Boyzone are going out on top.
As one of the biggest boybands of the 1990s, the group scored nine chart-topping singles in their native Ireland, plus a string of Number 1 records in the UK.
The group's final album Thank You & Goodnight is, in their words, "the best album we've ever done", and their 2019 farewell arena tour is almost sold out. Suffice to say, they're letting the curtain fall in style. Before they officially part ways, we sat down with Shane Lynch and Mikey Graham to discuss the end of an era. Sob.
Why is now the right time to call it a day for good?
Mikey: “We have been extremely lucky to have gotten 25 years out of our career. This is the last album in our deal with Warner, so it just progressed this way. We felt as the time went on that this was the best piece of work we have done so far. Me personally, I thought that maybe the audience isn’t still there, however since we announced our departure, most places have sold out and everything has done well on radio. It’s ironic but wonderful; it means we can go out with a bang and on a high.”
For a farewell album, it has a surprisingly fresh sound to it.
Mikey: “The key to longevity in this business is reinvention. If you do what you’ve already done, you’re killing your career. If you don’t offer something new and something good every time, you’re going to lose your audience. What we’ve always tried with each album, and this album even more so, it is very current. We were very aware going in what we wanted it to be. We were more hands-on this time around, particularly Shane, to direct it in the way it has gone.”
Shane: “This sets the precedent of ‘we’re not just an old band’. Although we’re saying goodbye, this is a very forward album. It was important for us to create it like that, to still have our finger on the pulse. I sat and listened to hundreds of records with different producers and gathered not just great Boyzone songs, just great songs. The songs that I brought to the table, I f**king love them – I dreamed to do songs like this for Boyzone. For the first time, we’ve done records that I would actually buy myself.”
You worked with Ed Sheeran on the track Because. Was he someone you were keen to work with?
Shane: “Not necessarily. It was more that Ronan reached out to him and he sent a track over. To work with a global artist like that, it was amazing for us. We're 25 years in the game, and it shows we’re on a lineage with the best in the world. That gave us a lot of confidence in this album. It’s been a blessing.”
Tongue Tied with Alesha Dixon is definitely a favourite of ours. Why was Alesha right for Boyzone?
Shane: “It was the more of the style of the record. We looked at a lot of different artists and knew we wanted a female on there. Alesha is one of those girls - with her heritage, she’s a rapper, she’s hardcore. For her to then make that transition to being a pop star, and be accepted by the British public as a Britain’s Got Talent judge, she’s a massive crossover artist. Although this album is diverse, it still has to have a particular Boyzone stamp without going too far with someone like... Stefflon Don. We could do, but Alesha was the perfect fit. It’s not too far left-field.”
How sweet would it be to end it all with a final Number 1?
Shane: "Amazing! It will be Number 1 in our heads regardless. The success of it all will be the tour that’s coming up. This is the best album we’ve ever done so to us, it’s a hit anyway."
Boyzone's final album Thank You & Goodnight is out now. Tickets for their 2019 farewell tour are available here.