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Music Interview

NKOTBSB interview: 'One Direction need good songs for success'

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NKOTBSB
With boybands fully re-instated in the pop charts, it's never been a better time to take a trip down memory lane and remind yourself where it all began.

Following their highly successful North American tour last year, pop group pioneers New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys will offer UK fans the chance to catch their classic back catalogue of nostalgic '80s and '90s pop anthems.

Digital Spy caught up with NKOTB's Joey McIntyre and BSB's Howie Dorough to chat about the new generation of boybands, plans for future albums and whether they'd be up for a guest spot in Glee.

Congratulations on the success of the North American tour last year - how have you found the merge?
Joey: "It's been great, we've hit it off pretty much from the get go and we get along great and that makes it all worthwhile. But then on the professional side we just wanted to make a great show and the two groups feed off of each other. It comes from a pure entertainment perspective. It's fun to rock and to listen to music, but it's much more interactive."

You're bringing the show to the UK in April. Are you looking forward to doing it all over again?
Joey: "Absolutely, we all have great memories and histories here: it's a totally different energy here."

How do the fanbases differ?
Joey: "They're pretty crazy here. There's a notable difference. Obviously, it's a little bit different age wise, as people get older they get a little bit more refined. Just the sense of humour over here, the way things are looked at. It's a little bit more extreme: the fun times are more fun and the serious times, arguably, can be taken a little bit more seriously."
Howie: "I think we always enjoy coming over here in a different way because the scenery and architecture is so beautiful."

What kind of tour preparations are you going to have to do?
Howie: "We probably do a little bit of rehearsing a couple of days at least."
Joey: "Obviously the two groups kind of take care of themselves and then we come back together for our moments. I've started running a lot more recently so I guess I'll be alright. We're definitely conscious of the fact that you want to be geared up and get the cardio going so you're ready for that first night."

The New Kids on the Block and The Backstreet Boys perform in Times Square

© PA Images

Howie - how is the new Backstreet Boys album coming along?
Howie: "We're doing a lot of pre-production. We're getting the producers and writing schedules put together and come the middle of next month we'll finally get into the actual studio in LA."

What kind of style do you want to use for the new album?
Howie: "Right now we're totally in experimentation stages. We're trying to figure it out, we're still a little bit unsure if we want a little bit more of what we did in the last record or whether we want to experiment and go in a different direction. We are who we are, we're a vocal harmony group, so we're not going to be doing a rock or rap album or anything."

You've come back into the music industry at a time when boybands are becoming popular again...
Joey: "You guys coined the phrase "boybands". We were dubbed the first boyband but when we were around the term "boyband" wasn't around. When you guys said the word "boyband" we were like, "Boyband?
Howie: "We didn't know what a boyband was. We got clumped into a melting pot here. We were like, "What is a boyband?"

One Direction and The Wanted have been making waves in the US - what advice would you give them?
Joey: "I'm not the demo, but like you said, if One Direction and The Wanted are in the top ten, that's social media. You can't deny the numbers. 20 years ago, 15, or even 10 years ago, you didn't have these numbers, you didn't have songscan. Now the numbers don't lie."

Backstreet Boys performing live in concert on the NKOTBSB Tour in Illinois

© WENN

How can they prepare for the impending global fame?
Joey: "They probably think it's pretty amazing they blew up in the UK so it's not as if they're famous in their home town. It's every teenager's dream to be in a band, tour the world and be famous. That's pretty cool, but it costs. They lose out on all that stuff that we think sucks. Those experiences count and they matter for when they get out of that, hopefully with a relatively level head they can."
Howie: "In the States, like here in the UK, things move fast. They've got to make sure they have proper music that's going to be good in a live show, but at the same time being a group that has a lot of check marks, a lot of right things going on for them. He's right, you've got to be prepared mentally to be able to sacrifice in the business because especially when you're young, you will be missing out on what most teenagers will have."

Your fans have been starting petitions to get your songs on Glee. Would you be up for it?
Joey: "Absolutely, I know our fans have and our management kinda works within those circles. But there's a lot of music out there so it's nice that our fans have been at it. I think I could see both groups' songs being cool on that show - even though I don't watch it."
Howie: "It's an entertaining show. Glee and these kinds of shows are not very far off [what we're about]. We're both entertaining groups - we're not groups that play our own instruments and write every single song. We're entertainers that just get up on stage and put on a show. Glee does the same thing, but for TV."
Joey: "There's a backhanded insult there. Instead of a backhanded compliment!"

If you had to pick one of your own songs to perform on the show, what would it be?
Joey: "I'd go for 'The Right Stuff'."
Howie: "I'd do 'I Want It That Way'."

NKOTBSB will begin their UK tour at Belfast's Odyssey Arena on April 20. Tickets for the shows are on sale now.

Watch the trailer for the NKOTBSB tour below:

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