The lads in The Wanted make being in one of the world's most popular boy bands seem just as fun as it should be. Stopping by Postmedia News' Toronto studio to perform "Glad You Came," the tune that propelled them to play on American Idol and open for Justin Bieber and Britney Spears, the little British and Irish rascals can barely make it through a take without cracking up.
"I'm sorry, man, it's just been ages since we've had a proper night's sleep," says Nathan Sykes, 19, who sings the lead vocals on the band's biggest song. "We're going to get it together this time, I promise. C'mon guys, let's get professional. One time all the way through and then we can go catch our plane."
The Wanted were put together by a British hit-maker in 2009 and have gone on to release two albums in the U.K., as well as have their music featured on Glee and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. On April 24, they're releasing a self-titled EP in North America and if you think they're not excited about all the attention, think again.
"We're definitely more popular now with the ladies; before all this, I was terrible with girls," says Jay McGuiness, 21. "Some people might call it shallow, but it's given me the opportunity that I wouldn't have had."
"Basically, he's a man whore," adds Siva Kaneswaran, 23.
"If it doesn't last forever," McGuiness responds, "at least I'm utilizing it while I'm young."
Outspoken about a lifestyle that suggests the opposite of the Jonas Brothers and their purity rings, the guys sing about partying, women and nightclubs to the point where The New York Times christened them the "anti-boy band."
"We like to party probably more than we should, but that's not a marketing thing -- we're normal lads having the time of our lives," Tom Parker, 23, says. "When someone says, 'You're just a boy band,' I'm not offended. The Beatles were a boy band and they turned out OK."
The Wanted's EP is filled with dance tunes and ballads, but the guys insist they write lyrics and play their own instruments. When asked about their influences, they mention such disparate acts as Oasis, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael Jackson and Nat King Cole.
"The trick is to make music for the fans, but that you like," says Max George, 23. "We don't want to be what every boy band has been and don't want to make something that makes us cringe."
At Postmedia News' studio last month to record their video, it was hard to tell whether it was their song or their lifestyle that kept making them laugh. The group has been working unbelievably hard since "Glad You Came" propelled them from failed X-Factor contestants to celebrity tween dreams. At any rate, to spend time with the gang of pop stars makes one pine for the splendours of youth.
"If our fan base is 90 per cent teen girls, which actually it isn't, but a huge chunk is teenage girls, I think that's great because they do like our songs," Parker says. "It's not like, 'I saw Nathan and he reminded me of Bieber.' They heard it on the radio and a teen girl's opinion of music should be as respected as a teen boy or an adult or anyone."
The Wanted release their self-titled debut EP on Universal Records on Apr. 24. For more information, visit thewantedmusic.com.
Watch The Wanted perform "Glad You Came" in our studio (after several outtakes):