The pop idols pick up guitars - and reckon their heavy new direction is "really really good"...

a1 have said their album will have a “rock pop orientation”

Speaking to UK press over the weekend, the band said that the band had “questioned” whether the “really heavy ” songs were suitable for follow-up to last year’s ‘The A-List’ album.

Bandmember Mark Read said: “All the writing that we’ve been doing behind the scenes as of late has had more of a rock pop orientation, especially from Paul (Marazzi). He’s probably the biggest rock fan I know…we’ve even questioned whether we can get away with doing it because it’s really heavy stuff but it’s really really good full on rock.”

The band have decided what the first single from the album will be, although are yet to confirm its title. Read commented that the song has a “very cool essence”.