Boy bands come and go. And come back.
Just ask new Brit boy band The Wanted, chatting up their forthcoming self-titled EP in Canada (out April 24). Or ’90s boy band and brother trio Hanson — famed for MMMBop and now married with eight children between them — busily promoting their fifth studio album, Shout It Out (out now).
In separate interviews, we put the same 10 questions to Nathan Sykes, 18, and Jay McGuiness, 21, from The Wanted as well as to all three Hansons — Isaac, 32, Taylor, 29 and Zac, 27. Here’s how they answered:
1) Do you consider yourself a boy band?
Sykes: “I think we are a boy band — just a new type. It’s like what (Jay) says all the time — ‘Music before posters.’ Because look at us; we’re average at best.”
Zac Hanson: “We were actually boys in a band when we started. (But) by definition I think ‘boy band’ had a negative connotation. When you actively call yourself a boy band you’re also sort of limiting your music to just a group of people — it’s only for young girls.”
2) Most of your fans are a) lovely b) passionate c) crazy?
Sykes: “Passionate, it covers all three words. We walked through the crowds in our arena tour we just done in the U.K. and we got touched in some places that (we’ll need therapy for years).”
Taylor Hanson: “There’s a core group — that’s probably the most devout — which is girls that have grown up with us.”
3) When did you realize you were famous?
McGuiness: “It freaked me out when I went home. And my niece I remember being a baby, she was two and I’d not seen her properly for two years, but she knew me from the TV, but she didn’t know me.”
Zac: “The first time that we had crazy experiences was probably early promotion in ’97. The first time we showed up at a mall promotional show where we looked out on 8,000 people that were packed in just to see an acoustic performance. You go, ‘Well, okay, something’s changed.”
4) What’s your biggest regret so far?
McGuiness: “Sometimes I wish we’d been more (honest) like we are now. (We’d) just sort of sit there in matching clothes and be like, ‘We look stupid.’ But you wouldn’t say that to the record label.”
Taylor: “(None.) I think it’s gone exceptionally well.”
5) Vegas stage show a la Celine Dion or being a judge on a Simon Cowell talent competition. Which would be your back-up plan?
Sykes: “I’d love to have a show in Vegas. I think musically, as a group, that’d be great. But I’ve always wanted to do some sort of judging thing because it’d be absolutely hysterical.”
Taylor: “(Neither.) American Idol — we’re not going to frown on those things particularly, they’re great for somebody, but probably not as fitting for our passion.”
6) What’s the most important advice someone gave you — and who was it?
McGuiness: “I think our team as a collective of people just did the greatest job. They “¦ tell us, ‘You’re being d—–bags boys, just relax.’ ”
Zac: “The first record contract we ever got given, our first attorney said, ‘Don’t sign this if you have any desire to do this for more than a year.’ It was a moment of, ‘If you care about what you do, this basically gives away every single right you have. It will be fun for a really short period of time but then you’ll go back to getting a real job.’ ”
7) What’s the best perk of your job?
McGuiness: “Travelling, because before this I just lived with my family and never travelled out of my hometown.”
Isaac Hanson: “(Being a musician is) kind of like having a lot of friends. You go out and you play these concerts and these people are excited that you’re there.”
8) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Sykes: “Hopefully a lot richer than we are now ’cause I can’t imagine us being any poorer. No, I’d just like to be known as the band that did something different.”
Taylor: “Just going forward, but broadening that scope. Our passion for working with other artists, for producing, kind of expanding the brand of Hanson.”
9) Complete this sentence: The state of the music industry is …
Sykes: “There’s a lot more politics than you think. Everyone just thinks you get to roll into being a singer, you get on stage, you go home to your massive house with your beautiful girlfriend, and just sip on champagne “¦ and it’s not like that.”
Zac: “Just f—ed. At the same time that you have just contraction, you also have sort of more instances of sales than ever but less money being spent because of digital sales. I think it’s sort of the wild west.”
10) Do boy bands deserve more respect?
McGuiness: “No, I think GOOD boy bands deserve respect. I think you can be a boy band and musically very proficient and be an indie band and be terrible.”
Zac: “I think all of the artists, it’s really just, in 20 years if there still there they’ll get the respect they deserve. Justin Timberlake’s a good example. Nobody gave him any respect until you go, ‘S— you made a couple of good records by yourself.’ “