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MY SIDE OF LIFE - AUTOBIOGRAPHY [ADDED CHAPTER]: AMAZON
19 October 2010: WESTLIFE could quite easily sit back, admire how successful they've been and hang up their microphones.
But despite being one of the most successful boy bands ever to have lived, Westlife boys Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan are hungrier and more motivated than ever before.
As OK.co.uk catch up with them at a swanky London hotel they are busy promoting their 11th album Gravity - and seem just as fired up for their latest video, their next tour and their upcoming X Factor 2010 performance as if they were brand new to the music scene.
We tried our best to ask Nicky, Mark and Shane (Kian unfortunately missed his plane and couldn't be there) as as many of your Twitter questions as possible - thank you for all your input!
Hello Westlife! We are very excited about your new album Gravity. Tell us about it...
Mark: We just spent three months making the album with John Shanks and I actually - just for comparison - played our last album (which we really loved and we were genuinely really proud of) and there is a massive difference in quality of production on this album.
We've definitely moved up quite a bit. And because we’ve done it all with one guy it has a sound from start to finish (our last album was done with five or six people). More of a solid sound. We’ve also written on this album.
So did you guys write/co-write your new single Safe?
Mark: Safe was actually a song that John brought with him from the States when we first met him in London. He played it to us and we were like 'nice one let’s get it in'. We played it to Simon Cowell and he loved it.
We're dying to know, when and where's the video for Safe being filmed?
Shane: We’re filming the video on Thursday, believe it or not. It’s going to be on location in London. We’ve been wanting to do it for the last month and we’re annoyed it’s taken this long to do it.
So tell us, what's the video about?
Shane: We don’t want to say too much about it but it’s a great idea and it goes well with the song. There’s a bit of acting for us to be doing and we’re getting involved in all different scenes. We’re kind of flipping the word safe and making it ‘unsafe’ – trying to stop people from being ‘unsafe’. We’re the heroes - although we don’t have cloaks (laughs). It's real life stories put into a video.
Mark: You won’t see it for about two weeks. We’ll be tweeting on it so if you’re following us on Twitter you’ll know where it is!
Talking of Twitter, LOTS of our followers want to know, why does Shane not have an account?
Shane: The answer is I’m too busy and I don’t have time. I might do it some day. I could do it in five years time probably when it’s gone out of date. (OK! and the rest of the lads spend the next few minutes trying to convince him he should join!)
With Shane refusing to be budged (!) we move on to X Factor... and the big question is: Will you guys be performing this series?
Mark: Yes we will be performing. We can’t say what date it is but it’s very soon and probably around the time of the album is out.
And who do you reckon will win the show this year?
Shane: Mary Byrne. I think she has the best chance of winning it. I think she’ll get the most votes. Her story of always wanting to be a singer and finally getting the courage to do will get her votes. She blows everyone away with her performance every week.
Nicky: I think Cher’s going to win it.
Shane: Yeah Cher's vocals are really good.
Mark: I would listen to Cher’s album now. Cher to me, I can see her going into the studio now and coming out with a brilliant album. The biggest album of the year.
Mark: In the final I reckon it’ll be Mary, Cher, One Direction, Aiden – and in the last slot either Matt, Katie or Rebecca.
As a boy band yourselves, what do you make of One Direction's chances?
Shane: One Direction are just cute lads, girls are going to love them. It’s great to see a young band like that coming on. It’s great for them, great for us, great for everyone. We need more pop bands in the market and I think they’ll probably have a very big career. And Simon [Cowell] loves them.
Ok, now it's time to get down to the real business of the boys boxer shorts (one of our favourite questions on Twitter).
Boxers, briefs or nothing?
Nicky: Nothing. I do wear boxer shorts but I do prefer to be non boxered up.
Shane: There’s no ball room in briefs. It’s just uncomfortable. So boxers.
Mark: Boxer shorts for me.
And now you've got us thinking of your naked bodies, would you ever do a naked photo shoot?
Mark: If the money was right! (they all laugh)
So you're not ruling it out then?!
Mark: It's never out of the picture - everything’s for sale! (more laughter).
While we momentarily get giddy imaging exactly how that shoot would pan out we move on to Mark and his wedding plans...
So how are the plans going and are you enjoying engaged life?
Mark: it’s fantastic. It’s good fun. We’re very creative and we love planning parties and a wedding is like the ultimate party.
So can we expect something themed?
Mark: Not necessarily it could be very simple but it’s the whole thing of you wanting it to be the perfect perfect day. Choices are endless. We’re enjoying that process at the moment. And we can’t wait to just do it now.
Source: OK. Credits: Interview by Julia White
Ok.co.uk spent the afternoon with Westlife's Nicky Byrne Mark Feehily and Shane Filan