The infamous boyband talks their triumphant return to music and how they are approaching the band differently this time around upon the release of their new single, “Rule The World”.

The Wanted
The Wanted

When it comes to the 2010s music scene, one thing is abundantly clear: it was dominated by the sound of boybands. And, one of the bands that created the most noise? It was The Wanted.

Thanks to their smash hits “All Time Low” and “Glad You Came”, Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker and Nathan Sykes shot themselves towards stardom with the help of their pop-meets-dance sound and dreamy boyband aesthetic, attributes that captured the hearts of an entire generation. But, as with all good things, the band amicably ended after their wildly successful stint at the helm of the music industry, a decision that seemed irreversible, until now.

In a bid to support Tom on his brave journey towards raising awareness on a life-altering diagnosis during his star-studded Stand Up To Cancer concert, the 5-piece made a triumphant return last month, almost 10 years after their explosive formation. When speaking on the reception their reunion has received, Max claimed “for me, and this sounds like a bit of a pun, the stand out reaction was at the Stand Up To Cancer concert that Tom put together. When we announced it, the reaction online was absolutely nuts, but the gig at the Albert Hall was insane. I had never heard an audience that loud before.”

And, while the original plan only saw The Wanted reuniting for a single show, their magnetic bond and harmonious collective vocal ability meant that, to the delight of their adoring fans, their reunion swelled in magnitude. Now looking towards the release of new music, a greatest hits album and a nationwide tour, the band have set their sights firmly on dominating the pop industry once more.

Following on from their heartfelt Stand Up To Cancer performance and upon the release of their brand new single, “Rule The World”, the collective sat down with Wonderland to discuss their reunion, what they are doing differently this time around and their plans for the future. Head below to enjoy our interview with The Wanted…

Hi guys! So, let’s start with the pandemic! Aside from reuniting as a band, how were your individual experiences?
Tom: It was a nightmare, to be honest. Just trying to quarantine, wear a mask and follow the government guidelines. But we did it.
Max: Same! I was just at home, not doing very much. But, we watched a lot of movies. Towards the end of it, the saving grace for me when I was probably was about to lose my head was that football came back on and every Premier League match was shown. My girlfriend was going nuts, but it was all I did. I’d sit and watch football for hours and hours every day!
Siva: The BLM protests in Los Angeles were pretty hard. Being involved in those was one of the hardest parts of living there; seeing the helicopters and the police beating people up. It was important to think of the positives and to be grateful for what we had, but that was one of the most stressful things for me during Covid in America. That, and missing family.

I can imagine that was really intense to see! But, you also managed to bring some positivity out of the situation, which is amazing. So, has it been 10 years since you formed as a band?
Nathan: Does it look like it has been 10 years?!
T: It does!

No, you guys all still look great! But, how did you all meet and form as a band?
: So, it was an audition process down in London, which was a long one. I think it took over 12 months. So, there were quite a lot of people that auditioned, and you go through round after round. That was put on by Jane, Collin Barlow and Ashley Tabor. The three of them put us together! They put us in a house together immediately, and we started writing songs and doing school tours, and it just clicked really quickly. And, here we are still!

Did you guys expect to blow up the way that you did? You guys were, and still are, quite the boyband sensation!
N: I think we knew that there was going to be good support behind it because of the people that were involved! Working with Colin meant that we knew that we were signed to Universal. But, there were so many different bands being put together at the time, and I think that was off the back of the success that JLS had on The X Factor. Even over the course of that year, I was still at school as I was 15 when I started auditioning, and there were four or five record labels putting bands together at the time.
M: Bet you wish you had gone to one of the other boybands, don’t you?
N: Haha! There was a slightly eyebrow-raising one that was going to be signed to Sony! I don’t know what happened to that one. But, in answer to your question, you can obviously never guarantee success, but we knew that we would get some good support behind it, but I think that is down to the band itself and how we formed a relationship between the five of us.
M: Also, I think the difference for me was that on the Friday, we were performing at schools in front of about 20 kids, so to go to number 1 on the Sunday was a big jump. We felt that the music was good and we could feel that there was a little buzz about it on the radio, but number 1 was pretty crazy to be honest.

That does sound insane! Speaking about being in a boyband, do you guys have any highs and lows of being in a group? What has the hardest part of being in a boyband been?
S: My favourite part would be just the fun on the road and the laughs we had. There are so many nice memories with the fans, with the crew and making music. Those are the highlights. I would say that the not-so-fun part was being away from home a lot. Sometimes, there were very stressful parts that were hard to deal with, especially with all our different ages.
T: I think this experience will definitely be different for me because I have two kids now. I want to be at work, but I also want to be at home as well. Whereas before, in our first experience in the band, all I cared about was being in the band. I have different priorities this time around, as do we all. So, the focus isn’t just the band. And, I think that is a good thing because we were so obsessed with being in the band before.
S: It was an obsession! We were obsessed.

How does it feel to be back? I have seen the reception to the news online, and the people that have been talking are all very excited! What has been the best reception to the news that you have received so far?
M: For me, and this sounds like a bit of a pun, the stand out reaction was at the Stand Up To Cancer concert that Tom put together. When we announced it, the reaction online was absolutely nuts, but the gig at the Albert Hall was insane. I had never heard an audience that loud before.
T: It was pretty intense!

I mean, that was my next question! I wanted to talk about the concert and specifically, to you Tom. Obviously, it has been quite an emotional and personal experience for you! How has it been having the support of all of the boys and coming back together?
T: It has been a pretty rewarding few months. But, to be honest, maybe 5 or 6 months ago, I genuinely didn’t know if I’d even get to that point. There were quite dark days, but I feel as though I have come a long way emotionally and physically. So, I am just really overwhelmed by the support from the lads and the general public. They have taken this story into their hearts. We are trying to advocate for some change and to raise some more awareness for this disease because it does affect people of all ages. I know that people think that brain cancer just affects people of an older age, but it doesn’t.

The Wanted
The Wanted SUTC
The Wanted
The Wanted SUTC

I am so glad to hear that you are feeling a bit better and it is such a beautiful thing to see! I watched the performance, and I saw you all sitting on that sofa. It was very emotional to see and I could see that you guys were all quite emotional too! Do you have one word to sum up how you were feeling in that moment? If you are struggling you can have a few!
T: Jaw-dropping!
N: Good word!
T: The sound was unbelievable. Something that I personally have never experienced from an audience before. They were just so loud and so happy for us to be there. It was just incredible.
M: It just felt like I was home again. It just felt so good to be back. This is what I love doing more than anything, so that is how I felt.
S: Overwhelming, but in a good way!
N: That is exactly what I was going to say! I second that with Siva!

It seemed it, it was intense to watch! And, you smashed the performance, by the way! Am I right in saying that you have a single coming out? Talk us through it! Is it similar to what we are used to from The Wanted, or have you switched it up?
T: It is a little similar, isn’t it? It is definitely The Wanted vibes.
N: Yeah, it is on-brand.

And, how long have you been working on this track for?
N: Max has had this song for a while! This is a track that Max wrote with Lauv.
M: Yeah, I wrote it with Lauv about 5 years ago. Obviously, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be writing a song for The Wanted again!
T: He knew, in the back of his mind, he knew that this song was going to come forward.
N: He did! There was no way that this song wasn’t going to find the light of day.
T: He thought, ‘right, this is the perfect moment, Tom has got cancer, let’s get back together’.
M: Fucking hell!
S: Opportunist!
M: So, I put it forward to the boys, and as soon as they put their voices on it, it literally just sounded like The Wanted. It is very upbeat and dancey for us, really on the edge of dance music. Somebody said to me at the radio station – I don’t know if I told you that I work at a radio station now – that it sounded very dancey and very now but it wasn’t the same as anything else. When you hear it, it is definitely The Wanted.

Exciting! Also, the Greatest Hits album is on the way, which is so exciting! How did you guys pick what songs were going to go onto the album? Were there arguments? I feel like there must have been!
S: There really wasn’t! All of us were quite agreeable, we just looked at the top streaming songs on Spotify.
N: We have a mixture of fan favourites and our favourite singles!

Is “Heart Vacancy” going to be on there? I have to ask!
T: It certainly is!
N: You know what is nice? We have remastered everything, so it does give it a modern feel, so it doesn’t feel like we are listening in a time capsule.

The Wanted
The Wanted

It sounds like a new song almost!
T: Yeah, it really does! It gives it a whole new energy.
The reunion tour is also coming! Which songs are you most looking forward to performing together again?
T: You know what I am looking forward to performing the most? I am looking forward to doing “All Time Low”! It brings back so many nostalgic memories for me. I think that is one of my favourite records, I love “We Own The Night”, as well!
M: I am with you on that, Tom. Those two are my favourite as well!
T: I just think those songs depict The Wanted so well!
M: And, “We Own The Night” is just us five telling our story! “All Time Low” just kicked everything off!
N: It is going to be interesting because all of the fans thatsupported us through our time are older, some of them have got kids, some are at uni at the moment. So, it is going to be a very different feel to the gig. We are almost like an office or uni night out! It could be a little rowdy!
T: We are also introducing our music to a new generation! A lot of our older fans will have kids now, which I think is beautiful in itself. Obviously, I get to play our music to my kids. Aurelia loves “Glad You Came”, it is like her favourite record! The first thing she does in the morning is say, ‘Daddy, ‘Glad You Came”? Every morning, without fail!
M: She sounds better singing it than you do, mate!
T: I know, mate! I only sing one verse!
S: And, listen, “Glad You Came” still hits hard on tour. That made us internationally known, so I am excited to see it performed. Also, “Gold Forever”, for me, has always been so personal!
T: It hits hard!
N: I am personally looking forward to “Walks Like Rihanna”! Genuinely! It is almost like a bit of a joke we have going with fans now because they know that it isn’t our favourite song, but they all absolutely love it. So, I think that they are going to thrive off of the fact that we hate it!
S: We have a love-hate relationship with it! Mostly, the latter!
N: We are grateful for everything that the song did for us, though! But, we have songs that we prefer!

So you are going to perform “Walks Like Rihanna”?
T: We can’t not! We have had this discussion between ourselves, but we have to as it is a fan-favourite and a massive performing song for us! We’d be stupid and selfish to ignore that!
N: I did have a situation the other day where someone said, “I remember The Wanted, the band who did ‘Walks Like Rihanna’.”
M: Gutted! Who the fuck sat there and thought, ‘right, ‘Walks Like Rihanna”?
S: We did!

So, we are speaking about the fans! Do you have a message for them? There are some that have stuck by thought this whole period!
M: Thank you for sticking with us. I think this is going to be another mad journey, different to the first time around but let’s hope that we can take them on a really fun ride.
T: Hopefully, it will take us to some new places around the world, too! Obviously, we got to visit a lot of the world last time, but there are certain parts that we never got to. As for me, I would love to go to India!

Is that the plan then, to go abroad as well?
T: Yeah, I would love that!
M: I would like to go to Africa! I watched The Mating Games the other night and David Attenborough’s voice! It made me want to go to Africa, every time I watch him I just want to go!
N: You know Attenborough isn’t in Africa! He is in a sound booth in London!
M: Don’t ruin it!

How are you feeling about the hectic schedule? Are you looking forward to it? Are you apprehensive?
S: I think that it is not as hectic as it once was! At one point, when we were in the band, we didn’t get any days off. Maybe two weeks off in a year! Now, we have got a bit more time, more time for self-care, and we are a bit more considerate of each other’s space. I am feeling excited! I know that we are going to move forward in whichever way we are comfortable, and we all support each other in that way. It is good for our mental health!
T: Same!
M: Yeah, it’s what Siva said, and then on top of it, I am feeling really grateful that we get to do this again and that we still have the support from fans and the record label and management globally. It is just really cool that after all this time, we still have the whole support system.


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