Tue. Dec 10th, 2019

Renowned For Sound

For the latest music reviews and interviews

Interview: BBMak

6 min read

After nearly 2 decades away from the pop spotlight that saw the trio achieve worldwide success with breakthrough hit Back Here, Mark Barry, Christian Burns and Stephen McNally – otherwise known as BBMak – are back in the game with brand new album Powerstation and a December tour of the UK.

As the band near the end of the US leg of the Back Here tour, we caught up with all three members of the band where we chatted about the bands successful 90’s beginnings and chart success, the bands long-awaited reunion, new album Powerstation and their fast approaching UK dates. Here is what Mark, Christian and Stephen had to tell us…

Brendon Veevers: How are you doing and where does our interview find you today guys?

Mark Barry: We are doing great. Myself and Ste have literally just stepped off the plane getting ready for our next “Back Here” tour of the west coast, so we are really excited to be getting back on that stage and meeting all our fans again.

BV: How have things been so far with the reunion?

MB: We couldn’t have got off to a better start to be honest. Our new album Powerstation is finished and available to download on all platforms. We are so happy with it the response has been incredible from all the fans and the media. After 17 years from our last album it feels like the perfect time to be getting back out and doing our biggest passion which is music. It’s a very exciting time for us.

BV: What was it about 2019 that felt like the right time to make the long awaited comeback of BBMak?

MB: A lot has happened since we split in 2003 myself and Ste have had children so was our priority was them. We have always still been involved in music but we always knew that what we had collectively as a band was very special. After many conversations between the 3 of us we decided to give it another shot. Our reasons for doing it again now are very different with the responsibilities we all have so it couldn’t come at a better time. We’ve definitely produced an album of very strong songs which the fans love and can’t wait to promote the new material.

BV: A lot has changed since your first round. What are the biggest changes or challenges that you have encountered in recordings and promoting your new music?

Stephen McNally: The changes in recording and promoting a record these days are all positive, now we can remotely record vocals or any other parts from anywhere in the world. Also writing and rehearsing over FaceTime is a great help when your band is spread all over the globe, when it comes to promoting new music, with social media being so influential now we can be in direct contact with our fans and supporters and get instant feedback on what we’re doing, which vital when promotion a new record.

BV: People change a lot in such a wide space of time. Had you all kept in touch during your hiatus or was it all about rediscovering yourselves as friends and members of BBMak again when you got back in the saddle?

SM: We always kept in touch with each other over the years, the lads came to my wedding and the christening of my kids and there were never any long periods of time when we didn’t get together to catch up on life and chat about music, and we always supported each other in our our music or other projects.

BV: What’s it like being back together and about to head out on the road again? Any pre-tour nerves or apprehensions or are you all rearing to go?

MB: I’d be lying to say we don’t get nerves before going on stage, if anything it’s more exciting than anything. It feels more relaxed now, we are older with a lot more experience under our belt and to connect with the fans and get the reaction that we are getting makes this whole process so enjoyable and rewarding. BBMAK is back and you’ve yet to see a lot more great music from us in the years to come.

BV: You recently released your new album, Powerstation. What was it like going back into the studio together after almost two decades?

SM: After such a long time away It was really exciting to be back in the studio with the lads writing and recording for a new BBMAK album, the songs came so fast and easy, it just felt natural to us like we had never been away.

BV: How would you sum up the record in terms of themes and the direction you took with these new songs?

SM: It’s a very positive album, with songs about reflecting on the past and moving forward, & making the most of second chances in love and life, We tried to make the production sound current but with our signature BBMAK vocal harmony sound.

BV: Putting these new songs together did you feel or have you felt any pressure to replicate that success with your comeback?

Christian Burns: I think the main difference this time is that there is no pressure at all, we have come back together organically because it felt like the right time to do so. We are doing this all independently so no big guns at the label breaking our backs as we are the label! We just want to make music that brings some joy to some people.

BV: Looking back over your years together, what moments or achievements have you been the most proud of?

SM: We have had a lot of proud moments in our career so far, like when our first single Back Here hit #1 on the billboard AC chart and it also won the ASCAP song of the year award, but I think we are most proud of fulfilling the dream we had as teenagers of getting a record deal and touring the world with our music.

BV: You have announced a handful of tour dates to see your fans and promote your new record including dates in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow throughout December How are you all feeling about getting back out on the road?

CB: We are so excited to be back out on the road and we have really missed performing together!

BV: What can you tell us about the tour? What can fans expect from the shows you have planned?

CB: Well, I can say that whoever makes it down to one of the shows is in for a treat! Of course we will be doing lots of BBMAK faves but also some from the new album Powerstation and a few surprises in there for good measure too. I can’t give too much away! Ha

BV: Are there any cities or venues on the upcoming tour that you are particularly looking forward to playing?

CB: Definitely looking forward to playing the show in Manchester as it will be brimming with friends and family. We have not played in Manchester for many years so it will definitely be a special night.

BV: What else is on the horizon for BBMak that fans can look forward to?

CB: We are busy working on new music for the new year, more videos to come and more touring!

BV: Thanks guys!

BBMak’s brand new album Powerstation is out now.

You can catch the band on their ‘Back Here’ UK tour on the following dates:

12 December – 02 Academy Islington – London UK
13 December – 02 Academy 2 – Birmingham, UK
15 December – Academy 3 – Manchester, UK
16 December – Oran Mor – Glasgow, UK