ABSolutely
Big Hit, Feb Issue 2001

When ex-5ive dude Abs Breen hit Australia last month for Rumba, he made sure to catch up with our Scott Keenan to talk about 5ive's split, his solo plans and why he feels he owes Australia respect...

Is it odd being here without the boys?
The first couple of days were a bit weird. Getting up to do promo I get these days sheets. My manager puts them under the door and goes, "This is what's happening for today." It normally says "Five" and its just got like "Abs" at the top now. So that was a bit like "Wooh, reality check". But it's cool yeah, I'm enjoying it.

Who was the first to say, "Let's split"?
It is hard to pinpoint one cos it was kind of gradual. Sean got kinda ill, then Ritchie twisted his ankle so he couldn't do a few perfomances. Scott's girlfriend was pregnant...so it was a build up of "Do you know what? This is really happening, what's going on?" It was kinda like falling apart, it was weird. We are one of them bands that you sort of push buttons and we explode. So you could imagine at the same time trying to work with all these other things going on, he's not here or he hasn't turned up.It just got to that point, we all sat down and it was like, "what do we really want to do? Blah blah blah..." and here I am on my own. All the bullshit aside, I was sitting at home doing nothing, the record company gave me a call, "We want to sign you up, go to Australia!" And here I am. Get some sun, check out a few girls...

Tell us the truth, was Sean really sick?
Yeah! Do you know what, thought? While Sean was away, there were little things going on, like Scott wanting to settle down. I'm not blaming anyone but, people have their own lives to live and we're normal guys at the end of the day, that have to live their lives, as much as we are in the public eye.

But you'd just released a brilliant album...
You know what? That at the same time proves that it ain't just all about the money, that it is just a genuine kind of...it just felt right.

So you didn't consider doing a few more singles?
I personally would have liked to. I would have liked to maybe have done a world tour.Just one more song or maybe release a few more tracks of "Kingsize", because there are some fucking good tracks and it pisses me off that they didnt release any of them!

So have you seen any of the boys since?
Yeah, I've seen Rich, I have seen Sean. I haven't seen Scott though. He has been around, I've spoke to him on the phone. J rang me a couple of days ago. He was like, "What are you doing?", and I was like, "I'm in Australia!" He was like,"what the fuck are you doing in Australia man?", I was like, "I don't even know, I don't even have a single to promote, I'm just out here!" He was like, "Cool, all the best with it." Everyone is really cool about what I'm doing and I would be likewise. There ain't no animosity, we're all friends. It's cool

How is Scott going with the baby and the mariage?
He's got a beautiful baby, man. It's so cool. He's happy. I don't know what he's up to, I think he might want to do a bit of writing or something. I'm not 100% sure. But it's all good. He's dealing with becoming a father. He's ringing me up,like, "Abs, I'm so stressed!" I'm like "Hey, your fault bro, you got a kid. Don't come crying to me!" (Laughs) But he's cool.

Do you think you would ever consider a reunion?
No.Doubt it. You never know though, mortgages to pay and all the rest of it. Dogs to feed. You never know.

So Rich and Sean are working together on Rich's solo stuff, have you considered working with any other of the boys with your stuff?
I didn't even know about that to be honest! I am going to get back in the studio when I get home and see what happens. Don't exactly know what kind of direction I am going or anything. I am just going to get in there and hope for the best. I'm still hungry for the fame and the travelling and the touring and the music. And that is why the record company said, "Ok fair enough, let's get you out there, let's do something."

Will you stuff be more rapping or singing?
A bit of both, everything man. I ain't got no barriers.It's all about me, without sounding too big headed. I've got to show the world what Abs is now. I was talking to some guy the other day and he was like, "Blah blah blah, relationships and all the rest of it". But it was always Rich and J... you know, Rich would go out with a girl from Hollyoaks or whatever and J going out with Mel C. I still dated girls, I did my own thing, but hid behind them. Now I haven't got them, so there's more attetion on me. I'm looking forward it.

You lost rather badly to Emma Bunton in the Neighbours quiz on Rove (Live)
That was cool. I let Emma win. No matter what she says, I let her win. I'm a gentleman. Emma's lovely.

How did you enjoy Rumba?
Rumba was wicked man! It was mad to come out something as big as Five and still be welcomed. I didn't know what people were going to think of me, but everyone was so cool and they are 100% behind me which is nice. Even if it is not the rest of the world, but Australia, this is my first little venture and it's going down wicked. If the rest if the world takes to me like this then I ain't got no worries man!

What was your job at Rumba exactly?
They were stupid enough to give me a mic and I was raving in and out of the audience, chatting to the fans and stuff. It was nice to get back to that personal level with the fans.It was good to be back, so in that sense I was just kinda running around and just letting people know I'm around, you know, get ready for me! I will be back!

Did you enjoy hitting the stage with Blue?
There was a lot of shit, a load of hype, about me perfoming with them. But I just went on the stage, got into it. How was I gonna fit into "All Rise" or "Too Close"? When I come, trust me you'll know about it. I'm going to come back with my material, my shit, my stage, and BANG!, you're going to know about it.

Who did you most want to meet at Rumba?
Seeing Blue, Emma, Craig and that was nice, but there's no-one I was like, "Shit, I need to get a look at them." There's too many MCs and not enough hype. You need people to want to see you. Not just like, "Oh I'll watch him". Like the Jackson Five, that's something you need to see. That's what I'm wanting, people to come and want to see me, not just cos I'm on the bill.

You've also been doing some DJing while you've been here. How has that gone down?
Yeah, it's cool. Tough I'm not sure you're ready for my kind of sound yet. I have quite an underground sort of head. I play a lot of hip-hop and all commercial stuff, what people know. But when I played it I was like "Listen, should I carry on playing this or do you want me to play what's going on back home?". And they were like "Yeah, play us that!" and screaming. A few people moved, but they didn't quite understand it. So I was like "Alright, fair enough, maybe next time".

So you promise you'll come back to Australia when you release your first solo single?
Definitely. It's a respect thing. You lot have treated me so good over here I feel as though I owe you. I said to the record company, "Listen, I want to come back here and promote". What do I need, a week? I enjoy it over here as well. Australia is the dessert of the promotional world tour and that is the nicest bit. It's all chills. It's all good. I can't complain man.