H & Claire: The Truth
Smash Hits Magazine 20.02.02
H and Claire have been cast ads the villians who split STEPS and broke pop's heart on Boxing Day. But fresh from announcing that they werre going to form a duo, the pair gave Planet Pop theur side of the story, telling us why STEPS split and what they really think of the other members of the band.
According to Claire it was the other three members lack of enthusiasm for STEPS' music that actually forced the split. In interviews Faye had made it clear that she didn't like the music.
"It's almost insulting to the fans to say, 'We're launching this music on you, but I don't actually like it or believe in it'" Claire sighed. "The fans will feel betrayed. H and I are a little bit younger than the others and we grew up in a pop environment so were were more comfortable with it. Certain people forgot where they started. OK, people do grow up and change but if there's an inkling that you don't believe in it any longer, you shouldn't carry on. And it was becoming obvious that people wanted to go off and do 'cooler' things - go to the NME awards (Faye attended in 2001) instead of the Smash Hits awards and stuff like that. But that's not what being in a pop band is about. I enjoy pop and would much rather be in a pop band than a grungy rock band, just imagine H in a band like that - it wouldn't work!"
H admitted that leaving had been difficult. "It was really, really upsetting and I'm not over it yet," he said. "It wasn't supposed to come out 'til a press conference in January, but the papers got hold of it and we had to get it out. I didn't want it to happen on Boxing Day, but we wanted to be honest to our fans."
Claire though was very angry at the way she and H have been portrayed. "We've been made out to be the nasty ones in all of this," she said.
"The attention has been focussed on the letters that we gave to the rest of the band. But we were contractually obliged to give a letter of notice. It wasn't all cold and business like there were lots of tears and lots of hugs. We certainly didn't have an argument and we felt ther was no bad feeling."
Claire also stressed that the decision to continue with H had been taken only after they had left the band.
"We talked about it over Christmas, after the STEPS split. We spents lots of time together as just mates and not colleagues and we realised that we really like each other and would really like to work together."
"We're going to be making good quality pop and not try to be anything that we're not," added H. "There won't be any drastic image changes or anything like that. We just want people to listen to the music and enjoy themselves."
And The Rest?
Claire On Lee:
Lee always enjoyed songwriting so he might continue to do that. He also said for a long time that he wanted to act. Who know?
Claire On Lisa:
I think Lisa would be good at the pop thing, but she likes people like Natalie Imbruglia so I think she might go down that route. I know it will be very different from STEPS.
Claire On Faye:
I dobt Faye will do pop. Her fiance is very much into rock, and the demos she'd recorded were a bit more ecletic, really. She even mentioned once that she would be happy to just stick to songwriting.