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INT ERV I EW – WEST L I F E


On being back... Mark: “It doesn’t feel like anything has changed. I don’t worry that we’re not doing the right thing. It just feels natural.” Shane: “It feels like we haven’t forgotten how to be with each other. This is our first interview in nearly seven years altogether.” Nicky: “Have you heard of the seven-year itch? We definitely had that for each other.” S: “We had the itch for each other and now we’re back!” M: “That’s not a physical itch, just to clarify…”


Why back now?... Kian:“I think it’s because we all genuinely missed it. Me and Shane were reminiscing, it was around the time that Adele bought out Hello.” S: “That was it for me. The day I pictured Westlife coming back was always with an amazing song like that. She just dropped ‘Hello’ and it went – bang! I thought: that’s what I would want it to feel like for the fans to hear our music for the first time.” N: “We were always confident that there would be a reunion at some point. Next year is 2019, 20 years since Swear It Again and Flying Without Wings came out. An amazing 12 months of number ones. S: “For me, it was the fact that we felt we’d been away long enough, and it was twenty years.”


On working with Ed Sheeran... K: “I remember us talking and saying, where do we fit in now, in 2018? How do we approach this? And we all said: we need Ed Sheeran.” S: “The first two songs we’ve done are just incredible songs, with incredible lyrics and melodies. Steve Mac (2018 BRIT Producer of the Year) is one of our longest and most influential producers we’ve had throughout our entire career. He’s done most of our biggest hits and has worked previously with Ed on Shape of You.” K: “I knew if he liked Westlife back in the day, then we needed to take him out for dinner and buy him the biggest steak and champagne in the world! Then hope he wasn’t vegan and ask him to write us a song.”


Realising how big Westlife were... K: “It was strange to see other bands doing what we’d done. I went to my wife one day, just after One Direction had exploded: was Westlife ever as big as them? And she was like, Oh yeah! I thought, really?! When you’re doing it you’re not really paying attention to it...” N: “Similarly with our chart history. You walk past a disk in your house that says 45 million and it doesn’t really seem real. Then when you come away from that bubble you think, holy shit. That wasn’t just a far-fetched dream. “


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