B*Witched – Across The Ocean

B*Witched

B*Witched have survived the ups and downs of a challenging music industry and are on the rise again with new found interest in the band that sees them heading back to Australia with Atomic Kitten, S Club 3 and East 17 early next year. Across The Ocean had a really good chat with singer Lindsay Armaou about the ups and downs of being in B*Witched.

bwitched-promo-2016

It’s great news that B*Witched are touring Australia.

I know! We’re super excited! There’s four bands of tour it will be amazing fun… can’t wait!

Does the relationship with the likes of East 17, S Club 3 and Atomic Kitten?

We’ve toured with Atomic Kitten before and we know the S Club guys from being around at the same time but our paths definitely did cross back in the day. The East 17 guys I don’t know, I think we may have met them once and we haven’t been on tour with them or anything like that. We were on tour with the Atomic Kitten girls about three and a half years ago when we did the big reunion with them. I’m not sure if you heard about that but it was basically a documentary on a TV show over here in the UK and it focused on pop groups from the nineties and everything that went on behind the scenes, why they split up and everything like that. The documentary was about getting these bands back together. The ultimate goal was to perform again and to put on this massive show in London, which we did. The whole thing was such a success they put on a tour later on and then another one later in the year. We toured twice that year and Atomic Kitten were a part of that.

Did you think that in your wildest imagination that a TV show would be the catalyst to get the band back together?

Never! No! It never crossed my mind and it had been so long, it had been twelve years since we split up the first time. It just seemed like we were at a point where it wasn’t going to happen because it had been too long and this came along. We thought about it and went round in circles a little bit as to whether we should do it or not and eventually, my feeling on it was just that if we don’t do it now then we’re never going to do it. If we want to do something again this it, this is the thing that is going to do it for us. I always felt that there was life left in B*Witched and had more to give when we split up the first time. So, I wanted to do it and knew what it felt like. Almost four years later and we’re still together, doing shows and gigging. It was obviously the right decision.

Was that the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make leaving something that you loved doing? Was it a case of too much too soon? Trying to handle success and all that comes with that whether that’s good or bad?

Absolutely, all of the above, it was a combination of things at the time. One of those things i being burnt out and as you say it was too much too soon. We were very young and the workload was massively intense. We were working eighteen hour days most of the time and we did not have days off for months on end, we were away from our families living out of suitcases for months on end. Don’t get me wrong we had an amazing time and the things that we had achieved I’m so proud. It was a lot to take on at that age and also a lot of responsibility, the fame that comes with it and the responsibility with that. You have to be aware that people look up to you and know who you are, you’re not anonymous any more and there’s a certain amount of responsibility that comes with that.

In terms of business there was a certain amount of business that comes along with that. We had to learn very quickly on the job how the music industry works in terms of financial stuff and all sorts of things. At the end of the four years together we were absolutely exhausted and at the same time a new MD came on board at Sony records, the previous MD were kind of his baby I suppose and heavily involved in our project. The new MD wanted to change the look of the label so he wanted more playing and instrumental bands. He thought we didn’t fit in with the image he wanted to create for the label moving forward and he dropped us. We were dropped by Sony and I think we almost got signed up by another company and that fell through because Sony was not cooperating with rights of some of the stuff. Long story short we came to the mutual decision that it felt like the right time to leave it there and go out on top. It felt like it was time but in hindsight what we could have done is taken a really long break but at the time it didn’t seem feasible.

Is that hard as well with the expectation that the band would keep churning out hit single after hit single?

Yeah, absolutely!

Was it hard to fill the void the band left for the next twelve years? Did you feel like being anonymous for a while?

It was a really strange time straight after the band. It was a sense of who am I on my own without being a part of that unit, that name and everything that goes with it. Who am I? What do I want for myself? How do I go about it? It was interesting and when we were in the band it was a well oiled machine and everything was organised and very scheduled. At the time we would receive a fax in the morning and we knew exactly what was happening that day, we would be picked up and brought in to whatever we were doing or playing. Everything was taken care of in a sense. When the band ended for the first time in our adult live we were holy and solely responsible for everything in our lives. Even just household stuff, bills and all that kind of stuff which before that we were on the road and didn’t have to think about any of that while we were living in hotels and tour buses. It was a transitional period for us and we all handled it differently.

Was the relatively new EP Champagne Or Guinness a cleansing process to allow the band to move forwards again?

Absolutely, it was very therapeutic for us. It was also in some ways we proved to ourselves we still could be a band in this time and create new stuff and it be relevant. It was kind of an experiment as to who are we as a band and how also do we say thank you to our fans for sticking by us all these years and coming back twelve years later, still being there, wanting to know, still wanting to support and we wanted to give them what they want as well. We were aware that we wanted to still keep a pop element and a certain Irish element as well but at the same time think we are older so what represents us now? It was important to us I think.

Were you surprised with the Pledge Music campaign and can you believe how much things have changed in this space with social media?

It has changed so much and the industry is completely different to the one we were in the first time. I think it has changed for the better in many ways in that crowd funding and social media have given people that wouldn’t otherwise be given a chance to have their music heard, it gives them a chance to be heard and that is really important because it takes the monopoly away from the massive record companies who back in our day had complete control over whose songs were on the radio and who is heard. Now you can go on to YouTube and listen to a singer songwriter sitting in their room and that might be your kind of thing. I think that’s brilliant and the way forward.

Do you feel like pinching yourself knowing that you’re lucky by having this resurgence in B*Witched?

Totally! Oh my God! Every time we do a gig and I see the audience singing our songs back I can see that they’re having such a great time I think, wow, just wow! I can’t believe we still get that reaction and it’s just incredible, it gives me goose pimples, it makes me feel so fortunate and grateful. I think anything is possible and this time round it is on our terms and there is no pressure or record company involved. We’re doing as little or as much as well want or go back in the studio and write new material. The lovely thing is that there is no time limit on it, if we want to we can keep doing this as long as people wanted to see us but at any point anything could happen, you just never know!

Rob Lyon

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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