Monday, April 6, 2009


This interview took place over the phone and he seemed just as genuine and friendly as if he were right beside me. He gave such long answers but it was really interesting to hear what this backstreet boy had to say while he was on the Unbreakable Tour.

Q: What was it like recording your new album “Unbreakable?”
A: It was actually in my opinion; probably one of the most fun to make because it was just us and we kind of locked ourselves in the studio for about 5 to 6 weeks in Nashville and just wrote, recorded and just played video games. It was almost just like being in a fraternity. It was us living, breathing, sleeping music for about a good solid 6 weeks.

Q: So what are your hopes and expectations for this album?
A: I think our expectations when we made this record was to kind of start a new bridge in our career to try to get people prepared for the next level of the backstreet boys, which we’re already talking about making the next record right now possibly going in in the fall and really kind of moving quicker on this for our sakes and for our fans sakes to not make them wait so long. And we’re really inspired right now, I mean, everyone’s just got a lot of really good positive energy going on. The shows have been going great; the reception of the new music has been really really well received. So we’re just excited about it. I mean when we made this record, we kind of had an idea of what direction we were going to go and which made the recording process a lot quicker. It wasn’t just kind of fiddling around looking for songs and you know all that kind of stuff. I was just we pretty much knew we were going to put some more dance records on this album so we can bring it to the live stage. and you know with the last record, “Never Gone,” that record didn’t really lend itself to a lot of choreography and a lot of antics onstage because it was more of a pop rock record but that was the direction I think we needed to go to just to kind of explore it and kind of prove to ourselves that we could do it. and then with the “Unbreakable” CD we definitely got back more to our roots. but we’re even going to go more into our R&B roots and pop roots on this brand new record.

Q: Are there any songs on the new album that you have a stronger connection to?
A: Personally, I love the song unmistakable. Besides that I do love helpless when she smiles. I think that is a classic Backstreet Boys love song. And I also live treat me right but I’m a little biased because I wrote it with my buddy JC. That was an interesting process and then even being in the studio with him, with his experience with NSYNC he definitely knew the whole arrangement process of harmonies and then others we do as well. so it was really a fun experience to be in the studio with him he’s a really talented kid, extremely talented.

Q: What is the significance of the title “Unbreakable”? Does it tie into an overall theme or message throughout the album?
A: When we were trying to think of the album title, we were fumbling over ourselves for about 2 3 weeks trying to think of something cool, trendy, and something original, a lot of our album titles with the exception of the first one, which was just self titled, really kind of set the bar and the theme for the album and where we were in our career and personal lives. “Millennium” was going into the year 2000, “Never Gone” was just a reminder to people that we never left and “Black and Blue” was kind of a rough time for everybody. Me with my drug and alcohol and going to rehab and a couple of us experienced had deaths in our families and 911 there was just a lot of negativity. So that one kind of felt, I don’t want to say bruised but it just kind of seemed like it fit but unbreakable. when we were sitting having dinner, just the four of us, were trying to think of an album title, Brian was kind of giving us a little bit of a pep talk and he had said the work unbreakable and I kind of paused for a minute and said wait a minute, what do you guys think about that? We really thought about it and when you really break it down. We lost a member, we’ve been through hell and back and we’re still here 15 years later. Been through management changes, record company stuff and lawsuits and all these things and were still here solid as a rock which really shows we truly are unbreakable.

Q: So how would you describe your live show?
A: Live show is about 80% dancing; we have about a good 75% of the hits as well as about 25% of the new record. It’s just non stop great music and great live performance in the entire show from start to finish its packed full of energy. It’s about an hour 45 min show, almost 2 hours. and its just kind of a conglomerate of old, new as well as 4 individual solo songs that we do kind of premiering some of our upcoming solo projects as well and we just try to really be…it’s a lot more intimate show, even though its on a grand scale, its still a much more intimate with the audience type of a show where we really get the audience involved and we even jump in the audience. I mean we definitely get a lot closer with our fans on this particular tour. It’s a really fun tour. its going to be kind of a bummer that its almost over here, we got about 2 maybe 2 and a half weeks left and then its coming to an end, but you know doesn’t mean there wont be more and more tours because there’s just going to be more and more records.

Q: What is it like being on tour with Girlicious?
A: They are a hoot. They are 4 of the sweetest young ladies I’ve met in quite some time. We’ve not really had a chance to hang with them because they’ve been very busy, obviously promoting and doing press and such. and last night in Chicago we went out for Howie’s birthday and the girls showed up and that was the first time I really got a chance to really sit and hang with them in a more casual atmosphere and they are just sweethearts. They are extremely talented; they put on a great show, full of tons of energy, great pop songs and they’re just fun, fun girls to be around. I even told them off side, I was like “I hope you guys aren’t… like we’re not seeing you guys during backstage and what not because you’re like scared of us or think we’re gonna do anything weird” but they’re like “No we’ve just been really busy we definitely wanna hang with you guys ya’ll are really really cool and really nice guys. We only got to hang with them last night and like I said, they’re a bunch of sweethearts.

Q: So what has been your favourite part of the Unbreakable Tour so far?
A: There’s been quite a few, we’ve gone to a couple of brand new countries we’ve never been to. We went to Lithuania, Estonia. we went to Russia. As well as I think just kind of coming back home has been a really good time for us. I mean, not that we don’t live the rest of the world, we do, we’ve got fans all over the world but it was just good to finally come back to the mother land for us, to come back to the States or in Canada. we haven’t toured in the states or in Canada for quite some time. I don’t know, there’s been so many. just being on the road and being on stage and every show is like your first show. Every city changes, the fans change, country to country, and city to city. we just go up there and give it 120 % every night?

Q: Do you find that the fans are different from before?
A: Some of them are. I mean we’re definitely seeing a lot more new faces as well as a ton of faces that have been with us from the very beginning. You know, most of the more dedicated fans have been there for the past 15, 13, 14 years. They’re married now, they have kids of their own, and they’re bringing their families to the show. They’re little sisters are in college now, so she’s bringing her college friends. We’re seeing a lot more couples coming to the show, a lot more guys, you know I think guys are probably saying its cool to like the Backstreet Boys now because you know everyone’s older. Whether they wanna admit it or not, you know, the pop music we’ve been fortunate to record and spread around the world is a part of pop culture. It’s been a part of people our age growing up and you know, when you hear songs like I want it that way or all I have to give, it kind of takes you back to where you were when you heard that song, which is really cool. I know where I was when first time I heard it on the radio and you know, it still freaks us out when we’re driving at home and we turn on the radio and hear one of our songs.

Q: How is the Unbreakable tour different from your other tours?
A: It’s a little bit down sized as far as the massive productions of like Millennium and Black and Blue. It’s definitely a step up from Never Gone which was a very stripped down tour. We’ve got a couple gags in the show, we’ve got a couple of cool little gimmicks here and there but we just kind of went back to the basics. we went back to it just being us up there doing our thing. there’s no dancers, it’s just us four up there dancing, singing and just having a whole ton of fun. I mean that’s what it’s always been about. its about the music and about the fans and just taking it back to us.

Q: So what is it like to be on tour without Kevin?
A: Now, we’ve all kind of gotten used to it. I mean even when we first went into the studio to make the record, its when it was the first bit of weirdness just knowing that he’s not coming to work that day, that he’s not coming tomorrow or the day after. once we broke through that uncomfortable feeling, we just kind of got on the train and chugged on through. initially the first couple shows live were a little weird, but now we’ve kind of gotten used to it and this is the new phase of the bsb. like we’ve told people in every interview, the door is still open. we didn’t shut that door on Kevin and we never will and he never shut the door on us as well so if he chooses to want to come back for this next record cycle, the door’s always open. I think it would be great, but he’s really happy right now. he’s a daddy, so he’s doing the dad thing and he’s busy doing theater, producing, and writing and he’s definitely keeping himself busy and I just saw him before we went on this leg of the tour and he seemed really happy and just really really comfortable.

Q: How do you keep yourself grounded in such a crazy business?
A: Well between the 4 of us always keeping each other in check and having a really great family that always keep us in check. we just try to always never forget where we started, where we came from, where we’re going, what we’ve been through, how we’ve got here. and you know, if anyone starts to get a big head, the other guys can take out that imaginary needle and pop it and deflate them for a little bit. I think all of us just kind of came from really good southern homes and really good wholesome upbringing and just always respect each other. and now that we’re older, its definitely a lot easier, I think we’re the tightest we’ve ever been, the bond is stronger. there isn’t that big of an age gap now so everybody just kind of gets along really really well.

Q: So what’s the most important thing you’ve learned from being in this industry for so long?
A: that it really is show business. That it’s not just about the show, that there is a lot of business that goes on behind closed doors. Not a lot of the fans and the general public get to really see. it really is a lot of hard work. it’s not all flashing lights and big bank accounts. it really isn’t, there’s a lot of hard work. you can lose it all in the drop of a hat if you don’t really pay attention to your business. all of us have kind of foruntaly and unfortuntaly had to become businessmen over the past 15 years. I say unfortunately just because for me personally, I would rather not have to focus on that and just go do what I am passionate about and just get up on stage and perform until I cant feel my legs. you know but you do need to be responsible and you do need to be very conscience of what’s going on behind closed doors.

Q: What legacy do you want to leave behind in the music business?
A: I think the kind of legacy we want to leave behind is just kind of respect. we just want to leave behind the respect that we’ve been through so much that and we’re still here and for people to honestly remember us for our music and for hopefully our talent. and just for kind of being a part of a massive generation of pop music and just you know. I think like I said, we are fortunate enough and blessed to be a part of pop culture now. so that’s something I can tell my grandkid’s grandkids. when you look at bands like the rolling stones or aerosmith, they’re able to do that now, they’ve been in it for 30, 40 years and they can tell their grandkid’s grandkids. hey look at what grandpa’s done. look at where we’ve started, and all we’ve been through, where we are and we’re still here. 15 years is a long time and we’ve got another 15 ahead of us as long as the fans wants us and the world wants the Backstreet Boys, we’re gonna be here.

Q: So what advice do you have for teens who want to make it in the music industry?
A: Be patient, be ambitious, get a good lawyer. but seriously, def don’t let anyone tell you that you cant do what you want to do. and I would also tell any upcoming artist to hold on to their artistic integrity as long as they can. Record companies tend to come in and manipulate and come in a make you a puppet. that’s how this industry is, not with every company but some. its just that this industry is very vindicting. it can chew you up and spit you out. we’ve seen what’s happened with a lot of the younger celebrities that have gone in and out of rehab or done this or done that. and it really is hard when you’re that young coming into this world. it’s a whirlwind and it will make your head spin but just keep your feet firmly on the ground. you can keep your head in the clouds and shoot for the stars. just be patient it’s a lot of hard work. don’t lose hope and faith its not gonna happen over night. just keep on trucking through and like I tell anybody, you know the only way around anything is through it.

Q: Where do you guys see yourselves in 5 to 10 years?
A: I’d like to be married, that’d be nice. I’m 30 years old, im not getting any younger. but I think still making records, touring around the world, and hopefully sticking our feet firmly planted in this industry and finally gaining the utmost respect from our peers as well as the media and just letting everyone know that we’re here and we’re not going anywhere.

Here is my article that was published in YOUTHINK magazine:
you can also check it out @

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