Great Abs
Boyz, August 2002

Okay, so J and Ritchie may have grabbed most of boy-band-with-a-difference Five's headlines, but Abs was always there, looking cute and writing the music. Now, at the first Fiver to go it alone, he talks to Boyz about fucking groupies, the point of Ritchie, and the hole at the end of his dick...

So, you're out here on your own. How does that feel?

Nice, good. A little, little bit scary. People are like, 'What's it like when you go on stage, man?' And it's like before I'd look round and there'd be four guys, one with a beard and an eye-ring, and now I've got six lovely dancers.

But it's all about you now? Is that good or bad?
It's a good thing, man. When I'm writing my music, I haven't got to stop and let someone else write a chorus. Choreography-wise, I was trained as a dancer, so when it comes to dance routines there are things that I wanted to do that the other boys couldn't do, so now there's tricks going on in my routines. Up on one hand, flipping around and shit. Mad stuff.

Was it a race to be the first person to get something out?
I didn't have no plans to go solo. I was sitting there thinking, 'Shit!' I had a little studio, which meant I could always go to the basement and write music and hope someone goes, 'Yeah, it's a good track. We want it.' But I got a call from my producers that worked with Five, saying, 'Come over, we want to work with you.' So I went over for a week, we wrote some songs, played them to Simon Cowell and the record company, and they loved them and said, 'Go write an album.'

So, were you you the musical talent in the group?
[Laughing] I was the talented one, man. No, there was a split of talents. I co-wrote with J and Sean all the singles Five had.

And did you think, 'Well, what's Ritchie here for?'
[Laughs] Not as bad as that maybe. A couple of times it might have crossed my mind, 'What purpose does he serve?' Nah, everyone brung their own little thing to the band.[Laughing] Rich brung... erm, light blue eyes and floppy hair.

And if this doesn't work?
I've had five years and this bit of experience of what it's all about and I'd move on, do something else. Something to do with music. Producing, maybe. But I couldn't give it up. No way. I'd DJ, anything. It's all about music.

Is there a flavour of sad comeback about this whole thing?
[Laughing] No way! You're crazy.

You've not heard, 'Poor Abs, bless him, still clinging on'?
No, it's not about clinging on. It's not about the money, it's about getting on stage and having it.

You're just addicted to groupies, that's why you can't leave it.
Is it that obvious? There were a lot.

J told us he used to fuck their mums.
He was a bit like that. He'd be like, 'You're a bit young love. Is your mum coming?'

Have you got lady action?
No, single.

Just groupies.
No, that's taking advantage. Okay, sometimes you see a girl and she catches your eye and you know she's blatantly not there to see the show. So you get chatting. She's got her nipple out and is caressing herself - go on love. No, you see girls and you say, 'John, see that girl in the black dress? Later on.' But you don't take the piss with kids who are coming over for your autograph and to tell you how much they admire your work. Come on! But it ain't a deep thing, let's put it that way. It's not 'meet the parents'. It's a hotel suite and 'I'll see you next time I'm in town, love.'

Have they got to leave immediately after the act?
No, they can chill, spend the night. There have been a couple that have pissed me off cos they start talking about record deals and it's, 'Love, fuck off, I don't need that, man.' But generally girls are quite cool.

Don't they ever think this is the start of something lovely?
There have been a couple of nutcases.

It's not exactly nutty to meet someone and think maybe you could start a relationship. Hate to break it to you...
There's been a couple where they've actually been sweet and we've stayed friends. It's the ones that keep texting you and calling you and you have to change your number. All for one night of heated passion. It's not worth it, man.

Do boys come on to you?
Yeah. When I was doing Mardi Gras boys came up to me but that's cool. It's not like, 'Get off me you this, that or whatever.'

Are they ever going to get lucky?
Sorry, man. Sorry, cuz.

Do you think Blue jumped in your shoes?
I don't blame them. We split up and it was basically, 'There you go, boys. Take that spot there.' But it's not like they jumped in. But like I say, if Five were still around we would be dominating charts worldwide.

You don't think it was a lucky escape before it all went horribly wrong?
No, definitely not. This album would have made it.

When did you get all these tattoos?
They're not finished. I saw these wings and got them but I'm going to build on it, fill this up.

Are there any tattoos we can't see?

I don't know if it's classed as a piercing, but I'm circumcised because I'm Turkish and on the end of it there's - it's not weird - but you can put an earring through it. But it weren't actually pierced. But you can put something through it. I've never experimented with it. Nobody actually knows that. And on that bombshell...