We could lie and say the reason that V are the Best Pop Act of 2004 is because they made such a groundbreaking album that the world of pop would be changed forever (I'm sure V would agree that lies with the Scissor Sisters and Gwen Stefani this year). What V do is return to the boy band basics of choreographed dance routines, pouting for the prepubescent girls and touching each other up for the homosexualists. They also wipe out any memory that Westlife, Blue and the Pop Idol / X Factor blandness actually happened, which we are truly grateful for. Designer Magazine caught up with Aaron, Leon and Kevin to find out about their 2004

Q: So here we are - V's year in Pop. Where were you this time last year?
Aaron: In Norway recording the final few tracks on the album. We were panicking because it was snowing so hard and a lot of flights were getting cancelled. We we panicking we'd be stuck in Norway for Xmas.

Leon: I came back a day early because it's my 18th birthday on Xmas Day so I had a party on the 23rd. All these lads were supposed to come to my party, but they couldn't so I had to get a plane back on my own and I was stuck in an airport almost crying because I wasn't going to make my connection.

Q: What's been V's pop highlights of the year?
Aaron: I don't know really. We used to have this thing where we had the Top 5 V moments, but we kept extending it to our Top 500 moments.

Kevin: I still think the whole campaign for the 1st single just because it was the 1st - the 1st video in Miami, the 1st time we'd done CD:UK and everything

Leon: The whole year has just been a highlight. The whole year has just been mad and like I said the other day we've been through so many emotions this year. It sounds really cheesy like i'm in Big Brother, but compared to what my life was like 2 years ago it's been unbelievable.

Q: You're one of the few real boy bands out there at the moment. You've got the old school like Blue and Westlife on their last legs
Leon: It's pretty quiet in boy band world. Hopefully they'll be gone soon and then January we can take over the world.

Aaron: Before in the early 90s you had Take That and that was your typical boy band, 4 white guys who danced and sang. Now there are different variations of a boy band. The markets a bit broader whereas before you only had Westlife style bands and bands like us.

Q: Do V demand more dancing in pop?
Leon: I love watching it on TV. There definitely needs to be dancing. We're trying to keep it alive.

Q: We were chatting to The Goldspink (Calvin SC8 / I Dream) this time last year about how they were the only dancers in pop. Could you ever imagine yourself in a Westlife style boy band with your rears super glued to stools?
Kevin: I don't know. Out of all our singles I do really love "You Stood Up" and I used to find it really boring. We were so used to running around and doing our thing and on that one we were just kinda stood there. I wouldn't want to go too far that way.

Aaron: It doesn't make for a very good show either. When I saw Westlife a couple of weeks ago they're really really good singers, well two of them are anyway, but to watch them in concert it was just boring...

Leon: ...It's very hard for you to come across as a good performer when you're standing there and just singing, the majority of the time they mime anyway, so it's hard to be the best all round entertainer or performer you can when you're just standing there.

(Pic: Aaron V)

Q: Who did you guys look up to when your were growing up dreaming of the distant land of pop?
Aaron: I used to love the whole phenomena, not just the band themselves, but the whole kind of vibe. I loved the Spice Girls, every kid loved the Spice Girls, and Take That.

Leon: A few years ago I used to be sat at home watching Will and Gareth thinking that's wicked, but it is  quite annoying now, now that you see how much hard work we do put in...and then someone just comes along and sings a few times. When I think how hard its been for us they get it so easy.

Q: Apart from yourselves who's been your Best Pop Act of 2004?
Kevin: There hasn't actually been straight down the road pop pop and what there has hasn't actually worked out or has faded away pretty quickly.

Leon: A band I like that aren't 100% pop, but a band that has taken it to a different place are the Scissor Sisters. They're completely fresh and haven't really cared what anyone thinks. We saw them in concert the other day at Brixton and it's just something completely different...

Aaron: ...and very camp as well.

Leon: Gwen Stefani as well. 2005 is going to be her year. We need popstars like that that aren't afraid to be different. That's why I like what we do, because we don't just stand there, we just go out and go for it and try to be different.

Q: Which brings us nicely along to the fact that V have won Best Pop Act of 2004, ahead of Busted and McFly.
Leon: Did we? Beating Busted and McFly is what I like to hear. We've been nominated before, but we've never actually won an award before. We're very privileged cos it is normally either Busted, McFly or Girls Aloud that take it from us.

Q: How do you feel about the album, how do we put this, just not selling?
Leon: All you have to do now to sell records is appear on Parkinson. You appear on Parky and next week you're number 1. The weird thing is though you look at the Joss Stone's and Jamie Cullum's and their singles don't chart very well, people must just buy their albums rather than downloading it. It's weird when we've had 3 Top 10 Hits and it's still hard for us.

Aaron: It's a bummer but we knew it would happen. Coming out before Xmas there was so much competition out there. You've got Robbie Williams, Girls Aloud, Britney Spears, really massive artists in the same rack as us and we're just a relatively new boy band. If grandparents are going to go into a record shop which CD are they going to pick up?

Leon: The albums doing all right though. It's selling consistently and it's not dropped off at all since it came out.

Q: Do you worry when you've seen how D-Side and Phixx have just faded away?
Kevin: Not to be unfair to those guys, but our singles have actually charted quite a bit higher.

Leon: Whether people have bought the record they still know that V are a good band. I was chatting to a girl the other day and her 28 year old boyfriend was like "You've got to give it to V - they do go for it!!!". I think people do think that, most people do quite like us.

Kevin: I think next year will be our time. We're gonna get back into the studio in January when we get back after Xmas and record some new singles.

Aaron: We're waiting for our "Whole Again" that will sell 9 million copies world-wide. We're gonna go and beg and knock at Max Martin's door

(Pic: Leon V)
V Get A Bit Random

A couple of hours before Designer Magazine went to meet V in their hotel room we went on their message board and randomly chose a few questions that V fans were asking each other. Here are the results of the V Message Board Challenge

Q: What going on inside your head right now?
Aaron: Well i've just bitten off my nail and i'm looking at that thinking i've got to stop biting my nails. Is that my New Years Resolution? No, that's to stop biting my toe nails

Q: Who thinks Christian Ronaldo is fit?
Leon: I think he's a good looking guy, but he's got really weird teeth and no-one seems to realize that. When he smiles he looks really weird. But apart from that he's a pretty good looking lad.

Q: Where do you think I should move to?
Kevin: Go to Miami. I could quite easily live there. I've been there for a week before when we did our first video. (Ed: Where wouldn't you go in England right now?) I know I would never live in two places right now and they are Birmingham and Glasgow. The gigs were great, but every time i've been out in those places it's been raining

Q: If V ever got dropped what would happen?
Aaron: We'd be like the Sugababes and go and get another member...or join up with the 411 and become the new S Club

Leon: Or we could just walk into the new Pop Idol like Andy Scott Lee.

Q: Say something about the person above or next to you?
Leon: He's (Kevin) got a great ass.

Q: How far would you go on a first date?
Kevin: I don't have a limit to be honest. As far as I felt going, all the way if I wanted to.

Q: If you were a biscuit what biscuit would you be?
Aaron: I'd be a Hob Knob, just because Hob Knob's are the ultimate biscuit!!!

Leon: You'd be a Hob Knob with chocolate because you've got the chocolate side where you are quite wild sometimes and then you've got the other bit which is quite normal and sensible.

Q: Who's been touched by Leon's magic hands?
Leon: (laughs) Was that actually a question to me? Does it say me? There's been no-one touched by my magic hands

Aaron: No-one (teasingly) apart from Mr Winky

Leon: That's a vicious rumour that's going round. I don't have magic hands. The last thing I touched with my magic hands is my wand

Q: Can any of V drive at all?
Kevin: I can drive, but not legally. I took my mums car out once, but I was in the country side so that was fine.

Words: Alex McCann
Photos: Shirlaine Forrest  www.shirlainephotos.co.uk


(Pic: Mark and Kevin V)
V's album "You Stood Up" is out now
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At the time we decided to leave this V V camp pic of V in the archives, but following the news that Kevin is Mark from Westlife better half (never a truer word spoken), we've decided to release the pic to the viewing public. If you want more V action like this then please start a petition to get the world greatest lost boy band back

Best Of 2004