1826 W. McDowell Rd.
Phoenix, AZ, 85007
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM
Make no mistake about it: The Wanted are having the time of their lives. Only a year on
from their huge Number One debut single 'All Time Low' and they have already become
one of Britain's biggest, most brilliant pop bands, living a dream that has far surpassed
even their most optimistic expectations and all with their best mates at their side. Hard
working and quite plainly loving every single second, the band have already notched up
four anthemic Top Five singles and two Number Ones, been viewed a staggering 30
million times on YouTube views and sold 400,000 copies of their eponymous debut
album, which shook pop music to its core upon its release last October. A year on and
The Wanted are now set to shake up the charts all over again with their feverishlyanticipated
second album, a euphoric widescreen classic of epic-pop proportions.
It comes at the end of simply phenomenal 2011, a year that has seen The Wanted become
serious pop players. With their ferociously infectious tunes, rock solid friendship and
laddish charms, they have stamped all over the typical boy band mould and brought a
blast of much-needed fresh air to British pop music. The accolades have followed
accordingly: The 'Best British Single' Brit Award nomination for 'All Time Low' in
February. The sell-out nationwide 'Behind Bars' Tour in March/April. A deal with
prestigious American label Def Jam in April. Slots at the iTunes and V festivals in July
and August, with 15,000 hollering revellers packing out the Big Blue Tent at V for a set
many agreed was a highlight of the festival. All this from a band who started out paying
their dues performing in somewhat dodgy nightclubs and a school tour that took them
across the whole of the UK. Most significantly of all, the five piece even found time over
summer to move out of their two adjoining flats in South London – where they lived in
'Friends'-style harmony with Jay's pet lizard Neytiri – and now each live alone, ten
minutes apart, while Max is currently house hunting with his new fiancée, Coronation
Street's Michelle Keegan. "Basically, we've just grown up," smiles Max.
The change is evident in their sound too: this time round, The Wanted have distilled the
dance floor thrills currently defining planet pop and added their own deliciously unique
twist. Combining the cinematic melodies of second generation Take That with their own
personal musical influences, it is an album that sounds like an immediate classic, yet is
also one very much of the moment. But what else would you expect from a band who
sounds a bit like Coldplay on 'All Time Low' yet covered Example's rave-pop
masterpiece 'Kickstarts' as a b-side?
Certainly, 'Battleground' is the sound of a real pop band exploding into ecstatic
maturity, recorded in both the UK (at producer Steve Mac's studio in London) and the
U.S.A, at singer/songwriter Diane Warren's L.A studios overlooking the Hollywood sign.
"She's an evil genius," laughs Jay, "and also the most 'real' person we met out there."
The lads have pooled a spectrum of production wizards: from Xenomania's Brian
Higgins (Girls Aloud, Pet Shop Boys, Kylie) to their long-term collaborative "dream
team" Steve Mac (JLS, Ronan Keating, Leona Lewis), Wayne Hector (Cheryl Cole,
Britney Spears, The Wanted's 'All Time Low') and Ed Drewett, to acclaimed singer/
song-writer Jack McManus (sometime collaborator with Groove Armada).
Most tellingly of all, the band have found the confidence to put their own stamp on the
writing and production too, allowing the album to reflect what they – five young men
who are almost giddily passionate about music – are listening to right now.
"With the first album we were more involved than I ever thought we would be but this
time round we've co-written on nearly every single track or written it - the lyrics, music,
everything," beams a clearly chuffed Jay. "Obviously music changes year by year and
we've incorporated what sounds good to us right now. So there are elements we wouldn't
have had before. There's grungy dub-step pop, some of it's really dark, some of it's just
All of it is world-class contemporary pop music. The two singles we know already:
electro rave thriller 'Gold Forever' (recorded for Comic Relief, No.3 in March 2011) and
the monster Europop summertime No.1, 'Glad You Came', which Jay says was the
moment "we could feel things changing for us, getting bigger". On a promotional radio
tour, adds Max, they saw screens flashing messages from the public, "saying 'oh my
God, that's the song of the summer'". Since its release, The Wanted fever has
undoubtedly stepped up a gear. With their feel-good anthems finding equal favour on
both dancefloors and radio playlists, they are unequivocally the band of the moment.
Proving that beyond all doubt is 'Battleground' which is quite possibly the pop album of
the year. From the exhilarating electro-pop of 'Invincible' to the tormented strings of
'Warzone' and the throbbing electronics of 'Mad Man', the album twists unexpectedly
between both the epic and atmospheric and the sheer euphoria of their own brand of
future-pop, best summed up in astonishing new single 'Lightning'. Lyrically, the lads
have also progressed, this time taking in the bliss and the treachery of romantic
relationships in equal measures. "It's not just I love you and you love me," notes Tom.
"There's real stuff in there."
It's the clearest sign yet that The Wanted now have world domination firmly within their
grasp. This autumn, they'll take a step closer to realising that possibility when they
support the most famous teenager on Earth, Justin Bieber, on his sell-out South American
tour which includes a show for 120,000 fans in Sao Paulo in October. Self-confessed fan
Justin personally requested The Wanted join him on the road after the band supported the
Canadian pop titan at London's 02 Arena in March 2011. "The Brazilian fans," Jay has
heard, "are already going mental." "We're having to get two extra security personnel!"
thrills Siva. "And get a van with bullet-proof windows!" marvels Nathan. And that's just
the start. In early 2012, The Wanted then embark on their inaugural U.K Arena tour
culminating at London's 02 Arena in March, before jaunts across America, Europe and
Australia. It goes without saying, they simply can't wait to get started. This is everything
they have worked for and everything they hoped for, and it's turning out to be more fun
than even they imagined.
"In the end I wanna look back on all this and say, I've travelled the world with these
boys," notes the huge-eyed Max, rather sweetly. "And not only have I made friends for
life, we've done something that hardly anyone gets to do. Be successful in music
worldwide. And I know I will never forget that."