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The Wanted Member Nathan Sykes Dishes on Upcoming U.S. Release + Their ‘Strict’ Tour Bus Rule

Nathan Sykes of the Wanted
Andreas Rentz, Getty Images

The Wanted might already be huge stars in the U.K., but the ‘Glad You Came’ hitmakers are now building a comparable fan base in the U.S. PopCrush caught up with Wanted member Nathan Sykes, who is the youngest of the quintet at 18 years old, before the boy band’s arena show in Birmingham, England.

Sykes gave us the inside scoop on the group’s upcoming U.S. album, their collaborative efforts with OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, the rumors that they’re working with Rihanna, and the dynamics between him and his fellow Wanted members, Max George, Siva Kaneswaren, Jay McGuiness and Tom Parker.

When are you planning on re-releasing your album ‘Battleground’ in the U.S.?
We’re going to do a completely new album for the U.S. We’re gonna mix together the first and second album and I think it should be with you some time during the spring or summer (Update: the release date has now been confirmed for April 24) The vibe, especially after ‘Glad You Came’ I think, [is] very summery … So we want to keep it in that sort of thing.

There are rumors that you guys are planning on recording some new tracks for your U.S. release. Is one of them produced by Ryan Tedder?
It is. It was really exciting working with him cause personally, I’m a massive OneRepublic fan. I think he’s such a talented guy and it was an absolute honor to work with him. Hopefully, we’re gonna go back in the studio and write something with him again which is gonna be awesome.

So, have you guys and Ryan wrapped recording on the first track yet?
We have. We just had our first listen of it. It’s just come through to us, so we’ve just been listening to the produced version, which is also really exciting. I think that’s one of the best bits, when you do hear tracks back for the first time, especially when it’s right. If it’s not right, it’s really stressful. We’re looking to put [this track] on our third album in the U.K. and possibly our first U.S. release. They’re not quite right yet, so it’s very stressful.

There are also rumors that you guys are working with Rihanna for a new song? Is that true?
There are rumors, yeah. I think there have been talks, but we cannot really say yes or no. It’s something that could potentially happen in the future, and nobody has ruled it out, but I wouldn’t say that we’ve been in the studio and definitely have done something yet. But it would be great.

On ‘Glad You Came,’ you guys switch on and off singing. Can you talk about the recording process behind the song and how you decide on who sings which parts?
Well, what we do is we’ll go and listen to a song and see what we think — and this is if the song has been written already, [then] it will get presented to us. And then we’ll go in and basically we’ll just sort of sing it through and we’ll see who is feeling what part and who sounds best on other parts. Everyone’s got a part that they tend to suit to anyway. So for example, I didn’t sing the chorus on ‘Glad You Came’ because I did sing it once in a run through, and it didn’t really suit my voice. We’re not going to have three of us singing it and two of us miming it, because what’s the point in that?

Watch the Wanted ‘Glad You Came’ Video

Even though ‘Glad You Came’ is still climbing the charts, does the Wanted have any plans to release a new single soon?
That’s the main topic of many conversations at the moment — it’s very exciting. There’s a few choices, so we’re kind of getting everyone’s opinion. So we’re getting advice off the record label in England and lots of other people. But with like management and stuff — at the end of the day, we’re gonna be the ones who sit down and go, ‘Right, these are all of the options, and these are kind of the opinions and stuff, so let’s go with this one.’

Are there any specific tracks that you guys already have already recorded that you’ve been gravitating towards?
I think off of the success of it in the U.K., it’s easy for us to look at songs like ‘All Time Low,’ which was another No. 1 for us. Obviously, we’ve all tried to mess around with tracks [targeted for] America, but we love the fact that ‘All Time Low’ is so British [sounding]. But there are a few more options that nobody’s heard yet, and there’s a few options that might surprise a few people.

Do the other guys ever pick on you since you’re the youngest member of the group?
All the time! All the time, without doubt. But it’s all in good fun and I’ve kind of learned to give it as good as they get as well now. So if anybody turns around with a sarcastic comment then I will definitely just try to give one back just as bad. So we all have a lot of fun. We all give each other just as hard of a time, it all depends on who wakes up in a funny mood that morning. All of us will start teasing Siva and other days it’ll be Jay. But we all know how far we can push each other, so we push each other to the limit but we won’t take it over the limit.

You guys like to have a good time. Is it annoying when you come over to the States and you’re the only Wanted member that isn’t of legal drinking age?
Yeah, I think so. I’m used to going out all over the world with the lads and having a really good time, and it is a bit of a shock when you go out to America and suddenly it’s taken away from you so quickly. I do feel a bit lost for the first few days, but then you find other things to do. So like, sometimes someone else will be like ‘I don’t really fancy going out for a drink today,’ so we’ll end up watching movies and seeing what the local girls are like.

You guys are always touring — there has to be a lot of craziness going on with five guys constantly being packed onto a bus together. Any funny stories from the road?
Well Tom got very, very desperate for the toilet once, and we do have a very strong rule across the tour bus that nobody is to um, do a number two in the toilet — let’s put it that way. But Tom was very, very desperate and found a way of doing it. None of us knew it, so he just went and did it. Then, he woke us all up and graced everyone in the bus with it.

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