Mikey Graham from Boyzone: "The best advice Louis Walsh ever gave me was to shut up"
From boys to men
At 10am, Mikey Graham is cheerful, chirpy and abuzz with an infectious energy despite having woken up at at the crack of dawn. The lad is a morning person indeed. One quarter of the Irish boyband, Boyzone, Graham affectionately shares about his group, their new album Thank You & Goodnight and the continuing love he has for their fans throughout our phone conversation.
With a career that has spanned over 25 years, Boyzone is loved as one of the most popular boybands from the '90s. Visiting Singapore as part of their farewell tour on 21 August at the Indoor Stadium, members Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch will be performing songs both fresh and nostalgic to crowds loyal and new.
With a success that can be summed up in five No.1 albums and 25 million records worldwide sold, Graham elaborates on how Boyzone still signs every autograph and their excitement with introducing the new release. While the age of boybands has come, left and somewhat returned again, it's more than apparent that Boyzone is still grounded in eternal gratitude for their fans — they love us as much as we do.
Tell us more about your album, Thank You & Goodnight.
What we decided to do was in actual fact Shane's idea. It was to make 12 songs and choose three songs each that represented each of our musical tastes, backgrounds and influences. We wanted to fuse our different kinds of music together. To let them mould naturally to each other without sounding like a very disjointed album. And we managed to achieve this with our producers so we're very, very, very excited to release this album to the world while hopefully getting to meet fans from Asia and Singapore in particular.
What is the most exciting thing about coming to Singapore to perform?
I love the folks. I really love the people. The people in Singapore are so polite and welcoming. The hospitality, the kindness and the friendliness. It's just always a pleasure to tour in Southeast Asia. The people make you experience touring. They make it such a warm and welcoming experience. And it means so much to us to have fans who show their appreciation to the band.
What was the best advice Louis Walsh ever gave you?
The best advice was to shut up, "Mikey, stay quiet". I think the best advice that Louis gave was to always, always, always appreciate the fans and sign every single autograph that anybody asks for. And up to this day, we still do that. We never say that we don't have time to do an autograph. We always make time for an autograph because a fan has spent their heart and money to go and buy your CD, poster and whatever it might be. At the very least, you should sign an autograph because they have supported you. Louis always says, "'the day people stop asking you for an autograph is the day your career is finished" and that is always stuck in our heads so we make sure that we never ever turn a fan down when they ask for an autograph.
What are the regrets you've had in your career?
I don't know. I have regrets but then again as the saying goes from Frank Sinatra's 'My Way', "Regrets, I've had a few / But then again, too few to mention," You know? Yeah, there are small regrets but the important thing is that you learn from your mistakes. And I do my best to learn from the mistakes that I have made. I have some things that I won't be doing in the future at least but I don't have any drastic regrets, just small ones, only small ones.
What's next for Boyzone?
I think the new album will be pretty interesting to put out because it's so different from our previous albums. It's very eclectic. There's a lot of modern writers in it, like Ed Sheeran, Gary Barlow and Sam Smith along with some wonderful producers behind it. The album has so many different flavours and it's a privilege to sell it to the global audience.