This past August the Backstreet Boys celebrated the 10th anniversary of their first U.S. album. To date, they have sold over 75 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful groups of all time. Their fifth studio album, Unbreakable, will be released on October 30. “Inconsolable”, the album’s first single is heating up the billboard charts as we speak. Soul Shine’s Robert Frezza had the chance to interview the group on the eve of their new release and this is what Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, A.J. McLean, and Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys had to say.
SS: How did the dynamics change once Kevin Richardson departed?
Howie Dorough: Kevin actually came up to us right before we started recording this record over a year and a half ago and he told us that in his heart he just wasn’t feeling going forward with another record at this time. When making this record, we consciously had to make a decision on how we were going to do this with just the four of us. We actually partnered up with a great team of writers and producers and did some writing as well ourselves on this record. I think we’ve really put together a great album that I think people are going to be happy with.
SS: How do you guys see yourselves fitting into the music scene today?
Nick Carter: I think music comes in cycles and you’ve seen so many bands in the past that have gone under the radar under a certain amount of time. For example, Green Day and the Red Hot Chili Peppers made quite a few albums that fell under the radar, and then they both made big comebacks. It was just the right time for them. It’s all about us staying on the same course we’ve always been on and when the music comes back around, you know then it will be hitting. We’re always trying to do something fresh and new, especially in the studio when we’re creating music.
SS: What are your plans for touring for this record?
Howie Dorough: Well, right now we’re definitely talking with management and are booking about trying to book a world tour starting early part of next year. We might start in Japan, we want to do Europe, South America, and obviously, here in the States. We first just want to get the record out and see where the demand for us to go is.
SS: The music industry has obviously changed since the boy band era from the late 90s, where Backstreet had at least two diamond records under your belt. Does that change affect you guys in any way?
A.J. McLean: I think we’ve finally come to a point now of where the industry has gone. I think us along with many different artists have seen that with digital downloading that record sales are never going to be what they used to be. As long as we put together a great body of work and our fans are happy with it, that’s all that really matters to us. It’s funny to me that I see many record shops closing down due to the Internet. Everything is about wireless, digital downloading and iTunes now. This is the new way to do it now and we just have to get used to it.
Brian Littrell: We were very, very blessed and fortunate to be successful at a time in the music industry where people were buying a ton and ton of records. I’m not talking about that from a financial standpoint; I’m just talking about that from the ability to build a career. There are artists out there, old and new, who are more or less working on a song. They have one or two songs and they really don’t really get the opportunity to build a long career. I think in the time we were so successful—in the late 90s and early 2000—is that what people were looking for that integrity and that staying power. It was truly a blessing.
Backstreet Boys’ new album is due out October 30. For more on BSB, check out www.BackstreetBoys.com.
Writer: Robert Frezza