Union J can never fade! With a mixture of new tunes and old classics, the much-loved band are touring around the UK and they’re certainly driving their fans wild like fire!
In each and every city, the Union J boys have been welcomed by hundreds of supporters and endless rounds of applause. It’s new member Casey Johnson’s first official tour as part of the band but you’d be forgiven for forgetting because he fits in perfectly.
Very kindly, Union J took time out of their busy schedule to answer some of our questions backstage in Manchester on Sunday. The interview started with just Josh Cuthbert and JJ Hamblett but Jaymi Hensley and Casey Johnson joined later too.
In our exclusive interview, the group spoke about: the fresh new sound of their forthcoming third album, the song they wish they’d released as a single from their previous record and much more. They also took part in a fun song titles round.
You can read highlights from the interview and hear our full chat with Union J below!
There’s a huge buzz about your third album – what can fans expect from the record?
Josh: “Just a different sound. Most of the album has been written and recorded in America. We’re actually about halfway through recording the album; we’re going back to LA in about two weeks. I’d describe it as Bieber in a band; it’s more in that vein now. We’re performing a few of the new tracks on tour at the moment and they’re going down well.”
JJ: “There’s a little bit of dancing involved.”
Josh: “A little bit of dancing, yeah, that we’re not really capable of doing.”
Like you said, you’re performing some new songs on tour. We particularly love ‘Fade’ – how’ve you found the response to the new music so far?
JJ: “Yeah, there’s been an amazing response to all three songs. We’re performing three on tour and ‘Fade’ has gone down amazing… ‘Wildfire’ and ‘Dream Of Your Love.’ All of them have really gone down amazing.”
Josh: “‘Fade’ is the fan favourite so far.”
Many of the tracks were recorded in LA – do you feel that being over in the US has influenced the sound of the new album?
Josh: “Massively. The people we’re working with now are a group of writers called The Underdogs and they’ve done some amazing stuff for Justin Timberlake and people like that so we’re in safe hands. They’re giving us a different sound and helping us. It’s the music we listen to ourselves; we listen to all of the music they’ve done for other artists so it makes sense for us to finally do music that we’ve been listening to ourselves.”
‘Where Are You Now’ is one of our favourite Union J songs. If you could release another single from your previous albums, which track would you choose?
Josh: “I’d probably say ‘Central Park.’”
JJ: “’Central Park.’”
Casey: “I’d agree, I love that song too.”
Josh: “’Central Park’ didn’t get to be a single but in my opinion, it should have been.”
JJ: “It’s a great song.”
Do you have any idea what the music video would have been like? Would you have actually gone to Central Park?
JJ: “Josh came up with an amazing thing. He wanted to do a music video where it’s kind of done on an ice rink.”
Josh: “On an ice rink, yeah, in New York. Not us but there’s a story going on and then you see us at the end. The ice rink could be anywhere and then when it zooms out, it’s in Central Park. Just because it’s a winter song; it’s got a winter feel to it so yeah.”
You’re currently touring the UK – and it’s your first proper tour together as the new line-up – you fit in very well Casey. How are you finding the shows so far?
Casey: “Thank you very much man. I literally love it. It’s so packed every show; it’s crazy. Obviously going from my old band to Union J, I love it. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. These lads are amazing. The venues are so packed at the moment and it’s just quite mind-blowing. You’re just looking out and you’re seeing all these people and it’s lovely.”
Josh: “It’s nice to see Casey as well; enjoying himself you know what I mean. (laughs) I don’t mean it’s nice to see him. It’s nice to see him enjoying himself as well.”
One of our favourite Union J lyrics is: ‘Like you’ve been running for hours and can’t catch your breath, the demons are screaming so loud in your head.’ Are there any lines you’re really proud of writing?
Josh: “I like on ‘Wildfire’, we wrote: ‘Sparks from my body like flickers; like the 5th November.’ I think that’s quite a cool line.”
JJ: “I think from the fan’s perspective, ‘You Got It All’ lyrically for them. Some of the fans can be a little bit self-conscious and I think ‘You Got It All’ just kind of hits them on the head where it’s kind of special. You’ve got to believe that you’re special.”
Jaymi: “I like the ‘Amaze Me’ lyrics. I do love ‘Beethoven’ as well actually; I think that’s one of my favourites off the first album. The lyrics in that are quite clever.”
You’ve got a song called ‘Get It Right’ but what’s the one thing you feel the person to your left gets so right?
Casey: “His (Josh’s) voice. I think he’s got a really good voice. Honestly, I liked his voice before I joined the band. I thought it was really good.”
Josh: “Thank you man. JJ is a great dad. He’s a great dad to his lovely son so yeah, I think he’s definitely got that right.”
JJ: “Thank you. Jaymi’s sense of humour I think. He gets in these crazy stages; he flicks on like a switch and he gets in these moods. Sometimes it’s absolutely hilarious what Jaymi comes out with.”
Jaymi: “Casey, Casey, Casey. Casey gets right… he’s very honest. He’s got a lovely soul, do you know what I mean? I don’t think he’s got a malicious bone in his body.”
JJ: “Why are we being so nice to each other? (laughs) This never happens.”
Casey: “Thank you Jaymi, I love you.”
Jaymi: “We’re gonna be sick now.”
What does the rest of 2017 have in store?
Josh: “New album.”
Casey: “To smash it.”
Josh: “I think the plan is to go on tour with someone; which would be really great. We’re looking at options to go on tour with some massive people; maybe in America and over here as well. New album, new music, new YouTube covers, new single.”
Jaymi: “To enjoy life.”
Josh: “Enjoy life, more gigs and to explore the world.”
If you could leave a message for your fans, what would you say?
Casey: “Thank you so much.”
JJ: “Thank you for still being here.”
Josh: “And thank you for still coming; keep going because new music is on the way. It’s on the horizon and we hope you love it.”
Jaymi: “Without you, we wouldn’t get to do what we do. We’re glad that we get to give something back to you and the fact that you enjoy what we do.”
JJ: “Yeah, we love you.”
Casey: “We love you so much.”
You can buy tickets for Union J’s remaining UK tour dates here on SeeTickets. Standard tickets are available alongside VIP meet and greet upgrades. Make sure you grab passes while you still can before it’s too late; you seriously don’t want to miss out.
As mentioned in the interview, the Union J boys have lots of exciting things for planned for 2017. Based on the phenomenal new songs we’ve heard so far, the bar is certainly raised for their third album. We can’t wait to hear the record when it’s completed.
Are you looking forward to Union J’s third album as much as us? Have you been to see one of their live shows recently? Let us know over on Twitter @CelebMix!