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The Razz: CAN YOU LEND US A TENOR? pounds 2.4m deal but G4 boys are still skint.

Byline: By John Dingwall

X FACTOR stars G4 are still broke despite signing a multi--million- pound record deal.

The runners-up in the reality pop show were snapped up by the giant Sony BMG label after a fierce bidding war, resulting in their debut album G4 being released this week.

But despite the pounds 2.4million contract, G4's Matt Stiff is still in debt to the student loan company to the tune of pounds 10,000 .

He said: 'I ran up quite a bit of debt when I was at Huddersfield University studying music.

'I spent four years there and I still can't afford to pay it off. We haven't made enough money yet.

'People think the guys in G4 are loaded, but the reality is we've only seen a small amount of money given to us to tide us over until we sell some records.

'The whole thing about having a multi-million pound recording contract is misleading.

'That money doesn't come to us but goes into things such as marketing and recording.

'There's no platinum credit cards for us to spend on clothes and stuff,' said Matt.

'We get picked up in people carriers. There's nothing flash like limousines.

'Hopefully, if we start making money, I can start to get rid of the debt.'

Music mogul and X Factor judge Simon Cowell has told Matt, 24, Mike Christie, 23, Ben Thapa, 22, and Jonathan Ansell, 22, that they need to lose weight in their bid for fame.

Matt admits he has desperately tried to shed the pounds. 'I knew I needed to lose some weight,' he said. 'But I didn't need to be told that by Simon Cowell.

'I've lost a little, about a stone. It's difficult when you are on the road. But if there is a gym at the hotel, I go down and do some exercise. I'm working on it.

'I'm pleased we got as far as we did because we are just four guys who can sing regardless of whether we are thin or not.

Thankfully, the British public seems to like us.'

G4's debut album of covers features their versions of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, Radiohead's Creep and REM's Everybody Hurts.

The band didn't need approval to go ahead with the songs, but hope the original artists like their take on the classics.

'I don't know whether Radiohead have heard Creep or whether Queen have heard their one,' Matt admitted.

'Bohemian Rhapsody is on the album because it was one of the songs we used to busk and we did it in the X-Factor auditions.

'We're not trying to emulate Queen's version.This is our tribute.

'We'd love to collaborate with Queen on our second album if this one is successful.'

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THE G-MEN: G4's first album, packed with cover versions of classics, is released this week
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 26, 2005
Words:472
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