Steps in 2022

H & Claire ‘cast as villains’ in split

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Quite amazing sales from the UK Pop Idol Will Young… sales figures for one week were 1,108,269! Hear’say sold just over 500,000 in their first week and people said that was a lot at the time! I doubt Gareth will sell over one million in his first week but will probably beat the Hear’say total. Britney sold 462,000 with her first single in the first week and didn’t have any TV special to help her… still pretty good if you ask me!

Here’s the Smash Hits article from 18 February.

H and Claire have been cast as the villains who split Steps and broke pop’s heart on Boxing Day.

But fresh from announcing that they were to continue as a duo, the pair give Planet Pop their side of the story, telling us why Steps split and what they really think of the other members of the band.

According to Claire, it was the other three’s lack of enthusiasm for Steps’ music that actually forced the split. In interviews, Faye had made it clear that she didn’t like the music.

“It’s almost insulting to the fans to say, ‘We’re launching this music on you, but I don’t actually like it or believe in it.'” Claire sighed. “The fans will feel betrayed. H and I are that little bit younger than the others and we grew up in a pop environment so we were more comfortable with it.”

“Certain people forget where they started, OK, people do grow up and change but if there’s an inkling that you don’t believe in it any longer, you shouldn’t carry on. And it was becoming obvious that people wanted to go off and do something ‘cooler’ – go to the NME awards (Faye attended in 2001) instead of the Smash Hits awards and stuff like that. But that’s not what being in a pop band is all about. I enjoy pop and would much rather do that than be in a grungy rock band. Just imagine H in a band like that – it wouldn’t work!”

H admitted that leaving the band had been difficult. “It was really, really upsetting and I’m not really over it yet.” he said. “It wasn’t supposed to come out ’til a press conference in January, but the papers got hold of it and we had to get it out. I didn’t want it to happen on Boxing Day, but we wanted to be honest with the fans.”

Claire, though, was angry at the way she and H had been portrayed. “We’ve been made out to be the nasty ones in all of this.” she said. “The attention has been focused on the letters we gave to the rest of the band. But we were contractually obliged to give a letter of notice. It wasn’t all cold and business-like, there were lots of tears and lots of hugs. We certainly didn’t have an argument, there was no bad feeling.”

Claire also stressed that the decision to continue with H had only been taken after they’d left the band. “We talked about it over Christmas, after Steps split. We spent a lot of time together just as mates instead of colleagues and we realised that we really like each other and would still really like to work together.”

“We’re going to be be making good quality pop and not try and be anything we’re not,” added H. “There won’t be any drastic image changes or anything like that. We just want people to listen to the music and enjoy themselves.”

Claire on Lee:
Lee always enjoyed song writing so he might continue doing that. He also said for a long time that he wanted to act. Who knows?

Claire on Lisa:
I think Lisa would be good at the pop thing, be she likes people like Natalie Imbruglia so I think she might go down that route. I know it will be very different from Steps.

Claire on Faye:
I doubt Faye will do pop. Her fiancĂ© is very much into rock, and the demos she’d recorded were a bit more electric, really. She even mentioned once that she would even be happy just sticking to song writing,

To continue our news from yesterday with Claire & H’s song writers, Glenn drops us an e-mail to say that Graham Stack also wrote Kylie Minogue’s “On A Night Like This”.

Gold Greatest Hits is due for a release in Canada on 19 March.

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