Interview with boyband The Wanted
I DON'T think I've ever spoken to anyone in such a frenzy of excitement. "When we came off stage we were all completely shaking and trembling," says 19-year-old Jay McGuinness, one fifth of soon-to-be-huge boy band The Wanted.
With their debut single, All Time Low, tipped to top the chart this weekend, The Wanted are being touted as serious rivals for JLS.
They were in Nottingham to sign copies of the single at HMV, in Wheeler Gate, and perform at a special Trent FM gig at the Royal Concert Hall.
"The other gigs we've done were at Wembley and the O2, but this was literally the best crowd we've ever had," says Jay.
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"It was amazing. Everyone was bouncing and singing the words back. It was so good!"
There's hardly a pause for breath and every quote I write is worthy of 10 exclamation marks to do justice to Jay's delivery.
"I'm so buzzing!" he continues.
"I'm grinning from ear to ear!"
I don't doubt it. As well as the thrill of the performance, part of Jay's excitement is from the fact that he's back home. "I grew up in Newark, then I moved to Carlton," he explains.
Having attended All Saints School, in Mansfield, Jay left after finishing his GCSEs to attend dance college, MADD, in Carlton.
"It was all-singing, all-dancing, stuff like that," he says.
The Royal Concert Hall show saw many of his old friends turning out to lend their support.
"Seeing the old crowd again was great. They all had T-shirts and banners – it put a stupid grin on my face!"
Having been picked up by an agency following one of the college's talent showcases, Jay auditioned for a variety of jobs, before the chance to be part of a new pop group arose.
"It just happened," he says.
"It all came together – and I don't know how."
Once the handsome five had been chosen, they moved into a house together in London. Although he had lived in student accommodation for a while in Nottingham, this was the first time Jay had lived away from the city and his family.
The transition from hopeful auditionee to genuine professional recording artist has been a decidedly strange one, he says.
"You would go somewhere, and there would be a crowd of kids screaming because they'd seen us on a YouTube video, and then you would go back to reality. The bubble bursts, and you have to work really hard but now it's all coming together."
The band have spent much of the time since their formation in the studio recording their debut album. With a variety of writers and producers, including Guy Chambers, the man responsible for Robbie's uber-hit Angels, the record is slated for an autumn release. Jay is delighted with the results.
"I've got a demo copy of it and when I listen to it I can't believe that I've done it!"
With talk of albums, gigs, and home life out of the way, it's time to reflect on more important matters.
Such as The Saturdays, who they supported on a recent tour.
"It was totally awesome!," blurts Jay. "The girls were well sound! And they're not bad to look at, are they?"
So which one did he fancy?
"It changed! At first I liked Frankie, because I knew who she was the most. But by the end of the tour, Vanessa was my favourite. She's got it all – she can sing, she can dance, she's... she's hot!"
So is the affection of a woman like Vanessa his aim?
"If I could get that, or even an average version of that, I'd be very, very happy!"
It's hard to believe that Jay McGuinness could get any happier than he seems to be right now.
The Wanted's debut single All Time Low is out now.