Rock The Party!
[TOTP - July 2000]
Aaaaaaaaaaaargh! Grab your air guitar and get ready to rock hard with Five!
So what do you reckon your rock'n'roll rating is?
J: Quite high, I think. About eight-and-a-half, nine out of ten. I've got lots of stamina and can party with the best of them. If I'm enjoying myself, I can go all night. If I'm not, then I'll just sod off home.
Abs: I'd say I was probably about a seven. Though I'd say Sean is a full-on ten. No swerving, no corners, just a straight road - off you go.
Sean: Personally I'd say I was more of a three to four. But, as a band, about four cos we don't go round sticking our fingers up at photographers.
Scott: No, as a group Five'll score ten cos we don't really care what we say. Mine is definitely three cos I'm not that rock'n'roll at all. I spend my money and time talking to Kerry or to my mum and dad on the phone when the other lads'll be out drinking.
Rich: Eight-and-a-half. When I go on a bender, I really go for it!
Who's your rock'n'roll hero?
Scott: Axl Rose from Guns'n'Roses.
Abs: I'm not really a Guns'n'Roses kind of guy. Elvis was cool, though. And Queen, of course.
Sean: I'd have to say Brian May cos he's a very genuine, nice guy.
J: I've never really had any, but it is really mad that we've done this single with Queen cos their music was always played around my house when I was younger. Both my parents are really big Queen fans so it was wicked when my folks came and saw us perform live with them at Wembley. I actually introduced my mum to Brian May backstage!
Rich: I think the Beatles were really cool and they did it properly.
What rock'n'roll stories would you tell your grandchildren?
Abs: There was this one time when all us boys went out for a night in New York. We set off down the street in a stretch Cadillac, but the police came after us cos we were speeding. So we fought them, stole their uniforms and then went out, clubbing the night away in them. We got in free everywhere and didn't have to pay for a single drink!
Abs: Was it that obvious? [Just a little bit] I have been New York though. That's rock'n'roll, isn't it?
J: We've got our Palmcorders and that's sort of like a diary for me. I've got quite a bit of footage now. Plenty to bore the grandkids with when I'm older.
Where's the worst place you've ever thrown up?
Sean: I've often been sick, but I always make it to the toilet or a bin or something if I'm outside. I was sick outside McDonald's once.
Rich: I was sick on stage! But I have to say nobody knew. I hadn't been very well and it was right at the end of If Ya Gettin' Down. I manged to get off stage and find a bin!
Scott: I was sick once round at Kerry's mum's next door neighbour's house! I was so embarrassed.
Live fast, die young. Discuss.
Sean: Each to their own - whatever. Live, learn and enjoy it, although I don't see the point of living fast. What's the rush?
Scott: I think you should take every day as it comes.
J: I believe in living fast and living long. I used to say, 'I don't want to get old. I want to die before I'm 50', but now I'm thinking it's not such a bad thing.
Abs: I'm a bit 50-50. I'm looking forward to getting old cos I want to have grey hair cos I think it looks very distinguished. At the same time I'm enjoying being the age I am now.
How hardcore are you really?
Abs: We've partied for a whole weekend in the past with no sleep, but that's not exactly a regular occurrence. We try to be a bit sensible most of the time, especially if we've got work on.
Scott: When I first joined the band we used to go out all the time. In Sweden we'd only been in the band for one night and we stayed up all night and all morning partying.
What other bands have you met that you reckon are more hardcore than you?
J: I haven't met any actually.
Abs: Dancers are the worst cos they're constantly on tour and so constantly in training, partying the whole time.
Sean: To be honest I don't really know anyone cos no one really speaks to me! Cos I'm not in your face and stuff, people are a bit funny about approaching me.
Rich: I always thought that The Prodigy were hardcore but recently I found out that we're far more hardcore than them!
Scott: Some bands make themselves vomit on stage! Although me and J have made ourselves vomit too! For some reason when we lived in the house together we kept a flake dessert that'd gone off for about three months!
J: We kept it to sniff it and Scott was actually sick on a plate and then kept that!
Scott: And there was this bag of bananas when we were rehearsing once, but we lost it. Months later we found it in J and Rich's room and we thought it was full of poo! It smelt like a dead rat! J was being sick in the bath and then coming back to smell it again! [For the record, TOTP does not condone or encourage this sort of behaviour, at all… But, hey, that's rock'n'roll!]
What's the longest you've gone without any sleep?
Rich: About two or three days when I was at home.
J: One New Year's Eve we were out from the Thursday through to the Saturday and it was a full-on bender.
Abs: If I go too long without sleep, I get delirious and talk rubbish. If we've been out and not had much sleep, we call it 'visored'. It's a band term. You grade how visored you are depending on how many dark helmets you feel like you're wearing. They've been times when I've been on, like, 50 helmets!
Where's the strangest place you've ever woken up?
Rich: In a park under a bush. It was quite nice cos I woke up with the sun shining down.
Sean: I've woken up in people's flats, when I don't know them or their floors!
Do intimacies with groupies ever go on?
Sean: I've heard of things but I've not seen anything.
Scott: I've seen it going on - but not in Five. It was in pop bands, but I can't name names.
J: I know that it goes on, but personally it's not something I'm interested in. Firstly I'm not into sleeping with, like, 17-year-old girls and secondly I think it's taking advantage.
Abs: Personally, I disagree with it cos I think you should maintain a bit of distance. I don't see the point either cos in most kiss-and-tells the groupies say that it was really crap anyway, so why bother?
If you had to wear two items out of the wardrobe of rock, what would they be?
Abs: I'd go for a bandanna and some leopard-print trousers. It's got to be, hasn't it?
J: I'd wear some zebra-print, skin-tight trousers and some winkle-pickers and nothing else.
Sean: I'd go for a woolly hat! [Eh?]
Scott: That's not what a rocker would wear!
Sean: That's my answer - what's wrong with that?
Scott: Name one rock star who wears a wooly hat.
Scott: He's not a rock star!
Sean: Kurt Cobain from Nirvana wore a woolly hat! [That's us told!]
Rich: I'd wear a studded leather jacket and army boots - ten-hole ones with the laces undone.
Scott: When I was 14 I had long, greasy hair and wore a Guns'n'Roses bandanna all the time and a Guns'n'Roses T-shirt with ripped jeans.
Do you ever look at pictures of clothes you've worn and cringe?
J: I know that even stuff I wear now, in six months I'll think, 'What was I doing?'
Abs: I never think like that. I always find old pictures really interesting. And to be honest I always choose my own clothes so if it is really horrible, I have to admit that I must have liked it at the time, which is quite funny.
Sean: I hate any picture of me - I don't even watch myself on TV. If the pictures look anything at all like me then I'm ugly!
Have you ever been tempted to deck a persistent photographer or fan?
Rich: Once I came out of a party with some of S Club 7 and we wouldn't pose for photos. Even though the photographers were being really pushy and trying to aggravate us, we took no notice.
Scott: I remember on our tour in South America some lad in the second row, who had obviously paid for a ticket, but sat the whole way through sticking his fingers up at us. That was very annoying. I didn't get it - he eve knew all the words!
Have you ever made an appearnce after a few too many?
J: The first time we went to Australia I did this magazine interview, but he journalist was late in turning up so I had a few drinks to kill some time. By the time she got there I was a little inebriated. The finished article was actually hilarious.
Rich: I remember on our first ever Radio 1 Roadshow I was a bit worse for wear. All the boys were like, 'Oh Riiiich!' and I was slurring 'I'll beeee all roighta'.
Scott: I did a Saturday-morning show once and I was still under the influence. I've never told anyone that!
Is there a person or programme that makes you want to smash up your TV?
Sean: Quite a lot of people really! Actually it'd probably have to be a cookery programme.
J: Red Dwarf annoys me actually and Friends is really doing my head in at the moment.
What's the nearest you've come to completely trashing a room?
Abs: I set a fire to one - will that do?! It was a complete accident, though. We don't make a habit of trashing our rooms.
J: Oh, I've completely trashed a hotel room in the past, but I did tidy it all up after, and I paid for all the damage. It was ages ago - I'd never do it again cos it's not something I'm particularly proud of.
Rich: Basically I trash a room every time I walk into one. I don't mean breaking stuff, just littering it with clothes, bottles, glasses and stuff!
How often do you receive complaints from hotel-room neighbours?
Abs: We're always being asked to turn our music or the TV down, or being told to stop shouting, and we always oblige, unless they get rude about it.
J: I try to keep the noise down cos I get really angry if I have to sit there and listen to someone else. These days I'm the perfect guest!
Finally, what would your rock-god epitaph read?
J: 'Here lies J'. Plain and simple.
Sean: 'Take it easy'.
Rich: I'd have 'Peace' written on my headstone. I'm going to write something for someone to read out at my funeral like, 'Let me go, but don't forget me'.
Scott: Mine will have to say something funny, but I haven't thought what yet.
Abs: 'Here lies Abs. He'll be missed by the world. A true talent - never to be repeated'.