What separates a boy band from a man band? How about the ability to play their own instruments. Between the five of them, the guys of the Wanted can play guitar, bass, piano and drums and although they rarely play live on tour, having a live band is still important to them.

Max George explained why in an interview with CBS Local, saying, “When we do it live, if we’re not going to play ourselves, we’ll have a band, a live band, rather than just a backing track because we prefer live music.”

“And the band that we’ve got are absolutely awesome,” George continued. “They’re a real proper rock band. They’ve played in some huge metal bands and really hard rock bands. They give us a little bit more edge, I think, on stage.”

Who are the proper rock band backing the guys up? Guitarist Brian Deneeve, who was the guitarist in From Autumn to Ashes — a band AllMusic feels touches so many genres that they refer to them as “East Coast hardcore” with a “variety of ingredients from hardcore, metal and thrash to alternative rock and scream.” Check out their song “Milligram Smile.”

Their touring bassist, Eric Odness, is in a band called Primitive Weapons, a Long Island, New York hardcore band whose latest track, “Quitters Anthem,” can be streamed on Pitchfork.

And their drummer, Tucker Rule, is a veteran of the much-loved New Jersey screamo band Thursday. His distinctive style can be heard on their track “Cross Out The Eyes.”

Their keyboardist and music director is David Whitmey, who isn’t as out of the box a choice as the rest of the band, having toured with lots of UK pop acts, including Mika and Sugababes.

This isn’t just a tour romance between live band and man band.

“They’re our best mates as well,” George said of their touring band. “It’s nice, it makes the crowd bigger. More people to talk to, more people to drink with.”

-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local

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