5IVE’s Big Reunion: An interview with Abz
5ive were one of the most successful British boybands of the 90s, selling over 10 million records worldwide before splitting in 2001. After the phenomenal success of ITV2’s The Big Reunion earlier this year, we caught up with band member Abz to capture his thoughts on how it was to reunite after such a long hiatus.
How was the experience of being part of ITV2’s The Big Reunion?
We owe it all to ITV2. There was no way the band was going to be resigned: they gave us that opportunity, so it’s hats off to The Big Reunion. The rehearsals were so intense! We forgot the routines and the lyrics, but once you get back into it it’s kind of second nature. We had sold-out shows, it was an amazing platform. Thank you to everyone who took part!
5ive’s reunion on the show was emotional. Did you spend time with the other groups during filming or was it all about the band being together?
We were all in each others’ faces the whole time! Everybody’s enthusiasm and energy was infectious. So many good vibes! I mean, it was different because of the gap; some of us have got kids and we have different priorities but it was a break from reality, to live a bit of abnormality for a while.
How did it feel for it all to be back to the way it used to be?
It’s madness but I would do it again. There were no ideas of grandeur, it is what it is: hard work. But it’s nostalgic. 5ive were able to be a lot closer than we were back in the day. We have more time for each other and perspective – we can respect each other’s needs now. It would have been amazing to have J with us; we started with all of us and I would’ve liked it to have come full circle. It is time to move forward but who knows what’s on the cards in the future.
The Big Reunion was an incredibly popular show for ITV2. What was the vibe from the fans?
We’ve still got our hardcore fans, the ones that are behind us through everything. But there’s a new generation – their children were there too. It was an incredible reaction. I didn’t know what to expect, but it surpassed any expectations. I know it’s the corniest thing to say but they have given us a reason to get onstage again. It means the world that everybody’s into it after ten years and more. We know what we are, we’re not trying to compete with bands like One Direction. We’re that nostalgic band, performing feel-good music and giving our fans what they want.
What do you think of current boy bands like One Direction and Union J?
I’ve got a lot of respect for them because I know how tough it can be. People ask if I have any advice for them: I don’t, they are absolutely smashing it. It is different now because of all the reality TV, selling so many millions so quickly and doing all the damage control we didn’t have to deal with back then. We used to run around all the radio stations begging the DJs to play our songs! It’s in a different league nowadays.
You have the tour coming up, in Australia and the UK. What’s next for you?
Australia will be fun, to catch a bit of sunshine. After that it’s our tour and The Big Reunion Christmas Party. It’s been a whirlwind all year. Now I live on a farm in Wales with dogs and horses so it’s very different – I want to get out into the wild, grow my beard, go back to the loincloth. I’m heading towards that, I’m done with penthouses and the London experience. But it’s been amazing, it’s what we know. I’m looking forward to getting onstage, making everyone happy and we’ll see where it goes from there!
5ive are touring the UK from 14th November – 5th December before embarking on The Big Reunion Christmas Party tour which runs from 11th – 15th December.
For further information about 5ive and future events visit here.
Watch 5ive perform Keep on Movin’ live on The Big Reunion here: