WESTLIFE EXCLUSIVE – GAIL MEETS NICKY BYRNE
WESTLIFE star Nicky Byrne has admitted he still doesn’t know if he and his bandmates have made the right decision to split.
Nicky and fellow bandmates Shane Filan, Mark Feehily and Kian Egan – who sold over 45 million records during their stellar 14 year career – are currently touring the UK and Ireland for the last time before going their separate ways.
But the star, 33, has mixed feelings about the decision to call time on the band – and admitted that he had hoped they could go on for longer.
“In the last couple of years it was hard to get anything over the line,” he said.
“To get a decision made was just horrendus. It shouldn’t be like that and it never was like that.
“When we were young we just did what we were told and even when we grew up a bit and you start to think you know it all, we still did what we were told as soon as somebody put the foot down.
“When we got older again democracy ruled and you are never going to keep everybody happy but that seemed to fall away as well and people just seemed to go, ‘I’m not there that day,’ or ‘I can’t do it’ and that was across the board – we all had our moments.
“It just got to the point where we said this is becoming harder, and harder, and harder.
“If I’m being honest I probably thought that we could get more out of it and it wasn’t for the sake of money – I just knew that it was such an amazing thing or journey – or an amazing something that we had and I always felt that it was a shame to let it go.
“Then when we all came round to the decision I still look back and think have we made the right decision? I mean, who wouldnt?
“At the same time I do believe that it would have gone more pear-shaped than anyone would have wanted.
“I think it was the right time (to end) but nobody knows – how do you ever know?”
Despite his misgivings, dad-of-two Nicky said he is a realist and that he has been preparing himself for the end of Westlife for years. “I’ve mentally prepared for the end of Westlife for lots of years – I think that’s because that’s the way I am and also because I have been able to gauge the way the band has been going,” he said.
“Every time the curtain would come down on a show I’ve thought mentally grab a picture – this could be the last time I’m going to see this.
“That still doesn’t make it any easier when it does happen.”
He added that in recent years he felt he wasn’t able to enjoy parts of being in Westlife because the future seemed so uncertain.
“Half the reason we had to come to a conclusion was because I wasn’t able to enjoy parts of it sometimes because I didn’t know if (for example) we were going to do an album the next summer, promote it at Christmas and tour it the next year.
“I like to be cemented in things like that. Some of the boys were the opposite of that and said, ‘Let’s take our time’. Nobody’s right and nobody’s wrong.
“Fourteen years for a boyband is a long time.”
The former League of Ireland footballer, who also had a spell with Leeds United, added that he is dreading the band’s final show in Croke Park on June 23.
“I’m really not looking forward to that night – I’m looking to the gigs. The gigs are my favourite part of Westlife.
“This show is horrendously sad at the end – even for us – it’s hard.”
Nicky added that he still doesn’t know what life after Westlife will entail – although he hasn’t been short of offers.
And he revealed he’d love to be Ireland’s answer to American presenter Ryan Seacrest.
“There is nothing in stone right now although I have had a lot of interest,” he said.
“People say things off the cuff, radio stations especially in Ireland say they would love to get me on. I would love to do something in radio, but what exactly, I’ve no idea. Priority-wise, TV is really where I want to be.
“Shiny floor, prime time, your Dermot O’Learys, Ryan Seacrest of this world – I do look at them with a bit of envy and think I’d love to do a job like that, presenting a big, big show.
I’ve always been interested in interviewing people as opposed to being interviewed.
“Right now it’s loads of meetings – I’ve met with the guys from ITV, I’ve met with the guys from BBC, I’ve met with RTE and loads of different people like that.
“Meetings are meetings – they excite me but at the end of the day you have to turn them into something in stone. Until that day comes they are just meetings.”
While Nicky is looking to the future, he’s also been reminiscing about the highs – and lows – of his time in the band.
Some of the highs included recording with the band for the first time and signing their first recording contract.
“We were working with the guys who had worked with Boyzone back in the day,” he said.
“When we signed our first contract I could be wrong on the exact figure but I think what was printed was a £4 million record deal.
“When you are five guys in a band you’re thinking that’s 800 grand each, okay we’ve got to pay (Louis) but we’re coming up for at least half a million each here.
“We were like, we’re going to buy this and this. You are so naive and stupid you think that’s what you’ve done but that’s not what you’ve done.
“You’ve made a record deal to make three albums over the next five years and that goes towards flying you in and out, feeding you, clothing you, that’s hair stylists, you name it.
“Yes you got a small advance, and a lot more that people in college but nowhere near what you thought you were going to get.
“So when you look back, you look back fondly and you smile at how naive you were and how much fun it was.”
NEXT WEEK: Kian Egan on his devastation saying goodbye to Westlife.
Credit/Source: Sunday Life / Thanks so much Maya and Chrissy for sending me the scan | Westlife.GR