There's a new boy band in townThe Wantedand it's predicted to be the next big British thing.
The members came together during an audition in 2009. Max, Jay, Siva, Tom and Nathan are already breaking hearts and charting singles in the UK. Battleground is the band's second album, with the first winning 4Music Awards and multiple Virgin Media Music Awards.
Their debut this side of the pond on The Ellen DeGeneres show has already brought them a legion of fans stateside in a matter of a week.
Max George is the lead singer on many of the group's tracks; we talked before he arrived in Chicago.
Windy City Times: Hello, Max. Where are you, currently?
Max George: Hello, mate. We are actually in London at the moment. We are doing some filming for our arena tour for the screens. We are shooting some video footage with some nice young ladies at the moment.
WCT: Life could be worse. You are originally from Manchester?
Max George: Yes, I am.
WCT: Your [full] name is Maximillian Alberto George. Where is your family history from?
Max George: We are from the British of Columbia. I actually have ancestors from Detroit as well.
WCT: This is not the first boy band you have been in. You were in one called Avenue and went on The X Factor [the original British show] with them.
Max George: Yes.
WCT: Do you prefer singing in a group or would you want to go solo?
Max George: I love performing in a group. You get to go around the world and do so many amazing gigs. We meet so many people and we get to be with our best mates. You can't beat it on your own.
WCT: The group has already won many awards. Nathan won Best Celebrity Tweeter.
Max George: We have been very lucky. We just found out today that we are nominated for another Brit Award. It is for the single that we are currently promoting in America called "Glad You Came." It is for Best British Single for 2011.
WCT: Congrats on that.
Max George: Thanks very much.
WCT: I saw you on The Ellen Show singing it.
Max George: Did you watch it?
WCT: Oh, yeah. It was crazy. You guys were running all over the place.
Max George: We had never met these American people before so we thought we would make the most of it. We tried to kiss as many as we could when we were there!
WCT: Ellen's face was classic.
Max George: We really enjoyed it. Ellen was an absolute doll with us there. We loved it.
WCT: It was a great debut for you here in the United States. The album came out in November and I saw you worked with Diane Warren on it.
Max George: We did, yeah. We met a few months ago in L.A. We actually cut three songs with her. She's crazy but absolutely awesome. We loved working with each other and hopefully on the next album because we are going to be spending a lot of time in America.
WCT: You are going on a bigger tour at the end of the year, correct?
Max George: Yes, we are. We are doing the American tour until the end of the month doing various gigs in the States. Then we come back to the UK for an arena tour for a month and a half. After that we come back to America for three months.
WCT: You must be exhausted.
Max George: No, it is all good fun.
WCT: The Wanted has performed with Justin Bieber and Britney Spears.
Max George: We have been very lucky. We have met a lot of cool people along the way. We got on every well with Justin. We have taken him under our wing. He's much loved over here as well. We gave him support on stage here. We have a great relationship with Justin.
WCT: How did you hook up with Rihanna?
Max George: We have met her a few times. She is a really nice girl. Maybe it will be in the cards that we work with her on a song.
WCT: You are engaged?
Max George: I am, yes.
WCT: This is a big year for you. You all have been very gay-supportive and will be at Roscoe's after the show.
Max George: Yes, absolutely.
WCT: They are going to go crazy.
Max George: We love a party!
WCT: It seems that boy bands usually have a gay member. I was surprised there is not one.
Max George: No, it is very strange. You look at British boy bands and American boy bands and there usually is a gay member. I think we might have broken the mold on that one.
WCT: Yes, there is Robbie Williams, Lance Bass and Ricky Martin. Who is the member with all of the tattoos?
Max George: That's Jay. He likes tattoos.
WCT: Where can people learn about your music online?
Max George: Our webpage is TheWantedMusic.com and we have our American page on there; just click on the American flag and anything that we are doing in the U.S. will come up there. People can follow us on Twitter at thewantedmusic.
We absolutely love coming to America; the people are so good-hearted. We realized that the audience over there really appreciates music and is so up for it. That is what we want. We like getting involved with audience like you saw on The Ellen Show. We love doing that sort of thing. We felt at home when we came to California last week. We want to spend more time there and since people like our music that is what we cared about.
WCT: Everyone is predicting huge things for you.
Max George: Wicked, man! We hope so and will do our best.
WCT: I look forward to meeting the rest of the band.
Max George: Come out for a drink with us after the gig.
WCT: What do you like to drink?
Max George: Anythingif it is there we will drink it!
The Wanted will be at the Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., on Thursday, Jan. 26, for an early show at 6:30 p.m.; then catch them later at the after-party at Roscoe's Tavern, 3356 N. Halsted St. For tickets and details, visit www.bottomlounge.com and www.roscoes.com .