We Want The Wanted
By: Lynn Barker
The Brit boy band with an edge heading our way this summer!
You might have seen them on the “Ellen Degeneres Show” or checked out their latest single “Glad You Came” on i-tunes. “The Wanted” (Jay McGuinness, Max George, Nathan Sykes, Siva Kaneswaran and Tom Parker) have been a big hit in the U.K. and Europe since 2010 but are catching on in North America now with their single “Glad You Came”, a bouncy party track that is getting tons of downloads on i-tunes. Their 2nd album releases in the states and Canada this summer.
The cute “lads” have paid their dues playing in small nightclubs and on a U.K. school tour before hitting big arenas. In our phone chat, we learned that, when kicking back, they listen to everything from Elvis to classic rock and folk music. To avoid phone confusion, we’re talking with Nathan who is getting input from his bandmates as they chill before a concert.
Kidzworld: So are you guys in the U.K. rehearsing for another tour or are you already on that tour?
- Nathan: We’re just starting. We’re set to go out in front of seven or eight-thousand people tonight in about two hours. We end up at the big 02 Arena in March.
Kidzworld: That’s where the Michael Jackson tour was going. It’s huge! Isn’t that scary?
- Nathan: That’s really scary. That’s the night that all the press are going to be there and it’s going out to TV and people are filming it. So that’s the night, of all nights, we can’t be rubbish! [he laughs]
Kidzworld: So who has big nerves on stage and what do they do about it? We already know that Sita put his shoes on the wrong feet and went on stage.
- Nathan: [laughs] Yeah. We don’t really get that nervous. It’s really weird. We’re all just chillin’ back stage, all sitting down having a drink or a chat, talking about football or soccer. Then it will just be “Right. Come on boys” and literally, we just walk on stage.
Kidzworld: Which venues do you prefer, the big arenas or intimate clubs?
- Nathan: When we were in all the clubs in America it was amazing because it was so intimate and you could see every single face in the audience and it gets you if you can see everyone singing all the words. But then again, at the arenas, you can hear people and you just walk out into a sea of people. That is a really special feeling. Then you start to think that bands rarely get to perform to audiences that size so you feel very honored that you have the opportunity to play that kind of venue. Max said a few weeks ago that he could happily for the rest of his life, play six small venues during the week then one massive one on the weekend.
Kidzworld: What is the history of “Glad You Came”? Who wrote it?
- Nathan: That song was written for us by Steve Mac, Wayne Hector and Ed Drewett. They said “How about the idea of being glad you came to a party?” That’s what we took it off from. They played it to us and said they’d hoped we’d record it.
Kidzworld: What was the most fun about the cool video for “Glad You Came”, the speed boat, the dives off the cliff, the party scene…or the hot models?
- Nathan: [he asks his bandmates]. Siva says “On the speedboat”, Tom says “On the cliffs” and Max says it was when he was flirting with all the girls on set. My favorite bit was when we were in the sea [in beautiful Ibiza, Spain] and we had a massive water fight with the girls. One of them got in the sea and said “I don’t want to get my hair wet.” That’s a recipe for disaster so we all ganged up on her and soaked her so much that she got mad and went home.
Kidzworld: Sooo you won’t be using that diva again in a video, I’ll bet.
Nathan: No.Nathan Syke
Kidzworld: What is your songwriting process like? Lyrics first, music first or what?
- Nathan: All the boys have different ways of writing but personally I’ll think of something and write down a few lyrics then get on the piano and see if any tunes match up to it then evolve the song from there. I want to get a bit of both before taking the song forward.
- I’ve got a lot of different ideas down on my phone but I only ever got to the first line of the chorus. I’ve literally got hundreds and hundreds of song ideas that I keep forgetting to back up from my phone. That can be dangerous.
Kidzworld: Don’t wanna lose those! Let’s say you have no notebook and no electronic device to write song lyrics down on when you are inspired. What is the weirdest object you have ever written a song idea or lyric down on? One singer said “My girlfriend’s leg”.
- Nathan: I was going to say “humans”. You go up to someone who you know has got a good memory and I’ll go up to three different people and say “remember this” and sing it to them about four or five different times. It works! I’ve been at a family dinner and my phone has run out of battery and I’ve literally turned around to my mom and my sister and said “You have to remember this” and I’ve told my uncle as well, “When you get home please ring me and sing this to me on the phone” which is what happens and it’s one of the songs I’ve just finished writing.
Kidzworld: A real family effort! What is the weirdest fan encounter and the most touching you’ve had so far?
- Nathan: We were at a meet and greet the other day and one of the girls, before she was leaving the room, turned around and said, “By the way, I just really want to thank you”. Turns out she’d had a really tough year and listening to our music helped her get through the year.
- The strangest one for me was when there was a load of girls outside our house. We all used to live together and when we got home, we said “hello” to them and went inside. In about ten minutes we hear a knock on the door and I opened it and one said “Hi. One of us really needs a toilet”. So we were like “yeah, go on. Go to the loo”. Max came home a bit later and said there was a queue of twenty girls outside to use the toilet. What was weirder was when we went on stage that night, there were pictures of our toilet all over Facebook. But it was worth it because they were all lovely.
Kidzworld: Hilarious! When you go to a town to play a gig do you try to be tourists or just go back to your tour bus and kick back?
- Nathan: It depends on how often we’ve been there. Say we go to a place in England we’ve been to loads, if we’re tired we’ll stay on the tour bus or one of us will go to the shops but we definitely don’t hide away. When we’re out around the world, we always ask what are the best places to go to to eat and things like that or we get a drink somewhere that is recommended to us.
Kidzworld: Let’s go retro and talk about getting the first single “All Time Low” out in 2010.
- Nathan: That was a really interesting time for us because nobody knew who we were at all. Then all of a sudden we had this song out [“All Time Low”] that people thought was this new breed of music. Everyone was like “Who are these guys?” Then they went, “These guys are classed as a boy band?” Then people said “Wait a minute. Boy bands don’t really work.”
- There were one or two of them out in the U.K. when we released and they said “Boy bands don’t do this kind of music and never have done”. There was this media rush and then we started recording the album. We got a really good reaction on it from both lads and girls. We all knew about music, we all could play instruments and they said “go ahead and write the album them”.
Kidzworld: So you would say your sound is edgy pop rock?
- Nathan: Pop music covers a lot of different genres so that allows us to go into pop rock and it’s easy to do something with the piano as well. One of our songs for this new album is a piano ballad. We try to experiment with stuff that people wouldn’t expect us to do. Essentially we’re writing music that we don’t feel too cheesy singing.
Kidzworld: Who is the troublemaker in the band and who is the peacemaker.. Who is the taskmaster who says, okay, let’s get down to work now?
- Nathan: [He confers with the band]. I’d say Jay is a bit of a troublemaker. He’s always up to something but nobody ever quite knows what he’s trying to do [laughter]. He’s always trying to cause some kind of problem, trip someone up. Jay’s always trying to Punk someone. As long as Jay finds it funny, it’s fine. He doesn’t feel guilty at all.
- Peacemaker, I think Max. It’ll get really involved and all of a sudden he’ll say “All right boys, enough. Let’s sit down”. Then I’ll pop around the corner and go “Who wants a cuppa tea?” I’m the one who keeps really quiet then pops up with a really stupid comment.
- Taskmaster? Tom is really good at that. You’ll be running around and he’ll go “All right boys, work!” “Wait! You were the one who started it all, encouraging everyone [to goof off]”. He’ll say “Yes but that’s enough. Back to work, boys”.
Buy the CD on iTunes: http://www.smarturl.it/igyc