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Read on for a super exclusive conversation with the charming Nicky Byrne from Westlife as he talks to us about all things professional and personal that have him feeling upbeat. Find out more about the bandís new release, their thoughts on approaching their 10th year anniversary, and what each band member is really like.

The Record: Introduce us to the new album Back Home.
Nicky Byrne: We really wanted to get back to our pop roots and we felt we needed to get some great original pop songs and let people know where we mean to be with this album. There are some fantastic pop songs on there and weíre really proud of the record. Weíve got a lot of variety, a lot of tempo...
A story that I remember from the recordings is about a track called Iím Already There. I actually went in to the studio to record a different song that day but then the producers played me this song ~ musically itís about a father being away from home ~ and it meant a lot to me because Iíve just had twin boys in the summer so I pushed to record this one. Itís great!
The first single Home is a song that Simon Cowell really wanted us to record. When we had a meeting last summer, he suggested that we build an original album around this song Home and let it be our first single. So we did that and being in a pop band like Westlife, you travel so much that obviously home feels so far away and becomes so important. This song is apt for us at the moment.

TR: You have a song on the album called Us Against The World - has that sentiment ever been true for Westlife?
Nicky: (Laughs) No not against the world, because our fans have been so special to us and the record company has been good too. But sometimes it is funny because you feelÖ when youíre trying to make decisions on the next song choice or career move and if all of us in Westlife disagree with the record company, sometimes you feel itís us against the record company. (Laughs)

TR: What do you look forward to doing when you come back home from a long tour?
Nicky: I love just sitting in my house ~ I have two little boys now, called Rocco and Jay, and just being a dad is amazing. Youíre not a pop star when you come home (laughs); youíre not a pop star when your little boys are getting sick on your shoulder. I love taking the dog for a walk, spending time with my wife and the boys and even just driving around the place. Itís just the little things that you look forward to. Iím actually looking forward to going home soon for the holidays.

TR: The way the internet has exploded, the paparazzi and celebrity blog culture has really grown strong, how does that affect you?
Nicky: Itís not too bad. With the internet, as you said, the explosion has been incredible and I think if you go online and type in our name, itís amazing to see the fans around the world that have all this information. It is mind-blowing to see how they get the information so quickly and they have everything so correct and sometimes completely wrong too. (Laughs) But you know thatís the world we live in right now and 20 years ago we didnít have mobile phones, and now we have the internet and who knows what is going to be next! (Laughs)

Nicky lets us in on some little known facts about each band member.

ďHeís a great guy ~ mad into surfing! Heís got a bit of temper, a bit like myself. (Laughs) And he has a fresh new tattoo done recently on his left calf muscle.Ē

ďHe is really family orientated. He is devoted to his wife Gillian and his little girl Nicole. He has given up drinking vodka and started to drink Guinness instead. (Laughs) He also doesnít drink wine ~ we were in Italy not so long ago, we drank lots of wine and he got quite ill, so that was that for him!Ē

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Westlife in the December 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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