Irish pop band Boyzone are revelling in their 20 years in the business with no hint of quitting. Ahead of their gig in Dubai, Benita Adesuyan talks success, fans and facial hair to founding member Shane Lynch.
Time flies when you’re having fun and Boyzone’s twenty years in pop music have breezed by. When the five boys from Dublin, Ireland got together in 1993, the world was a different place. Bill Clinton had just become the president of the United States, Meatloaf’s ‘I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t do That)’ was topping the charts worldwide and most of One Direction hadn’t even been born. But Boyzone’s brand of easygoing pop saw them make a dent in the UK pop charts with 19 top 40 UK singles, and six UK number one singles. We caught up with founding band member Shane Lynch, to talk about their Dubai gig.
Boyzone have been around 20 years now, you’re all grown up with kids. Does it seem weird to still be considered a boyband?
No, the term boyband is okay, but I think the name Boyzone was the weirdest of it all – but it’s an established name now, and it would be silly to try and change it. It is what it is, and we’re the group that we are. There’s it there’s no point trying to make it complicated.
Who’s your best friend in the band?
It’s always swapped and changed through different times. We’ve been around the world together, you can sit on a plane beside someone for 15 hours and by the time you get to the other side, he’s your new best mate.
What’s been your highlight of the past 20 years?
It’s difficult to pick a highlight from a magnificent career. We’ve always grown bigger and better and every award we won was like a new highlight. One of the best things we did was sing with some great people. There was a show in Italy with Pavarotti, Joe Cocker and Mariah Carey. Those were just brilliant times.
When you joined the band, did you ever think that your career would last this long?
In the beginning we were promised the moon and stars from our manager at the time, Louis Walsh, and we never doubted that for a minute. We didn’t have any other expectations other than to be huge and to be able to step into the world arena. Luckily enough that’s what happened.
You have a loyal fan base. What’s the weirdest thing a fan has done?
I don’t think they do really weird things these days. Back in the day though it was hysteria, but we were always calm. We didn’t run out of hotels and then jump into the wagons, we walked slowly, signed autographs and took pictures and dealt with everything calmly. They didn’t need to do crazy things with us guys – we were always just nice boys.
Some people go down the talent show route to start out. What’s your view?
It’s an opportunity. If you get a chance to become something from it, then take it. You’re given certain opportunities for a reason so don’t wait – you have to grab it with both hands and hold on.
What’s your favourite Boyzone song to perform?
I don’t know. When you haven’t heard one for a while and you decide to do it on tour, you think ‘I love that song’, and it brings different emotions back. It’s the same with the fans – they have songs that they love and it brings up differing feelings. We can only hope that whatever songs we sing bring back good feelings for people.
What advice would you give to singers starting out now?
Try not to take it all so seriously, enjoy your moments and if you need a break then take one.
You tweeted a picture of your very full beard recently – how long has it taken you to grow it?
Believe it or not, I have an appointment with my beard groomer today. I wanted to grow it for a year that was my aim, and to be honest I love it so it might be around for longer. I want a full-on man-beard like something you see in the freak show.
What can your fans expect on the night and is there new music to look forward to?
The show in Dubai will be some of the best hits as well as songs from the Brother album and the BZ20 album to show the future of Boyzone. It’s not a greatest hits gig by any means – we’re looking forward. We’re also hoping to go out to Detroit and do a Motown album. One of Boyzone’s first records was a Detroit Spinners cover of ‘Working My Way Back to You’ so we started with Motown and we’re going back to it.
So no signs of stopping then?
No. We’re continuing by all means, we’re going full throttle.
Boyzone Live in Dubai. Dhs225. Thursday May 22, 7pm. Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Garhoud, (800 4669).