Group Talks U.S. Shows, New Music, Natalie Portman and Answers Fan Questions
McFly is hot. Literally. The British band is in the sweltering green room of the Roxy Theatre, where, just a few hours after our video interview, the group played its second of two sold-out shows in Los Angeles.
↑ VIDEO Q&A BREAKDOWN ↑
Part 1: Playing America for the first time, fan reaction, new tunes, the new album, self-producing, Jones's DJ career, Bruce Springsteen, the legacy of the Roxy Theatre.
Part 2: Fan Questions - Favorite songs to play live, will Judd ever sing lead vocals, who would they tour with, Poynter's bassist-specific questions, Jones' braces.
Part 3: Fan Questions - "Unsaid Things," songs they wish they'd written, the sound of the new album, possible collaborations and their Y.M.C.A. tattoos.
Part 4: Fan Questions - Favorite current artists, favorite photo shoot, what reptile would Poynter be, secret tattoos, Judd's aversion to tattoos, favorite tourist spot in California, their obsession with Natalie Portman, writing a musical, Jones' Scottish accent and Fletcher's favorite moustache.
But before that, Billboard chatted with the quartet for well over a half-hour, talking about a range of topics. They discussed everything from their upcoming new album, their first American concerts, their autobiography "Unsaid Things: Our Story" and much more.
While the group has been successful in their homeland since their debut in 2004, they had never crossed over to the States for any proper shows. In the U.K., they've notched 17 top 10 singles (including seven No. 1s) and six top 20 albums on the Official U.K. charts.
"We've wanted to come (to the U.S.) for years," co-lead singer and guitarist Tom Fletcher says, "but for one reason or another it just hasn't happened until now. I think we kind of put our foot down this year and said: 'We have to come this year.'"
Clearly, there was pent-up demand in America: All four of the band's scheduled U.S. concerts -- the two in L.A. and two at New York City's Gramercy Theatre -- sold out instantly. And, judging by the reaction of the show's audiences and the ticket demand, drummer Harry Judd says they'd like "to come back as soon as possible."
In their U.S. gigs, McFly (Fletcher, Judd, guitarist Danny Jones and bassist Dougie Poynter) is playing a few new songs, including "Red," "Touch the Rain" and the very brand new "Love Is Easy." The ukulele-driven tune was written just a couple weeks ago, and will be out as a single by Christmas in the U.K.
The band is currently at work on its sixth studio album -- its first to be self-produced -- which is due out tentatively in summer of 2013.
In the meantime, they'll issue a second greatest hits set before the end of the year on Island Records. Fans will also hear McFly -- in a way -- as Fletcher co-wrote a song on One Direction's upcoming second studio album, "Take Me Home." (Working with 1D is old hat for Fletcher, as he wrote "I Want" for the act's debut album "Up All Night.")
Also on the horizon, McFly's first autobiography, "Unsaid Things . . . Our Story." The 320-page book will be released in the U.K. via Bantam Press on Oct. 11.