Steps interviewed on Freeserve website
ToyZone, the sponsor of Steps’ arena tour, is holding a chat with the gang on their website this Saturday between 1pm and 2pm. So you know where to be between those times don’t you! Not only this but their site will have regular features and news from the group throughout the tour. And Steps will also be reviewing the site’s products. Cool or what?! So get excited and start thinking of those questions now! Hop on over to the fab new online store for toys and other groovy products at: www.ToyZone.co.uk
The next US single is going to be Tragedy, no big surprise really, but it’s somthing to get very excited about. It could be this song that will get Steps recognised in the US. Coupled with the Disney concert, this bombardment of Steps is going to take America by storm! In fact, it has already had an effect. US-based music website RollingStone.com are running a competition for a group of four people to win a trip to fly all the way over to London to see Steps perform! So if you are Steps mad (which you are!) check out their site.
Everybody have a good time tonight at the very first of the huge 33-date Steptacular arena tour! Sheffield is going to be one very Steppy town tonight. I hope you’ve all brushed up on your dance moves and learned all the words. Remember once you’ve finished dancing to send in those concert reviews!
The new Smash Hits magazine is out now for £1.50 and is packed full of Steps goodies as usual. You even get four free presents! Not bad.
The Freeserve website has got a huge four-page interview and article with the group which is below:
In just 18 months, Steps have gone from a line dancing novelty act to a million selling pop group. Their success can at least partly be put down to the group’s widespread appeal. Grannies love them, teenagers copy their dance moves and even grungy students can’t get enough of them – in a post modern ironic way, of course. The group have enjoyed a million selling number one single, a triple platinum debut album and are currently getting ready to set off on the biggest arena tour ever seen in this country.
It is no surprise then that the group, consisting of Claire Richards, from West London, Faye Tozer from Luton, Lisa Scott-Lee, from Rhyl, North Wales, Ian ‘H’ Watkins from South Wales and Lee Latchford-Evans from Ellesmere Port, don’t seem to care that they have a somewhat cheesy image.
“Steps never set out to be serious, everybody knows our songs are camp and cheesy,” says H. “I think the day that we all stop having fun is the day we will give up – after all life is just too short. I think things have really turned round for us since the single Tragedy. I’m not sure why there has been a change. It might be because that song’s such a classic or just that everybody can do the dance. You don’t have to be a brilliant dancer to wave your hands in the air at the right time,” he jokes.
But H does admit the group are a little puzzled by their success with the student population. “We seem to have done more student gigs than ordinary ones,” he says. “One night I walked into this pub which was full of students and they seemed completely amazed to meet me – they started kissing the floor. It’s bizarre but true.”
The group also insists that Steps’ success is not down to luck but old-fashioned hard work. Since they first bounced on to the pop scene last year with their line dancing-inspired hit Five, Six, Seven, Eight, (erm, well we all know it as “5-6-7-8” – Jack) they have never stopped working or learning about the industry.
“We have learnt so much since we started out in the business – we hadn’t got a clue at first,” admits blonde haired singer Faye. “There was a small stage when we hadn’t had a break for ages and we did get a bit lazy. But it turned out to be more hard work because we weren’t on time and we lost out. It doesn’t matter how big you are, you’ve got to do rehearsals and if you don’t appear on time everybody else gets delayed.”
The second album Steptacular is similar to their debut Step One – highly polished sing-a-long pop. The album contains tracks inspired by Motown, The Carpenters, the Jacksons hit Can You Feel It and a Bananarama cover. “It started out as the same sort of thing as Step One but then it kind of grew and grew. It has the same tinny sound which everyone loves us for,” laughs Faye. “But this album is a little more sophisticated and our voices are a lot stronger after touring. There are some songs which are really, really cool and we did actually wonder if they were appropriate for the group.”
With the album destined to be a huge success, Steps are now setting their sights on television work.
Lisa and Lee recently presented The Pepsi Chart on Five, Claire has already hosted a number of shows and in the New Year she and H will present a new BBC children’s talent show called Steps To The Stars. There’s even the possibility of their own America television series in the pipeline.
“Debbie Allen, who did the series Fame, is interested,” says Faye. “It could be an English-type Friends – only about a band trying to make it in America. It will have boyfriends coming in and out and people going off their heads generally. But we wouldn’t want to play ourselves in the show as we would find that really difficult.”
Steps are acknowledged to be one of the most hard working bands around, undertaking a seemingly endless round of recordings, interviews, appearances and performing in Britain and Europe. Earlier this year they even supported Britney Spears on tour in the States. Although Faye admits there are days when she longs to stay in bed, she is aware how temporary success can be in the fickle world of pop. “Do you know what I was thinking this morning? I was thinking I don’t want to go to work and have to put my make-up on at 5.30am again. But you have to do it as the busier you are the better it is. One day it’s not going to be busy. It could all end tomorrow, so you’ve got to make the most of your success while it lasts.”