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Music Interview

Backstreet Boys interview: 'There's no reason for us to ever quit'

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Backstreet Boys

As the latest crop of boybands take over the world, it should be noted that Backstreet Boys are the biggest-selling one of all time.

With 130 million record sales under their belt and celebrating 20 years together this year, the group are releasing their eighth studio album In A World Like This later this month - their first in eight years as a five-piece.

We met up with Brian, Howie, Nick, A.J and Kevin to talk about the LP, One Direction and whether they'll ever decide to call it a day.

'In A World Like This' is your first proper lead single since your This Is Us album in 2009. Are you pleased with the response from fans and critics?
Nick Carter: "I don't think we've had such a good reaction for a lead single in years - probably bigger than anything from our last two albums."

You've teamed up with Max Martin for the song...
Brian: "It was great to have the dream team back together. He's been there with us from the beginning putting together some of our biggest hits. 'In A World Like This' was actually the last thing we recorded for the album - when we finished it, it really felt like the album was complete."

The album feels like a return to the fun Backstreet Boys opposed to the serious, man-band sound of your recent work.
Kevin: "The whole album is really eclectic in its sounds. It's funny you say that though, because Max actually took some of the original sounds he used for songs like 'As Long As You Love Me' and incorporated them into the album to create that throwback sound. That said, we also worked with Martin Terefe in London who created all sorts of other sounds - acoustic, R&B and straight-up pop. We love the album's versatility."



There's a song on the album called 'Permanent Stain', which sounds a bit rude...
Howie: [laughs] "Honestly, we did think about changing it. You can look at it the wrong way, but once you hear the song, it's actually poetic. You never know, it may end up giving the song more attention!"
Brian: "Come on guys, we left ourselves open to ridicule with that title."
Kevin: "I don't get the joke, honest! It's about getting your heart broken."

You've said you wanted this album to be your best yet. Do you think you've succeeded?
A.J "I think we've proven that we can make a great record by ourselves, which is something we've never done before. In the past, we've always been given the music and told what to do and what to sing. Granted, it's a lot more work, but it was worth it. It also allowed us to touch on some sensitive subjects - fatherhood, teen suicide - but the overall message is a positive one."

Which is the best Backstreet Boys album then?
Brian: "For me, it's Millennium. It's hard to top that, when you look at it song-for-song."

Backstreet Boys and The Wanted backstage at G-A-Y nightclub before their performances

© Chris Jepson/WENN.com

Backstreet Boys with The Wanted at G-A-Y club



The press release accompanying the album says that all the songs on the album could be singles. Does that mean you decided against experimenting or trying new things on it?
Kevin: "With this record, I personally wanted us to take more risks creatively. I feel like we did go into those directions, but I would have liked to have pushed it further. The thing is, we're a group of five men with different opinions and very different musical tastes. It was give and take, we compromised, and we've turned out a record that we all like."
A.J: "There are hints of reggae and Americana in there, but we didn't go anywhere too extreme."

What sort of music do each of you listen to?
Howie: "Bruno Mars is killing it right now."
A.J: "I'm loving the new Empire of the Sun album and Daft Punk's new record."
Kevin: "I recently discovered a British band called Little Dragon who I'm liking a lot right now."
Nick: "I actually love Little Mix, I think they're really refreshing for a girl group."
Brian: "There's this group called One Direction. I don't know if you've heard of them, but they kind of remind me of us when we were younger!"

We're currently in the music festival season; would you ever consider headlining one here in the UK if you were asked?
Nick: "Glastonbury was on the other day - we want us to do it, maybe. That'd be cool!"
Brian: "We've done festivals before, but never anything like Glastonbury. Hopefully we won't take as long as The Stones! Hopefully we can do something like that while we can still dance."

You're celebrating 20 years together this year. Do you ever see an end to Backstreet Boys?
A.J: "As long as we're enjoying it, have a passion for it and want to do it, there's no reason why we ever have to quit."

The Backstreet Boys release In A World Like This on July 29.

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