BBMak is still in my CD player
An interview with BBMak member Stephen McNally proves that the group is not just the same old cute boy band.
No words fully capture the gentlemen of BBMak, but I’ll throw out a few: adorable, generous, kind-hearted and gorgeous. Catch my drift?
Their name, BBMak, comes from the first initials of their last names: Christian Burns, Mark Barry and Ste (short for Stephen) McNally. This British trio became a group about five years ago. To get a record deal, the boys went door to door with guitars in hand to London recording companies. They sang until they were let in—or until security threw them out!
Eventually, they got a record deal. Within a few months, they were No. 1 in Japan.
Their next obstacle was conquering America. So far they’re clearing that hurdle. With their big hit "Back Here" and their newest single "Still on your Side," BBMak has anchored a position for themselves in the American music scene.
BBMak is not your usual a boy band. Sure they’re young and handsome, but Christian, Mark and Ste actually write, produce, play and sing their songs. They just do not dance.
As a huge fan, my dreams came true when my favorite of the trio, Mr. Adorable himself, Ste, called me at home. No, it’s not like he calls me regularly—though I wish that. But he called after I hunted down their New York-based publicist for this interview. I was promised a 15-minute interview. I got 40 minutes!
Here’s how our conversation went:
What’s your most and least favorite part of this job?
"Me favorite part of the job is going on stage and performing. I get to sing our songs and watch people sing along with us … The worst part of it is that sometimes I’m really tired. We’ve got to get up really really early. Sometimes we go really late and we still got to get up really early."
I was at the BBMak concert at the Palace and girls were throwing stuffed animals on stage and at you. All I ever see are mountains of stuffed animals. What in the world do you do with all of them?
"Some of the stuff we keep. But a lot of teddies and stuffed animals we can’t really take them with us. So what we do is put them in a bag and give them to a children’s hospital, to the little kids."
If Christian, Mark and you had a crush on one girl, who would get her?
"None of us. No one, cause we wouldn’t let a girl come between us."
What were you most insecure about in high school?
"Meeting girls. I was very very shy. I still am a little bit. I had a hard time talking to girls."
What advice do you have for teens trying to make it big in the music industry?
"First of all, you’ve got to believe in yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re no good. Don’t believe what other people tell you. Believe in yourself. If you want something really bad, you’ll get it. You’ve got to work hard.
If a movie were made about BBMak, what actor would you want to portray you?
Do you guys make an effort to keep your lyrics violent free? What’s you opinion on artists who use violent language?
"We write what we feel. I’m sure if I was having a bad day, I could write a very vulgar song. But for people like Slim Shady—it’s up to them whether they want to swear in their songs or whatever. If people like that, they’ll buy it. If they don’t like it, they won’t buy it. It sounds like he’s very bitter, and he has had a hard life. I really couldn’t say cause I don’t know him."
As a pop star, what’s the protocol when you see 13-year-old girls screaming and running toward you?
"Turn around and run away."
Tell the truth—can you dance?
"Yeah, we can dance. To play guitar you have to have a natural rhythm. We can dance. We’re just so busy playing guitar and singing. It really wouldn’t suit us dancing on stage. But I like going out to clubs and dancing."
What’s in the works for 2001?
"We’re going to be in the studio in like September or October time next year. We’re going to be recording a new album. In January, we’re releasing our single in England and hopefully we’ll go to Australia for a little while. But we’ll be doing another tour in spring in America. It’s going to be cool!"