10 minutes with Claire Richards

Claire Richards (far left) with bandmates Faye Tozer, Lee Latchford-Evans, Lisa Scott-Lee and Ian "H

Claire Richards (far left) with bandmates Faye Tozer, Lee Latchford-Evans, Lisa Scott-Lee and Ian "H" Watkins. Image: Ellis Parrinder. - Credit: Archant

Steps are back with their sixth album and the Virginia Water-based singer couldn’t be happier

Claire Richards.

Claire Richards. - Credit: Archant

Last year you were working on your solo career. What’s it like being back with your Steps bandmates again?

It’s been brilliant – we were together for a few weeks at the start of this month to launch our new single and our 2021 arena tour. Even though we’re spread across the UK and the world, whenever we come back together it’s like no time has passed. We all act like we’re 20-somethings again, for better or worse!

What was it like recording the new album?

We were very lucky that we had our album recorded, the artwork photoshoot and music video for What The Future Holds all finished by the end of 2019. So the recording process was all done normally – which to a lot of people’s surprise we actually record on separate days and then our producers comp everyone’s vocals together. So we didn’t see eachother that much during recording, but we stayed in touch constantly on our whatsapp about how things were going for each of us in the studio.

Was it always the plan to release this album following the success of Tears on the Dancefloor?

The success of Tears On The Dancefloor was such a wonderful moment. The love for that record took us by surprise and it definitely gave us a new lease of life. It wasn’t until we actually heard the What The Future Holds, written by Sia that we had a real direction for this new album – the moment we heard that song we all thought: “OK we’ve got to do this again – and this is where it begins”.

What the Future Holds album cover. Image: Ellis Parrinder.

What the Future Holds album cover. Image: Ellis Parrinder. - Credit: Archant

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What can fans look forward to during your tour in 2021?

We’ve already been discussing the stage plan and it’s going to be epic – we never like to repeat ourselves so we are planning all sorts of surprises to make it out biggest and best tour yet.

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Will you continue with solo stuff?

The joy of Steps is that between band projects we all get to do our own thing, whether it’s theatre or TV work or solo music. I loved working on my solo record but Steps are the priority right now so we’ll have to see.

How long have you lived in Surrey and what is your earliest Surrey memory?

I’ve lived in Surrey since 2013. The area always holds such a special place in my heart because it’s actually where our Steps journey began, with auditions at Bourne Hall in Ewell.

Where do you go to unwind in Surrey?

I love taking long walks around the lake at Virginia Water, especially on a clear day when the views are gorgeous.

Favourite place to spend time with the family in Surrey?

We usually do a weekend lunch at Piccolino’s in Virignia Water...it’s almost embarrassing how often we can be spotted in there.

Favourite place to shop?

Longacres at Bagshot is a favourite of mine. Crafting and baking are my big hobbies outside music, and they’ve got everything you need.

Where’s the one place in Surrey you would recommend to friends?

Pennyhill Park is gorgeous for a proper weekend spa break, I’d love to go back there soon.

Sum up your Surrey life in three words...

Home, family and serenity

Steps new album What the Future Holds is out on November 27. The single of the same name is out now.

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