A1 are back together as a trio and taking part in this year’s series of The Big Reunion.
Minus founding member Paul Marazzi, A1 reformed in 2009 and have enjoyed success across the world with their two albums Waiting For Daylight and Rediscovered. Now the band has their sights set on reclaiming their success in the UK.
Following our interview with Mark Read from the band last week, we’ve got our next A1 interview which is with Ben Adams. We chat to Ben about The Big Reunion experience, his ventures during the band’s break-up and being back in the UK promoting A1’s music.
How are you today Ben?
I’m fine. I just got back from the gym so not a crazily busy morning which is nice.
The Big Reunion has kicked off and already we’ve seen quite a bit of the A1 story. How has the experience been for you so far?
It’s been fun. It’s actually been quite therapeutic because we’ve been able to speak about a lot of things we haven’t really spoken about before so it’s been quite a good experience.
What’s it like to be back in the UK talking about A1 again?
It’s great and it’s great to see the reactions of Facebook and Twitter. We’ve been doing a lot of stuff in the rest of the world for quite some time now so it’s nice to do something on home territory so our friends and family can see what we’re doing.
What was your main reason for wanting to be part of The Big Reunion? Was it to relaunch A1 in the UK?
I think that’s the only reason really. For a while people have been asking why we haven’t been doing anything in the UK. The truth is that there hasn’t really been the right opportunity to come along or platform to do that kind of thing. When The Big Reunion came along we thought it was probably quite a good place to start, remind people what we used to do, see where that can take us and show people what we’re doing now.
Were you nervous when your episode aired?
Not really. To be honest we’re such good friends and have been for so long. It was a strange one The Big Reunion because we were already reunited so we kind of already know everything about each other. I think we’re quite media savvy because we’ve been doing it for so many years. I think we were just looking forward to seeing what the other guys said and reminiscing on all the old videos and stuff.
After watching the episode it seems that there’s a really strong bond between you, Mark and Christian. Was the majority of the conflict in the band as a result of the strained relationship with Paul?
Yeah absolutely! We haven’t spoken to Paul for years. Me, Mark and Christian are like brothers really so the only spanner in the works was the Paul story really. He left the band so many years ago that I can’t even remember him being in it if I’m honest.
During the time when A1 disbanded for several years, you probably had the highest profile out of the group with your solo career and doing Celebrity Big Brother, amongst many things. What was your favourite thing that you did during that time?
Gosh, let me think. Wow! That is a tough question. I don’t think Celebrity Big Brother was my favourite thing to do because I found it quite boring being in there and everybody was twice my age so I didn’t have a lot in common with anyone really. I had some great years afterwards. I did a lot of touring round the country. I don’t know if I can pinpoint a favourite thing that I’ve done. I signed a solo record deal to Phonogenic and unfortunately that fell through when Sony and BMG merged so that had its ups and downs. I did lots of things so it’s hard to pinpoint one thing really.
We discovered during your episode of The Big Reunion that you have your own studio and have been working with other artists. Tell us a bit about that.
That’s what I do when I’m not touring with A1 really. I go off on tour for a couple of months then I come back and I have my studio where I write for other artists. I’ve got a great writing partner who is a lady called Shelley Poole, she used to be in Alisha’s Attic, and we do a lot of work together. We’ve worked with The Voice and X Factor contestants and winners, and all sorts of people. It’s very varied so it’s not one particular style of music.
Part of The Big Reunion experience is getting to know the other bands that are taking part. How has that been?
Some of them we’ve met before. To be honest a lot of them were a little bit before A1’s time so we missed a few of them by a few years. A lot of them were early 90s acts and we were late 90s. We knew of them and had met some of them a few times but we didn’t know any of them that well. It’s been fun to get to know them. What’s been more fun is watching their episodes, seeing their backstories and what they’re up to now.
What are your hopes for A1 post The Big Reunion?
I don’t know really. I just hope we have a lot of fun with it. We’ve recorded two studio albums with Universal and they’re sitting there waiting to do something with. Who knows if the right opportunity comes along with that, there’s plenty of new material to come out. I think we’ll just have to see what comes of it really. The main focus for us, and has been since we got back together, is to do stuff that we find enjoyable and fun. The first time round it was such a whirlwind that we didn’t really get to enjoy a lot of it. We’ll see – one step at a time.
The newer A1 material is quite different to the pure pop that you ruled the charts with. Has it been difficult getting back into the dancing side of things?
Yeah! It was at first because as a band we were never the best dancers. I did Norway’s version of Strictly Come Dancing in 2012 so my mind was already trained to learn to take in routines whereas the others hadn’t done it for a good 10 years. I think it was a bit more of a shock to their bodies than mine.
With having had that dancing experience, would you say you’re the best dancer in the group now?
Erm, probably but that doesn’t mean I’m any good (laughs). It just means I’m the best of a bad bunch!
The Big Reunion continues Thursdays at 9pm on ITV2 and the album The Big Reunion 2014 is released on 3rd March. Watch the video for A1′s classic Caught In The Middle: