Steps are back with What The Future Holds, and PinkNews caught up with Lisa Scott-Lee to find out just that.
Chatting with Lisa Scott-Lee about “unashamedly-pop” group Steps is always a delight because she loves Steps just as much as the fans do. Which, as you might be aware, is a lot.
And now they’re back, back, back! Just when we needed them most. Their new album What The Future Holds is out on Friday (27 November) and a tour follows in 2021.
So, with one foot in the past and one foot in the future, we took a lyric from each of the tracks on Lisa’s solo album (stream Never Or Now!) to find out what the future holds.
PinkNews: What’s been coming over you lately?
Lisa Scott-Lee: [Giggles] As everybody knows it’s been a difficult time out there for everyone. Regardless of the industry you’re in and also the country, it’s been a tough time.
So lately Steps thought that it would be a really lovely idea to spread a little bit of happiness. I think it’s really nice that people have something to look forward to.
Definitely, it just feels like now is the right time. From the feedback we’ve been having, it’s just been incredible.
Where’s the love?
I feel a lot of love for Steps right now. And after 23 years, I feel very blessed and grateful that we can have a short time away when we’re working on the new album and then we come back.
After the first play of “What The Future Holds” on Radio 2, and within an hour of it being played, we were number one in the iTunes charts, which is just incredible.
So we definitely feel that there’s just so much love out there for Steps. After such a long time, we don’t take it for granted. We just really, really do appreciate all the support out there. It’s blown me away, to be honest.
It’s been written by Sia. I’m such a huge Sia fan, she’s such an incredible, talented artist and songwriter. And for her to say, ‘Oh, I’ve written a song but I think Steps should do it.’ [Laughs] You’re like, ‘Sure, OK. Yeah, why not’.
She tweeted us all the other day. ‘Only Steps know what the future holds.’ [Laughs] I was like: ‘‘My god this is brilliant.’
— sia (@Sia) September 9, 2020
What messes with your brain?
When we come to the point where we’re about to spill the beans.
We recorded the single and album last summer. Some people are thinking it’s really apt with the title, which it is, but it was really hard to not spill the beans. I just couldn’t wait to say, ‘Oh, by the way, Sia wrote our new single’ [laughs].
So it was so hard to sit on that secret. We were due to announce our single in March. It was literally the day before lockdown. I’d already packed my suitcases.
I was about to check into my flight [from Dubai, where Lisa lives]. I was literally coming over for our next Steps stint, as I call it. So that definitely messed with my brain to have to go through lockdown.
Dua Lipa really helped me, she was my lockdown album, which I love. It’s just been nice to get the message out there now and to finally be able to share the news that Steps are back.
If you could go back in time, what would you do?
[Laughs] I’m probably going to giggle every time you ask me a question. I know it’s a cliche but I wouldn’t change anything that we’ve been through.
And we have been through some hard times, some dark times with the split and what have you. I know that a lot of the fans out there felt that too.
But I wouldn’t change anything. Because I feel that it’s all played its part in our Steps story and we are where we are now because of the journey that we’ve been on. I think that it’s one of the reasons that the fans are still on this journey with us.
Not to go into it too deeply because I’ve made peace with it now and we’ve all moved on. I think it left the fans a bit shell shocked.
It left me shellshocked [laughs]. I just think it left the fans wanting more of us, which, obviously, that wasn’t the plan. But it just organically has happened. And here we are today.
What’s the most obscenely delicious thing?
I think it’s now dawning on us, after 23 years, that we are enjoying longevity, which is something that we would never have realised or even dreamt off as new artists coming out in 1997.
It’s only really now in this last release of the single that I’ve even dared to say the word. I just wouldn’t even have said the word longevity, but the fact that people are saying, ‘There’s so much love out there for Steps’ and the fact that we’re feeling it, it just feels incredible and obscenely delicious and beautiful and lovely that our fans are still there for us. It’s amazing.
What’s the ultimate song to meet a boy on the dance floor?
I like my pop dance as you know. We’ve got a song called “Clouds” that falls into that amazing category. You’ve got “Come and Dance With Me”.
And then you’ve got “Under My Skin”, which is more of a midtempo. So I think “Under My Skin” because once somebody gets under your skin, then you know, there’s something quite exciting happening there…
What moment have you appreciated most?
I just feel really thankful and blessed. I view Steps like my book of life.
We’ve been so fortunate to have all these chapters. And each time we have a new chapter, I just want to read this over again. And then we’re lucky enough to have a new chapter, which is where we are now.
What would you make last forever?
I would like to say Steps but we’d be talking about “5, 6, 7, 80” if I had my way [laughs].
We can’t go on forever, but we like to think we can.
While the fans want us to, they want new music and they want to see us on tour then we’re just really happy to deliver because we’re all having a ball and just enjoying ourselves and as we’ve all found out recently, you’ve got to have fun you’ve got to smile, you’ve got to be happy.
What’s your favourite dress up?
So many. We really do have the opportunity to let our hair down, go a bit crazy. I think other pop groups must look at us and think, ‘They have so much fun!’
So much leeway to be creative. Because we’re not trying to be cool. We’re not putting ourselves in this particular kind of label or look, we really can go crazy and explore and we can have fun with it.
I can’t say too much, but we just shot the new video to our second single off the new album and I really enjoyed my outfit. I say that obviously no-one’s seen it yet!
I feel that some of the originals are quite iconic now. The videos that spoke and appealed to the audience and our fans, or that still do, you see the fans wearing these costumes, still, in the audience. You always get a lot of people coming in “Deeper Shade Of Blue” or bikini tops, the cowboy hats and devil horns.
Do you see the silver lining?
I always see the silver lining. I always try to see it.
There’s no clouds without sun, no rainbows without rain and things like that. I’m quite spiritual like that. And I do always look for the good and the positive. Especially in the dark days, 100 per cent.
What habit can you not break?
Really, H just springs to mind. Me and him are just like the naughty brother and sister of the group.
We are literally so naughty [laughs].
We definitely push it to the point that if you’re being interviewed, if one of us gets the giggles the other will go, we’re just a nightmare, and you’re getting the looks from the management or the label going, ‘Right, you know, come on guys’. You know when you’re being a bit naughty and you’ve got the giggles, that just really makes me even worse.
I just think me and him, we revert back. We’re very, very close within the group. We’re all close and we’re all friends, but I think me and him, we go back to being 20-somethings.
And even if I haven’t seen him for a few months, we just fall back into our roles within the group and annoy the others.
What blows your mind?
Two things. I would say music, because I’m a massive music fan.
There’s so much great music coming out. But then I would also have to say our fans just because of how crazy loyal they are and how they’re always there for us. I’ve had so many people saying to me and the rest of the band have the same, ‘You’ve really helped me go through dark times’ or tough times or even happy times. I think Steps can be an occasion for everybody.
We’ve helped people through the good and the bad and that’s something I’m really proud of. People coming out and all sorts of different scenarios.
Getting married, or even when people have been bullied. I just think we have been the soundtrack to a lot of people’s lives and you know, it’s been the soundtrack of my life as well. So I completely get that.
Which memory is most engraved in steel?
We’ve been really lucky, we’ve had so many highlights. I remember us going to number one for the first time with “Tragedy”, receiving a Brit award, when I think a lot of the industry doubted Steps or didn’t want us to succeed.
We were very much the underdog. I probably would say the Brit award, that was definitely a very big moment.
Maybe people misunderstood us. When I say ‘people’ I’m talking about people within the industry, but I think we never got bogged down with that. We were not trying to prove ourselves to the doubters, if you like, we were just unapologetically, ‘This is Steps, we love pop, we’re good at pop, this is what we do.’
And I really feel that our fans out there rose and gave us so much love back that anybody who doubted us, it just fell away into the background.
What means the most to me and Steps, the fans getting us to number one on iTunes after one hour of hearing our new track. That means more to us than any of the stats or any credit from the industry because that just never drove us.
It does 100 per cent feel amazing because now I think [laughs] people have to take us seriously because we’re not going anywhere. We’re still here! [Laughs].
To buy Steps’ What The Future Holds and get tickets to their tour visit the official Steps website. Never Or Now is available to stream.