You release your new album next month. How are you feeling?
Sarah: "I'm absolutely petrified! Most popstars seem to act so cool about it, but I'm really, really nervous. Our last album didn't feel like us because it was all done for us, but because we've put so much effort into this record, if people don't like it I'll probably take it a lot more personally!"
Sean: "I think stressed and excited would be an easy way of explaining what we're going through at the moment!"
Is the LP's title - The Rest Is History - a reference to your past?
Sarah: "It is a bit, actually. There's a song on the album called that too, and when we were thinking of album names we thought it summed up everything about us at the moment. The last album, The X Factor and our old image are history now - we're ready to move on."
Have you found it difficult to get that message out there?
Sarah: "It's been a real struggle because obviously The X Factor is such a huge show and people believe the way they portray you is exactly who you are. It's difficult to break away from that when you haven't got the same publicity machine behind you."
How did you feel about the chart performance of 'Shine On Forever (Photo Frame)'?
Sarah: "We weren't exactly happy about it. It came in at number 100 which sounds absolutely rubbish, but when we saw the sales figures we were actually pretty chuffed. The sales difference between positions 40 to 100 was only about 300 copies and there was also a huge mix-up with pre-orders, meaning we lost about 2000 sales."
Sean: "Looking back, releasing that song as the album's first single probably wasn't the best idea. We regret not releasing a song called 'Souled Out' that we'd already performed live a few times, but we knew radio wouldn't play it."
How did you react when your lost your deal with Syco last year?
Sean: "We didn't come out of it bitter at all - not in the slightest. We knew that with shows like that, success is a long shot. Things could've been done differently and possibly better, but we certainly never felt bitter about anything."
Sarah: "We found out last March that we'd lost our deal, but we still had our tour in May. Once that was done we were very worried and we both went into a bit of a depression. We started doing holiday clubs and gay clubs, and then thankfully we found a new management team who were keen to get us recording again. We got a new record deal off the back of 'Souled Out' and were put straight to work on this album!"
How would you compare this album to your debut?
Sarah: "It's still pop music, but I'd say it's kind of a mixture between The Saturdays and Alphabeat's new stuff. You could listen to it at a club and it wouldn't sound out of place."
Sean: "When we first recorded this album, the aim wasn't to release it in the UK. It was an album that we were going to release in Japan, Australia and Sweden - places that are lot more pop-friendly. When we finished the album, we sat down and listened through all of the songs and decided to put it out here as well. Regardless of what chart position is gets, we wanted our UK fans to have it too."
You've co-written a lot of songs on the album - how did you find that?
Sarah: "It was great because we used to write all our own songs but Syco weren't that keen on us writing for the last album. We usually start by getting a chorus down or a theme. 'Shine On' started with us talking about how 'Telephone' by Lady GaGa is based around an inanimate object. We tried to do something similar and thought of a photo frame and all the memories you get from looking at the good pictures. You never see the things you hate, only the nice things. That was how that was born."
There's a duet with Alcazar on the album called 'Karma Karma'. How did that come about?
Sean: "We were sent the demo with the group's vocals already on it and we loved it, but assumed that they'd take it as their own because it's a great track. When we found out they agreed to make it a duet we were bouncing off the walls! It's an honour to collaborate with them because they're huge in the kind of places we're hoping to crack."
Will that be the next single then?
Sarah: "We haven't decided yet, but it's more than likely to be 'Karma Karma', possibly as a double A-side with 'Broken Memories'. Saying that, If we don't sell any albums, we probably won't do another single!"
What do you make of the current music climate?
Sean: "I'm a big fan of what's out there, but we'd love to get to a place where a top ten single is the norm for us. Something's got to give with us. I just hope that people find a place for our music and deem it relevant. We certainly feel that it could be if people give it a chance. We just have to wait and see. We're certainly doing something that not a lot of people are doing."
The Rest Is History is out February 7.
Additional reporting by Ben Lee