They have talent, they have fame, and they can have any girl they want...but still all but one of the lads have a girlfriend. Is stardom worth the sacrifice? Sean and J from 5ive pour their hearts out about their lonely lives.
How has fame affected you?
J: Where ever we go, we literally can't go outside, fans go silly over us! We still try and walk around the streets and go shopping, but usually we can't!
Sean: In the clubs in England we have to ring in advance and tell them we're coming because if we walk in there by ourselves we get hassled from lads and from girls! Lads want to beat us up!
Does your lifestyle make it hard for you to have a gf?
J: Abs is seeing somebody, and has been for about eight months before the band started. No-one else is seeing anybody.
Sean: I haven't touched a woman in months!
Is that a justifiable with the roles of teen heart-throbs?
J: Kind of. I'm the oldest member and sometimes when I'm signing autographs and I've got 13-year-old girls piching my backside...
Sean: That's when it goes too far!
J: Some things do get a little bit weird. You walk down the street and you've got all these young girls screaming at you!
Do you cultivate that?
J: No! That's one thing we always said we wouldn't do. We don't take our tops off on stage and none of our dance routines have pelvic thrusts in them! We're not touching ourselves! When we dance, I always wear basketball vests because I get really hot on stage. That's the most undressed we get. There's no grinding on the stage, and no pointing at girls. We don't want to sing slow ballads to little girls and have them all hold their lighters.
So much of a band's identity is it's image. Do you worry about looking tacky?
Sean: With magazines you have so many arguments when they say, "Can you just go over there and take your tops off for the photograph?" No!
J: At Chistmas we were in Germany and we were asked if we would put Santa Claus out fits on. We've only ever done one stupid photo shoot like that. They asked us to do things like wear hand-cuffs and prison outfits, but we always try to stay away from gimmicks. After we saw those photos in a magazine, we realised why we would never do it again. So you'll never see us in magazines with reindeer horns attached to our heads!
Is the pop world more difficult than you imagined?
Sean: Yeah! I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn't think we were going to be hallucinating from lack of sleep. I thought I might get a chance to eat now and again!
J: Those are the two compaints. We don't get a chance to sleep, and we're made to eat jumk food all the time because we're never in one place for enough time to sit down and have a proper meal. We were at a restaurant the other day, and I went to the toilet. I walked in and there were guys chagging. One of them said to the other, "That would be an easy life doing what them guys do." I was like, "Oh no." People think it's really easy!
But is it worth it?
J: Definitely, I wouldn't do anything else! Everything is worth is. It's hard work, but we're not complaining. It's super!
Sean: It's just hard sometimes.
How long do you think 5ive will stick around?
Sean: It's a well-know fact that every band has to end some day. So we just appreciate every day as it comes, knowing that one day it will be all over.
J: Hopefully with a bit of money in our pockets! We don't think about ending, but on the same note we're realistic. We know who we appeal to. I'm 22 and I won't go on stage when I'm 27 years old doing dance routines. I'd feel stupid doing it, and I'd look stupid doing it!
Do you get a lot of screaming fans?
J: Yeah! Sometimes it's a bit strange. We started off, and it's been quite busy since day one with girls. Now, in Britain and Europe we'll come on the stage and we can't hear the beginning of the tracks sometimes. It really stings your ears, but we want people to scream because it means they appreciate what we're doing!
Sean: When we can hear the music, that's when it's over!
Have you had strange experiencess with fans?
J: A few, actually. There's this English girl who turns up everywhere we are and just never speaks - even if we go over to her. She never says anything to anybody and just stands there, about 20 metres away, staring at us. She's totally blank-faced and you can stare right in her eyes, and she just carries on staring at you. Another time there was this girl, Charlotte. She came over and said to me, "J come here. I've got something." So myself and Sean and Rich walked over, and she handed me a packet. I started backing away.
What was in the package?
J: A toad in a chips packet! The packet was made of foil, so the toad was burning up, getting ready to die. Rich went "Ugh" and ran off. I asked her why she had the thing, and she said she'd stolen it from under a bush to keep her company. She was like, "I knew I'd be bored waiting, so I picked it up to show you!" I was like, "Very nice. Why don't you put if back before it dies?" So she said "OK" and put it back!
But nothing dangerous, no death threats?
J: Actually, yes we have! Rich got a drawing and it was really sick. It was from a young girl. It was a drawing of Rich and he was lying flat on the bed with a leather strap around his head and across his body. His wrists were bound and the girl was saying that if he didn't do what she wanted, then she was going to kill him!
Does being called the "Spice Boys" bother you?
Sean: We washed that comparison off ages ago. Our management put the Spice Girls together as well, and introduced us to each other. That's why the press nicknamed us the Spice Boys. We've got our own sound.
J: We knew the Spice Boys tag would be dropped the second we released our first single. People didn't know what we were about, what we looked like.
What separates you from other boy bands?
J: The actual contracts we signed with our record and management companies have us all as partners. We don't have a boss. We're self-employed. We decide what we're going to wear. We decide what we're going to say.
But you must be constantly compared to the Backstreet boys?
J: Yeah, we are. It's obvious, because as soon as people see five guys they think, "Oh, another boy band." But we're not similar in the slightest, we're just five guys in a pop band. That's where it stops, we hope.