Westlife’s Mark and Shane Talks New Music, Reuniting and Going On Tour

Senses Syahirah Mokhtazar 31-May-2019

The Twenty Tour by Westlife officially kicked off last week in Belfast, Northern Island and fans of the 90s boyband around the world are anticipating the rest of their tour. Recently, Mark Feehily and Shane Feehily had a chat with SalamToday about how they feel reuniting as a band and going on tour!  

How excited are you for this tour and what was the preparation like?

Mark: I’m honestly very excited to get back out there as it has been a long time since we’re all out there together.  Everyone is just so happy, we love it, the fans love it – it’s amazing. As for the preparations, we were very much involved in the creative process of our concerts, as we have been previously.

We sat down for hours and months to brainstorm. We are very involved with what we wear on stage, what the setlist is going to be like, the lighting, the merchandise and more. I am a very creative person, so I love that creative process of putting together everything. It’s just going to be the best night of your life.

With the 11th studio album coming out soon, can you share with us any juicy details, such as the music direction or the album’s philosophy?

Mark: The album is called ‘Spectrum’ so basically one of the main things we wanted to get across is that this comeback is more than just a couple of old guys who used to be a big band back in the 90s.  We very much feel like a young and fresh band. Making new music is so important to us. It’s a part of our reunion, but we absolutely love the past. We are lucky to have had a catalogue of hits but it’s also about the future and the new direction of Westlife.  To get that across visually, we injected album colour in the album cover to make it colourful. We feel fresh, we don’t feel tired we got so much more to give.

The album is not fully finished yet but it’s all original pop music written and produced by literally the best people in the world. Ed Sheeran is very involved and Steve Mac who produced ‘Flying Without Wings’ and ‘World of Our Own’ is involved as well. He’s a huge producer and has been for years. He and Ed Sheeran are basically co-writing and co-producing our album. It’s all about fresh pop music, the vocals, melody and good production. When we released ‘Hello My Love’ we were so overwhelmed with joy by the reaction of this song.

It’s a very happy song, it’s upbeat, and really represent how we feel with the direction of our music. We can’t wait for the fans to hear the rest. It’s a good balance of ballads and tempo. Between now and when the album gets released in September we are going to release another single and can’t wait for fans to hear it.

What is the title of the single?

Mark: I’m going to keep it a secret, for now, it’s not confirmed 100% just yet. But we have 3-4 songs in mind that could be the single.

Is there a special reason the tour is held before the new album is released in September?

Shane: We want to kind of in a way keep them close together but separate them as two separate things because this first tour is celebrating the last 20 years of our career with our fans. That would be regarded to the set list, it’s going to be very nostalgic.  Meanwhile, the album is the new music and the next phase of Westlife which is new and fresh. We wanted to separate that. After we get the Twenty Tour done, we would then focus on Spectrum. Then it will be another year of album promotion and perhaps tour for Spectrum.

Now that Westlife has jumped back into the music scene, who is the one musician the band would love to collaborate with?

Shane: At the moment, Ed Sheeran has been involved in our songs with the new album. Working with Steve Mac who is our longtime collaborator has been great. But right now it’s hard to put a name to it because we don’t have that fully decided yet with the album still in the works. I definitely think that there will be a duet in this album, and lots of exciting names have popped up but we’ll just have to wait and see because I can’t give any secrets away.

What was it like to get back into the recording studio back together after so long?

Shane: It was very natural I think we were just genuinely happy to be back together. We talked about the things we’ve done in the past, all the stories we remember as individuals. To be able to sit down and talk about was a nice moment and it was very natural for us too, it didn’t feel awkward at all. We haven’t sat in a room together for 6 years so that was a big day for all of us and we are so excited about the future of Westlife.

When was the first day Westlife came together in the recording studio?

Shane: Last July 28th was the fist day we went to see Steve Mac. That day was very memorable and nostalgic. When we came in the studio, he immediately started to play music like ‘Hello My Love’ and we were already happy and knew that this is the type of music we want to release in 2019. It was all just very exciting. It truly hit us that we were back together again as a band.

How many songs will Westlife be performing at every concert?

Shane: We are very lucky to have a back catalogue of hit song so the favourites are definitely going to be included. We don’t want to perform any songs that the fans don’t know so we’ll keep it to three new songs and the rest will be a blend of our hits. We are looking at over 20 songs per show.

Could we expect the next coming single to sound along the lines of ‘Hello My Love’?

Shane: It will be probably close to Hello My Love in regards to tempo. We haven’t fully decided on the song yet, but it is the song that I hope, it’s an incredible song. If you love ‘Hello My Love’, you will love that song too.

Do you have any message for fans of Westlife who are anticipating the rest of the tour?

Shane: Thank you to everybody that has supported Westlife and this comeback. It’s been such an overwhelming response from everybody and we really respect how much love you have for Westlife. We truly cannot wait to come and do all our shows all over the world. It’s going to to be the best Westlife show you’ll ever see, I promise you that.