"If you find a cute kid, you might have a star. if you find a cute kid that can sing, you might have a cottage industry." — Jesse McCartney of Dream Street
McCartney is right on the money and pop svengalis are well aware of it. The music industry honchos, who assemble boy bands by finding attractive young men with big sets of pipes are nothing new in the business. The Monkees were assembled during the '60s via audition. The same can be said for Menudo from the '70s, New Kids on the Block during the Reagan era and the Backstreet Boys back in the '90s.
And now there is The Wanted. The act's name is apt since record industry honchos want hunky guys, who can nail high notes or quietly receive assistance from Auto-Tune. The Wanted is comprised of five male pin-ups from the United Kingdom, who were assembled courtesy of a series of auditions in 2009.
It only took 12 months for the band to top the UK singles chart with the catchy single 'All Time Low.'
"It was a quick rise for us but we worked our butts for that," vocalist Siva Kaneswaren said while calling from Chicago. "We earned it."
The machine demands product from successful boy bands. The Wanted released three albums in three years after its eponymous debut dropped in 2010.
"The problem with that is that I don't feel that we spent enough time making any of those albums," Kaneswaren said. "We decided to take our time when we were going to make our fourth album and we did just that."
The Wanted worked on its forthcoming album for two years. It drops Nov. 4.
"We wanted to work on every detail on every song," Kaneswaren said. "We wanted each song to sound like a hit. It all had to be up to a certain standard. Every song should sound like a single."
The slick dance-pop tunes are radio ready, particularly 'We Own The Night' and the UK smash 'Walks Like Rihanna,' which is reminiscent of Maroon 5's 'Moves Like Jagger.'
"We thought that was a fun idea," Kaneswaren said. "Who doesn't love Rihanna?"
And then there's the revelatory 'Show Me Love (America).' It's no secret that The Wanted, which is doing very well in the UK, would love to break out like fellow boy band One Direction in the States.
"Sure, it would be great to be able to get to another level in America," Kaneswaren said. "There's no doubt about that. We think this is the album that's going to get us there. It's a lifelong dream."
Kaneswaren, the lone Irish member of the primarily British Wanted, broke through as a model at 16, and decided to give singing a shot shortly thereafter. He is a living example of McCartney's theory.
"McCartney is right but nothing is automatic without a great deal of work," Kaneswaren said. "I was willing to make sacrifices to get where I am."
"How cool would it be to one day work with Daft Punk and sing with them," he said. "That would be amazing."
For now, Kaneswaren and his Wanted mates, Nathan Sykes, Max George, Jay McGuiness and Tom Parker, are working with the likes of hit maker Ryan Tedder, who helped co-write tunes for 'Word of Mouth.'
"That was an interesting experience," Kaneswaren said. "Ryan is so passionate about music. He's going to help us get to that next level."
Perhaps E! will as well. The cable outlet recently began airing 'The Wanted Life,' a reality show that focuses on the young boy band. "It's a lot of fun being filmed," Kaneswaren said. "We love it. That's how you can see us when we're not in your city."
When The Wanted is in your city, keep your eyes peeled. You just might see them on the streets. "We don't like to be trapped in a hotel room," Kaneswaren said. "We like to get out in every city we visit to see the sights. Today we went to the top of the Sears tower and to Millennium Park. I wore a grungy hat so fans wouldn't believe it's me."
Kaneswaren and his crew will have to do a lot better than that if "Word of Mouth'' breaks.
"That would be a good problem to have," Kaneswaren said. "It would be more challenging to leave the hotel room but I can live with that challenge."