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  Triple Eight: full interview
Updated 11 April 2003, 16.05

888 are the latest boy band to hit the pop world. They have more attitude than some bands and are hoping to be Britain's answer to N'Sync.

CBBC Newsround Online caught up with them to find out more.

Newsround: How did you get together to form the band?
Sparx: Yes Justin, how did we get together?
Justin: How did we get together? Me and Sparx grew up with each other, we've known each other since we were 11 and it's something that we've always wanted to do.

Singing, we always used to do that kicking around in the park and stuff, we actually wanted to make it into something rather than just a hobby.

Jamie, David and Josh

We didn't want to go as a duet because we couldn't, we wanted to make it essentially into a five piece so we found Josh through a producer, it wasn't like an audition, we just hung out with him for a while, we got on and so he joined. He knew Jamie through a football team which is Wingate and Finchley, that old classic!

Jamie: Hello to everyone there! Justin: Yeah, and we finally found David through our management. We've all been together for just over a year now.

Newsround: How did you get the name 888?
Jamie: We were coming back from Sweden where we'd been recording most of the album and in Heathrow Airport on a billboard there was 888 and it's a Chinese lucky symbol and it looks good as well - we need a bit of luck!

Newsround: Your debut single Knockout is out on 21st April, how do you think it will do in the charts?
Sparx: We're hoping for the best, that's all you can do really - be positive. We're just working as hard as possible trying to promote the single and ourselves and hopefully, touch wood it will do very well!


Newsround: Have you had any feedback yet - how's it doing on radio play lists?
Sparx: Yeah, everybody seems to be feeling it. What we've done, with the video as well, we've taken it to another level, you can hear the song but it's quite a visual song as well. Lots of people have been giving us feedback on the video and the song.

Newsround: There are a lot of cool dance moves in the video, do you think that performance is more important than the song you're singing?
Sparx: It's definitely something that we want to incorporate in the whole 888 vibe. We definitely want to bring something to the fans and to the public that hasn't been done before. With performance, just raising the game and making people sit up and watch and listen and hopefully give them some entertainment rather than just sitting behind the microphone singing a song. A lot of fans and especially teenage girls, want to be entertained and that's what we want to do.

Newsround: What can people expect from the rest of the album?
Justin: Knockout is probably the rockiest song that is on the album. It's got a lot of different flavours, and tracks. We've got slow ballads, R'n'B tracks. It's quite diverse, it's not just one sound but even though it is diverse, when you hear the album, hopefully it will sound like an 888 sound. It will all come together when you hear it - it's quite a different sound.

Newsround: What are your main musical influences?
Sparx: There's so many. Individually we've all grown up listening to our own styles of music. We all love R'n'B music and that's one thing that brought us all together as mates, but as a group on the whole, we definitely like people who do things a little bit differently, like when N'Sync was about, their stage shows were fantastic, I remember people like New Kids on the Block and Take That who really put on a performance. But also we like groups like Linkin Park and people like that - people who aren't afraid to do something not by the rule book.


Newsround: Are there any boy bands that you admire in particular?
Jamie: I think N'Sync because of the performance, but we're just trying to focus on ourselves and trying to make our own thing. But you've got to look up to people like Backstreet and N'Sync but I definitely think it's better to focus on ourselves really. Justin: I personally think that N'Sync are the benchmark - they are the best boy band in recent years so that's definitely where we're aiming and above that. There's no point aiming below that because I don't think any of us would be happy with that.

Newsround: You were one of the first bands in a long time, if ever, to open CD:UK when you were unknown - what was that like?
Justin: It was brilliant, it was wicked. To be on CD:UK at all whether it be first or last would have been wicked, but to actually open it! Just being on the show, you wake up on a Saturday morning and you watch it - to actually be on it! Jamie: When you hear the CD:UK voice at the end of the song you're like 'what?!'. It was very good.

Justin: TOTP will be the next thing! For me, I've been wanting to do this, I've wanted to be on a Saturday morning TV show, I've wanted to be on TOTP and I've wanted to shoot a video and I've done two out of three now - TOTP is the next!


Newsround: What are your ambitions for the next 12 months?
Jamie: One of the biggest ambitions probably at all is to go on tour. That's a massive group ambition to do a UK or world tour. For me, because I'm from North London, Wembley is where I want to be! It'll probably be later this year or earlier next year. We're doing lots of summer road shows though. Justin: They'll be really good for us because there'll be big crowds there - it'll be good for us to get out and perform. That's at the top of we all want to do.

Newsround: There are a lot of boy bands around - they don't all succeed - what's different about you that will make you succeed?
Sparx: Having pursued this for nearly five years, we've had a lot of doors shut in our face so it's not like this has happened overnight for us. We've had to work very hard for it and we're still working very hard for it so maybe there's something a bit more underlying there with us because we've already been through a lot anyway. I think that's makes us even more determined to get our sound and our whole thing across. Also our music, I think we all think that our music is a little bit different to anything that's out there at the moment.

Newsround: I know that some of you have girlfriends, but those of you who don't, who would be your ideal girlfriend?
Sparx: I've got a girlfriend. Justin: I'm still looking for the perfect woman, but recently we met Natalie Umbruglia and she is beautiful. Jamie: For me, my ideal woman would be Angelina Jolie.

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