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Five Interview


Five Come To Leicester

Five (stylised as 5ive) are a one of the most iconic British boy bands ever. With a mass of hits, the band originally consisted of members Sean Conlon, Abz Love, Ritchie Neville, Scott Robinson and Jay Brown.

They were formed in 1997 and split in 2001 and boasted worldwide domination. They made a brief attempt at a reunion in 2007 which didnt go to plan.

Then in 2012 they decided to be part of the ITV2 2013 show ‘The Big Reunion’ without Jay Brown and after having success on the show, they announced they would be putting on a greatest hits tour in November and December of this year and it is at this point that Leicestershire Music picks things up.

Leicestershire Music managed to grab a few minutes with Five just before they where due to go on stage at Leicester’s Demontfort Hall

LM: Hello guys, it is a pleasure to meet all.
RN: Hello I’m Ritchie Neville
SC: I’m Sean Conlon
AL: Abz Love (In attendance  – Eating his tea)
SR: Scott Robinson (Unable to attend)

LM: In 2007 you where going to reform, but that didn’t quite work out, so what is different about 2013?
RN: The difference is that for me back then, I wasn’t really ready to be back in a pop band and I don’t think anyone else was either. At the time I had considered going to China for a year instead and training with the Shaolin Monks.
But this time things feel right and everything has come together nicely.
SC: And I didn’t actually have any involvement in the 2007 reforming, because to be brutally honest I knew it wasn’t the right time to do it and I didn’t feel it was the right time for them either – It didn’t have a good feel about it from the off.

LM: When you all met up on the first episode of ‘The Big Reunion’ there seemed to still be some issues concerning your split and who did what. Do you feel that these issues have now been addressed and put to bed?
RN: You know what, that was all genuine stuff that had happened in the past and it was just about getting it out in the open. But to be honest you only saw a snipet of what was actually said and everything was cleared up. But as a band we have a ruck a week as all bands do, so the response from that first meeting was inevitable and something we all expected, because it was the first time we had seen each other for a long time. But we are actually really close and as much as we grate on each other sometimes, we also love each other dearly.
SC: Yes any negativity in the show was about stuff from the past and not about the present, it was how we felt then.
RN: But you’ve got to air that sort of stuff to move forward and say how you felt, I know it sounds a bit American and psychoanalytical…..
SC: Psychopath……
RN: But you just have to sit there and do it…. you know, cuz that’s the shit.

LM: Even though Jay has decided not to return to the line-up, is the door still open for him should he ever want to?
RN: No, its not now – because we have done a years ground work on getting the band back on the road. It was kind of difficult for us all at the time .. first he did want to be involved……then he didn’t….then he did…….then he didn’t. Then he upset a lot of our fans by posting stuff on the internet and after all that, we took the chance that everything would work out and luckily for us it did – We would always be happy to have a chat with him but that’s it.

LM: As a collective, did you find it easy to slot into Jays shoes as far as performing goes, or did a lot of thought have to go into how you would do new performances of your old hits?
RN: It was actually scarily easy.
SC: Yer I mean we had to work out who was singing what.
RN: And some new positions, but we couldn’t remember most of the positions anyway.
SC: It was like doing it all from scratch actually.

LM: When you where on the Big Reunion was it as ‘easy’ as it looked, being in the company of all those over inflated egos?
RN: No that was fine.
SC: Well I wouldn’t say from the beginning we where all best friends. When you first meet there where a lot of egos and people where very stand offish. However, the magic of spending so much time together with the other bands meant that we broke down barriers and got to know some of them really well. Because everyone judges people to quick anyway.
RN: You can get that in any social situation, not just in bands, because when you don’t know each other then things can feel awkward until you get to now each other.
SC: But in showbiz it can be more intense.

LM: Are you still looking for a fifth band member or are you now happy performing as a four piece?
RN: No
SC: Not unless you’re thinking of stepping in
RN: If you are up for it mate then we would definitely have a look.

LM: You where at the fore front of the ‘new wave’ boy bands, but do any of you have regrets about not breaking into the American market?
RN: We actually did, we went platinum in the USA and had a top 10 for 25 weeks …… but that kind of goes back to the first question you asked and to be fair it was difficult with Jay and he made it difficult with the record label and basically they tarred us all with the same brush and said “F off you stuck up English pricks”. Which is fair enough because he was acting like a complete twat – No offense but he was.

LM: I presume you have all made your money and done your things, so are you now just enjoying making music and touring or are there still pressures there?
SC: For me it has been a real personal journey, but lets face some facts we all like to earn money.
RN: Like why does anyone go to work? Because you don’t go to work for nothing and if everyone else is making some money, then why shouldn’t we?
SC: And we love our job.
RN: Yer we love our job and because we broke up after releasing only one single from the third album it felt like the circle wasn’t complete.
SC: I think that’s why people connected with us because we where a genuine reunion and that’s why people connected with it.

LM: What do you think about the X-Factor and the modern fame game?
RN: It is what it is.
SC: It is worrying for the music industry because it is TV based and takes something away from the traditional music business. So if you and me where going to start a new band and Simon Cowell was going to, then you know his act would top the charts and we wouldn’t. But there is no denying that it has produced some talented artists.

LM: You are all a lot older and wiser now, what advise would you have for any of the new bands starting off in Leicester?
RN: Listen, at the end of the day you gotta follow your bliss, follow your dreams because that’s what we did…erm….. and just keep your feet on the ground and keep plugging away…..and keep it fun.
SC: And remember this….at the end of the day, it gets dark.

LM: That was brilliant guys I really appreciate your time today.
RN: Hay no problem
SC: Yer that’s fine

To give you a little taster here are a few of Five’s biggest hits which they are also performing on their current tour.

Interview By Danny O’Callaghan