Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Location: In Kian's Bed (Budingen,Belgie)
|Posted: 10-07-2008 18:59:51 Post subject: Mark's Intervieuw
|INTERVIEW- August 2005
Access All Areas.net.au: Congratulations on your re-invention in to the Australian market, you must be excited to be heading back to Australia after six years?
Westlife - Mark: Yeah absolutely! I mean we went there so long ago and I mean it’s literally so long ago that I can’t remember almost what it’s like because we’ve done so much since then… so when we went back there in February it was almost like our first time over again because so much had changed since the first time we got there and we really did genuinely have and I’m sure it could sound like I’m just saying that anyway or whatever but we really did genuinely have a great time… we had some of our family and friends and it was an amazing tour, three week… not a holiday, obviously because we were doing lots of work and stuff, but it was like a really nice time you know.
Access All Areas.net.au: The last time you were in Australia was in 2000 for a quick promotional tour for ‘Coast To Coast’, why has it taken you so long to come back to Australia and more so to tour Australia?
Westlife - Mark: Well I mean honestly I can say we have been begging our record label to have another shot in Australia practically since the last time we were there and we’ve seen other acts and some bands a million miles away from Westlife style or whatever and have enjoyed great reception there and we always said why not give us a chance to do it you know and it was late last year that we eventually persuaded them to look at it and they talked to the Australian label on that end of things they said you know what ‘You Raise Me Up’ we like that song we’ll give that a shot.
Westlife - Mark: So we went down there in February not currently knowing what to expect and it all kicked off and it all looked great so we’re all delighted and at this stage and age of the band, to still be breaking new territories and to be finding like a whole bunch of new fans is kind of really a refreshing feeling because you kind of think eight years in, you kind of would’ve broken every market that you could by then you know so it’s great to still be opening up doors down there.
Access All Areas.net.au: You had so much success in Australia for the release of ‘Coast To Coast’ in 2000, and thereafter your albums failed to do as well in the Australian market. Have you been surprised at how well received your new album ‘Face To Face’ has been with Australian audiences?
Westlife - Mark: Yeah absolutely! I mean kind of, the last thing we expected was to kind of break a new market especially to kind of get such a massive immediate response from a song you know and its been fantastic, you know, we have our website which obviously allows us to communicate internationally at the touch of a button and we’re getting so many more new kind of Australian people signing up to the website and kind of visiting the website and everything and that’s one good way of gauging the amount of people and whether they like our stuff or not obviously and also the success of the single in terms of chart positions and radio play and stuff and its all going so well… its fantastic we didn’t expect that and the fact that its going so well is something that we’re very proud of.
Westlife - Mark: We make our music so that people enjoy that and if most people in Australia are enjoying it then that’s kind of our goal met you know and the next stage of it all now is to go there and do our first proper big live concert tour over there which is something that we feel is kind of our best point you know our live show is the end product out of everything, we make the album and the fans get to hopefully know the album and then the next stage is finally perform face to face with the fans in a live show.
Access All Areas.net.au: For sure and we can’t wait to see you guys return here in September!
Westlife - Mark: Yeah we’re looking forward to it!
Access All Areas.net.au: Before ‘Face To Face’ you had a bit of a Frank Sinatra phase with your last album that was released in the UK with ‘Allow Us To Be Frank’, what led you in to that direction?
Westlife - Mark: The music kind of industry over here is changing so much and like when we started out there was lots and lots of amazing pop songs up for grabs from a lot of producers and songwriters and these days most of the people are going a rock direction or RnB/hip hop direction and at the point, and we call it the swing album… the ‘Allow Us To Be Frank’ album, it was just basically we were finding it very difficult to find songs of the quality that we wanted them to be at and we certainly didn’t just want to throw out any old album so we decided to try something different for one album and wait and give ourselves a bit more time to find the songs to put together for ‘Face to Face’ so essentially we gave ourselves an extra year to find the songs for the album for ‘Face to Face’ and I think that kind of shows because I think you know it’s obviously doing really well and if we kind, like I said before if we didn’t wait that year and threw together any old album who knows what we’d be doing right now if you know what I mean.
Westlife - Mark: In terms of the direction of the ‘Allow Us To Be Frank’ album we kind of looked at a lot of different options and different styles to try and do and we just felt that first of all the Frank stuff was down our street and we’d definitely like to try it out, and also our A&R man, Simon Cowell, is a massive fan of swing music, its his favorite type of music, and he was very expressive on how much he would’ve liked to have heard us singing that sort of stuff so we gave it a shot and I think it kind of worked and it got us through a year which was one where there was some turbulence because it’s the fact when Brian left the band and we were looking for the pop songs and we couldn’t find them so we done this album which bought us some time and we put together ‘Face to Face’ which ended up being one of our most successful albums ever so I think it all worked out quite nicely.
Access All Areas.net.au: As you say, in 2004, you lost Brian McFadden to a solo career, how did that impact the band?
Westlife - Mark: That was kind of the worst thing that ever happened in the band really. We’ve been through ups and downs of coarse like anybody else but a member leaving the band was something we… first of all was something we didn’t expect and we weren’t ready for but secondly we didn’t know how to handle it… we had learnt how to handle every other obstacle over the years and because we’ve been through so many different ups and downs and obstacles with this, that and the other but we never anticipated a member leaving, so we didn’t know what to do and it was the first time in a long time that was something new, that we were up against something new that we had never kind of experienced before and that was a very scary situation you know and we didn’t know whether it spelt the end of the band; we didn’t know whether the fans would be like ‘oh well its not the same, the five of you out there anymore’, the kind of ‘sorry its all over now’ or whatever.
Westlife - Mark: It was exciting and scary, every emotion going through our heads… but we decided to pick ourselves up and move on and we all sat there and said “guys at the end of the day it’s A or B… we either want to continue or we don’t, so what is it? And we all decided that we wanted to continue and we did continue and we probably were more focused than we were before he left because we had a new motivation and the motivation was to prove everyone wrong because everybody started saying that was going to be the end because the cracks are showing, but actually the band has become bigger and better since Brian has left and its in no disrespect to Brian, but its just the story of the band kind of goes on and its fantastic that we’re still here and I think the fact that Brian leaving gave us a bit of a shake and we sort of took the negative thing and turned it into a positive thing and just focused even harder you know.
Access All Areas.net.au: It must be quite mind blowing that you’ve notched up four ‘Record Of The Year’ awards in the UK and sold 40 million albums world wide!? Where do you see the end of Westlife… or more to the point, is there an end?
Westlife - Mark: It’s certainly no time soon as I said it’s definitely not going to leave for the next two years at least and the only reason why I don’t say any longer than that is because it’s hard to predict anything after that, but we’ve got a new album coming out this October, we’re recording a new album at the moment and if we don’t record another album next year we’ll do a greatest hits and after that that will be our second greatest hits album.
Westlife - Mark: fact that it’s a greatest hits doesn’t mean the end it’s just time to put all our singles on an album again if you know what I mean and at the moment that’s kind of the goal is to get to a greatest hits part two which is two years away but that’s just in terms of goals, I don’t think that’s the final goal its just the next kind of as far as we can see ahead at the moment you know.
Access All Areas.net.au: The Westlife catalogue is huge when you consider you have released seven albums, which song is closes to you and why?
Westlife - Mark: Mostly we’ve recorded over 200 songs or 300 songs and its hard to pick one in particular and ‘Flying Without Wings’ is one song which was off our first album that I still, to this day, don’t get sick of singing and that song was first of all an amazing career record for us, and by an amazing career record I mean the chart positions and the sales and the song that really confirmed to our audience that we weren’t just about six packs and dancers or whatever we were more about the vocals and stuff like that and the quality of the song and as I say, to this day I still don’t get sick of performing the song.
Westlife - Mark: Also there’s another called ‘World Of Our Own’ which is the same except it’s just more up tempo, then there’s just random songs like a song called ‘You Can’t Lose What You Never Had’ which is more sort of an urban song and it’s got more soul and an RnB type song which is a particular favourite style of things for me… there’s so many songs to be honest and there’s another song called ‘Bad Girl’ which is very up tempo, more kind of N’sync style song… there’s endless songs that I kind of enjoy singing so its kind of hard to decide on what.
Access All Areas.net.au: Your touring Australia in September, what can fans expect to see from a Westlife show?
Westlife - Mark: The main objective really is from the moment the show starts to the moment the show ends is to totally keep the audience entertained to the maximum… I mean the last thing that we want is for someone to sit down and be bored, you know what I mean and we all love going to see other bands and live gigs and there’s always lots of ups and downs you know where some parts will be amazing and other parts you can like ‘oh this bits a bit boring you know’. We want there to be no boring parts of this show, we kind of never get too anal about it.
Westlife - Mark: Our show is designed for the audience therefore we design the show around songs that they would know and songs that they would enjoy or to listen to and then we have all the big lights, we have a big live band, got lots of different costumes and lots of lights and pyrotechnics and explosions and stuff like that so you know, so hopefully they can expect hopefully what we feel as a really good quality pop show where from start to finish they will be entertained and hopefully they won’t be bored for a second.
Access All Areas.net.au: Now you’ve just signed a new recording contract with SonyBMG to release another five records? Where do you see Westlife going musically in the future?
Westlife - Mark: I think to be honest we’re a pop band through and through and obviously there’s little variations in pop music… one song could be a little bit more live sound or a little bit more rocky and one song could be a little more folk or whatever but the core of our music will always be pop music. We love singing pop music and it’s always going to be pop music… and just kind of modern pop songs really if you know what I mean, that’s kind of the style that you’d call it if you know what I mean and classic pop you know and that’s what its going to be and I don’t think that’s ever going to change.
Access All Areas.net.au: Well thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to chat to us, congratulations again on the album and we can’t wait to see you back here in September!
Westlife - Mark: Fantastic man, same here, we’re really looking forward to getting back, we had a great time in February and we really want to get back down there and get back in to it you know.
Tell Me What Make's A Man,Smile When Your Around,Cry When Your Apart