Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Backstreet Boys are back in Atlantic City for a weekend performance at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort

The Backstreet Boys find themselves at a career crossroads. Part of the wave of early '90s boy bands, they have recently parted ways with Jive Records, their label of 17 years, and are exploring what comes next.
The group, although never a critical favorite for its brand of dance-pop, nonetheless has sold 130 million records and tallied seven Top 10 albums, including last year's "This Is Us."
For now, the show goes on for the four remaining Boys - Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and A.J. McLean - who are performing this weekend at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. (The fifth member, Kevin Richardson, left in 2006.)

Ahead of their stop, McLean talked about how the quartet might reinvent itself and why after all these years the term "boy band" no longer has quite the same sting.
Question: Are you still pulling out the dance stops for your live shows?
Answer: It's nonstop dancing from start to finish ... We spend a month and half in dance rehearsals really preparing for the show.

Q: How have you adjusted to not having Kevin Richardson in the lineup?
A: At first, going into the studio making the "Unbreakable" CD without Kevin was a little weird. It was a little awkward having to re-block things. When it was five of us, one guy would have the forefront and the four dancing behind us. Now everybody is dancing at all times. Everything is done more as a unit now.

Q: What's next for the group, now that you've left your longtime label, Jive?
A: There's the possibility of moving to a new label or doing a straight distribution deal. The upside is we have the freedom to do whatever we want, to be much more creative, as artists and as performers. We now have the freedom to do whatever we want. If we go with another label, we may have another outlook on the next 17 years for our career.
A lot of us have been talking about playing instruments again, maybe going the Beatles route. We have always emulated groups such as the Stones, the Beatles and the Eagles.
Who knows what could be the future of the Backstreet Boys? The concepts and ideas are infinitely limitless.

Q: But it sounds as though you're in this for the long haul?
A: We're going to keep making music until we don't want to do it anymore. We have the best fans in the world, and we don't foresee (an end) happening. Each of us has individual aspirations. I'm sure after our next album, we'll take a (much)-needed break.

Q: Your solo record, "Have It All," is already out in Japan and will be released in Europe, Canada and the U.S. later this year. How does it compare to Backstreet Boys' material?
A: It's a real personal record. When I started writing, I tried to write straight, up-the-middle pop. But it became this therapeutic process. It's about the relationship I don't have with my biological father and my relationship issues with girls.
There's no proper love song on the record - there's the anti-love song. It's a record guys especially can relate to. I'm really proud of it and anxious for the rest of the world to hear it.

Q: Backstreet Boys are forever linked to the '90s boy-band phenomenon. How do you feel about the term, and do you think it still applies?
A: We qualified ourselves as a vocal harmony group such as The Temptations and Boyz II Men. At first, we didn't like being called a boy band - that meant two guys that sing and the rest of the guys were pretty faces. In Backstreet Boys, each of us can sing, and we're all equally talented.
Nowadays, if you want to call us a boy band, we're kind of over it. It makes us feel as though we're young again. You know what - just call us.