Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! -

RE­TIR­ING Boy­zone be­lieve mod­ern pop bands have it so much eas­ier than they did in their hey­day.

The Ir­ish heart-throbs have a fi­nal tour planned be­fore they hang up their mi­cro­phones af­ter 25 years in the busi­ness next year.

Ro­nan Keat­ing and the boys worked their der­rières off mak­ing a name for them­selves in the 1990s… some­thing that’s been made far eas­ier to­day by so­cial me­dia.

Mikey Gra­ham told me: “You can reach so many more peo­ple with less ef­fort to­day.

“We had to go to all th­ese re­gional ra­dio sta­tions to do one-to-ones to try and speak to our fans.

“Now you can reach mil­lions with the push of a but­ton.”

The work­load meant Boy­zone burnt them­selves out at the peak of their pow­ers, caus­ing their first split in 2000. Keith Duffy opened up: “We’d be pro­mot­ing in the UK and at the same time pro­mot­ing our pre­vi­ous song in Ger­many, an­other one in Bel­gium and Hol­land, some­thing else in Aus­tralia.

“So we didn’t have any time – we were very tired all the time. You can’t see the wood for the trees in that sce­nario.

“Now ev­ery­thing is done at our own pace.

We can en­joy it and ap­pre­ci­ate it now. Back then we were just like a prod­uct the record com­pany were try­ing to make fresh on the shelf every week. You get tired and child­ish. You start pinch­ing each other, fall­ing out.”

Ro­nan added: “The truth is we’re not to­gether as much as we used to be and it doesn’t mat­ter be­cause there’s less to do. We used to do Satur­day morn­ing kids’ TV shows and you don’t have all those any­more. We have only four TV per­for­mances be­tween now and Christ­mas.” The lads sign off with Thank You & Good­night which is out on Fri­day, ar­guably their finest col­lec­tion. It’s a real mixed bag in­clud­ing songs by Ed Sheeran and Gary Bar­low. Ro­nan said: “It’s a playlist of songs rather than an al­bum. The theme is di­ver­sity and in­di­vid­u­al­ity. Ev­ery­body picked three songs each.” Shane Lynch added: “We’re not 16 any more. We’ve gone out into the big bad world, we’ve got chil­dren, we’re mar­ried. We’ve wit­nessed life and like dif­fer­ent things now. “Our style of mu­sic has changed and we’ve put that in­flu­ence into the al­bum so you have pop mu­sic, ur­ban mu­sic, coun­try mu­sic, folk mu­sic, rock, dance – this melt­ing pot of all th­ese dif­fer­ent styles on one al­bum. “That’s why it’s so dif­fer­ent to what we’ve done be­fore and the per­fect way to say thank you to 25 years, and also the best of us – Stephen [Gately] in­cluded.”

Next year marks their fi­nal ever tour dates – well, so they say.

Ro­nan teased: “It is cat­e­gor­i­cally the end, for now...this is it. We are hang­ing up our danc­ing shoes. Go out on a high. We don’t want it to dwin­dle. We don’t want to be a band that faded out of ex­is­tence.” The Boy­zone tour kicks of in Cardiff on Jan­uary 20.

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