Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

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Interview: Wet Wet Wet

7 min read
We caught up with @kevinsimm of @wetwetwetuk to talk about his impressive career and fronting one of the UK most loved band.... @deaconcomms

As one fifth of Popstars born pop outfit, Liberty X, Kevin Simm found fame following the hit music reality TC competition back in the early noughties and went on to enjoy a string of hit singles with the group including Just A Little, Got To Have Your Love and the Richard X collaborative cover, Being Nobody before the band disbanded and Simm went on to a string of other successful ventures.

Following taking the crown of The Voice in 2016, Simm was then enlisted to fill the enormous shoes of Marty Pellow as front-man of 80’s hitmakers and national musical icons, Wet Wet Wet. Combining Simm’s impressive vocal talents with a catalogue of hits that include Angel Eyes, Temptation and the gigantic Four Weddings and a Funeral megahit, Love Is All Around, the pairing has been going strong since 2018 with shows across the world proving a major hit for the collective.

Currently in the middle of a co-headlining tour with fellow 80’s icons Go West, Wet Wet Wet are enjoying a recharged reincarnation thanks to Simms and their timeless hits. We caught up with Kevin to talk about his career and taking on the big hits like Love Is All Around and filling the enormous shows that the bands former lead singer had handed down to the singer. Here is what he had to tell us.

Brendon Veevers: Hey Kevin! How are you and where does this interview find you?

Kevin Simm: Hi I’m good thanks! A little tired as we are 4 shows in to our UK tour and it’s pretty full on. But the shows have been amazing so far so all good!

BV: Now, many people will recognise the name and the voice of Kevin Simm from your days as a member of Liberty X. You are now fronting one of the UK’s most loved and celebrated bands, Wet Wet Wet. Can you tell us a little bit about how that opportunity came about?

KS: The opportunity came about very randomly to be honest. I was playing football with my son in the garden, and I had just stopped playing to check my emails when this email came in from Dougie (WWW manager) asking if I was ok to have a chat sometime. It really was that vague, I had no idea what he wanted. But it transpired that band needed a new singer, and they thought I might be a good fit.

So I went to Glasgow to meet the guys, sang a load of songs together, got on really well and they asked me to be part of the band.

It was all totally out of the blue, in this business you 99% of the time are chasing opportunities but this one just landed straight into my lap… or email.

BV: You have had quite a few accomplishments over the years – from being a member of Liberty X through to winning The Voice in 2016 and these days fronting one of the most successful British bands of the last 30 years. Outside of your role in Wet Wet Wet, what would you say has been your proudest achievement and why?

KS: I’m very fortunate to have achieved quite a lot before I joined the band, we had loads of top 10 hits with Liberty X including a number 1, won various awards, travelled around the world. But winning a Brit Award in 2003 for best UK single would probably be my proudest moment in music. Not bad for the Popstars The Rivals rejects!

BV: Having been on Popstars back in the early days of your career, what was it like for you to step back into being in the TV reality show world again with The Voice UK?

KS: Stepping back into a reality singing show was petrifying to be honest, but I was at a stage in my life and career where I really had to take a gamble or I was screwed. I wasn’t in a great place mentally and I wasn’t going anywhere in my career and if I hadn’t done something drastic about it I dread to think what life would be like now.

BV: Have any of your former Liberty X band mates come along to any of your shows or reached out to congratulate you on your induction into the band?

Yes, a couple of the guys have come to some of the shows when we were last on tour. I’m going to reach out and see if they fancy coming to one of the dates on this tour. But yes, they are happy for me definitely, we have all always been very supportive of each other.

BV: As a current member of Wet Wet Wet, what were your fondest memories of the band growing up?

KS: If I’m completely honest, I was more into indie/Brit pop bands like Oasis, Blur, Radiohead, The Verve etc. it was more when I started singing in the pubs and clubs around Lancashire that WWW came into my life as I used to sing a couple of their songs in my set, I think it was Love is all around and Goodnight Girl. So it definitely is a bit surreal now fronting the band.

BV: Is there a particular song from the bands back catalogue that you perhaps grew up listening to more than others and that you get to perform live in shows these days fronting the band?

KS: I think Love Is All Around would have been the song I was most familiar with growing up, it was number 1 forever so I remember that very well! It was probably the song I was least looking forward to singing with the band as I already knew it like the back of my hand, I was more looking forward to singing songs like Angel Eyes and Temptation as they seemed really new to me…. But it has turned on its head completely, Love is All Around is probably my favourite part of the set, the song means so much to people and it really is special to be able to perform it knowing that.

BV: Unlike Liberty X where you developed as an artist alongside 4 others who were all in the same boat, stepping into a role within a band that have been around for several decades must have been quite a scary thing to do. What were the early days of fronting the band like?

KS: Yes, it is definitely a strange situation stepping into an established band, especially given the amount of time the guys have been together. But the warmth and kindness from the guys in the early days made it so easy to integrate. I’m a very easy going person so I think that also helps, I’m not massively precious about things and just want to give my best for the band when we are on stage. I think the guys appreciated that.

BV: What’s the dynamic of the band like in terms of the roles you all play? I would imagine you are more in-tune with the likes of new music trends and the world of social media being the youngest member?

KS: I couldn’t really say what my role is within the band. I definitely am not anymore up on new music etc than the other guys even given that I am a bit younger. Social media a bit I guess, but really I only see my role as the singer, my whole focus is on smashing the gigs the best I possibly can and making sure people go away from our shows having had a great time. I wouldn’t really say I am massively driven by music outside of being in the band and other solo work I do. I have a young family who I want to spend time with, and like fitness, podcasts and football!

BV: Speaking of live shows; the band are currently out on road with the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ UK Tour alongside Go West. What have you most looked forward to about these shows?

KS: The thing I was most excited about when it came to this tour is to be able to play loads of gigs in succession. We haven’t done a proper tour since before the pandemic, we have done lots of amazing festivals in the UK and around the world but nothing beats being on the road and gigging every night, like a football team that trains together you get better as a band the more you play together… or at least I think so!

BV: Have you met the Go West guys before?

KS: Yes, and they are lovely guys. I’m a big fan of them and especially being a singer … Peters voice .

BV: It’s the first time Wet Wet Wet will have performed a co-headline tour in its history as a band. How do you decide who will perform the coveted final song of the night between the two bands?

KS: We are going to share the headline slot over the tour dates so everyone should be happy!

BV: As for new music, are there any plans to record again together on a new Wet Wet Wet studio album in the future?

KS: Absolutely, I think once this tour is over we will look to spend a bit of time writing and getting creative. There are already a couple of songs on the go, but once time frees up we will recharge and get to it!

BV: Thanks so much Kevin and best of luck with the upcoming shows.