x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Boyzone’s Shane Lynch: I’m the band’s bad boy

Boyzone’s Shane Lynch talks to Saeed Saeed about the innocence of boy bands and receiving flowers from P Diddy.

Boyzone perform for BBC1's Christmas Day Special Top of the Pops in December. Mark Allan / Invision / AP Photo
Boyzone perform for BBC1's Christmas Day Special Top of the Pops in December. Mark Allan / Invision / AP Photo

Your Dubai show next week is Boyzone’s first one of the year. Are you looking forward to shaking off those cobwebs?

It is kicking off again. The Dubai show is the first of a bunch of open-air shows that we are doing. It is good to get back on the bike. We had a nice breather so we are all feeling fresh and looking forward to coming your way.

How has touring for you guys changed since those early days in the mid-1990s?

We have been touring to celebrate our 20th anniversary and it has been amazing. All of us in the group have a deep understanding of each other as individual characters and what we want out of life. There is no more nonsense. We understand what we are here to do and we do it well. It is a great feeling.

Boyzone returned in 2007 after a seven-year break. Was it easy for you guys to get back together considering how much things changed both in the music industry and personally?

You know, I remember back in the 1990s we pushed ourselves hard to make music and to be in the industry. By the time we reached 2000, we were tired and we felt that we did too much. We had that seven-year split and we did our separate projects, which allowed us to establish our own pockets of fans but at the same time we were also working hard again individually. When we got back together, we realised how easy it was to be in Boyzone as we have each other to rely on. When one of us is down, the other picks him up and we continue.

Was it tough to hit the road again after the sudden death of band member Stephen Gately in 2009?

Believe it or not, it made it easier for us to come back together as Boyzone and that’s because we are there to celebrate the life of Stephen. When I am with the other three guys we are always talking about Stephen and he is in our hearts. You may see only four guys on stage during the show, but we will always be five. We do a tribute for Stephen in the show and we will share stories about him with the audience.

Boy bands continue to remain popular. What is the secret behind their durability?

I think it is because there is a lot of innocence to it. I love the idea of boy bands because it keeps the young innocent as opposed to catapulting our sons and daughters into the world too quickly. I don’t know what keeps us going still, but it could be just the love, the fan base and the fun. That’s why Backstreet Boys are still doing their thing and why the New Kids On the Block came back as well. Boy bands are all about enjoyment.

Is it fair to say you are Boyzone’s bad boy?

It is fair to say, but it is not exactly true. I am not what you would call a soft guy but there are a few misconceptions about me. Yes, I do look a particular way and my body has tattoos. My look, compared with the other Boyzone boys, has always been more extreme. Sure, I got into a few ruckuses every now and then and I have been labelled a bad boy, but in my defence, it has only been for protection.

Your most famous ruckus is the one with the rapper P Diddy’s crew at the 1999 MTV European Music Awards. What was that about?

It was at the after-show party and there were a lot of artists in this particular area. I had left it and was coming back to join my friends. Some people told me that Puff Daddy’s bouncers and crew were kicking everybody out of this area and I was like: “Well, they are not kicking me out, that’s for sure.” So, yeah, we had a little bit of a ruckus which wasn’t really too bad. To cut a long story short, a week or so later Puff Daddy sent me his apologies and a bunch of flowers, believe it or not!

Boyzone perform on May 22 at The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium. Tickets are priced at Dh225 at www.timeouttickets.com. Doors open at 7pm

sasaeed@thenational.ae