They're Wanted, all right

Life on the road has been a hotbed of adventures for the Wanted.

Waking up in different time zones, digging through suitcases, eating potatoes for breakfast, squabbling and leaving smelly socks lying around have all contributed to the rapport shared by the quintet.

Although having fun is a priority, members of the British-Irish boy band, united by a bone-deep passion for music, remind themselves that they are blessed.

"It's a really exciting journey we are on. I mean, I'm sitting in my hotel looking at a theme park," guitarist Siva Kaneswaran, 24, said by phone from San Jose. "So I get to sing and then go on theme park rides for my job. We're very fortunate."

Fortune will smile, too, upon Orange County — and maybe its female population in particular — on Wednesday when the Wanted take the stage at the OC Fair's Pacific Amphitheatre.

"We just started hearing some of the music from the forthcoming album, so I think fans of the band can look forward to hearing some of that live," amphitheater entertainment director Dan Gaines said. "In fact, since some of the music was just debuted on Ryan Seacrest's radio show this past Saturday, it may be the first time any audience has heard it."

When asked about the demographic that such a show might attract, Gaines chortled, "Well, I'm guessing women. They're handsome young guys."

Max George, Jay McGuiness, Nathan Sykes, Tom Parker and Kaneswaran were selected from a pool of nearly 8,000 hopefuls at the time of the group's genesis in 2009.

Kaneswaran, a former model of Sri Lankan and Irish heritage, recalled auditioning for the band with a rendition of "When We're Gone," an original penned at the time of his high school graduation. Much to his shock, Kaneswaran received a callback the next day, and the ball hasn't stopped rolling since.

To outsiders, the group's success seems steep and fast-moving but, in fact, the musicians spent most of their first year shuffling between school and club gigs. They were even pelted with bottles onstage, Kaneswaran recalled.

And then it happened.

"All Time Low," the debut single from the Wanted's eponymous first album, dropped in 2010 and rocketed to No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart.

Or, as Kaneswaran said, "Everyone went crazy."

The band received positive feedback for the music that followed and decided to experiment with its typically upbeat sound. "Glad You Came," part of the band's second album, "Battleground," was released in 2011.

"When we were working on it, it was one of those feelings that, 'Oh, this could be it,'" said Kaneswaran of the song, which debuted at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, No. 2 in Canada and No. 3 in the United States. "And when it hit everywhere, it was bigger than we'd ever expected."

The Wanted has since spent two years working and putting finishing touches on a third album, "Word of Mouth," which is due Sept. 16.

Kaneswaran believes that the group's latest venture is "epic" — its best work yet. Each song is worthy of being a single, he said, and reflects the Wanted's experiences and burgeoning confidence. Combining their artistic abilities, McGuiness and Kaneswaran also worked on designing the cover of the upcoming project.

The Wanted's musical journey has paved the way for other opportunities, including a weekly online podcast, "#WantedWednesday," and a reality series titled "The Wanted Life," which Seacrest produced for E! The band members are also amping up for September's iHeart Radio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

The band is currently up for two categories at the Teen Choice Awards: Best Musical Group and Choice TV Male Reality Star.

The only chink in all this armor? Being separated from families and friends.

Kaneswaran fondly recalls being in a tour bus with his bandmates, Lindsay Lohan and Ed Sheeran when the latter received word of his Grammy nomination. Despite such great experiences, he still misses the milestones in the lives of his loved ones. He knows, though, that he has their rock-solid support.

"So I guess you have to do what you have to, to be happy," Kaneswaran said.

If You Go

What: The Wanted

Where: Pacific Amphitheatre, OC Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa

When: 8:15 p.m. Wednesday

Cost: $44.20 to $77.85


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