Transcript Of Chat - Dotmusic
Dotmusic Chat, 21 August 2002

Five's sudden implosion last year shocked planet pop. Still on a high and threatening to get even bigger, the self-styled bad boys of pop went their separate ways in a cloud of mystery and rumours.
Two months and plenty of daytime TV later, Abs decided it was time to get back to his day job and set about starting his solo career with his debut single 'What You Got' (out Aug 19).
Five topics discussed include the end of the group, Simon Cowell's support, handpicking ladies, finding an identity and being let loose in the studio.

On his recent schedule:
"What've I been up to? Lots of promo and roadshows over the past week. It's been getting bigger and louder. Lots of encouragement."

On being on his own now:
"There's pressure in sense of people thinking 'is he going to do a Robbie and go from a band and be as big as?' Or is he going to be as big as Five even? To be honest it would be nice to have Robbie's kind of tag as just 'Robbie' and not 'Robbie from Take That'. I'd like to be 'Abs' and not 'Abs from Five' now but I'm walking down my own path and do what I can to make myself as big as possible."

On going solo:
"The solo career wasn't a plan. I didn't know what to do. I was sitting at home and watching a lot of Trisha and eating a lot of Coco Pops. Then I got a call from the producers who said 'come over and work with us' and I was like 'wicked'. I played stuff for the record company and they said 'go and write an album'."

On the support of Simon Cowell:
"Simon's been in it for ages and a lot of things, apart from Mero, have worked. He's said he thinks I'm going to be big so that's nice to hear."

On the reaction of Five fans:
"I know there are a lot of Five fans that will jump on board but I'm not looking at it as being secure, I'm looking at it from a fresh start. It's gonna be tough but you've got to give it a shot!"

On the single 'What You Got':
"'What You Got' is my first single off my album which will hopefully come out at the end of the year. It's a sample from 'Uptown Top Ranking' which was a big hit in 70s. It makes sense when the sun comes out."

On making the video:
"It was a tough job picking the girls for the video. I got sent a tape with 100 girls on it to pick and from a single 23 year olds' point of view... you know what I mean. I've got a lot more say in what I'm doing now."

On the forthcoming album:
"It's me in the studio, creatively free to do what I want. Rapping, up-tempo, a couple of slow jams and hopefully a collaboration with Jay Kay, I'm waiting for him to get back. It's looking good though."

On the difference between Abs and the Five sound:
"There's going to be similarities cos I was in Five but musically it just goes off on one."

On the Five split:
"Yeah, I was gutted. It was one of those things where it gets mentioned and then it'd die down and everything was sweet and then it'd get mentioned again and the gaps were getting closer and closer. And then one day you don't turn up to work.
"It was literally like that. 'Abs don't turn up for work today.' Had a day off for two months after that. It was a bit scary cos I didn't know what I was going to do but things happen for a reason and it's turned out alright."

On picking himself back up:
"To be honest I don't let anything get me down. A lot of people are like 'why don't you just stay at home and spend your money?' but that's not what got me here in the first place. I wanted to entertain and get on stage. I believe things happen for a reason and there's always a good outcome.
"I personally would have liked to have done a couple more singles off the 'Kingsize' album and even a world tour but people have got to do what they've got to do. I think we had a lot of life in us and a lot more to show the world."

On the other members of Five now:
"The only person I speak to is Scott. Scott's cool he's got his wife, kid, dog, radio show but he's happy at the end of day. The other boys are just getting on with their lives doing what ever they do."

On a possible reunion:
"I don't know. I'm sure people have still got mortgages to pay so we'll see but I doubt it. I think them boys have had their five years of travelling the world and want to settle down now."

On the year ahead:
"Single release, hopefully everyone will like what I'm doing. Trips abroad and various other dates lined up. It's going to be a busy year but it's worth it."