Entertainment Reporter Rishi Davda sat down with Steps ahead of their album release
The sound of Steps is synonymous with the 1990s and I think it’s fair to say that their dance moves were as iconic as their music. Made up of Lee Latchford-Evans, Claire Richards, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer and Ian “H” Watkins, Steps are now in their 25th year. The group are still releasing songs, combining new and old in a special Platinum Collection album. They’re best know for their hits ‘Tragedy’, ‘5,6,7,8’ and ‘Deeper Shade of Blue’.
Speaking about their new album, Faye says: "we’ve done greatest hits before, but it was really important that we included our new original music together with the original classics.
"It’s a celebrations for us, I don’t think anybody would have imagined us to be around in 25 years."
Steps are one of the UK’s most successful acts, with 21 million records sold, 250 million streams and three number one albums.
The group was formed in 1997, disbanded in 2001, but later reformed to create new music and tour once again.
Reflecting back on the groups formation, Faye says that they all remember "audition day where we were put together by a competition by Stage newspaper.
"They took us away chunk by chunk…lined us up and said: 'not you, not you'."
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Claire adds that it was "before the likes of Pop Idol and X Factor" and it wasn’t quite as "brutal" as some of the TV talent competitions. She jokes that the other four members "made the mistake of thinking that H was cool" when they first met.
After 25 years in the music industry, Lee notes that things have really changed for artists. "We’ve seen both sides, all this stuff on social media, with Instagram and TikTok. I quite liked it back in the day," he says.
"There was this mystique. Now everything is just there, but on the flip side social media is a great place to showcase your talent." Touring has also changed for Steps. Lee says: "I think we’ve got a bit more control now, we used to just do what we were told. We embrace it, we love it and we are a bit more wise because of the experience we’ve had."
Garnering an army of loyal fans over the years, Faye smiles at the fact that performing now is "more relaxing for us, because we are not fighting a cause".
She adds: "We know that people buy tickets because they want to have a good time. The pressure is off because we have established who we are." I asked about the future of Steps, given that they’d already had a quarter of a century working in music. Lisa laughs: "We don’t know what is ahead of us. It’s exciting though because we’ve got an amazing fan base and back catalogue.
"We’re enjoying this longevity that we never thought we would have." ‘The Platinum Collection’ is out on 19 August 2022 and Steps’ new song ‘Hard 2 Forget’ is out now.