Top Of The Pops - Close and Personal
Dig out your leather cat suits and clean out your knicker drawer cos TOTP knows what it takes if you want to get up close and personal with WESTLIFE!
TOTP: Is there a certain type that you go for?
Shane: I like a girl who is slightly taller than me in heels. I don't know why. Maybe cos when I put my arms round her I can put my hands on her arse, ha-ha!
TOTP: Do you prefer girls to make the first move?
Mark: I love it - absolutely! It takes me ages to work up confidence to go up and talk to someone. I can't do the whole chat-up and charm thing!
mtve.com - Westlife Spill it out
After having a tough night of serious partying and many drinks at Jennifer Lopez's
celebrity party they arrived to the interview being fashionably late.
They even had to spend half an hour getting their make-up fixed for the photographers.
"Some people think we should take bigger responsibility but we live like how we want to and our private life is a completely different thing" Bryan McFadden said.
It is clear that the band aren't as innocent as they seem.
"I've stopped having sex with fans now since I got a girlfriend" Shane Filan comments.
They also told us about their new album "World of our own," their collaboration with Bryan Adams and the up and downsides of being stars.
Kian Egan: Hello there. Excuse me for being late. We were at the Jennifer Lopez party last night. There was an awful lot of people there but we had some great fun.
Do you party a lot when you get to different cities?
Kian: We love to go out in Stockholm because we know the city quite well by now. We've been here so many times now so it's kind of like our third home. Every time we get here we feel we have to go out or it feels like we haven't been in Stockholm. Last time we were here we were recording the album but we love coming back every time.
Bryan: Yesterday, we were very drunk. Since the baby arrived I've been out very little. But the last 8 days I've been drunk at least 7 of them. It's been enjoyable though. The women in Stockholm are great...
How would you describe "World of our own" compared to your previous albums?
Kian: When we recorded this album the first thing we wanted to do before we started was to take it slowly because the last album we did in five weeks. We picked the songs, went in the studio, recorded everything and went out of the studio. This time we wanted a different process. We wanted to sit down with the producers and the record company and slowly pick the songs with out jumping in to it. We learned the songs better and had more time to choose the songs before we started working with the producers. We did more song writing ourselves and improved our writing skills. We wanted to make sure that the songs on the album would be the best songs that we could come up with.
How much of the album did you record in Sweden?
Kian: We recorded five songs here with Per and David from the Cheiron studio. They've done a lot of out hits and we're grateful to them. The rest of the album was recorded in Dublin.
How does it usually work when you take part in the song writing?
Bryan: It's never on a routine. Sometimes we get an idea for a song in our heads and then we go in to the studio and make a demo track and then we get a producer to produce it. Sometimes we sit down with a producer and come down with and idea directly.
How has things changed since you made the first album?
Kian Egan: Back then we didn't really know anything about the business and when it came to recording the album we just left it to the people who knew the best. Now when we got to the stage of our third album we wanted to start taking control and steer the wheel for a while. We have our opinions we know we can do the best things for Westlife as well.
Your current single "Queen of My heart" is more mellow and laid-back than
your previous singles. How come you choose it?
We don't choose the songs because they are up temp, or ballads or whatever. We simply wanted to have "Queen of my heart" as our first single because it's a great song.
What can you tell us about the video you recently made?
Kian: It is for a song called "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan, which is on our new album. But it is not going to be a single. We don't want to overload the market. We've been constantly releasing singles so now we decided to be more laidback and just to make this video for MTV and other music channels. A non-commercial video is probably the best way to call it since you need to buy the album to get the song. It is shot in black and white with close ups on our faces and I play the piano. We haven't seen it yet but I think it will be very good.
You are going to come back to perform here in April. How are you looking forward
to the tour?
Mark Feehily: When we performed here last time we just wanted to make a concert for whatever fans we had and when we got there most of the Globe was full. The first time we came here, before we even started recording anything we drove by and could just imagine how it would be to perform there so it meant a lot to us. The album has been doing really well in Sweden so we're really looking forward coming back here to play for our fans. Touring is our favourite part and the reason why we do all the other work. Touring makes all the bad things worthwhile.
How do you prepare before going out on tour?
Mark: First we have about two weeks of dancing rehearsals and then another week and a half with the live band so we rehearse every day for about a month or so. This time we will be a lot more prepared than on our previous tour. We enjoy dancing but we don't see ourselves as a dancing group. It probably takes four times as long as N'sync to learn our dance moves. We have musicians with us on the road, I think about 95 % of it is live so everything needs to be accurate.
Have you ever thought of playing any instruments?
Bryan McFadden: I write songs on the piano but Id never stand a perform onstage. Kian plays piano and guitar and Shane's starting to take piano lessons.
How many are you when you go out on tour?
Mark: I think last time we were about 83 people and had 11 lorries with all the equipment.
Have you got any plans on collaborating with other artists?
Mark: Not at the moment. We done one song with Mariah Carey and we are probably going to be performing with her pretty soon again. We also did a song with Bryan Adams called "This Is It." I don't know when we will release it though. I think we'll keep it for out greatest hits album. Most of the times when artists collaborate it's more of a business thing but for us we just met him and our Bryan began writing a song with him.
Bryan: Bryan Adams came across my song and he rang me and we started re-writing it. We took two songs that we had written and re wrote it and made a chorus. It went very well. Hopefully it will be on the greatest hits album we plan on releasing next year.
You must be quite recognized when you got out?
Mark: Not too much in Sweden really and London is such a big city so we can move freely there. But in Dublin it's crazy since that's our home country, we have to write autographs all the time.
How are you planning on changing your style to attract a greater audience?
Kian: We aren't really planning on doing that but think the music has matured a lot. We feel like Westlife is the way it is and people like it that way. We get all this backlash for not doing so many up tempo songs. We've sold 15 million albums on doing ballads so why should we?
Have you got any new songs already?
We have a couple of really great songs from our last sessions that we kept for the greatest hits album.
You used to work with Ronan Keating?
Brynan: Ronan wasn't our manager but helped us out in the beginning. He was fake and a phoney really. He was sort of like the face of the management but not really the manager. He gave us a lot of advice.
What are your opinions on other boybands?
Bryan: N'sync are good. The Backstreet Boys are probably the best modern boy band ever. I think the next big thing I think is going to be Blue. I love the Beach Boys, they are the best boyband of all time.
Blue knocked you off the UK charts?
Bryan: Yes they did but that's the way it works with charts. There's a different no 1 every week.
What would you say separates you from other boybands?
Bryan: It's hard to explain but I think we do have something, which a lot of pop groups don't have. There is something in out music and our image which stands out that you cant put your finger on.
How have you changed from when you began as a group?
Bryan: If you imagine the world as concert and everyone in the world are the people in the audience and everyone's dream is to go backstage and we got to go there. If you never been backstage you have a vision as kid what its like there and we got to go backstage and got to see the great things and the disappointing things with it. It's a job now but I enjoy doing it. This is not something we can do for the rest of our lives.
What are your future plans?
Bryan: I think all of us vision a solo career but right now Westlife is what is most appealing to all of us. If we were to go solo it would hard for any of us to succeed.
Top Of The Pops - Westlife Backstage
We caught up with Nicky & Bryan from Westlife backstage at the Pops. Then we poked and prodded till they spoke to us about their new album and where they've been all summer!
TOTP: So Nicky, you've got new hair!
Nicky: Yeah, it's all gone. All shaved off! It was for the video for our new single 'Queen of My Heart'. It was all very relaxed and the director basically said: "all your hair is very styled and gelled". So I offered to shave it off. He thought he'd won the lottery or something and said: "Let's do it in the video!" But I'll probably grow it back.
TOTP: What do you think of our swanky new Star Bar, then?
Nicky: It's very, very cool. I like these on the walls [points to TV screens showing the malarkey going on in the studio]. I wanna get them down my house, alright!
TOTP: So it's been very quiet in the UK on the Westlife front. Have you all been putting
your feet up or something?
Nicky: Actually, we were on a world tour until June. Plus we only released 'Uptown Girl' in France the other week, so we've been all around France,Germany, Mexico & Brazil! Also, we've been recording our new album, which is out on November 12.
Bryan: We've actually been very busy, but we're starting back now to promote the new album and we'll be doing a new tour in the new year.
TOTP: Bry, what about the new single?
Bryan: It comes out on the fifth November. It's a ballad and it sounds a little bit like 'Mull of Kintyre'. It's a Rod Stewart-style ballad [Er... don't you mean Paul McCartney? - Ed.]. It's great!
Bryan & Nicky give us the goss on the boys' new album and talk about the UK's
best music show.
TOTP: Tell us all about the new album.
Nicky: It's called 'World of Our Own' and we've written seven tracks. We're really happy that we're coming back. It's not too far away from what we're used to. We're definitely proud of the songs we've written. It is the best album that we've done to date.
TOTP: And the best track on the album?
Nicky: Well, for me, it'll probably be the title track 'World of Our Own' or another song called 'If Your Heart's Not In It'.
TOTP: Is it mainly ballads?
Nicky: There's actually nine uptempos so in that sense, it's a lot different from 'Westlife'. It's cool, it's poppy, it's boppy!
Bryan: Our next single will be called 'Pop-up Baby' and it's something that myself and Shane wrote. It's quite uptempo.
TOTP: So, TOTP is a massive institution. Can you remember the first time you watched
Bryan: I can't remember the first time I watched it! I can remember the first time I performed on it, obviously! But I remember over the years, people like the Spice Girls and Boyzone and I think I remember the night that Nirvana did it.
TOTP: What's been your favourite Westlife performance on the show?
Bryan: Ummm... Probably 'Uptown Girl'.