Mel C and TLC's Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes popped into the Radio 1 studios and chatted to Jo Whiley.
Jo Whiley: You two haven't seen each other until about ten seconds ago!
Mel C: No we haven't! Lisa got in last night - well yesterday.
Left Eye: Yesterday morning!
Mel C: And I got in last night - I was in Belfast yesterday. So we've just said hello.
Jo Whiley: Very good. Lisa, how're you feeling then?
Left Eye: I feel up and alive and ready to do my work today.
Jo Whiley: (laughing) Well that's more than anyone else in the studio!
Mel C: We are so busy over the next few days! But itís all good.
Jo Whiley: What you doing then? Top of the Pops?
Mel C: Top of the Pops, tonight.
Left Eye: Yeah we're gonna have a lot of fun.
Mel C: Uh huh! We got MTV tomorrow as well - we're gonna do a little something there.
Jo Whiley: OK, so renditions of the single. So you haven't seen each other since when?
Mel C: The video shoot!
Left Eye: Yeah and that was when? A couple of months ago. It hasn't been too long.
Mel C: It was January wasn't it?
Left Eye: It only seems like a couple of months ago - and it was!
Jo Whiley: So is it gonna be rusty at all? You're literally just gonna have to take it as it goes aren't you?
Mel C: Well you know what? It's actually gonna be the first time we've performed the song together!
Jo Whiley: Yeah cos' how was it recorded?
Mel C: Well I actually went and did the song, didn't I? (turning to Left Eye) Then I sent you the song. Then Lisa went in later and put the rap on. Then we're were together for the video, so we're gonna have a little practice, aren't we?
Left Eye: Yeh once we leave here.
Mel C: Then we're gonna kick the butt tonight!
Jo Whiley: The video is extraordinary isn't it cos you're both wearing... well you're kinda doing poses, like yoga type poses?
Left Eye: Yeah it's tai chi.
Jo Whiley: Tai chi! Right! (They all laugh)
Jo Whiley: Lisa, why did you agree to do the song in the first place? What did you know of Melanie's work?
Left Eye: Well first of all they asked me if I was interested and I was interested because of the collaboration between a TLC member and a Spice Girls member and once he sent me the track, well you know, that was enough to make me say yes.
Jo Whiley: You were gone!
Left Eye: Yes - to confirm it.
Jo Whiley: When did you know it was No. 1?
Left Eye: Last week.
Jo Whiley: You did know it was No. 1? Of course you did.
Left Eye: It's No. 1'? Where, where?! (laughing)
Mel C: In fact it's No. 1 in Sweden as well.
Left Eye: Oh good!
Mel C: So we're doing alright! But you know by Monday's sales it was so ahead of the people who were No. 2 that it was amazing.
Jo Whiley: And it's looking quite good at the moment isn't it?
Mel C: It is!
Jo Whiley: It's a bit of battle between yourselves and Westlife.
Left Eye: Yeah, I've been hearing. (laughing)
Jo Whiley: So is it war?
Mel C: It's not war. But you know it would be top girl power if we kept it there.
Jo Whiley: If you managed to knobble them?
Mel C: It would be a bit of a coup.
Jo Whiley: But they're all over the place - every TV show..
Mel C: Yeah you know there's so many boy bands. And so may Irish ones too, come on..! (laughing)
Jo Whiley: Yeah you can have 'em, you reckon youíll have emí.. Talking of boy bands, I really really wouldn't want to be you at the moment Melanie cos' every interview you're gonna be asked the question so I'll just do it anyway... How's J?
Mel C: (laughing) He's alright actually.
Jo Whiley: When did see him last?
Mel C: Cor you're so personal, aren't you? (laughing again)
Jo Whiley: I know...
Mel C: I saw him at the weekend. They played Manchester so I went up to see the boys.
Jo Whiley: OK. So how was the gig?
Mel C: Good actually! Really really good show.
Jo Whiley: I read a review that they wore too many clothes.
Mel C: They wore too many? Well they've only got one costume change so I presume that means they're not showing enough flesh.
Jo Whiley: Yeah.
Mel C: Well, good! He can save that for me!
Jo Whiley: So it's most definitely on and it's all going really well?
Mel C: Yeah it is actually.
Jo Whiley: What do you like about him? What's special about him?
Left Eye: Oh my! (all laugh)
Jo Whiley Did you know about this Lisa?
Mel C: I feel like I'm on Oprah! Do you know what? I've been all over the world and I've actually ended up meeting somebody who grew up ten minutes down the road from me. So we're very similar in the way we've been brought up and our sense of humour and stuff like that. So you know..
Left Eye: Sounds good to me, you know!
Jo Whiley: Have you met him, do you know this guy? Do you know the band Five?
Left Eye: No..ummm, no.
Jo Whiley: I tell you what, by the time you leave, you're gonna know everything about them...More than anyone else!
Mel C: They've done a little bit in America. They do OK over there. But..(whispering) I'll show you the picture later.
Left Eye: I'm sure I'll get real familiar with it. (Mel C giggles)
Jo Whiley: I have to say, I haven't seen you this happy in a very long time Melanie.
Mel C: Oh really?
Jo Whiley: No, no, it's very good.
Left Eye: You must come up here quite often.
Jo Whiley: She does. I can't get rid of her..
Mel C: I work here!
Jo Whiley: No, but good times for you right at this moment.
Mel C: Yeah everything's going good.
Jo Whiley: And what about you Lisa with TLC?
Left Eye: Everything is fine. Actually we've just finished touring. We're winding down.
Jo Whiley: The worst thing is we just get the rumours, the gossip...
Left Eye: I'm sure you do.
Jo Whiley: OK so the rumours are - you're all doing you solo albums, you never speak and...
Left Eye: Actually we're not all doing solo albums but I'm working on a solo project.
Jo Whiley: So this will be your own solo album just like Melanie's brought hers out?
Left Eye: Yes.
Jo Whiley: Who you working with?
Left Eye: Well it's kinda premature to say. There's a list of people that I would like to work with, who I am going to reach out to. That's Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Chris Gains, Lil' Kim..
Jo Whiley: So it will be pretty raunchy then?
Left Eye: Well, no. Maybe that one song, but there will be quite a variety of music sounds, messages. Itís gonna be something that we can all jam to.
Jo Whiley: And why the desire to do this then?
Left Eye: Oh I've always wanted to do a solo album. I'm an MC. And you know TLC - I love TLC but I'm very limited to the amount of work that I can actually do. Itís usually a few songs, sixteen bars here and there. And you know I'd like to really really strut my stuff.
Jo Whiley: So you get frustrated?
Left Eye: Yes! But as far as the rumours... We're fine, we haven't broken up.
Jo Whiley: Do you row?
Left Eye: We went through a little something last year, but it's not the first time we went through something. It was just the first time that it was publicised and now that we're over it, you know, it's a little too late, it's out there, so the media's taken it and they've run with it.
Jo Whiley: So what are the tensions? What are the problems that exist between you? What do you row about?
Left Eye: Umm personal differences, you know when it comes to business decisions and the direction that we thought we should move forward in. It's one group. There's three different people with three different visions. So, which direction do we go in? And that's about it.
Jo Whiley: So none of you budge then?
Left Eye: We can all be a little stubborn at times! But you know itís a democracy in our group so two thirds rules, most of the time.
Jo Whiley: So is there a manager or somebody who oversees you who can help out iron out those differences?
Jo Whiley: Oh well they do all eventually do get ironed out. T-Boz and Chilli were in a venting kinda mood when they were doing their interview that day so they spilled a lot of frustrations.
Jo Whiley: Does it get physical at all?
Left Eye: Oh no! We respect each other a little too much for that! It doesn't get physical
Jo Whiley: It just gets very loud.
Left Eye: No. Not really. No it doesn't get loud.
Jo Whiley: Just pointed. Is it something you can relate to Melanie?
Left Eye: I think it's a normal thing. Everybody goes through it.
Mel C: I think every single band on the planet, whether it be girls, whether it be boys, whether it be three, four, five. You know, of course! Especially when you're growing up as well. I mean you've been together for a long long time in TLC haven't you?
Left Eye: We have earned the right to yell at each other! We're like family.
Mel C: You spend so much time together, and it does become more like sisters doesn't it? Cos' no matter what's said, you still love each other. And at the end of the day, you do, you iron out your differences, you sort it out. Cos' at the end you do all want the same thing and that's the best thing for the band and the best thing for each other. But the press just like to grab hold of anything.
Jo Whiley: This is your bug bear isn't it now ? What was it like doing the Brits?
Mel C: It was fabulous actually.
Jo Whiley: You all blubbed.
Mel C: We all had a bit of a blub yeah. I think that was more relief than anything cos' it was a really huge award to receive. Cos' we do get a lot of criticism and we really wanted to do our fans proud and ourselves proud, so that we deserved what we were getting. You know, a lot of people were cynical about the award. We done well. We were pleased with our performance. So it's over and done with now. A fond memory. We always look back romantically don't we?
Jo Whiley: Of course of course! And you were just saying that Geri sent you flowers when you got to No.1.
Mel C: She did! You see this is another myth. Of course I've got my own opinions about Geri's musical career but she's still my friend. And it doesn't mean that I love her any less.
Jo Whiley: What's she said about your record?
Mel C: I think she does like the record. (Jo laughs) That's what she said to me!
Jo Whiley: You're such a politician!
Mel C: The thing is with me and Geri, work doesn't come into it really. Because I'm not really interested in her career and I donít think she's that interested in mine.
Jo Whiley: What flowers did she send you?
Mel C: Nice ones!
Jo Whiley: (joking) So it wasnít a cactus or anything like that? They weren't dead?
Mel C: So if you're listening Geri thank you cos' I havenít had chance to say that yet.
Jo Whiley: OK thank you very much both of you for coming in today.
Mel C: Thank you.
Left Eye: Thanks for having us!
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