Our Splitting is not a Publicity Stunt! (Star Magazine)28/11/2011 18:23
Big thanks to Jessica for typing up the interview from Star Magazine!
By Kelly Allen
Westlife Open Up about Their Shock Split, Louis Walsh and Why A Future Comeback Is Not On The Cars
There are sore heads all around when Star sits down with Westlife for what looks to be the last time (sob!). Earlier this month, the irish boyband announced they were calling it a day after 14 years (almost six of those with former member Brian McFadden) of topping the charts – and they are all feeling the effects of the night before, following a marathon drinking sesh to toast their futures without each other.
”We filmed our TV show [Westlife: For The Last Time] last night and got really drunk after”, explains Kian Egan. “Our heads are banging, but the best way to get over a hangover is to get back on it with a few beers.”
So, as we sit heartbroken with a galss of water, Kian, 31; Shane Filan, 32; Mark Feehily, 31; and Nicky byrne, 33, sup their morning after pints and tell us all about the decision to split, the release of their Greatest hits album, and their plans for their farewell tour next spring. Oh, and they reliably inform us that they won’t be reforming – well, not for a good few years, at last!
Boys, it’s the end of an era! What made you decide to split up?
Mark: “We’ve never actually used the words ‘splitting up’. But it doesn’t matter what people call it, we are going out separate ways. We’re not getting hung up on it.”
Shane: “It is what it is – it’s the end!”
Kian: “I shouldn’t say it but before we went on tour to Asia, we knew what was going to happen. We knew it was out last tour in Asia and when we came back we were going to release the news, so Asia’s probably the best trip we’ve had in years! It was like going away with your four mates on the piss. It was a fairytale moment.”
But why now?
Shane: It’s probably be brewing for a good year, as we knew we were coming to the Greatest Hits and the end of our contracts. We’d all been sitting down and talking about the pressure and the stress of trying to make the record and get it right. It felt like it was time.”
Nicky: We never wanted to fall down and be one of those bands that released records all the time, which we were felt we were starting to do. And it felt like: ‘You know what, lads? We’re OK – we’ve done a lot!”
Shane: “It felt like it wasn’t special anymore, not like it used to be. For the fans it’s slightly different but for us it’s been like: ‘Are we getting better? Are we getting worse? Are we getting to the stage where we aren’t enjoying it?’ It is half out life. None of us want to let it go and we will all be crying come June [when the tour ends], but it’s time.”
There’s been speculation that you’ve all fallen out…
Mark: “No! We are eager for our fans to know we are all still friends.”
Shane: “We were just saying, actually, that we’ve become closer as a group of people over the past three or four years. But there’s been a massive pressure on us.”
Pressure to compete with the likes of One Direction & JLS?
Mark: “No, it doesn’t come from that.”
Shane: “There has always been groups trying to come in, and some of them have been very successful. Westlife has always focussed on being westlife. There are always gonna be groups like One direction and JLS”
Kian: We’ve had big pressure on us for the past three years. It’s been down to the four of us. The reason we’ve lasted as long as we’ve lasted, at the level we’ve lasted, was down to the pressure we put on ourselves from day one to be the best and to be committed and to be there, to be on time and to be all over the fucking world!”
Nicky: Once you’re inside the bubble, it’s very hard to see outside it. If you look at One Direction, I’d just say it’s the circle of life. When we started off we thought we were the biggest thing on Planet Earth and now we see these young bands doing it. We’ve had 14 years and there’s more to life than being in a pop group.
It’s so sad and final! Still, at least we get to see you on your farewell tour next year…
Mark: Yes, but it’s seems so, so far away. We’re not going anywhere just yet, so I’m not thinking about it. I don’t know if I’m doing it subconsciously or on purpose. But I think we’ve been preparing for the idea that it’s not gonna last forever for a few years now.
Shane: It will be kind of weird on the last night of the tour in Dublin next year, as that’s when it will be scary. It’s like: ‘What do you do after the concert?’ Because that’s it! It will be the last time ever! Do you go off for a drink; do you go for a cry? It’s one of those weird moments that we haven’t experienced, but when we do I know it will feel like we’ve been hit by a ton of bricks.
What has Brian said about it all?
Shane: To be honest, I don’t know when I last spoke to Brian. It was probably nearly a year ago.
Nicky: The last time we really saw Brian was when we were in LA about a year and a half ago.
Kian: I don’t think he’s that sad about it.
So you’re not going to bring him back on stage on the final night?
Kian: A lot of people have been asking that same question. For us, we were with Brian for nearly six years but without him for eight, so it’s kind of like: ‘Why would we bring him back?”
Mark: He lives in Australia, on the other side of the world these days.
Shane: Brian left the band for a reason, whatever that reason may be.
And how does Louis feel, after managing you for so long?
Nicky: We’re worried we might have to set up a helpline for Louis because he wasn’t happy about it at all! He is devastated, genuinely. I saw him the other night and I said: ‘So how are you feeling?’ and he said: ‘I don’t want to talk about it’. He’s not there yet. But he understands.”
What do you think of people who’ve said it’s a cash-in and you will reform in two years’ time?
Mark: It’s not a publicity stunt.
So you won’t ever do a Take That and get back together?
Nicky: It’s not a break, this is the end for us, but it’s inevitable we will all miss the band. I kinda miss it already, even though we have another six or so months to go yet.
Shane: Obviously it is the end, but ten years’ down the line we could be back together, you never know. We’ll always be member of Westlife, no matter what, whether the band’s broken up or not. Paul McCartney is forever a Beatle and I’m not comparing ourselves to The Beatles, but we’ll always be members of Westlife. Someday, yeah, we’ll sing together as a band, but it could be in 20 years’ time.
So what are you all planning to do one you’ve finally split?
Shane: Maybe if you ask me this is six months’ time I’ll be able to tell you. I’d like to still sing; I’d like to stay in entertainment, definitely. That’s all I’ve known for the past 14 years.
Mark: I don’t think any of us are ready to hang up our boots just yet. I’ve got loads of energy – I love singing; I love creativity; I wanna do loads of stuff. I wanna do everything! And I’m excited about the unknown, as much as it’s scary. It’s all very bittersweet, as much as it’s sad when you think about everything, but at the same time it’s exciting. Sometimes you feel rotten; sometimes you feel great.
Nicky: I’ve already applied for the police force in Chicargo.
Nicky: No! [Laughs] I think I’m the type of person that has to keep going. I don’t see myself taking months and months off. I’m looking forwards to making my own decisions. I like being on stage, and for the best part of Westlife we were on tour. Nowadays, it’s probably the only enjoyable part.”
What about you Kian?
Kian: This is all we’ve known since we were teenagers. We came straight from school and did this! I’m looking forwards to living the next part of my life. To be honest, I’m going to do very, very little at first. I want to experience life and be a daddy as Jodi [Albert, Kian’s wide] is due on 1st January.”
So Aww! We’ve heard that you’re a judge on Ireland’s version of Ther Voice, too?
Kian: Yes, it’s one thing that was going to happen whether Westlife were still together or not. I think in the long run I’ll move into management, but I see myself chilling out for a year or two before I start on new projects.
Have Louis or Simon Cowell given you any advice about being a judge?
Kian: Well, I’ve spoken to both of them and they’ve just said: ‘Be yourself – be honest.’ I’ve had a few auditionees who’ve got a bit lippy at me, so I’ve got a bit lippy back, and I’, very honest with people. Basically, it’s similar to X-Factor, but the difference is you don’t see the person when you pick them. I love it and I’ve definitely got the winner!
You don’t seem to sad that it’s all over for Westlife. Is that because you’ve all got your own things planned now?
Shane: Life is full of highs and lows. Look at the 14 years we leave behind; look at the legancy and lifestyle we’ve had. We were living the fast life, and then there are the houses we live in, the cars we drive – all those different things. So, when you look at all those elements, you realise there’s absolutely nothing negative about leaving Westlife, and we can all walk away feeling super positive. It’s a happy ending!
Hmm… something tells us that your fans will need a lot more convincing before they feel the same way, lads!
Credit/Source: Star Magazine / Kelly Allen / Kianegandaily.webs.com