Talking Shop: The Saturdays

The Saturdays The Saturdays (L-R): Una Healy, Vanessa White, Frankie Sandford, Rochelle Wiseman, Mollie King

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With The Sugababes missing in action and Girls Aloud on indefinite hiatus, The Saturdays, by default, have become Britain's top girl band.

Since 2008, the five-piece have scored seven top 10 hits, and are aiming for an eighth with new single Missing You.

The song, which borrows JLS's "raveballad" template, precedes a mini-album later this month.

According to their record label, the CD will "act as a bridge" between last year's Wordshaker and a full album in 2011.

Singer Vanessa White explains the concept to the BBC - and recounts the band's horrible history of leg injuries.

The Saturdays The group recorded their new album in the UK, after travelling to LA for its predecessor

Your last album only came out in October. How did you get another one ready so soon?

To be honest, we took a break at the beginning of the year and within that time, we went to the studio loads and did some really, really cool stuff.

We weren't really supposed to be releasing anything til next year but we couldn't wait, so we decided to do a mini-album instead.

What exactly is a mini-album?

A normal album would maybe consist of 12 or 13 tracks, but here we have eight. It'll be cheaper for the fans - and then hopefully we'll finish the other songs and put something else out later.

Missing You is quite a departure from your normal style. Why is that?

If you listened to the album, you'd say it was an updated version of our sound. Missing You is more out-there than that rest of it. It's fun to experiment.

What's the song about?

It's about being in a relationship where the passion has gone - so you're missing that spark. It's quite deep, actually, for a pop song.

Your last two singles, Forever Is Over and Ego, are about troubled relationships, too. Are the Saturdays the UK's most continually depressed girl band?

I guess we always want to relate to what our fans are going through and everyone has been in a relationship like that.

That's why I really like doing Missing You acoustically. When we use the full backing track, we have to do all the dance moves, but when it's acoustic you can really get into the emotion of the song.

The Saturdays The video for Missing You was shot in Spain

You shot the video on the beach in Spain [watch on YouTube]. Did you have to be careful not to get your long dresses wet?

Do you know what, they did get wet. Very, very wet! Every time we'd turned round, our dresses would get stuck to our legs! That was a nightmare. It was either that or slipping over.

You have a bad history of slipping over…

I know I do. I slipped over on tour last year and tore my ligaments. I'm very clumsy. I was in a wheelchair for a while.

It was horrible because it happened towards the beginning of the tour, and throughout I was sitting on this chair and everyone else was dancing. But it's all properly healed now.

Do you ever use it as an excuse to get out of dance rehearsals ?

Unfortunately not!

Mollie had a bit of trouble with her leg recently, too.

She got bitten by a horsefly when she was away and it infected her blood. Her leg was really swollen and horrible. But that's all better now. We're all ready to go.

It's a tricky time for girl bands. Your labelmates Girls Can't Catch were dropped, and The Sugababes and Girls Aloud are nowhere to be seen. Does that make you nervous?

Vanessa White of The Saturdays White attended the Sylvia Young stage school before joining The Saturdays

It's pretty sad when you see less of other girl bands, because we get on well with all those people you mentioned. But I suppose it makes us feel lucky and privileged to still be here. It means people like us. It's cool.

What does it mean for your future - is it an opportunity or a threat?

I guess it's an opportunity. We were out when Girls Aloud were still around, and when the Sugababes were doing well - and we were fine. But Girls Aloud were on a completely different scale to us. If they came back, it would be fantastic. We certainly wouldn't be competing with them.

On your Twitter feed you said you'd been at Boot Camp. Were you filling in for Cheryl on the X Factor?

Haha! No, no, no! I did a bootcamp training session with Rochelle at the gym! We have this personal trainer who is really, really full on. He nearly killed me.

It's really weird stuff - you would never have encountered anything like this before. He'd make us crawl on the floor really fast. Up and down the room like a crab. It looked so silly.

But once I've done that I can have as many cakes as I want and I don't feel bad, you see!

Is that what you do on your days off? How do you relax?

I probably go and see my friends, catch up with my family. It sounds quite boring, but those are the things we haven't really been able to do, so that's the first thing that we jump at.

Is it weird going back to normal life?

Actually, I love it. It keeps me grounded to help my mum out in the kitchen and stuff. We're all normal girls who happen to have an amazing job, but we still clean up and do the washing.

Missing You is out next week on Fascination/Polydor records. The mini-album Headlines! will be out on 16 August. Vanessa White was talking to BBC entertainment reporter Mark Savage.

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