EXCLUSIVE | We talk ADD, X Factor and Drum and Bass with the gorgeous blonde in the group…
Back in 2002 when five unknown young ladies morphed into Girls Aloud on Popstars: The Rivals no one could have predicted what the next six years would bring.
Everyone (us included) presumed the TV show would spawn one hit single and a group that quickly disappeared from view.
It’s testament to Nadine, Nicola, Sarah, Cheryl and Kimberly (and their producers, managers and label) that they’ve since made some of the best pop music of the decade.
Singles like Love Machine, Sound Of The Underground, Biology, Can’t Speak French, Call The Shots, No Good Advice and Life Got Cold literally set the standard for smart, sassy, sexy well produced pop.
In fact those songs are so good we’ll forgive commercial cash-ins Theme from St. Trinians and Jump!
Now ‘The Girls’- as their entourage refer to them- are back with a so far untitled fifth studio album again produced by Brian Higgins’ futuristic beatmakers Xenomania.
MTV grabbed an exclusive chat with Sarah Harding just before she listened to the new Girls Aloud disc for the first time…
MTV: Hi Sarah, how long have you been working on the new album?
Sarah: We’ve been working on it all summer. But we’ve only just got a copy- Cheryl is listening it right now! We’ve got 5 days to approve everything.
Was recording it fun?
It was alright- I had a good time this time round. It’s usually quite stressful for me but I felt more relaxed this time. We’ll have to wait and see but I think the songs fitted my voice well this time around.
Do you get time to mess around and relax while you’re in the studio?
When I was laying tracks down with Toby (an engineer at the Xenomania studios) we had lots of tea breaks and messing around. It depends who your technician is as to how much fun the recording is. We got the work done but we did it at our own pace.
Was it nice to get out of London to Xenomania’s Kent studios?
It takes me a while to get motivated because of my ADD and I actually focused a lot more because I didn’t want to stay in London so I booked myself into a hotel in Surrey and relaxed and got away from it all. It was nice to have that. I was the only one that decided to stay out of London.
There was a drum and bass track on Tangled Up (What You Crying For?) Are there any surprises on the new album?
When Brian puts a DnB spin on things I love it. I was a big Drum and Bass junkie when I grew up (Sarah lists around 20 different DnB DJs she loves). There is one track that’s a bit like that but I don’t know if it will make the record.
What about the new single The Promise?
I like the 60s vibe and the retro thing is coming back! We wanted to stay upbeat but try something a bit different and advanced.
I don’t think anything we’ve ever done has ever sounded the same. But we have that same vibe whatever we do because of our vocals.
Was the video fun to film?
It was hard work. When filming videos you spend hours getting ready and hours waiting around.
Have you been watching Cheryl on X Factor? Does it remind you of being on Popstars: The Rival?
I’ve seen bits of it but we’ve been working over the summer- I thought it was quite funny. I don’t like that reminder though- It makes me feel for the contestants and I wouldn’t like to be judging someone’s potential.
I wouldn’t want to crush peoples’ hopes and dreams but Cheryl is good at the job cos she is shrewd and sensitive.
Does your ‘party girl’ image get on your nerves?
When was the last time you saw a photo of me in the papers? You might do tomorrow actually because I’m going out- There are lots of birthdays coming up too!
I’m not as bad as people think. I’m not single anymore so I’ve toned it down.
How much longer can Girls Aloud carry on?
There are still one or two more albums in us. We’ve signed a new contract and it’s all looking rosy.