How long did it take to put the new record together?
We started to write the new album last year and started recording January this year and spent about six months.
How did you find the pressure?
Before we started writing we did feel pressure because of the success of the first record. One of the first songs that we wrote was “Out Of My Heart” which is the first single. As soon as we wrote that, we knew we just set the standard and every other song had to be as good if not better. We got on a roll after that and wrote about forty songs and kept the best ten songs.
The last record didn’t have any filler, was that your aim with the new record?
Yeah. I hate it when you buy a record for the single and find out that is the only good song on the album. That is why we spend so much time writing the album because we want each song to be as good as the single.
You guys were originally afraid you wouldn’t break out of the boy band thing, but you did successfully.
We were worried about that because there were a lot of bands out and at the time they were huge like NSYNC, but we knew we were different. We were young guys, but we didn’t dance and we played instruments. I think fans finally got the idea that we were different. We are pop music, which means popular and that is what we do.
Or else if the Beatles came out today they’d be compared the same.
(Laughs) Yeah. Four young guys who sing.
It seems that another reason why you guys were so popular was because of your relentless work ethic.
I’m a firm believer that if you work hard you get results. We weren’t going to sell a million albums if we just released a single and disappeared. We came here in January of 2000 and we didn’t go home for a year. We did promotion, tours and the album went platinum. We were pleased. We believe the new album is better than the first. There was pressure, but we strongly believe this is the best record we could make.
What is the feeling now coming back knowing people will recognize you?
It’s cool; when we had the first album we were worried because no one knew us. Radio and others like MTV took chances on the songs and we became hits. The best thing we could do is writing a great album.
Did you have to fight to keep your image?
Some record labels want to package you in a certain way and we didn’t want that. Once the record company saw we had some substance and were not a one hit wonder. They got 100% behind us.
How much has your day to day changed?
You don’t get to see your family and friends. You don’t get home as much as you might like. When we get time off we go home. Say we get two weeks off, the first week we spend chilling out and the second week we are going up the wall because we are bored. We want to get back on the road. It’s all a part of being in a band and we love it.
Is it harder or easier to meet people now?
If someone recognizes you some will come and talk to you like a regular person which is cool and then there are some who are afraid to talk to you because they see you on tv and they think you think you are something special. I’m just a regular person, its just what I do for a living is a bit different.
How do you deal with the girls screaming? I know every guy thinks it’s the greatest thing.
It’s great. Going on stage and seeing that is overwhelming. Especially when you see a crowd of people singing your song. It’s amazing. It’s a feeling everyone should have a chance to feel.
Did the last record accede everything you ever expected?
Totally. The thing about BBMak was it wasn’t an overnight success. The first year we had no money and we played crummy gigs in England. It wasn’t a bed of roses, some hated us and some liked us. But our song writing got better and got more confident. We finally got our record deal in 1998 in the UK. It’s been a long slow road. The good thing about that is it keeps us grounded. You see a lot of bands thrown together and within four months they have a hit and everyone is telling them they are amazing. They start to believe it. They don’t have anyone to tell them it’s a slow process and things should take longer. It took us six years. We got here because of our hard work.
What is your impression about the shows were they trying to find these stars?
Those talent shows are entertaining, but as soon as you find the idol they are famous straight away and not for working hard. They are just thrown in the spotlight. I’m sure it can be daunting to be taken off the street and then on every magazine cover. If they don’t have a strong background it can really mess some people up.
Did you set a date to write the new record?
We wrote on the road. We haven’t had a single out in over a year, we toured last year with NSYNC and after that we had to do promotion in Europe. We didn’t really have much time off. So, when we did finally get time off last August we just started writing and going through songs that we wrote on the road. Finally in January we started picking songs.
When you are working on the songs, are you doing it all at once?
We have no rules. One of us might have written a whole song, but it might be lacking a bridge. We’ll sit down and write the bridge or add some melody. It’s always different. We found that we’ve been inspired by different things. I wrote “Love On The Outside” in a peculiar place. I was in the bathroom on a plane coming back to the U.S. from Japan and I recorded it on my Dictaphone tape recorder. So we always believe when you are inspired you should just go with it.
Do you hear new songs and right away you know its good or are you hard on yourself?
You have to be critical. When we narrowed it down, we might have had personal favorites. It comes to a majority vote. If we all liked it, then we knew it was a good song. If only one of us liked it then it’s okay. We wanted songs that the public would really like.
What is it like to see fans singing and knowing every word?
It’s the greatest. It’s what you dream about.
+ charlie craine