‘We could own the American charts if we had half a bleeding idea’ - Shane Lynch on Boyzone/Westlife collaboration
He's gearing up for Boyzone tour and new gig as presenter of Supercar Megabuild on National Geographic
With a Boyzone tour in the offing and a new gig as the petrol head presenter of Supercar Megabuild, Shane Lynch is in ebullient form.
This is the week that Boyzone is finally meeting with their record company to tease out the details of next year's 25th anniversary tour, and Shane Lynch has a lot of questions.
Speaking to Independent.ie the 40-year-old Dublin star describes the get-together as "a great gathering of minds" and says he and fellow band members Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, and Mikey Graham will finalise their plans regarding the upcoming tour and a new album.
"What are the dates, what arenas, are we doing a world tour, what is the album sound going to be, are we bringing old school names like Elton John in or are we bringing in new school people, will it be Boyzone or Boyzone and Westlife?" he asks.
"The one thing I know for sure, regardless, is Boyzone will be on tour next year for our 25th anniversary."
He may have been the shy, silent one in the early days of the band, but a rather different Shane will be hitting the road this time around. And if he has his way, Westlife will be on board too.
"I'm so disgusted and so disappointed with Irish artists and I say that because I care deeply," he says.
"Why the f*** are we not all saying, 'We're big artists, why are Boyzone and Westlife not doing stuff [together]?' Or Westlife and The Script? Or The Script and Boyzone? Could you imagine The Cranberries working with Sinead O'Connor? Everyone would be like, 'Oh my God I can't wait to hear this!
"We can own the American charts, the global charts, if we had half a bleeding idea. What is this whole Irish thing of, 'Oh, we wouldn't do that with them.' It's weird, stupid, immature bullshit. Why don't we just take over and own the f***ing world? Let's do business people!"
He laughs about his epic rant or "rantation" on the subject but he's only half joking.
It's clear he admires the success Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden are enjoying with Boyzlife, their Boyzone/Westlife hybrid show. He recently joined them on stage in Birmingham and he says he "had the best night I've had in a long time singing Westlife leads, singing the hell out of the place".
Despite his excitement about performing again, however, it's not his main passion in life these days. That's reserved for cars.
He's a world famous rally driver with several garages and custom shops across the UK and Poland and now he has landed the perfect gig as the presenter of the second series of Supercar Megabuild on National Geographic.
The show challenges Shane and Dan Barruffo to dismantle supercars and engineer them to the max. The first episode sees them converting Jode Kidd's family saloon Maserati Ghibli into something that can do 200 miles an hour and embraces the style of the Maserati Tepo from the 60s.
They have just three weeks to complete the projects with Dan as fabricator and Shane testing/racing the finished product.
“It doesn’t always go to plan," he reveals. "There are some rocky moments of real doubt, moments of real triumph, moments where I’m real scared, moments where I’m real happy. It’s a bit of a journey through each programme.
"I’m driving these cars out of the garage literally at the last minute, we’re out of time, the client is standing around the corner, and I’ve to drive it straight out and make it perform.
"Stuff breaks down, stuff goes wrong when you do custom builds. I’m driving out in a million pound car or a car without a budget and maybe it breaks down or it doesn’t go so well in a given moment. But when it works it's amazing!"
It's clear Shane is in his natural habitat with Supercar Superbuild as he reveals his "bloodline is in motorsport and mechanics".
"My mother had me in the Coombe in Dublin and about two days later my dad was racing so I was two days old at my first race track. I was born into it and I grew up with race cars in the driveway and hanging around the workshop at my dad's garage.
"As a kid age 11 I was a petrol pump attendant and then a tyre fitter and then working on motorbikes. I was int cars and that was where I was going in life. I was heading down the road of taking over the family business as a mechanic."
It's been 24 years since that fateful Late Late Show appearance kicked off Boyzone's career but Shane admits he never felt particularly at ease in that world.
"I was rather unsure of my position which was one of the reasons why me as a person took a step back in the world of Boyzone, never spoke too much, never put the head up or asked a question and reverted into this dark sinister character that in later years got a hold of me but I came out the other side of that," he says.
"I think the first time around was such a confusing time, in 1993 being a car mechanic and then going on to this world, the world of music which is not my domain and is not what I did. There was no stage school. I wasn't in the garage playing music, I was pushing bikes, covered head to toe in oil, and went from that to this squeaky clean boy in a band.
"In the early time of Boyzone it was a frightening time. What am I doing in this place? I took a lot of steps back and a lot of steps back more because I was in many ways expressing these darker areas of me as an individual.
"So it was good to take a break and understand who I am as an individual character. Being part of a group you don't know who you are or what you like anymore, what food you like. Do you really like that restaurant or do you just go and eat because you've TV to do?
"It's been good to take a step back and find out who is Shane Lynch again and be an individual person again and now go back into that room with a lot more control and understanding and discipline."
That's not to say he didn't enjoy life in the band. He describes singing on stage with Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey as "like an out of body experience", one he's undoubtedly hoping to replicate when they take to the stage again next year.
Supercar Megabuild kicks off on National Geographic on Thursday 25th May at 8pm