lördag 16 oktober 2010

Dailyrecord: We don't worry about critical acceptance - we have fans who love our music, says McFly's Tom Fletcher

Här är en intervju med Tom gjord av Dailyrecord.co.uk:

McFLY are back - and this time they don't care what their critics think.

It's been six years since the American-style punk pop of debut album Room On The 3rd Floor took them to No1 and made them the UK's top teen pin-ups.

And it's been two years since they independently released Radio:Active as a free newspaper giveaway.

It looked like the last desperate throw of the dice for the young band. Despite playing their own instruments and writing their own songs they weren't given credibility or the critical acceptance of other British bands.

This seemed all the more certain when singer and guitarist Danny Jones was one of the celebrities on Popstar To Opera Star, which included talent show veterans like Darius Campbell and Kym Marsh.

But they are back with their biggest-selling single in five years and a new urban sound that fits in perfectly with the hot groups of the moment like JLS - and without losing what made fans love them in the first place.

Tom Fletcher revealed: "I think our age was a big factor in people not taking us seriously in the past. But we are older and released an album independently which made people start to pay attention.

"We are past critical acceptance being an issue because we have come to accept it and think, 'Why worry about it when we have fans who love our music and love who we are, buy our music and come to see our shows.'

"The rest doesn't affect us now."

Of course, pasty-faced indie types or old rockers would probably love their favourite bands to have achieved as much as these young lads.

Tom, 25, Danny, 24, Dougie Poynter, 22, and Harry Judd, 24, are at an age when many bands start their careers but they've already have seven No1 singles and two No1 albums.

Their new publicity photos show them as bigger and buffer, especially Tom.

At the beginning, he was always looked on as the Gary Barlow of the band - the one who writes the songs and sings but is, well, a bit beefy.

So has Tom been to the gym for their new look?

He said: "I think it's just me growing up. I'm 25 now and I think you change a hell of a lot. I was 17 when we started."

McFly have grown up and are in control of their own destiny. After leaving Island and going it alone for Radio:Active, they have re-signed with the label but on a 50:50 basis. Not many bands, whether that's The Libertines or Oasis, could boast that kind of deal with a major.

Tom added: "It's hard to work out why we have stuck around.

"But we are best friends and we see so many bands that don't actually get on and don't like the music they play.

"We genuinely live and breathe McFly. It means everything to us."

The 50:50 deal puts the lads in an amazing place in British music and sets them up for a stunning comeback.

Next week, they kick off a short tour in Southampton and will play Edinburgh Playhouse a week on Sunday.

It will allow the band to showcase the songs from their new album Above The Noise.

It's out on November 15. Their single Shine A Light, which features Taio Cruz, is available to download on November 7.

Do they feel like they are making a comeback? "We've actually been touring the world for the last two years," corrected Tom.

"Although we've been out of the public eye in the UK for a while, we haven't been apart as a band."

The first taste of the new sounding McFly happened in Scotland at the pop festival In:Demand Live back in July. McFly played new single Party Girl and it went down a storm.

It went to No6 in the charts.

While it wasn't a No1, it was an big moment for the band.

Tom explained: "It was a landmark for us because it's one of the biggest selling singles we've had, certainly since I'll Be OK, which was a few albums ago.

"Although it was only No6, it was an incredible achievement for us.

"It was also the most downloads we've ever sold. In week one, we sold 40,000 copies and 31,000 were downloads."

McFly are moving with the times and have created a supersite called Super City which aims to offer fans, called Pioneers, exclusive products and first dibs on releases and tickets.

But when it But when it was launched on October 1, it crashed. "A bittersweet moment," admitted Tom.

"At one point there were about 62,000 people trying to sign up at the same time."

That's an impressive amount of fans wanting to be part of the McFly family. And it's costly - £6 a month or £40 a year.

Tom defended the amount.

He said: "I think they are getting way more than their money's worth. I'm not going to be apologetic for that.

"On iTunes you get an album for about £7.99 usually. If you sign up for our Super city site you'll pay six pounds and get the album free.

"And then there will be all the other stuff, exclusive music that we will never release anywhere else, anything we release physically will be released digitally through the site first, you'll get VIP entrance to gigs, you'll be the first people to get tickets and the best tickets and be invited to meet us for meet and greets."

Really it's everything a fan would want from a band but if everyone is joining the site and getting the album through that, won't they jeopardise getting future No1 albums?

Tom shrugged: "Chart positions have become less and less important.

"Unless you are No1, no one pays attention to whether you are No2 or No15 and no one really cares.

"We prefer people to sign up to our super site than give us a No1 single.

"It's incredible when you have a No1. It's a reflection of selling a lot and doing well but a fan willing to pay £40 a year or £6 a month shows that they are passionate about McFly and what we do.

"It means hell a lot more than someone just downloading the songs."

Of course, the music is at the heart of McFly and always has been - even way back in 2003 when they formed.

Tom had tried out for turn of the century pop punk trio Busted but lost out to Charlie Simpson.

However, the team behind Busted teamed him up with the trio's main songwriter James Bourne and Tom co-wrote eight of the 15 tracks on the group's second album A Present For Everyone.

Tom has actually written or co-written 10 No1 singles, seven with McFly and three of Busted's - Crashed The Wedding, Who's David and Thunderbirds.

During his time writing for Busted, the record label asked if he could film auditions for a new band V and there met Danny Jones. They clicked and had soon decided to form their own band recruiting Dougie and Harry through an advert in the NME.

The American-style pop punk of their early music has been radically changed for the new album and that's thanks to working with Dallas Austin, who has produced Prince, Madonna and Taio Cruz.

Tom said: "It's very different to what we've ever done before. It's taking the sounds of Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna but without losing our pop melodies."

They had recorded another independent album two years ago in Australia after Radio:Active but they felt the 10 songs were just more of the same and they wanted to challenge themselves for their fifth album.

They demoed a new sound with synths. Universal asked to sign them again.

Tom said: "The sound is still pop. We are still a band and, although we are using synths, we aren't trying to sound like The Killers, we're more pop."

Fans will be happy to hear McFly look like they'll be around for the long haul.

McFly play Edinburgh Playhouse on October 24. Their new single Shine A Light ft Taio Cruz is out on November 7 and new album Above The Noise is out on November 15.

xxx McFluCrew

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