"We don't want to just fizzle out": An interview with Ronan Keating of Boyzone

"We don't want to just fizzle out": An interview with Ronan Keating of Boyzone

“No matter what they tell us / No matter what they do / No matter what they teach us / What we believe is true”

Boyzone is now on its Last Show Ever. Happening on Wednesday, 12 June, 8pm, at The Star Theatre, the legendary Irish boy band will be bidding Singaporean fans farewell as the Thank You & Goodnight Farewell Tour is brought to our shores. 

After about 25 years of being in the spotlight, Boyzone, consisting of Ronan KeatingKeith DuffyMikey Graham, and Shane Lynch, put out its final full-length album Thank You & Goodnight late last year. This tour serves to support the album and put a full-stop to the fairytale that is Boyzone. 

We recently had the chance to speak to Ronan Keating ahead of their Singapore concert, and we talked about the legacy of Boyzone, Ronan’s solo career, Ed Sheeran, and even K-Pop. Check out what Ronan had to say below. 

Where's your head at going into Boyzone's last tour? 

It's kind of mixed emotions, you know? It's quite bittersweet but we're excited about doing these shows and going out on a high. I don't really think any of us have really approached the idea that it's the end; we're still kind of just enjoying the moment. I think, when we get to October, the final shows in the UK, I think that's going to be tough for us all to deal with. But, at the moment, we're very much on a high. 

What made the band want to stop? 

We've just decided, after 26 years, we've had a really successful, incredibly great, brilliant run. We want to go out on a high and end it our way; we want to write this chapter ourselves, and I think that's really important to us. We don't want to just fizzle out, we really want to go out on a high and, I think, that's the reason we called it a day. This is the wrap-up; this is the end. 

What are your thoughts on the legacy that Boyzone leaves behind?

I feel very proud to have been part of the band. We've made a lot of people happy with our music, and I think that's a very special thing – music has that ability to impact people globally. People might not speak a language, but through music, we all speak a universal language. 

Boyzone touched a lot of hearts and made a lot of people happy, and that's a very special thing to have.

Moving forward, what are some of your plans post-Boyzone? 

Well, I'm recording a solo album at the moment, which will be released towards the end of this year. So, I'm straight back into it again, and I'm looking forward to that. 

Can you tell us more about it? 

Yeah, I'm recording; I've been going into the studio. The record is quite a special record, so I don't want to give too much away, but it's a big deal for me – I'm 20 years solo this year, so it's quite a big project for me. 

Congratulations on that! Going back to the Boyzone legacy, which Boyzone song are you most fond of? 

I think it'll be the song 'You Needed Me'. I love that song, everything about it – the melody, the idea, the story. It's a special song and I think it's very beautiful. 

Is there a specific song that you know will bring you to tears when you perform it? 

It depends. We haven't really decided on the set list for the last shows yet. But, there's a song called 'Right Here Waiting', which is a song from the Brother album of Boyzone, and it's an emotional song about not having to do it alone. I think, if we decided on a song like that, it will be quite an emotional moment. 

Could you bring us through what it was like recording the final Boyzone album, Thank You & Goodnight? 

It took two years – it was a long, long process to decide what we wanted this album to sound like. Along the way it changed sounds and the idea of the album changed, too. And it was Shane's idea to record an album that is like a playlist. People don't listen to albums like they used to; Buying an album and sitting down listening on a CD player. Now, we only listen to one song from this album and two or three songs from that album. 

So, we recorded an album that represents the five of us, but still retaining our different individual personalities – you might have country music, pop music, or even urban music. So it's got a very different feel to anything that we've done before. 

It is known that one of the people that you worked with on this album was Ed Sheeran. 

He's a friend, but obviously he's the biggest solo artist in the world, right now, and he's a global star. So, to have someone like Ed on the album was very special. We worked together on a song – it was great!

Boy bands are seemingly no longer as popular a phenomenon in English music as compared to K-pop. What do you think English boy bands can learn from K-pop? 

For us, it's not like we're learning – we're not trying to go and learn new things now, towards the end of the road. We've had our run; '90s pop music was a separate thing, with boy bands and girl groups – Boyzone, Take That, Spice Girls and such – that was our moment. This is their moment, for bands such as BTS, this is their time. It's very sleek, very sophisticated and very different from what we used to do and what we are, still, today. 

So, it's almost a different thing – it's not the same. But, having said that, I think it's amazing, I think K-pop is awesome! I've been watching it closely and I'm a fan myself. 

Finally, is there anything that you would like to say your Singaporean fans? 

A massive thank you for the 26 years of the love and loyalty that you've given Boyzone. I hope you all enjoy this last show in Singapore. It's going to be very special and very emotional. We've had great memories and a great history in Singapore, and I'm really excited to come back one more time. 

Boyzone’s Thank You & Goodnight Farewell Tour 2019 will be held on Wednesday, 12 June at The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are priced at S$328 (VIP), S$298 (CAT 1), S$268 (CAT 2), S$198 (CAT 3), S$128 (CAT 4) and S$108 (CAT 5); now available for purchase here.