After eight top five singles and two platinum selling albums, The Wanted announced back in January that they planned to go on hiatus and pursue “separate endeavors.”
But what exactly led to the pop quintet’s “breakup”? Is group member Max George really to blame?
Access Hollywood sat down with Siva Kaneswaran to talk about the status of the band, what’s next for him, and a scary incident in Denver, where he was robbed at knifepoint!
Access Hollywood: Is it true you and Jay [McGuiness] got robbed last week? What happened?!
Siva Kaneswaran: We went to the cinema to see “Transcendence” in Denver… We’re on our way back and this homeless guy came up to us and asked us for change from me and Jay. We gave him his change, a few dollars, and he said thank you and he walked away and he goes, “Hey guys check this out.” So we went back, stupidly, just to check what he was yelling about and he pulled a knife on us. Right to our gut just pulled it and… we didn’t know what to do and then this couple came around the corner and kind of defused the situation. We kind of just ran while saying you shouldn’t carry a knife in the street. Like really loud so people can hear around us. Yeah we got away. It was one of those situations where it could’ve been awful.
Access: How much did you give this man? Perhaps that was the problem?
Siva: Oh that must be it. We gave him like $3 or $4, which is I think is fair. That’s a fair amount.
Access: So what exactly is going on with your band? There are reports you broke up and then there are reports you’re taking some time off.
Siva: We’re touring now, but we’re going to take a break. After this, we’re going to do our own like personal endeavors and go and do our own solo stuff and I’m going to go crazy and do acting, singing, and maybe some juggling, rebuild some cars. Do whatever I want.
Access: Does this mean that the break is permanent or temporary?
Siva: It’s as long as--I mean as natural as it was for us to go on a break, it’s going to be as natural to come back together. When everyone feels right, if it happens, then it happens. But I’m very open to it.
Access: But how did the rumors about a permanent split start?
Siva: I think--well we released a statement saying that we’re going to go on a break and to do our own stuff and then Max [George] released an article in the U.K. which kind of said we split and it kind of went crazy from that. But we kind of all spoke about it afterwards and we squashed it.
Access: Are you and Max still fighting over this?
Siva: It wasn’t really a feud. We were all very upset. It was kind of like we all agreed to a certain statement and then he released that statement. It was like what’s going on? For us guys — I think it — emotions run high and this is before the tour. So we sat down, had a chat, and agreed to move forward and for the fans. We all got on the same page and it’s a lot — for guys it’s very different. It’s like you sit down, yeah okay. Girls, might have of got a bit more [makes cat sound] … catty.
Access: Some people are saying you guys were dropped from your label, which is the reason why you parted.
Siva: No, we weren’t dropped. We came to the end of our contract at our label and our option was there to pick up another few years and we’re just like, [exhales] “Five more years! I’m sick of these guys!” [laughs] No, we just kind of felt like it was natural and we worked really hard for four years and it felt right to just kind of put it on pause.
Access: I’m sure the boys from One Direction are thrilled, now that they have less competition in the boyband market.
Siva: I think they’ve got nothing to worry about as regards to us… I wouldn’t expect them to contact us. I think well done for them and they’re flying the flag for the U.K.
Access: One Direction and The Wanted were supposedly feuding this whole time. Was there any truth to that or was it the media’s fault?
Siva: There was a feud. There were a few Twitter comments that were passed, sent along and there were a few replies by a few of the boys. But it kind of went to its peak and then it kind of just stopped for a bit and then we all kind of agreed to just put it away and move forward because I was like it was too much drama. It was battle of the boy bands and you’re just like, let’s move on. We got some music to do and — but now it’s cool.
Access: What was doing the reality show “The Wanted Life” like? Was it a positive or a negative experience?
Siva: Looking back at the reality show, I’d say it was a bit of both. Positive and negative. I mean it was great. We went to the White House and there’s some amazing things that not a lot of other Americans would do… There were a few negative things. There was a bit of stress between us boys and girlfriends. It was a bit like very stressful.. and it was a lot of things that kind of — lot of cracks that were just widened and old. Old memories and stuff like that. I felt like in the show a lot of people kind of showed their true colors which I got really upset with because I wear my heart on my sleeve. And afterwards, I got really upset… I was upset for my partner and I knew she was kind of stitched up and stereotyped. But you live and learn.
Access: Do you feel like you and your fiancee Nareesha [McCaffrey] were unfairly portrayed as the villains on the show?
Siva: That’s it. People didn’t really discuss the kind of roles you’re going to have and we ended up being some sort, some type of villain. Do I look like a villain? Look at me [laughs] and yeah I was really upset with that because that’s not who I am. But hey, that’s reality TV for you.
Access: Is Max George really as big of a ladies man as the show made him out to be?
Siva: Max does like the ladies. I have to say yeah.
Access: Max’s name is on Lindsay Lohan’s alleged lover’s list. Do you think that’s deserved?
Siva: Well, if Max did do that with her… I know Lindsay very well and I know they did kind of have something there. If it happened then obviously he should be on the list. But I don’t know. I didn’t see anything. It’s their private life but whatever. I mean they’re both very healthy and happy people. [Laughs]
Access: You are on talking terms with Lindsay. What is going on with her?
Siva: Yeah she’s just been busy working and she wants to see us in New York and that’s all I can say. But because I love her. She’s a great girl and that’s all I can say.
Access: On the show, we saw Nathan [Sykes] go through vocal surgery. How is he doing?
Siva: Nathan’s voice is fine. I think after the rest he had, he’s been very careful. He’s warmed up a lot and restricts himself and he’s kind of — he sings really well from where I hear onstage. [Thumbs up]
Access: Nathan and Ariana Grande seem pretty close. Are they together or not?
Siva: I think from what I hear from Nathan and from the media, I think it’s over. Uh, but I think it was very mature breakup. And I don’t really know his private life as much. I respect that. It’s a relationship that they’re going through a lot of stuff. So as long as Ariana and Nathan are happy, I’m very happy.
Access: There’s a rumor Ariana’s new single “Problem” is about Nathan.
Siva: Wow really?! Really?!
Access: Yeah. Let me read you a sample lyric: “I got one less problem without ya…”
Siva: Oh wow I don’t know, and if it is then they need to get on a phone call and talk about this.
Access: Speaking of lady singers, I saw on a show that Rihanna once hit on you?
Siva: Well, she didn’t hit on me. We did a gig in the U.K. I think it was like the Summertime Ball, like a massive gig in Wembley Stadium. And we went to a club afterwards and I think I spoke to her briefly in the club. Had a few drinks, spoke to her briefly. It was very polite, and my partner was there. So you know, so I don’t remember much, but then the media said she hit on me.
Access: Do you and your fiancée have any free passes?
Siva: Wow! Nareesha used to say that I get a pass with Jessica Alba. And I said “Aww, thank you.” But then I met Jessica Alba backstage at an awards show and I was like, “Umm I’m pretty happy with Nareesha.” My Mrs.is the best so I couldn’t. I didn’t even think about it, I was like, “Should I bring up the past to Jessica Alba or should I just let it go?” I just let it go.
Access: That’s sweet. With The Wanted on hiatus, what’s next for you?
Siva: I want to go into acting or singing and I’ve got a lot of songs ready now. I’m just waiting for the right time to release them all over the planet.
Check back on AccessHollywood.com this weekend for Part II of our exclusive, candid sitdown with Siva Kaneswaran, where he talks about his solo project, his upcoming wedding — and if he’d ever go full frontal!
-- Genevieve Wong