In 5, 6, 7, 8, pop act Steps will arrive in the UAE. But first, ahead of their April 27 gig at Dubai Opera, founding member Lisa Scott-Lee tells Gulf News tabloid! what it was like to reunite with her band mates after a two-decade split — and what their latest album title has to do with Savage Garden.
Is it a pleasant surprise that your fans are still so excited to see you live?
Completely. I find it pretty amazing that after 20 years of being together, and releasing music, there’s still so much love out there for Steps. When we came back to mark the 20th anniversary, which was last year, you always feel a little bit apprehensive. Are our fans still out there? Do they still like our music?
Did you always know it would be more than just a 20th anniversary reunion? That you wanted to keep going after that?
We always said we wanted to celebrate our 20th anniversary in some way. When we started having conversations about Tears on the Dancefloor [the new album], it was interesting. [Because] the market changed, the world was evolving, there was social media. We thought maybe we would just do a one-off gig at the Royal Albert Hall in London. We had no idea the scale of the reunion, and how it would snowball.
It’s kind of nicer that it happened that way. More organic, maybe?
Yes, you’re right! It was very organic. There was a lot of secrecy, which was really exciting, when we were planning our comeback. We actually did everything on Whatsapp, because we were all over the world.
Did you have a WhatsApp group?
Yeah, we did! [laughs] It’s the only way to do business now. Basically, we decided to record the album individually. So rather than us all go into the studio in London as a group, where we were more likely to be spotted, we recorded the whole album separately. There was a lot of excitement.
How did you come up with the name Tears on the Dancefloor for your album?
Do you remember the lead singer from Savage Garden? He was really good friends with H [Ian Watkins], and H sent him a Facebook message and said, ‘Oh, hi, Darren, would you write a song for the new Steps album?’ And he wrote the title track, Tears on the Dancefloor.
Speaking of Savage Garden. Is there any band that has split that you’d like to see a reunion tour from?
With Darren Hayes, he’s had such a lot of success. Growing up myself, I loved Savage Garden and I used to listen to their albums and I always thought he was a very talented writer. With other groups, the ones I would have liked to have seen come back, have. For me, that would be Take That and New Kids on the Block.
We’ve seen a revival of boy bands, and girl groups, but we’ve yet to see a revival of the multi-gender pop band, like Steps. Do you think it’s more difficult to pull off?
It’s really interesting. It’s something we’ve all talked about. If you look back at the last 20 years of pop, there were so many boy bands and girl groups globally. It’s very hard to name a girl-boy pop group. I think really there’s only a handful that have been successful, Steps being one of them.
With Dubai being your home now, are you planning to give the band a tour?
A: Oh, absolutely. I’m already planning it. I’m planning the after-show party. I’m planning to show them all the beautiful sights we have in the city. I know they’re just going to be amazed by the diversity, the culture, the history. Dubai is a really incredible place. It has so much to offer.
*Tickets to see Steps at Dubai Opera start from Dh275. Show starts at 8pm.