Made up of Max, Jay, Tom, Siva and Nathan The Wanted scored a number one with their debut single All Time Low and their second single Heart Vacancy hit the number 3 spot as this issue was going to press. Here they spill the beans on celebrating chart success, their plans for pop world domination and who has been slipping their phone number to soul diva’s…
On a sunny afternoon, I’m sitting in a bar waiting to interview über-sexy group The Wanted – made up of Max, Jay, Tom, Siva and Nathan. Oh yeah, life as a journalist has its perks. “The boys are ready for you now,” pipes their PR lady. They’re ready, but am I? Will I make them laugh like Katy Brand, the comedienne they’ve been filming with beforehand? Will I be able to look into their eyes without forgetting my questions? There’s no time to think, because before I know it, my Dictaphone is whirring to life and I’m courting the attention of five very talented, handsome young men.
I’m nestled between Max and Jay (cosy). Before I get a chance to ask a question, Max’s BlackBerry starts buzzing. ‘Anyone interesting?’ I ask, hoping it will be one of the famous ladies the fella’s have been linked to of late. No joy, it’s just a friend. Damn. If only it had been Rihanna or Leona Lewis. Rihanna and Siva got chatting at celebrity-haunt Mahiki and Max has given Leona his number. ‘I’m still waiting for her to call,’ he tells me with a cheeky grin. I confess to the boys that they are all awfully pretty. ‘And you are the prettiest, sexiest interviewer we’ve ever had,’ replies Jay. And so we begin…
With their speedy journey into the pop-stardom firmament since they scored a number one with their debut single All Time Low, the group’s world has been turned on its head. ‘It’s been absolutely mental!’ says Max, who, at 22, is the eldest member of the group). ‘We get paparazzi following us everywhere and people turn up at our houses.’ But do the boys love it? ‘Yeah, it’s mad but awesome,’ Jay tells me, who I realise is the group’s unofficial spokesperson. And how have the guys celebrated their success?’
‘We got hammered when All Time Low reached number one,’ Max confesses. ‘We went everywhere!’ – ‘Movida, Mahiki!’ interjects Tom. Ah yes the endless partying. It’s been splashed across the tabloids that The Wanted are after JLS’s crown as the biggest caners on the pop circuit. And the boys certainly wreak havoc whenever they are out – either on the dance floor or with the ladies.
It’s not bad going for a bunch of Northern boys from relatively humble beginnings (and Gloucestershire-born-and-bred baby of the group, 17-year-old Nathan). Formed only a year ago, they were gigging around pubs and clubs and cutting their teeth on school tours – never in their wildest dreams did they foresee that they were taking steps towards chart domination. Jay tells me that he thought they’d just be a dodgy band performing at random clubs. Tom interrupts laughing, adding: ‘Which is what we were for a while’. Tom is definitely the joker in the group. They all seem to have defined roles. Siva is the quietest member, but with cheekbones that could cut glass and a serious set of muscles, he doesn’t need to say much. His body does all the talking for him. And his amazing singing voice, naturally.
Dig the new breed
Since the 90s and the golden age of groups like Take That, Westlife and Boyzone, boybands haven’t been particularly popular, sexy or cool. Fast forward to 2009 and you get JLS running riot all over the charts with hit records, sellout tours and the unadulterated adulation of thousands of screaming fans. Now The Wanted are part of this new wave of boy bands, revitalising the charts and bringing back a much-missed
excitement factor to pop music.
Do they see themselves as rivals to those back-flipping, six-packed, pretty pop boys from The X Factor? Tom says this is resolutely not the case. ‘You know what? We met JLS the other day and they were really nice guys. Really complimentary about what we are doing. There’s definitely no rivalry because we are different. If we were an urban, RnB pop group it might be another story. We’re not trying to nick their fans!’ It’s all about a boyband coalition – call them the music scene’s version of the new Lib-Con Government.
After the global smash of All Time Low, where do you go?
‘Expect a lot from our album, it has a brilliant mix of genres – a bit of guitar music and a little piano,” Siva tells me with a knowing glint in his eyes.’ Sitting there in all of his razor-sharp cheekboned glory, Silva also confirms that he has a girlfriend. Oh dear. I hear the snap of a thousand teen hearts breaking. Not many boy banders admit to being in a relationship. ‘It’s that kind of honesty that sets us apart from other groups,’ Nathan tells me. Alright then!
Jay fills me in on their shot at breaking American. ‘We’re doing an iTunes gig over there soon and then we’ll try to bribe people to promote us!’ he laughs. ‘Either that or we’ll sleep our way to the top,’ says Tom jokingly. ‘And we definitely want to work with legends – like Jay-Z or Beyoncé who are so far out of our league they wouldn’t even consider it,’ adds Jay. I have a feeling that anything is possible including recording a track with Hov and Bee!
Boyband Trivia Test – we gave The Wanted a history pop quiz and they got all of the answers right! Read their results below.
Whose debut album was called Walthamstow?
M: East 17
Who had a single out first. Was it E17 or Take That?
All: Take That!
Finish this sentence: ‘When will I, will I..’
T and N: Be famous!
Which former Boyband member came 2nd in celebrity BB10?
J: Dane Bowers
Kenzie was in which Boyband?
M: Blazin’ Squad
What does JLS stand for
All: Jack The Lads Swing
- Max wanted to play football until he realised he could sing at 16.
- Siva has a twin brother!
- Jay is challenged in the rhythm department (he can’t dance). He also has a pet lizard that he strokes regularly for comfort.
- Tom can do a an impressive, Olympic-worthy front roll (which Flavour witnessed).
- Nathan is a BIG fan of Hermione from Harry Potter, BoysIIMen and Manchester United.
Words by Mary Bello