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McFly explain (or try to explain) what it feels like to be a rock band, a pop group, or both

The English group returns to Brazil after two years, with shows in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, explains the unique relationship with the Brazilian public and also does a self-analysis on the boyband label they received at the beginning of their career

For the band McFlyvisiting Brazil on tour “has a feeling of freedom”.

About to make another trip across the country, the English band has two performances scheduled in Sao Paulo (May 2 and 3, at Espaço Unimed) and one in Rio de Janeiro (May 5, at Qualistage). But despite it being a work schedule, the musicians say coming to Brazil is “like taking a vacation.”

“We are very excited [para ir ao Brasil]”, says drummer Harry Judd. “When we play in the UK, there’s a sense of everyday things we have to do, things about family that stay in the back of your mind. We love our family [risos]but in Brazil we feel free.”

In fact, they felt this freedom not long ago. In 2022, the band played six shows across the country, including cities such as Porto Alegre, Ribeirão Preto and Belo Horizonte. And they had special guests: in addition to the singer Manu Gavassithe group took the Brazilian Fresno to the stage.

“McFresno” was so successful that it became a song (Broken for you) and, according to an announcement made last Friday, the 26th, it will happen again at the shows in Sao Paulo.

The group, which claims to love the “passion of Brazilian fans”, has developed a loving relationship with Brazil. But when asked about their best memory here, McFly’s response is typical of tourists.

“[Em 2022], we stayed another five days and did the entire Christ the Redeemer itinerary, we took a boat… We took the cable car up to the Sugar Loaf. Oh, and we went to the Aquarium,” says Danny Jones, repeating the word “aquário” in Portuguese with good intentions, but not-so-good execution.

The musicians are genuinely British: polite, sarcastic, but always with a sense of humour. Talking to the press is already quite natural for the London band, which released its first album in 2004. Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Harry Judd and Dougie Poynter not only became adults at the same time; they also learned, together, to be public figures.

About to land in Brazil, the band – now veterans – spoke with i Estadao about who McFly are, twenty years after their first album. I wait:

The shows in Brazil and around the world marked a new moment

The group’s most recent album, Power to play (2023), was recorded after the band’s final run of shows, including a visit to Brazil. And for Judd it was precisely this period that put the group back on track.

“[Esses shows] they reminded us of who we are as a band,” says the drummer. “I think we hadn’t played together in like three years, from 2016 to 2019, then Covid hit. And then, suddenly, we were on the road again. And I think yes, suddenly we remember why we’re here.”

Most importantly, they began to imagine the album that would represent their energy on stage. “Some people see us live and say, ‘I don’t like the record, but I liked the show.’ And if you come see us live, that’s how we’d like to be seen. And that’s what we try to bring into our latest album”.

“We think the show should be ‘in your face’ and we like impact, we like entertainment and fun. And so I think we should always remember that and try to translate that through our records,” Judd reflects.

As many bands who established themselves in the 2000s did, McFly clearly had a possible path: returning to their roots, revisiting the kind of sound that made them famous. In the case of Londoners, it would be pop rock inspired by the 60s, the Beatles and the Beach Boys. But Power to play he rejected self-referentiality and, in fact, looked to the 1980s for inspiration.

“We realized that the ’80s were a time where there was basically pop music with guitars,” Jones says. “We have these videos with Bon Jovi and all these amazing bands. It was pop music, but it had guitars. We noticed it and thought, ‘Maybe there’s room for us here.'”

So McFly turned up the volume and went for hard rock, with surprising riffs and bubblegum choruses. “We’re back to the nice melodies, but playing like a band and making sure the guitars are ‘in your face,’” adds Jones.

In the middle of the interview, previously conducted with Danny Jones and Harry Judd, the two band members invade the room. Suddenly, Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter appear in front of the camera. “They were talking to someone less cool,” Judd jokes. “We’re actually McFly’s PR team. Skip that question, it makes my client uncomfortable,” Poynter says.

“A very pop rock band”

Both in interviews and in the songs themselves, McFly don’t take themselves too seriously. For a band struggling with their image, perhaps it was a survival strategy.

In 2004, with their first album, McFly became the youngest group to have a number one debut album in the UK – a feat which, at the time, broke the Beatles’ record. Catapulted to fame, the four young men received a series of labels they hadn’t asked for.

“We didn’t have time to develop and evolve as a band. All of a sudden, we were releasing music at 18, on a major label. It was great, but yeah, we felt a little limited,” Judd says.

Gaining thousands of fans around the world (usually girls), McFly were quickly labeled as group of boys by the media. Today the title is not well received by the band, who felt the pressure to gain the respect of the press. “We were always trying to get into English radio and play here, but we also wanted to be respected,” reflects Judd.

For him there is “definitely” room to question “people’s perception” of the group. “But I think now where we are we can look back and understand why those perceptions were there. That’s why it’s quite refreshing for us when we’re in Brazil, because I don’t think there was that kind of prejudice the first time [que viemos]”, He says.

Unlike many musicians who identify with rock, the quartet says they have no problem with the “pop” label. “Our melodies are pop and that’s really cool. Even the most successful metal and rock bands have pop melodies and things,” adds Harry.

Who are McFly, after all? Two decades into their career, they are getting closer to the answer. “[Nos últimos 20 anos], there was a constant journey of exploration and discovery. You are left trying to figure out what or who you are at any given moment. But I think we consider ourselves a unique band. A rock band, but also very pop.”

Source: Terra

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