Jimmy, Lee and Spike from British group 911 were oddly facetious during a recent interview on manufactured bands. In a tiddly, self-effacing manner, the three lads explained the momentous changes in their lives - management takeovers and image makeovers - and why their 'Moving On' album fell short of target.
A self-acclaimed manufactured band, 911 is currently working on a newer album, a compilation of covers from the '70s and '80s. Expect to hear their version of BeeGee's 'More Like A Woman' on the radio soon! They describe to Nina Ti the best elements of singing together, and how they're coping with the boyband reputation.
NINA: Can you explain the acrimonious events surrounding 911's recent management change?
JIMMY: We just needed some fresh new ideas. We wanted to push our music to a higher level. So we basically made the decision to part company. We've been happy ever since.
LEE: And very excited! We feel motivated now. The last few months were bogging us down. Everyone had stopped seeing eye-to-eye at some point.
Spike: But the music is always going to be a certain sort of style. People will see a more mature edge to it. Hopefully we've still kept the sort of variety that goes with pop. Which is to say, we don't want to alienate any of our fans.
Why do you think 'Moving On' fared badly in UK?
JIMMY: We would have liked more time with this album. First we did a lot of remixes, then with only 60 percent complete we went through the management change and all. So it was tough. Not that we're making excuses. If you're listen to our album the songs are really good, but it could've been much cleaner.
Do the lads in your local pub ever insult your kind of pop?
JIMMY: It has happened, yes. But I think a lot of it has to do with jealousy. They just want to be in a position that we are in. Naturally, we don't expect everybody to like our music.
LEE: Not a lot of our friends like our music anyway.
SPIKE: Actually, I've heard my neighbour through the wall singing my songs.
How long do you think you'd last as a boyband?
LEE: About a week!
JIMMY: I think for as long as we're popular as a group. Everybody knows, realistically, that boybands don't last that long. But yes, we've got it in us to produce a few more albums.
SPIKE: We won't last for another 10 years, that's for sure. Can you see us doing backward somersaults in 10 years? I'll be drawing my pension then.
Can you share a few of your pick-up lines?
LEE: I once said to a girl, "Would you like to come upstairs and let me put your hair in bunches?"
Does that have anything to do with dyeing your hair?
LEE: Well, I went on holiday two weeks ago to Marbella, Spain. My hair started going a bit blondish under the sun, and so I decided to highlight it when I got home. Then I got it chopped off when I got back to London. Why? There was just too much coping with the situation, with our problems with the management and the 911 album not doing well in the markets. We were going on with a new image anyway. So I got a new hairdo, and some more clothes to go with it.
Are you sex symbols?
SPIKE: I dunno.
LEE: [Laughs] Aye, actually.
JIMMY: Cheeky bastard.
Do you ever have arguments?
LEE: I kick them a bit.
JIMMY: Naww, I've known these guys for a long time. I know Spike for at least seven years and Lee for five.
SPIKE: We get on well. There's nothing to argue about.
Knowing each other well, do you call Spike by his real name?
JIMMY: Oh, you mean good old Simon?
LEE: It's not usually Spike. We just call him Wanker.