An Exclusive Interview With The Pop Trio BBMAK All About Their Newest Album in 15 Years!
The pop boy band BBMAK which is made up of Mark Barry, Christian Burns and Stephen McNally recently reunited after a 15-year hiatus!
Their forthcoming album, “Powerstation” was produced by BBMAK, Jonathan Radford Mead, Steve Chrisanthou (Corinne Bailey Rae) & Firebox and is set for release this Friday on October 11th via Topanga Creek Records and The Orchard. Pre-order/pre-save is available now: https://ffm.to/powerstation
To coincide with the release of Powerstation, the group has one of a kind, unique items up for grabs on their website (www.bbmak.com). Items on the store include the BBMAK Vintage Merch Bundle (1 vintage signed postcard, 2 vintage stickers, set of four pins, and three guitar picks), an acoustic video performance of each buyer’s chosen song, a short video message from the band and disposable cameras filled with images taken in the studio, on tour, or around town.
Other exclusive items include a handwritten & signed lyric sheet for one BBMAK song of your choosing, a signed polaroid photo (no two are alike) of the band and, of course, the new album signed by the band. Click here to view all items & order: http://bbmak.com/merch/
BBMAK are excited to announce new North American & UK tour dates. The tour is set to kick off in San Diego on November 3rd and wrap up on December 16th in Glasgow, UK. The tour, dubbed “Back Here” after their massive 1999 worldwide hit, travelled through such cities as Boston (SOLD OUT), New York, Nashville & Austin, TX this past May.
Their newest video released is for the track “Uncivil War.”
Connect With BBMAK Online Here:
So what motivated the three of you to get back into the studio and create your new album, “Powerstation”?
Well, basically, we obviously remained friends. We still stayed in touch over the years and it was really just over a couple of years ago now that we got together just for a social gathering and we just got a guitar and started jamming and we fell straight back into it.
And I posted the video on my socials and it went crazy. We got two million views and people saying, “Oh, you know, do some more music.” And we did realize how much we actually missed performing together and singing together. So we just started writing and then, yeah. And here we are.
I mean we’ve been approached over the years to do stuff by TV companies and agents wanting us to get back together. But we just didn’t feel like the right time, but this just felt like a real natural time for us to kind of get together and do some more stuff.
What was it like once you got into the studio? Did you approach it any differently than your past records?
Do you know what? I mean, obviously, you know, 15 years is a long time to spend before putting anything out so obviously, we’ve evolved as musicians and we’ve had different experiences. We’re trying a few different things, but ultimately, as soon as we start singing, it just sounds like BBMak. We did try a few different things, but I think the fans are going to be really happy with the album. You know, it definitely sounds like a BBMak album. So yeah, we’re happy with how it turned out.
Can you talk about some of the inspiration behind some of the songs on this album?
Yeah, I mean, I guess the main thing is, we’ve had 15 years of life experience to kind of … have 15 years of life. So we’ve got a lot more to write about now on the album. So I think, as far as the album, it has definitely evolved. I mean, one of my favorites on the album is Powerstation’s last track of the album. Yeah. It is a nostalgic song about the old days and the future. So yeah, there’s a lot more to write about these days, I guess, on the album.
And how did you go about picking Bullet Train to be the lead single?
Well, Bullet Train was actually the first song we wrote on this new batch of songs for this new album. Coincidentally, we wrote it first and you know, that was a special song for us. And it’s just a very catchy sing-along chorus and we just thought it’s a real good bridging song to bridge the last album, which is awhile ago, to the new album. It’s not a million miles away from the old sound. So yeah, we just thought that was a good one to put out first.
I’m curious how you think that the music industry has grown and changed since you guys have been apart of it? How have you evolved with the times?
I mean, it’s a very, very different industry now since 2000 and 2003. I’ve remained in the music industry all that time and I’ve seen it evolve and change and I think, ultimately, although it’s very different, there’s so much more you can do now and you can connect. That’s gold, to be able to connect direct with the fans.
This time around, we’re definitely embracing social media. You know, we didn’t have social media … it was before Myspace, even, on our last album. So we’re embracing it this time and we are enjoying the … We can speak, we can chat with all the fans and we can directly speak to everyone. So it’s very different, but yeah, you know, it’s also very good, and yeah, we’re loving it. It’s great. It’s just a great way for organizing shows and tours and everything. You can get so much data and stuff now online and diagnostics and kind of analytics. So yeah, it’s really great. It’s a great time to be in the music industry, I think. It’s exciting.
Speaking of touring, I know you did a few shows earlier this summer, right? And then you have a bigger fall tour hopefully planned?
Yes, that’s correct. We did a bunch of shows over on the east coast and that was in May. It was amazing just to get back out on the road. We did 15 shows. It was so much fun. We loved being out on the road together. So yeah, we’re doing some more shows in November.
Have you been surprised at all by the reception from your fans? When you go on tour, are you surprised at how people have welcomed you with open arms?
It’s been incredible. We didn’t know when we came back what it would be like. “We’re like, Is anyone going to remember us?” We literally had to start from scratch again with social media, with everything. We were like, “Let’s just get something out and let’s just start doing some stuff.” We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with the response from people, you know, coming out to see us, coming to many shows and just showing their support and all the people at the BBMak street team who’ve been doing an amazing job. We’re really blessed to have such amazing fans.
And now you have the ability to reach those fans that you had back then and their children. That’s pretty cool!
Exactly. I mean it makes me feel old but it’s great. We have a lot of people coming to the shows and bringing the kids. Parents with the kids. You know, introducing them, because then the kids knew all the songs as well, you know?
Because they were singing along because their parents have been playing it to them. So it’s really nice to see that it’s a new generation of people getting to hear the music as well.
And I really think that this is a great time for bands like you to resurface and introduce us to new music because there are so many bands that are coming back and it’s very nostalgic and it’s awesome. It’s a good climate for it all.
Like I said before, we just felt it was the right time to come back with new music. Just because I’m really enjoying it and there’s no pressure and it’s just really nice, you know?
So how did the three of you keep busy during the 15 year gap. I know you said that you were involved with music. In what capacity?
Yeah, I mean, I’ve done many collaborations with the big dance guys, like Tiësto, Armin van Buuren and others. I had a big hit with Tiësto in 2007, so I’ve been doing a lot of dance music for the past kind of 10 years, really. And also, me and my good friend, BT, we have a band called All Hail the Silence, and we’ve just been out on the road for seven weeks with Howard Jones, all over America. So yeah, I’ve been up blessed enough to be able to do music for the past 15 years in something I love. Yeah, it’s been an amazing journey so far. It’s been busy, but all good.
What musicians do you think have continued to inspire you over the years? Who was inspiring you back then and who still is today?
Back in the day when I was younger, it was always the bands I listened to as a kid, like the Beatles and the Eagles and the Electric Light Orchestra. All these songs that my parents … Motown I listened to. But in newer times, I guess, I think, bands like U2, who have been around for a long time. Coldplay always seem to reinvent themselves and come back and sound fresh, with great songs. Just some of those big bands really impress me and, bands with longevity who keep knocking out great, great albums, and consistently good, I guess. Yeah.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music?
Ultimately we just want people to enjoy the music as much as we enjoy creating it in the studio. We’ve put our heart and souls into the album. And you know, when it comes to a live show, we just want them to enjoy it because we have so much fun on stage. We genuinely absolutely love every second of it.
So hopefully they can get a bit of that from us and take some of that energy from the shows. But yeah, we ultimately just want people to get enjoyment from it. We get all kinds of lovely letters and messages from people over the years who’ve said how much our music’s helped them in situations or in tough times and stuff and it’s always nice for us to hear. So as long as some people are getting something positive from the music, then we’re doing our job right.