Britain’s Got Talent’s MIKE FANTASTIC talk super powers, cheese, tunes and what they really think of Simon Cowell

27 Jul

Words by Rahsian Parris/Photography courtesy of MikeFantastic


They are pretty new on to the music scene, having only officially formed the band this year, but after their scorching performance on this years Britain’s Got Talent, where they sailed through the opening rounds, MIKE FANTASTIC are building up a massive fan base and are swiftly becoming Britain’s answer to Metro Station (you know, Miley Cyrus‘ brother’s band, the ones that sing ‘Shake It’ and that… ok never mind). We recently stole some time from the boys (Luke, Olly, Owen, Matt and Mike) – as they were putting the finishing touches to the music video for their brand new single Turn Off The Lights – to find out about their recent tour, the fantastic things in life and what they really make of Simon Cowell.

O: First thing’s first, how did you guys get together?

MF – Owen: It basically started as a uni’ project [at Newport University] that Mike and myself were writing some songs for – that’s why we’re called Mike Fantastic, because it was Mike’s project originally – and we realised we had some good songs and decided that we wanted to put a band together. We’d all been in bands previously, it was just something that we were interested in doing really. Luke was in Dignity Dies First and Set In Motion, me and Matt were in The Story So Far, they were rock, metal, pop punk, based bands.

O: So what made you decide to become an electro-pop group in the end?

MF – Owen: There’s a movement at the moment in America with bands like Metro Station, Cash Cash and Cobra Starship and being someone that’s always been interested in Pop and always been a fan of Pop music, it just kind of made sense to follow suit and try and bring it over to the UK, because there’s not many people doing it and we just wanna get mainstream, we were sick of playing to no one and no one really being interested in our bands, so we thought, let’s make some really nice elecro-pop music. It’s mainstream basically and that’s why we were doing it.

O: What made you audition for Britain’s Got Talent?

MF – Owen: It wasn’t part of the original plan. It was Mike’s idea. He entered us in to Britain’s Got Talent, he didn’t tell any of us that he’d done it. I just go a phone call one day when I was on the train, he was like “oh guess what? They want us to audition for Britain’s Got Talent” and I was like “oh… ok cool”, so we just went and did it. I figured it couldn’t have done us any harm. We didn’t even have a line up at the time, when we knew we were gonna audition for Britain’s Got Talent. We had to put the band together really quickly, that’s why on the show we were like “we’ve only been together for a month” because we actually had, we hadn’t put together an actual band, it was still a bunch of songs we’d written for a university project, so Britain’s Got Talent was our first actual gig. It was a really good opportunity for a band like us that are aiming for the mainstream, it was a really good way of getting us into the public’s awareness and to cut out that lower level of development that bands all have to go through.

O: What were the highlights of being on BGT?

MF – [Unanimously]: Ant and Dec

Owen: Definitely Ant and Dec, they are absolute legends. Such nice guys. We’d been interviewed that day by a couple of people who worked there and they were pressurising us into saying certain things, I wont go into details, but it was a bit like we were being pigeon-holed, but then when Ant and Dec came and spoke to us, they were just really nice and friendly and understood the kind of thing we were going for and we got to talk to them quite a few times that day. It was really good, they are just absolute legends and it was probably the best part of the day for all of us.

O: What was the worst thing then?

MF – Matt: Waiting around

Owen: Yeah waiting around. We got there at 8 o’clock in the morning under the impression that we’d be auditioning at about 2PM or something like that, but we turned up at 8AM and didn’t get to audition until 5PM, so we were just sat waiting for ages, it was grim.

O: So those scenes with people waiting about are actually for real?

MF – Owen: They are MORE than for real, we were waiting for ten hours or something ridiculous like that and then they had us waiting around after we played as well, it was SO grim. It was worth it though, but it was such a long wait to only play for two minutes, we had to cut our track down to two minutes as well.

O: Did you get to meet Simon Cowell?

MF – Owen: We didn’t meet him personally, we met him twice, but that was only in the two times that he was judging us, because we went up for the second time, that kind of middle round where they choose who goes through to the live [televised] finals, we went up for that, so we met him there again, but it wasn’t like a personal meeting. We just stood on a stage and he was telling us that we weren’t going through or whatever. I’m sure he’s a nice guy deep down, but it’s his job to be critical. I think I’d like him if I met him in person.

O: Even after the comments he made about your dress sense and the name of the band?

MF – Olly: If anything I think it made people like our glasses and jeans more

Owen: Kind of like a “screw you Simon Cowell, we’re still wearing our skinny jeans and our glasses and you can’t tell us what to do”. I think people relate to it more now that he’s said he doesn’t like those things about our band.

O: Does this mean you’ll be going back up for the next BGT or auditioning for the X Factor?

MF – Owen: We’re all far too ugly and nowhere near good enough singers to be on the X Factor

[Laughter]

We probably wont do Britain’s Got Talent again, but that’s not to say that we wont end up doing another talent show, you never know, it’s done us good, so I can’t say we’d be totally close minded about that. I think we’d definitely give it a go if there was another one on the cards.

O: So most acts that do well on these shows get recording contracts, have you guys signed any deals yet?

MF – Owen: We’ve had interest but we’re not gonna give anytihng away at the moment, we’re just gonna keep that on the down low.

O: Fair enough and moving on. Who is the most fantastic member of Mike Fantastic?

[after a brief debate]

MF – Owen: Definitely Mike actually, he’s the embodiment of Mike Fantastic, he exudes fantasticness

O: You have just completed your first tour correct? How was it?

MF – Owen: Correct! It was really really awesome, we had a really good time. The shows were awesome, I think they were better than our expectations to be perfectly honest. They all went really well, certain cities did better than others, certain cities sung the words louder than others, but all across the board it was an awesome tour. It was only a week long and it was a bit rushed, because it was only two months ago that we were actually on television. We had to book something as soon as possible, so it was a bit cobbled together really, but we’re currently putting together some serious concrete plans to go touring for a couple of months before the end of the year, so onwards and upwards. Hopefully for the next year, we’ll be touring as much as possible and getting as many songs out as possible.

O: Which was the best venue you played?

[Owen confers with the rest of the band]

MF – Matt: I think Cardiff was the best, even though Newcastle was a better show

Owen: The general gist is that Newcastle was an awesome show because there were loads of people there, but I think from a personal enjoyment level, it was probably Cardiff because it’s our home town and all our friends were there.

O: Fantastic! [ahem!] If you were The Fantastic Five, what super powers would you have?

MF – Mike: [Shouting Out] FLAMES!

[Olly says something that receives uproarious laughter, probably something cheeky]

Owen: Olly says invisible, [to Olly] just say invisible, it sounds funnier

Matt: I’d have to be able to fly I think

[Long pause whilst Luke thinks of something]

[Owen hurries Luke up]

Luke: I’d like to be able to shoot lasers out of my toes

[Laughter]

Owen: …and I want to shoot lightning bolts out of my bum

[More Laughter]

O: Don’t you do that already?

[Yet more laughter]

MF – Owen: Yeah you should be on our tour bus, it’s not good; there’s always lightning bolts coming out of everyone’s bums on that tour bus

O: What’s the least fantastic song you have on your IPod?

MF – Owen: [Sounding horrified] Aaaaaaaaah

[there’s chit chat about IPod songs]

Owen: Oh I’ve got that song (starts singing) “I’m noooot in looooove, so don’t forgeeet iiiit”, do you know that one? I can’t remember what the song is called (we think he means I’m Not in Love by 10 CC), I think that’s about the least fantastic song on mine.

Olly: I’ve got some High School Musical, but High School Musical is more fantastic than not fantastic.

[I mention that I love HSM and also have some songs on my IPod]

Owen: To be fair, High School Musical is pretty fantastic rather than being anti-fantastic really

O: Who else has dodgy songs on their IPod then?

MF – Owen: Birchy (Matt) doesn’t have an IPod, he lives in a cave

[Laughter]

Luke: I dunno, I’ve only really got metal

Owen: Yeah Luke loves the metal

Mike: Adam Lambert

Owen: Wow Mike loves Adam Lambert, that’s pretty lame… uber lame, I’m ashamed to have you in the band

Olly: Oh wait, I’ve got two Aqua albums

[Laughter]

[I proceed to defend this by pointing out that Aqua were the kings and queens of electro-pop]

Owen: They were actually. To be honest, I’ve never said this before, but they are a massive influence on the Mike Fantastic sound, you can quote that.

O: I will. What about the least fantastic food in your fridge?

MF – Owen: Soya cheese

[lots of disgruntled noises and agreeing]

Owen: (passionately) Lactose free cheese is the most MINGING thing in the world

[someone shouts out that it taste like cheese and onion crisps]

Owen: It doesn’t taste anything like cheese and onion crisps, it tastes minging

O: Who’s lactose intolerant?

Owen: (sounds mock-sad) Me, I’m lactose intolerant, soya everything for me

O: I quite like soya milk though, it’s yummy

MF – Owen: Yeah me too, soya milk is awesome

O: So lads, what should we be looking out for with Mike Fantastic, any news? Singles? An album?

MF – Owen: Turn Off The Lights (not ‘Lights Off’ as I mistakenly called it) is out on ITunes and we’re finishing off the music video for it.

O: …And what about an album?

MF – Owen: It’ll hopefully all be written and recorded by the end of the year, but as far as releasing an album is concerned, that’ll be in the new year. The tour is looking like it’ll be in the October – November time.

[I start saying my goodbyes, foolishly attempting to remember all their names and miss someone out]

MF – Owen: He’s sat here with a frown on his face now because you can’t remember his name

O: OH NO! Wait… I’ll remember [I think hard, to no avail]

MF – Owen: Oh come on, what’s the one I JUST told you

O: [Sulkily] I can’t remember

MF – Owen: Awww man, [about me] she’s doing that thing, you know where she pretends that she doesn’t know you because she actually thinks you’re the best and you’re her favourite

[laughter]

[puts on an English accent] “no no, not the really ugly one, I don’t like him”

[hysterics]

O: [Completely embarrassed] No really, I can’t remember, what’s his name?

MF – Owen: MATT

O: Oh my gosh, I’m SO sorry Matt, now you are going to be my favourite, I’m going to put pictures of you up on my wall and everything to make up for it

MF: [Synchronised] “AWWWwwwww” (they start singing) “Love is in the air…”

Turn Off The Lights is available NOW from the ITunes store and includes a fabulous acoustic version of the track. You can also spy the TOTL music video and catch up with the boys on the official Mike Fantastic Facebook page www.facebook.com/mikefantastic

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2 Responses to “Britain’s Got Talent’s MIKE FANTASTIC talk super powers, cheese, tunes and what they really think of Simon Cowell”

  1. Kath July 27, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

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  1. Twitted by Mike_Fantastic - July 27, 2010

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