But I also like the new pop crossover stuff like Newton Faulkner and Florence and the Machine.

    Siva: I’m Motown! Lionel Ritchie, The Commodores and I’ve a massive fan of The Script.

    Max: I like Elvis and Oasis. They are my favorite band.

    Your influences are so different. What made you audition for the band in the first place?

    Tom: I don’t know really. Jay auditioned for a circus before he auditioned for the band! I was concentrating on being a solo singer. I like to play guitar and I used to play piano. When the opportunity came for the audition, it just felt right. When I was in the band, I couldn’t believe it. We didn’t realize the extent of who’s in it and the team behind it. They are the best that I’ve met, to be frank. I love being in a band. The thought of being a solo artist just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. It’s so much fun being in a band!

    Jay: Can you imagine doing all this all day on your own?

    Tom: Horrible!

    Jay: I auditioned for a lot of stuff and just failed at everything. And I just thought to try something out of my comfort zone. So I tried for a circus and went for a boy band. As soon as I went in, it was a real nice vibe for an audition. There were so many egos there but at the end, they picked people with no egos whatsoever. Everyone was just chilled! I really enjoyed the audition.

    Max: I was in another band for four years before this, earning my stripes. Then I got approached about the audition, got told who was involved, went to the audition and that was it.

    Siva: I was a model. I came from a musical family and I moved to London to model. I went for the audition thinking, “If I fail, I’ll go to college.” Then I got in!

    Nathan: I went to a music school in London. The audition came through the school and my head teacher said, “You have to go for this!” And so, I went!

    * * *

    Catch The Wanted on My Celeb MTV at the following times:

    Mar 20
    10am (WIB), 11am (SIN/HK), 12noon (MAL)
    4.30pm (WIB), 5.30pm (SIN/HK), 6.30pm (MAL)

    Mar 25
    6.00pm (WIB), 7.00pm (SIN/HK), 8.00pm (MAL)

    Apr 17
    10am (WIB), 11am (SIN/HK), 12noon (MAL)
    4.30pm (WIB), 5.30pm (SIN/HK), 6.30pm (MAL)

    Apr 22
    6.00pm (WIB), 7.00pm (SIN/HK), 8.00pm (MAL)

  • This entry was posted on Friday, March 18th, 2011 at 6:19 pm and is filed under Interviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    2 Responses to “The Wanted: Bringing Boy Bands Back”

    1. loobyloobyloo jay i posted on May 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm


    2. marshia farmer posted on November 26, 2011 at 10:24 am

      mr george, try long hair. yours is fine, but seriously, ask your hair person! it will look amazing! love your music and am waiting waiting for your new stuff to come out! your voice is like molten gold. marshia

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