Interview with Abz Breen

World Of Five - 25 October 2006

What have you been doing with yourself the past five years?
Where do I start? A lot of partying and late nights. Relationship issues. Women. Partying and craziness and general madness. It's kinda hard to explain it. Basically it's been a bit of a mad one since I've been out of the band. I don't know. It's still quite a roller coaster.

I went to the Maldives. I went to quite a few places actually. I can't remember them all just now. I did L.A. (Los Angeles) and quite a few Sunday markets.

How did Five's split effect you personally?
I didn't want to split. From day one, I was always like, "What's wrong with you guys? Stop crying and let's just stay together." But I tried to get on and do my own thing. So you just carry on. Life goes on and that's it. It's all part of the mad experience.

How have you changed as a person since Five split?
I think a lot of people are saying I've changed a lot physically. My dad didn't recognize me. That was a bit of a shock. I was like, hey...ok. But mentally, more of "I don't give a damn". You know what I'm saying? With just that kind of attitude, man. I'm getting too old for this shit, you know. Playtime's over. Let's just do what we have to do. It's about being who you have to be and doing what you have to do to get the job done properly. It's more of a 'screw you' kinda attitude. I've had that five year period where I could kinda chill out and have my own time and do what I had to do. So coming back into it now makes you appreciate it. You know what I'm saying? Bracing yourself for it. The fans make you feel like you can do anything. They love you up and everything you do is perfect. They make you feel like you can say anything and do whatever you want and all of a sudden that's gone. And it's kind of a shock. You get used to it. Now we're back in the limelight again and trying to work it hard. It's the next chapter now. I'm 27. I've got Lamborghinis to buy and yachts to sail and women to meet.

Has your musical style/taste changed in the past five years and how will it affect Five's new music?
I personally really haven't been different. The other boys basically do what they have to do. We all voice our opinions when it comes to musical preferences.. what we're into, what we're not into. I'm quite eclectic when it comes to music. I listen to everything. All types of music from Motown to classical to chill to drum and bass to funky house. I'm bringing that kind of edge whereas I know Rich is quite into his rock. So I kind of compromise and hear what he has to say while he hears what I have to say. And hopefully that brings something to the style of our music now.

I've changed in that I've heard five more years of songs. So I've had time to explore and discover new tracks and new music. And that's all gonna be incorporated into the style now. I don't know how to give you a definition of what the style is or how I've changed in that sense. Until we get into the studio and write it and hear how it sounds. Get inspired by the music and see what we can come up with.

How do you want to see Five represent themselves to the press and their fans this time around?
We've never had anything to hide. What you see is what you get. Personally, I can't speak for the rest of the boys, I'm all about living for the moment. Enjoying my time while I've got it and while we're in the spotlight. It's kinda rare for someone to have two shots, to be able to come back and be successful. So I'm just hoping that people see what we're trying to do and feel it.

How do you see your role in the band now?
I'm not too sure to be honest with you. I'm trying to figure out what my role is in the band at the moment. I'm having, like, chats with a psychiatrist every other week. I don't know what my purpose is in the band. They're trying to help me with that and trying to discover who I am.

Ideally, what do you hope Five can accomplish with this comeback?
Um, sell a few records would be nice. I think we jumped off kinda early and we had a lot of juice left in us. Before we get too old and too unflexible. This time around, just try and achieve and hit that hot spot. Try and set the tone again. Because loads of people come up to me and say how "You guys set the benchmark for all the new bands". And some members of some new bands have come up and said "Hey man, you guys have to come back". So whatever we do, we've gotta redefine the scene. Like when we first came out. No one was doing our style of music. This time around, coming back again, we'll have to bring something fresh or new to the mix again. Set a benchmark. And it's gotta be good, whatever it is. And we definitely wanna be universal. We want them to be bumping and shit on Saturn. In the far outer reaches of space. Aliens will be buying us at their alien HMV stores.

What can you say about your solo career?
It was rubbish, basically. I didn't have creative or artistic freedom. The wrong A & R people, politics, falling out with management & the record company. I was kinda stuck in the middle, making music I didn't wanna make. I thought, "Why I am bothering?"

Is there anything you'd like to say about yourself to make people understand you better?
Not really. Hopefully I'll just come across as... to be honest with you, I like that "bit of mystery". You know, even girlfriends don't get past that gate. That deepest darkest part of me. I'll always be a kind of a mystery. So I don't know. I don't try to be anything but what it is.

What's it like being together with the guys again?
It's wicked, man. I miss these idiots. I forgot what it was like. Just being back. Everyone's like, "We know what we have to do. We know each other." It's just nice being together, catching up and looking forward to the future and what that holds for us. I'm sure it'll be a nice experience again, another chapter.