Q&A: Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys
From where Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter is standing, things are looking pretty good. Concerts on the act's tour -- as well as copies of its greatest-hits collection, "Playlist: The Very Best of Backstreet Boys" -- are selling briskly. Now if he could only persuade radio to play songs from Backstreet Boys' latest album, "This Is Us," everything would be perfect.
"It's sad that people aren't getting the chance to hear it much," Carter said. "But that's cool. All we have to do is go on tour and promote it that way."
Backstreet Boys, who recently joined Korn in boycotting BP oil, are on tour through July in support of the album. During a tour stop in Boston, Carter took the time to talk to SoundSpike about the performances, the upcoming Backstreet Boys cruise and his tour bus.
SoundSpike: How's the tour going so far?
Nick Carter: The tour is going fantastic. We're having a lot of fun. From what we're seeing from the stage, it's kind of sold out. [Laughs] We're kind of excited. Everybody's excited. I'm on a bus right now -- and isn't Kid Rock from Detroit? I have Kid Rock's bus. There's a big D everywhere on my bus for Detroit. [Laughs]
What can we expect from the tour?
What you can expect is we have four dancers in our show. We have a great, cool production. There's LEDs everywhere. We also have four different movies that we basically superimpose ourselves into. There's acting with all the great songs we've done -- "Quit Playing Games" to "Backstreet's Back" to "As Long As You Love Me." They're songs that people might know from that era. We're dancing like crazy. It's energetic and a lot of fun.
I give you credit for being able to dance for hours on end like that.
It is definitely tough at certain times but we're all in good shape. We're in really good shape.
You must be proud of "This is Us." It's a great record.
We're super proud of it. We're super proud. We feel this is a coming of age. It's us back again.
Is that where the name came from?
Basically, yeah. We feel we came full circle and we feel it best represents the group from old to new. It's a great record overall.
It must be tough to know that people aren't hearing it as much on the radio.
Overall, the fact is we're still able to get on stage and enjoy the music that we do and enjoy performing it. We enjoy it just as much as the fans do. It's a great exchange.
Like previous albums, you worked with some great songwriters and producers on "This is Us." Who did you learn the most from?
We definitely learned a lot from Max Martin and a lot from all those producers in the past. We've worked with so many amazing producers -- from Rodney Jerkins to Mutt Lange to Max Martin to Jim Jonsin to [OneRepublic's] Ryan Tedder. You name it, we worked with almost every single big producer on this planet, from the pop perspective. We've taken a little bit from every single one of them.
When you were working on the greatest-hits album, "Playlist: The Very Best of Backstreet Boys," did it surprise you the number of hits Backstreet Boys have produced?
It's a little overwhelming at times. You look back and say, "Wow. We've had seven albums." I personally feel like it's our first album.
Why is that?
Just because. I feel like we're having so much fun. I'm always looking forward to the future and not what we've done in the past and reminiscing. I'm not living in the past. I'm trying to figure out what's next.
Have you started working on new material?
Yes, we have.
How far into the process are you?
We are probably just a couple songs into it right now. The tour's taking up a lot of our time. Once we're done with that, then we'll really put the pedal to the metal.
What can you tell me about the Backstreet Boys Cruise that starts on Dec. 9?
Basically, this cruise that we are doing is -- I think it's [a] Carnival Cruise. You get a chance to buy a ticket and you go on a cruise. You get to see our show on one of the nights. We put on the same show that has taken us all over the world performing to 20,000 seats in London, 50,000 in Japan. It's the same magnitude of show, but on a cruise line.
It must be kind of unnerving knowing that you're going to be with all of your fans on a ship, where there's easier access.
It's definitely a little tense thinking about it. At the end of the day, we've got security, so we're going to be fine.
How do you feel Backstreet Boys have grown musically over the years?
We've grown in so many different aspects as writers and producers, and then also from listening to songs and knowing good songs that we want to put on our album. We know you have to have a good ear to know what you've got to release, in order to keep that career going. There have been so many groups in the past who probably didn't have a lot of success because they didn't know how to A&R their albums.
15 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun
17 - Highland Park, IL - Ravinia
18 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
21 - Kansas City, MO - The Midland Theatre
22 - Broomfield, CO - 1st Bank Center
23 - Salt Lake City, UT - EnergySolutions Arena
25 - Temecula, CA - Pechanga Resort & Casino
26 - Universal City, CA - Gibson Amphitheatre
27, 28 - San Francisco, CA - The Warfield
30 - Reno, NV - Grand Sierra Resort
1 - Fresno, CA - Save Mart Center
2 - Las Vegas, NV - The Beach at Mandalay Bay
4 - Wenatchee, WA - Town Toyota Center
5 - Kent, WA - ShoWare Center
6 - Vancouver, British Columbia - General Motors Place
8 - Calgary, Alberta - Pengrowth Saddledome
9 - Edmonton, Alberta - Rexall Place
11 - Winnipeg, Manitoba - MTS Centre
14 - Toronto, Ontario - Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
16 - Montreal, Quebec - Bell Centre
18 - Halifax, Nova Scotia - Halifax Metro Centre
19 - Saint John, New Brunswick Harbour Station
21 - St. John's, Newfoundland - Mile One Stadium
27 - Cleveland, OH - Nautica Pavilion
9 - South Florida, FL - SS Backstreet