The Saturdays Invade U.S. With Music, Message
Brace yourself, America, for the all-female British pop band, The Saturdays. The LGBT friendly allies — Mollie King, Frankie Sandford, Rochelle Wiseman, Una Healy, and Vanessa White — not only make catchy music, but also star in a reality show, called Chasing The Saturdays (every Monday at 8:30 p.m.) on the E! Network. The Advocate caught up with the band to discuss breaking into the American mainstream, their LGBT fans, and whether their homeland should pass a marriage equality law now up for debate.
The Advocate:You have a huge LGBT fan base, how has that come about?
Vanessa White: We've been lucky enough to have a significant LGBT fanbase from day one when we supported Girls Aloud on their "Tangled Up" tour. We always feel a real connection to our gay fans – I think there's something about girl bands that strikes a chord with a GLBT audience. Maybe it's the fashion, or maybe it's because our music is all about being yourself and having a great time. Or maybe it's because of the drama you get with five girls in one band.
What are your thoughts about the UK's recent successful steps in getting same-sex marriage passed?
Rochelle Wiseman: We couldn't be more pleased but at the same time, we can't believe it's taken this long. There are so many people on our team in same-sex relationships and it's plain wrong that we can get married to our partners, but they don't have the same basic right. Countries like Canada and certain U.S. states legalized gay marriage a while back, and thank goodness the UK is coming to its senses. Our single “What About Us” says, "it's been a long time coming" I think it could be the theme song to the new law.
How is everyone adjusting to life with the camera following you around all the time?
Mollie King: It definitely took a few weeks to get comfortable in front of the cameras, but our E! Network crew were really lovely and eventually became part of our family. We nearly forgot they were there half the time, which really means there were no limits. They captured everything for better or for worse.
The pace of American media is staggering, has it been at all overwhelming?
Frankie Sandford: What surprised us most was how many paparazzi there were every day while we were in L.A. We didn't think anybody would know who we were! But there were literally five or six paps following us everywhere we went. Strangers would come up to us and say, “Are you girls famous? Are you a band?”
Una Healy: Oh gosh, of course. We're such massive fans of the Kardashians and love E!'s red carpet coverage. It was always our first choice of TV networks for the reality show idea we had, so we couldn't have been happier that they wanted to work with us.
What were some of the concerns you had before signing on for a reality series?
Frankie Sandford: We've actually done two other series back home in the UK, so we were quite used to having cameras around all the time. The scariest thing about this show was moving to America for three months and being away from our family and friends. We were scared of being homesick, but the trip was amazing and so exciting. We loved being out in L.A.
Would anyone consider being in the States full time?
Rochelle Wiseman: We all have massive roots in the UK, so it's definitely “home” to us. But we really did love L.A. We could definitely see ourselves spending more time out there. The weather certainly beats London, at the very least.
What are the biggest differences you're finding between being in the UK and being in the States?
Mollie King: We find Americans so much warmer than Brits. You walk into an elevator in the States and everyone says "hello!" and "have a nice day." In the UK, people stare at the ground and ignore each other. It's really refreshing.
When you have to make such a big commitment, like for a big tour, or TV contract, what's the process for making those major decisions, since everyone has such different non-professional lives? It can't be just an "All in favour of..? Majority wins!" conversation? Seems like there is so much to consider.
Vanessa White: Of course it's tricky balancing the lives of five separate people, but at the same time, we're all really eager to build our fan base in the UK, in the States and all around the world. So it takes sacrifices on a daily basis, and we're ready for it.
Chasing The Saturdays airs every Monday night at 8:30/7:30c on E! Follow The Saturdays on Twitter, @TheSaturdaysTV. Check out their single “What About Us” on iTunes.