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Il Divo - The Classical Fab Four Go From Strength To Strength

Il Divo - The Classical Fab Four Go From Strength To Strength

20 November 2012

"There are so many things to do in London, and it’s the best city in the world. It’s just the weather that’s sometimes difficult!" - Sebastien Izambard

After working solidly for the last 10 months you'd think the boys from Il Divo would take some time off. Not the case! London Calling's Tom Hunter got the chance to catch up with Sebastien Izambard on a rare day off. He told us all about the greatest hits album, the upcoming tour and getting to work with Katherine Jenkins...

London Calling: So you’ve got a new tour planned for the coming months, haven’t you?

Sebastien Izambard: Yeah, apart from promoting the greatest hits album as well, but the tour is the next exciting step. We’ve worked for the last 10 months and been around the world so we thought that the greatest hits could be exposed to various countries and we thought that it would also be nice to change a bit of the formula by inviting Katherine Jenkins to perform with us - something a bit sexy! She’s very nice, beautiful and sings very well.

LC: Are you trying to tell us that the four of you aren’t sexy enough?

Seb: No I’m not saying that, but we definitely don’t have a woman’s voice so we thought it would be nice to have a few duets with her, just to do something different. People always do that with their tours, it’s nice to mix. We did that with Barbra Streisand and it worked so well. We shared the stage with her and sang our songs and sang some duets and it was a great thing, so we thought it would be nice to do it again.

LC: That sounds really good. What can fans expect from the new tour then? Have you worked on the classics and done some good stuff with Katherine too?

Seb: Well we haven’t yet, because she’s about to promote her album as well, so we have to catch up at some point, sit down and just figure out what songs we’re going to do. We haven’t really talked about it but we just know that our voices are going to work perfectly. We did a TV special for ITV together so we’ve already sung two songs together and that actually went very well.

LC: You’ve just mentioned that you’ve done this massive 10 months travelling all over the place and you’ve obviously got a huge fan base. We’ve read comments on your Facebook page from fans and there’s lots of hearts and love there! Are your fans different in different parts of the world?

Seb: Oh yes, absolutely. In terms of culture if you go from the UK to South America to America it’s different of course and that’s what we like; it gives us such diversity. We have tremendous, huge fun around the world and our fans are so respectful, they’re so loyal to us. Japanese people would travel the world to come and see you, it’s amazing, and we always have to pinch ourselves to realise that we’re so lucky and everything is going so well.

LC: Now we have to ask, with such a fantastic fan base like that are they mainly friendly or are there a few strange fans out there in the world?

Seb: Well you always have an awkward one, even in your families, but I’d have to say that 95 per cent of our fans are very respectful of our lives and it’s how you set it up as well. I’ve got three children and the ladies know that they’re yours and they’ve always been so respectful of Renee, my wife and my children. There’s never been a problem, we set a boundary from day one and they love it. They send presents to Renee and my kids, it’s fantastic. I think we’re the luckiest men in the world; we have a lot of success and a huge fan base.

LC: Looking at the tour coming up, it’s obviously going to be a lot of work. Do you guys have any tips, techniques or tricks that you use to keep your performances fresh every night?

Seb: Yeah, we just go out thinking that it’s the last concert we’re ever going to do. We get a lot of rest, drink a lot of water, and drink wine before or after, ha ha! Before the gig I have a lot of water and off I go. I try not to get too stressed, because the stress can take away your ability to just enjoy the gig. I think it’s really important to give 100 per cent of yourself in terms of the concert because it could be your last, you never know.

LC: You’ve got some really big venues, places like the O2 in London, where you finish the tour, so how do you scale up for those really big performances over the more intimate shows?

Seb: Well it’s quite funny, because for me it’s actually easier to play in a big venue rather than a smaller venue. When we play at the Coliseum or other compact places it’s much harder because people are closer to you. In a big arena it’s not as personal as that and somehow you have a bit less pressure. But for me it’s really about making sure that wherever you are you make sure that people have a wonderful time. I try to avoid thinking about these sorts of things too much. The O2 is huge - it’s big, but for me it’s a little bit less scary in some way.

LC: Are there any special things you like to do when you’re not on the clock and performing in front of loads of people?

Seb: I’d be spending a lot of time with my kids, I take my little one who’s one-and-a-half years old to a class where he dances with other kids, I take my kids to school, so I spend a lot of time with my children, that’s important. We go to the park, Hyde Park, I like going out for lunch, there are so many things to do in London, and it’s the best city in the world. It’s just the weather that’s sometimes difficult! But I think that overall it’s a wonderful city. It’s great because you can go anywhere from London and enjoy all the different places in Europe. It’s so accessible and I’m not far from Heathrow - it’s a great city.

LC: What about some of the galleries and museums, do you get a chance to take the kids to see any culture?

Seb: Yeah, I’ve taken them to the museum that’s not far from the French embassy, because there’s children’s stuff there. We like taking them to arts and crafts things as well, but we haven’t done so much recently because I think they would trash it completely! One is four-and-a-half years old, so he’s not concentrated in that yet, but they love seeing dinosaurs and stuff. We try as much as we can, but it’s getting there.

LC: You obviously have your own musical style when you’re performing, but what do like in your personal life? Are there any particular genres or guilty pleasures that you relax to or listen to when there’s no-one else in the house?

Seb: I like pop rock - that’s what I listen to. My background is from the pop side - I listen to Coldplay, I’ve got the latest Muse album, and I think Muse are an amazing band. I listen to a band called Hurts; I listen to lots of music, anything from bossa nova to reggae, South American music. I just love music in general.

LC: So backstage in the dressing room you’re basically rocking out to Muse!

Seb: I drive the guys insane because I’m constantly listening to music. They’re like “oh my god, don’t you ever shut up!” and I’m always singing all the time, but I love it.

LC: You’ve obviously got a lot on, but what are your epic plans for the future?

Seb: Well the big, big step now is preparing the next record for next year and making sure that we’ve got something exceptional. We’ve just released the greatest hits and that’s a mark of a turn in our career and now we want to do something else. So that’s obviously something that’s really important to us and it’s a bit scary in a sense because we are going to have to surprise people with something else. But that’s a big, big step. So it’s how we’re going to make that step and how people will perceive it and if they’re going to like it.

LC: How many tuxedos do you guys get through in a year? You must have a high turnover!

Seb: Well we toured for 10 months and I think we only had one, then a spare one, so that’s two. I think it was probably three or four in total. There aren’t that many tuxedos, but when you do a promo there are a lot of them, but generally it’s not actually as bad as you may think.

LC: With that whole image it would be fantastic if you guys could do the theme for the next Bond movie or something. Have you ever thought about that kind of stuff?

Seb: Yeah, absolutely, especially when I heard Adele singing it, I think it would be great. It would be fantastic to be able to do that, a privilege, a dream actually.

For more information and tickets to the tour and how to buy the Greatest Hits album go to http://www.ildivo.com/uk/home

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