An Ugly Chat With Siva From The Wanted
There now follows a transcript of a conversation between myself and Siva from out of the Wanted. In preparing myself for the rigours of this most challenging of conversations, I had been listening to the band's album on repeat for most of the day, and had become more than a little intrigued by a song called 'Let's Get Ugly', which samples the theme music to a famous old cowboy film.
This seemed like quite a strident move by such a young pop act, and something which they should definitely be congratulated for doing. So, y'know, that's what I did.
ChartBlog: Hi Siva, how are you?
Siva: Hey Fraser, you alright?
ChartBlog: I've been rocking out to the 'hold' music for your record company, which is 'If You Want Blood' by AC/DC. So I'm VERY well.
Siva: [laughs] Amazing!
ChartBlog: Now, to business. People have been trying to launch new boybands for years now, and none of them have done very well. Why do you think The Wanted are making headway?
Siva: Don't even ask me. I've no idea. I think it's partly to do with JLS and the X Factor bringing...I dunno, pop's come full circle. If you start with Gaga, she's daring, ridiculous and she's just herself. And that kind of attitude has been imprinted on England. It made pop OK again. Then JLS came out, bringing cool back to boybands, so now it's just an open market for boybands, I guess.
ChartBlog: You do have a killer first single too. 'All Time Low' is great because it's neither the R&B sex-you-up boyband song or the massive ballad.
Siva: [laughing] Mmm...
ChartBlog: And I've heard the album, and some of the songs you've got aren't a million miles away from the indie thing.
Siva: Oh wicked! I love it when people have heard the album!
ChartBlog: Well it's good! I'm really impressed by the way it's not all classic boyband songs. There are bits and bobs of things that you wouldn't necessarily expect from people in your position. Are you pleased with that?
Siva: Definitely. We did about 25 songs, and we dwindled them down to 12. And changed a few songs, and fought a few battles to keep a few songs in, and a few songs out. We put a lot of effort into it, and we're really nervous because the singles have a certain sound, but the album is the essence, you know what I mean? It's us, our blood. Hopefully people will like it and it might do well. That's what we're really nervous about, lately.
ChartBlog: Can you tell me something about one of the songs you fought to keep off the album?
Siva: [after a long ponder] ..no, I don't think I can. It's not really like that. There were just certain songs on the album that didn't fit the sound for us. They'd be a bit too acoustic or a bit too much in some way. Too poppy. We'd think "if we were normal lads listening to this, we'd think 'nah'". So we're looking at it from a normal person's point of view.
ChartBlog: That's the fiddly bit, isn't it. Cos if you're normal lads and you're in a boyband, you're not your own target audience.
Siva: Yeah. You've got it on the ball.
ChartBlog: Can I talk to you about 'Let's Get Ugly'?
ChartBlog: OK first of all, well done to whoever had the sheer brass neck to sample Ennio Morricone's theme to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. That takes some nerve! Did you have to be convinced that it was a good idea?
Siva: That's the beauty of pop, you can make anything from anything, from any track. So when we heard it the first time, we were actually seriously negotiating to have that as the first single. After a lot of deliberating, we came up with 'All Time Low', which had more of a fresh sound. 'Let's Get Ugly' is one of those tracks that...some people don't like it! We love it because it's got a lot of depth to it and it has a kind of older sound to it. Some people just don't get it. All the dads like it.
ChartBlog: Are you going to release it as a single then? I'm thinking of the cowboy video...
Siva: That's what it was! For the single we were thinking of Clint Eastwood being in the video and we were getting all giddy. But then the management weren't sure it hit the right audience. We want to appeal to both sides, but if we hit that older market with 'Let's Get Ugly', it would stay there. I think 'All Time Low' is a really good balance, and when we heard it, all of us knew that was the angle we were going at.
ChartBlog: Have you had any other giddy moments like that? Are you gonna be the first band to play on the moon?
Siva: Haha! Well it would be America. I know all the acts say it in interviews, like JLS saying they want to go to America, but I think America has high hopes for us. I'm not gonna say the cliche of "world domination", but we'd just love to spread the music, spread 'All Time Low' to America, to Europe, but without forgetting the English fans.
ChartBlog: Next time you see Taio Cruz, just take him to one side and say "HOW? HOW IS IT DONE?"
Siva: [laughs] Well we're on the same label as him in New York, Def Jam. We've met him a few times, we did a gig in Germany and came back with him, and he was explaining the whole situation, how it goes and...yeah he has killed it in America. Literally everyone talks about Taio Cruz, he's one of those guys, which is like...gutting...but great, y'know.