Interview with Terry Coldwell of East 17

Written by Pauli

English boy band EAST 17 are coming back to Australia alongside B*Witched, Atomic Kitten, Liberty X and S Club 3 in the years biggest 90’s revival concert spectacular. AMNplify’s Pauli Dee spoke to Terry Coldwell about coming back to Australia, what he’s been up to since the 90’s and whether he’d consider working with a British rival of the band, Robbie Williams.


East 17


Pauli: G’day Terry. Thanks for speaking to us. You’re heading back to Australia next month.

Terry: Yeah, we’re heading back to Australia to do a tour with some other 90’s bands, Liberty X, S-Club 3 and B*Witched and we’re really looking forward to it mate! I cannot wait to get out of this cold weather into the sunshine and get some vitamin C into my skin!


Pauli: Hahaha It’s quite warm here at the moment, are you ready for summer?

Terry: Mate … I just wanna get out of this weather! I’m scraping ice of my car every morning … Agh, it’s bad!


Pauli: Now I know you’ve been here (Australia) before because I saw you, myself, live in the 90’s and you also did a tour here in 2012. What are your memories of Australia?

Terry: Oh mate, I just LOVE Australia. I love the people, the fans have been brilliant, the food’s lovely, I just love everything about it. I love the sight-seeing and of course the weather is the best.
We came in 2012, we’ve been out there a few times, but that was the first time we came out in your winter and it just rained for three weeks every day, it was crazy!


Pauli: It should be a lot nicer this time around then. Now you mentioned playing alongside B*Witched , Atomic Kitten and S-Club 3. Have you performed with any of these guys before?

Terry: Yeah! We’ve performed with them along the routes in the 90’s, you know, doing certain shows & festivals and stuff like that so it’ll be great to see them again. I think B*Witched were East 17 fans as well, so it’ll be amazing.


Pauli: Hahahaha, who wasn’t? As I said, I saw you lived in Melbourne in the 90’s so I was a fan as well!

Terry: Oh cheers, Thank you!


Pauli: Is there anyone in the music industry that you’d like to work with that you haven’t worked with before?

Terry: Umm … yeah well you’ve got your Ushers and your Justin Timberlakes, Robin Thicke, Pharrell … Ummm …

Pauli: Robbie Williams? Is he one that you’d consider working with?

Terry: Yeah! I would work with Robbie Williams, yeah. He’s done really well for himself. He’s a GREAT performer, so yeah, we’d work with Robbie. It’d be funny, you know, with the rivalry between Take That and East 17, but yeah, it’d be fun!


Pauli: So on this tour will you be playing your 90’s hits? Or new material? Or both?

Terry: On this tour we’ll be doing a lot of the hits we had. I think we only get just over half an hour, we’ll be doing the new single because we’re bringing out a new album as we come out. Australia will be the first country to hear the new album and we’re releasing it with the tour and we’ve got a new music video, which is absolutely brilliant and we’ve also got a little surprise that we’re going to be doing.

I’m sure everyone’s going to love this one. Even if they’re B*Witched fans or Atomic fans just there to see them, they’re still going to love what we do. It’s going to be very high-energy just like the old days … and I’ve got the oxygen tank waiting backstage!!!


Pauli: Hahaha, do you ever tire of doing those old songs? You’ve been performing them for over 20 years!

Terry: No! You know what, it’s been a roller coaster ride, but it’s been absolutely fantastic. I wouldn’t swap it for anything. The good times, the bad times, I think everyone in life has good times & bad times, even multi-millionaires still have to dress themselves, but I’m so grateful that, you know, you’re lucky on this earth to live 80 years & halfway through my life I’ve seen so much & had so many good experiences & mate, I couldn’t wish for more. To be travelling the world & staying in nice hotels & meeting nice people & eating nice food. It’s a great life.


Pauli: Do you have a favourite country to perform in?

Terry: Australia! I’m not just saying that because of the upcoming show, but it is, honestly. We’ve got so many great memories of Australia and had so many good times and with the weather as well; that just tops it off. Even whenever people say in interviews, “What’s the best place” even in Europe and stuff like that, I always say Australia. I love coming there.


Pauli: hahaha you’re a legend! So touring is obviously still a big part of your life. What about the recording studio? Have you been visiting the studio a lot these days?


Terry: Yeah, we spent the whole of last year recording the album and I write myself, I’ve got a little studio set up myself where I do all the ideas and put things together & do a bit of writing and stuff, and then me and Robbie take it into the studio and we recorded this album with a production team that are friends of ours and I think it’s the best album we’ve ever done. It’s unbelievable and I’m not just saying that, it is a really good album. People will be surprised with this album.


Pauli: What do you prefer to do: write and record or tour and perform live?

Terry: Umm… well they’re both different, the creating and writing … it’s great to create songs and especially when you’re onto a winner as well, and you’re in the studio and your head’s bopping and you’re proper feeling, it’s the best feeling ever and you’re thinking “Oh, people are going to love it”.

Then when you’re on stage and the fans are going mad, it’s just another side of it … and then when you’re performing the songs that you wrote & people are going mad it’s an even better excitement.

It’s a win/win situation. I love travelling. The last three years – we manage ourselves now & we have for the last  years –  things are going from strength to strength, we’re just loving it. There’s no problems, we laugh, we joke, everywhere we go, we’re just having a good time.

I think as you get older, you appreciate it more too. Before it was about “Do the gig, get drunk, wake up with a hang-over, boo” you know, but now it’s about enjoying the food, have a glass of wine, have a couple of beers & not go so mad! We probably will a couple of times, but it’s more of seeing the sights now and getting up in the morning and getting out, seeing what the town’s about, so you definitely appreciate it more as you get older & to be doing it this long makes you appreciate it even more.


Pauli: You were one of the BIGGEST bands in the 90’s. Does that make it easier or harder to release new music now?

Terry: I think in general as you get older it gets harder, because when we were around, there was no internet in the 90’s. You know there was no Facebook, there was no YouTube or social media or anything like that. It used to be quite hard to get into the record industry & to get a record deal, you’d only get a select few that would make it through, but nowadays you can self-promote, you got YouTube and if you get enough hits, you can get record deals that way.

For us, it was harder and as you get older it gets harder because the younger generation are into younger bands, but I believe if the material is good and you’re doing good music videos, and you’re keeping it current to today’s music, you’ve got a good chance and you’ll make it.

But most importantly, have a good time! I believe in the universe giving you what you want and the energy. I believe in a higher power and stuff like that so yeah, just keep it positive all the time. Negatives get thrown at everyone in everyone’s daily life, but you try and see through it and just try and stay positive all the time.


East 17

Image courtesy of artist’s Facebook.


Pauli: Love your attitude. So what would you be doing if you couldn’t sing?

Terry: I’d probably be in prison! Hahaha no, my dad always made me work from a really young age. Before school I would do an early morning paper round & then still at school I was doing Saturday and Sunday jobs, market jobs like fruit and veg stalls and stuff like that so he always made me work, which is good.

At the time I hated it, but now as I’ve gotten older I think “respect to my dad”;  he made me work, he made me see what it was like to earn money. I had so many jobs! I left school when I was 15 and got a job in a factory, I’ve done printing, I’ve done plumbing, I’ve done plastering and when I was 17 we got our first record deal. I moved to Spain when the band split up in 2000 and lived there for seven years, where I managed a bar and a club.


Pauli: Oh wow! What was that like?

Terry: It was hard work! It was good, I loved it. The first few years, I really liked it, it was something different. I think at the time I needed to get away from the band and the music because it was just all falling apart & I needed to do something for myself. So I was going out with this girl at the time and I went business partners with her Dad. I loved it the first couple of years because the currency was still pesetas and then in the third year it went to Euros and kind of killed everything.

Everything went up in price. Where I lived, a small town called Mojacar, which is in southern Spain, they had a curfew there. The government had put a thing on where you couldn’t build above three storeys, like hotels, then they lifted that, and hotels started getting built everywhere and we lost a lot of business. I struggled for a bit out there, but at the same time, it was an experience and I enjoyed it,  and if I ever get a bar again or a club in my life, I know basically what to do!


Pauli: You’re a man of many trades! …You’ve done a bit of acting as well. Would you do more of that?

Terry: Yeah I’ve done a bit of acting, I’m actually doing a film at the moment, which is a true story film. In March we’ll shoot the trailer for it and I play one of the lead characters in it.


Pauli: Ooh, can you tell us the name of the film?

Terry: It’s called “The Blag”.


Pauli: The Blag?

Terry: You know when you’re blagging someone? Blagging means when you’re telling someone … just say I had done a bit of building work and weren’t very good at it, but to get a job I told someone I’m brilliant at it, like “yeah yeah mate, you can trust me, I’ll do a brilliant job!” That’s what you call blagging. It’s a comical movie with some serious bits in it, but it’s very funny and because it’s based on a true story, it makes it interesting!


Pauli: Haha OK I’ll keep my eye out for it.
Thanks so much for talking to me. I hope you enjoy the tour and enjoy Australia.

Terry: Thanks Paul, have a good one mate.


East 17

Don’t miss out on seeing East 17 live! Click above for full details of their upcoming tour with B*Witched, Atomic Kitten, S Club 3 & Liberty X.


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January 20th, 2017

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