Smash Hits, Feb issue 2002
He may have spent five years as part of a top-selling boy band but Abs is back at square one as he prepares to kick off his solo career.In Australia recently, he answered all Smash Hits' questions...
It must be weird doing the whole promotional thing without the others...
It was for the first couple of days but I'm getting into the swing of it and enjoying myself. It's not really like, "Damn, I miss those boys."
What have you been doing since Five split?
Alright, the band split, I'm at home sitting on my arse doing nothing, looking at walls thinking what colours should paint them, I get a call from the record company. They're like, "Listen, we wanna sign you. We know you haven't got any material yet, but there's a big show in Australia. Do you want to go out there, sit in the sun, look at a few girls?" and I was like, "Alright then, twist my arm." So I'm just letting people know I'm still about. Soon as I get back home I'm in the studio for like two, three weeks, so it's all full-on from there.
Did you intend to go into a solo career?
I wanted to do something in the music industry but I didn't expect it to happen just like that.Normally you have to demo and prove you've got an idea or direction to go in.
It must be nice to have a record companies knocking on your door...
It's nice. I know where to step now.I know who to be nice to, who not to be nice to.I've been there and done it all.
There must be more differences than that!
I don't have to fight for my clothes anymore.If me and Jay liked the same clothes it was a scuffle, or if me and Rich saw something we liked, it's like "Let me have it!" I ain't gonna fight no more for my clothes, man. (Laughs)
5ive's reputation was as the bad boys of pop. Will you maintain in at?
Maybe there's almost a re-invention of myself to a certain extemt to separate myself from the band. Now I'm Abs, I'm doing what I'm doing- but I'm still gonna be me. So if I get into trouble, I get into trouble. If I have a fight with someone,I have a fight with someone. I'm a normal guy at the end of the day, just with an extraordinary job.
What are the other four going to do?
Scott's settle down. He's got a wife and kid now. J's...I'm not sure what J's up to. I think he's doing a bit of charity work, stuff like that. Fair play. Some people just want to experience what fame is like, then live their lives. Maybe he's had his taste of fame. I think Rich wants to write something and Sean wants to write but stay behind the camera. But I don't know what their plans are completely.
Will you ask Rich or Sean to write for you?
Yeah, I'd love to. Why not? I'd say "Listen, you want to come over and write a song with me?" and they might go, "No" which is cool. But then again, they might come over and make a camera appearance. Who knows?
Your split seemed to come as the worst possible time with a new album out...
That was just a natural progression. It happened slowly by slowly. We sat down and it was like, "We've had a wicked time. It's all good, everyone's happy." It needed to be done.
Was there one member whose voice was louder than the others in the discussion?
Not really. Individually we all had something wanted to do. As much as we were in the public eye, we were normal people that had to live our lives, I'm still hungry so that's why I'm here. Somehow that must have shone through. So I'm gonna piss you off with my songs so you're never gonna want to talk to me again!
Did the other not wanting to do anymore make it something you didn't want as well?
To an exten. It's about understanding each other and each other's needs.If people wanna do something that is dumb, regardless of what is it, you have to understand their point of view.
Was Sean really ill for the Let's Dance video or did he just jump the ship earlier?
It was legitimate. He was unwell.What can you do? Say, "Come and work?" So we used the cardboard version and to be completely honest, there's not much difference. Sean didn't mind.
Was he uncomfortable being a pop star as it seemed?
Sean was always the person that everyone's like, "He doesn't even look like he's enjoying it?" and he probably wasn't to an extent. Maybe that was one of the reasons we split. I'm not blaming Sean because it isn't Sean's fault, but that was his individual reason.
Was being called 5ive the worst name if you wanted to carry on without, say, Sean?
If there was going to be members leaving, we wouldn't have carried on.You start off together, you end together. There's no members dropping,start calling yourself three, two or whatever -that's just struggling.
Why didn't you film your final vids together?
We'd made the decision that we were done, and if we were gonns get together to make a film clip, then we might as well get together to do another performance somewhere or record another track while we're at it, so it was just a mental thing where it was like, "We're done".
So no reunion tour in five years?
Depends on how the solo career goes. I've got a mortgage to pay, dogs to feed and stuff. No, I doubt it. I highly doubt it.
WE ASK ABS FOR A FEW OF HIS FAVOURITE MOMENTS AS A MEMBER OF FIVE...
Fave single: Performance wise, I enjoyed If Ya Gettin' Down. I like dancing to that.
Fave album: Kingsize is one of the favourites, but albums are like memories to look back and reminisce. So many tracks have got memories, so I can't say one album is my favourite. And I'm not gonna say the Greatest Hits is my favourite, just so everyone goes out and buys it.
Fave video: One of them was Let's Dance because it was so fun and we were all getting along really well. Another would be If Ya Gettin' Down, I like the dark feel to that. Rock The Party as well because I didn't have to do anything.
The first single: Even though Slam Dunk (Da Funk) is quite a cheesy title, that's what set us off so you gotta respect that.
Any regrets: One single. Don't Wanna Let You Go. I hate it. It was the record company's decision and we shouldn't have released it. It was our worst ever single and we weren't behind it. I don't know why we recorded it but there you go. The other regret is I would have liked to have gone on another world tour and to have released a few more singles off Kingsize.
Fave memory: Every day, something happened. It could have been me and Rich sitting down for a chat or whatever was the best thing that day. You could say the performances, but that's typical. The little things trigger off the memories.