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John Lamb, Published April 24 2012

Lamb: Moorhead native among 'The Wanted' boy band

“Met Ann Curry. Day complete. Not really. Met Rosie O’Donnell too. But most importantly. I met Ann Curry.”

That was Eric Odness’ Facebook update Tuesday morning.

And that’s neither the start nor the end of the Moorhead native’s brushes with fame. It’s just another day in the life for the man behind a boy band.

Literally. The 35-year-old Odness didn’t start a boy band, he just backs one, playing bass guitar for The Wanted.

The group of English and Irish singers broke out in the United States over the last year with hits like “Glad You Came,” “All Time Low” and “Lightning.”

“It definitely happened out of nowhere,” Odness says from a hotel room in New York after the “Today” appearance. “It was just one day, you get a phone call and tomorrow you’re on the Ellen (DeGeneres) show.”

The phone call came from his friend and drummer Tucker Rule, charged with putting together a state-side backing band for The Wanted last fall.

Since then Odness, who also lives in New York, has been on the road for a three-week US tour in January, goes out for three more in May and then another run in August.

The bassist, who earned his chops in post-punk bands like Chariots and Submarine Bells says there’s a big difference between The Wanted and the boy bands of 20 years ago.

“These guys don’t dance,” he says. “It’s not so cookie-cutter, trying to make the girls scream, kind of crap. It’s more rock.”

Well, a radio-friendly, Kelly Clarkson-like rock, he says.

But they still make the girls scream.

“It’s super weird,” Odness says about watching the mostly young female fans go crazy. “People freak out when they see us now too, but they scream for (The Wanted) onstage. It’s mayhem.”

It’s a different crowd than the one he sees when he plays with his other act, the metal-punk band Primitive Weapons.

“About 20 years age difference” he laughs. “There’s a lot more beers in the crowd. Beers, beards, tattoos and a lot more dudes.”

Odness says The Wanted are pretty good guys and don’t treat the band just like hired help.

“They’re amazing. They’re the nicest dudes in the world. They’re just bros,” he says. “They try to include us in everything.”

Like last week, after they played “The Voice” in Los Angeles. The Wanted’s hired musicians all made their way to the Playboy Mansion to celebrate singer Nathan Sykes’ 19th birthday.

“That’s just such a surreal way to celebrate,” he says of his time with the Playboy bunnies. “There was some kid from ‘Glee’ there, but I didn’t bother meeting him.”

Odness and his crew are at it again this morning playing “The View.” They all fly back to Los Angeles for a mini concert on “Extra” on Thursday and a return to “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Friday.

“Which is pretty rad,” Odness says. “Mel Gibson is on Leno Friday. So stoked.”

He laughs again and says, “The tortured life of a traveling musician.”

On TV

Catch Moorhead native Eric Odness and The Wanted on the following TV shows this week:

Show: “The View”

When: 10 a.m. today

Channel: ABC

Online: theview.abc.go.com

Show: “Extra”

When: 3 p.m. Thursday

Channel: CBS

Online: www.extratv.com

Show: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”

When: 10:30 p.m. Friday

Channel: NBC

Online: www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show


Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533