Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys on Aging and Why They Didn't Want Dolls of Themselves
Twenty years ago, The Backstreet Boys were unleashed on an unsuspecting American public and the "boy band" phenomenon was officially under way. Inspired partly by the great doo-wop groups of the '50s and partly by the R&B of the '90s, Nick Carter and the rest of the boys were quickly scooped into international stardom.
Backstreet Boys' 2013 Tour Promo Photo.
From a tour stop in Cincinnati, Nick Carter was kind enough to talk with DC9 about the Backstreet Boys' road to continued success and why they didn't change their name to Backstreet Men.
It's hard to believe that the Backstreet Boys have been around two decades.
In some ways, that time has gone by fast, but in other ways, it feels like we are a brand new artist. It's very exciting, all the things that are happening. I mean, what more could you ask for? We have a top five album in America, all around the world. We have a sold out tour. It has brought new life into the project. There are just so many great things that are happening that it makes it feel like a brand new day.
How has the band been able to stay popular for so long?
We put on a really good live show with songs that people can sing along to. I think we try to look good. We don't look haggard. We have such dedicated fans. They love us. That dedication is amazing. I watch certain bands that have these dedicated fans, acts like Kiss and Jimmy Buffet. They have these huge followings. I think that we have created something like that in a way.
Is the audience still 80 percent female?
Yes, I think so, but last night, there were a ton of dudes. And that's cool. We don't discriminate. Music is music.
You guys have sold 130 million albums. At some point, these numbers must become surreal.
Those numbers always come up and it is a little surreal and I don't accept it. I am always looking to the future and thinking of what we are going to do next. I want to think that we have not even sold one record. I want to keep that drive we had before we sold 130 million albums. When someone mentions the numbers, it still shocks me. It's like a double edged sword for me personally. I love it, but I put it in the back of my mind and say it's time to move forward. People like to hear the statistics. You start to think about how many albums that really is, how much money was made. But a lot of that money went to the record company.
It took a couple of albums selling well in Europe before the band made it in the States. Why do you think that was?
You go where people want to hear you. We did try to make it in America at first. When we tried, Nirvana was big. So our music ended up hitting it big in England and in Germany. We went there and got everything together. We got our live show straight. We came back and hit it in America and in Canada and we were off to the races.
Was the first Backstreet Boys performance really at SeaWorld?
Yes, that was before we even had a record label. That was Grad Night. That was the first gig at SeaWorlds' Grad Night. That was in 1994. We were received actually pretty well. Even at that age, we were able to put on a good show.