Kevin McHale On Glee's Direction & His Future Music Plans
Kevin McHale knows Billboard inside and out. The website has served as his homepage since the "Gee" star was 13-years-old and using it to keep track of the success of McFly, his favorite group. When "Glee" began gaining traction in the charts, McHale, who plays wheelchair-bound club member Artie Abrams on the hit show, kept asking about the numbers so much that the label now automatically sends him sales figures every week. The 23-year-old is definitely an A&R man in the making, with a breadth of opinions on various up-and-coming pop acts and known around the "Glee" crowd for his impeccable ear and good musical advice.
Unlike some of his other cast members, "Glee" isn't McHale's first foray into the music biz. The singer first gained fame in the mid-aughts boy band
Are there bands you're listening to that you think will blow up?
James Morrison just had a new album come out and I think he's incredible. I'd love to work with him, his voice is insane. There's a UK artist Emeli Sandé, her single debut a few weeks ago it's called "Heaven." She sounds similar to Leona Lewis, but a different kind of music. And more on the boy band pop front, in the UK there's a group called One Direction that came in third on "X Factor" last season and their song debut at Number 1 in the UK. Straight up pop and it's undeniably infectious. Nobody knows who they are here yet, but their single is great.
Boy bands have come in cycles in the U.S., do you think they're ready for a resurgence?
I definitely think it's a time and place, I think something like X Factor here could bring it back. One Direction, for example, could work here. They're great, compared to the Backstreet Boys or N'SYNC they don't dance, but you can't really compare one to the other.
You were just in Brazil for a few days. What brought you down there?
I was there for a total of four days. I went because one of my best friends is down there, and I went to visit him. I never have six days off. It was relaxing, I stayed in a really small town and I didn't get recognized too often.
Brazilian fans are some of the most passionate fans, it's surprising you weren't recognized more!
They're a bit intense, I'll say. In San Paulo I went to the movies and by the time I left the theater there was a mob at the exit. I had never been in that kind of situation when we weren't on tour and there was a whole bunch of security. I'm a little dude, and out of nowhere to have 50 or 60 people come running towards me when I'm jut with my friend, it was kind of scary. But they were all super nice.
I asked on Tumblr what people wanted to ask you...
I love the Tumblr questions, some of the funniest stuff I've ever seen or read was on there.
They're really specific. One asked about a blue bracelet you wear and want to know the meaning behind it.
That's funny. It's a Brazilian thing, it's a craze from this church in Brazil. I'm not a religious person, but one, I like how they look, and two, you tie it in three knots and you have three wishes. Since I went to Brazil for the first time I've always had one on. I have one on my ankle that's been there for two years, one on my wrist that's been there for a year and a half, and I've had two before that lasted a year and a half.
Have the wishes come true?
With the original ones, they kind of have come true. But you never know, like "It's nice they came true...or is it a coincidence?" It's one of those things where you make the wish happen.
Again from Tumblr -- and this one's important -- what's your favorite kind of cake?
I have a sweet tooth problem. On tour, in catering, the dessert was always so good. When we started the tour I was in the best shape of my life, but by the end of it I was horrible. I love chocolate mousse, that's probably my favorite. I'm a big strawberry shortcake fan as well. I'm not mad at classic vanilla either. I'm not, I'm not sure what the word is. Cake discriminatory? Cakeist?