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 They’re Older, But Backstreet’s Back

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PostSubject: They’re Older, But Backstreet’s Back   They’re Older, But Backstreet’s Back Icon_minitimeTue 22 Apr - 21:24

Nia Gibbons talks to the band’s reformed party animal about life back on the road.

They’ve sold millions of records, their signature song I Want it That Way made it to number one in 25 countries, and now Backstreet Boys are back.

Though with kids and spouses in tow and a combined age of 125, these days they are arguably more Backstreet Men.

In fact, as the band make their way towards their Liverpool date next month, it takes five buses fixed up with all the mod-cons to transport everybody.

Howie Dorough, 34, has his wife on board; 33-year-old Brian Littrell’s wife and son will be jumping the bus at some points, and 30-year-old AJ McLean’s got a friend joining the bus he shares with Nick Carter, who at 28 is the baby of the band.

However, there will be few rock and roll antics as they roll through the territories.

Instead, the slimmed down four-piece expect to split their time between “chilling”, sleeping, watching movies, writing music and making the occasional panini.

“You got to have a little bit of home out here,” says AJ, the reformed party animal of the group.

“Sometimes the travelling can be tedious and being away from your family is hard, but as long as you keep in contact with your family on a regular basis, eat right and try to make time for the right things, it’s a pretty smooth ride.

“For me, I just love being on the bus, I love travelling, it’s good to be back on stage and on the road again.

“It’s just fun to be in all these countries and cities, seeing the familiar faces.”

Inspired by the success of forerunners New Kids on the Block and Take That, BSB were conceived 15 years ago by now disgraced music manager Lou Pearlman.

Being constantly referred to as a boy band used to bother them, but these days the guys are glad of the compliment.

“People are going to call us that no matter what,” says AJ, “It’s just what we’ve been called for years, it really doesn’t bother us much any more.

“In the beginning we were with the other boy bands, but we always considered ourselves a vocal harmony group.

“But if they want to call us a boy band now it’s cool, it actually makes us feel young again, so that’s flattering.”

Prompted largely by Nick Carter’s desire to go solo and also a wrangle with their record label, Backstreet Boys took a break in 2002, but began performing together again in 2004. Their album, Never Gone, was released in 2005 debuting at number three in the US.

Sixth album Unbreakable is currently in stores and is the first release from the band since eldest member, 35-year-old Kevin Richardson made the decision to quit in 2006.

AJ says the album sums up the place they were in when the songs were written: “It just came to us as we were having dinner one night as a group.

“It made sense and fitted our whole career.

“Losing a member and still moving forward, we’ve been through a lot together and we are truly unbreakable.”

AJ should know; after all, the musician, who grew up in Florida’s West Palm Beach, has undoubtedly been through some tough times.

He admitted himself to rehab for drugs and alcohol addiction in 2003 and later went on the Oprah Winfrey Show to tell the talkshow host how his secret addiction to cocaine and alcohol almost cost him his life and his career.

The rest of the band made a surprise appearance in support.

The experience provided plenty of material for both Backstreet songs and tracks for AJ’s upcoming solo album, a process he says he found it therapeutic.

“It’s my first record to introduce people to me outside of being a BSB,” says AJ of the self-titled LP.

“It’s definitely more real, they’re not your typical pop songs with a happy ending all the time.”

During BSB’s “time off”, AJ’s been busy promoting his solo career.

He did his first gig in Los Angeles recently, where he’s been living for the past eight years with a “crazy” Australian shepherd named Ozzy and Bernie the Bernese mountain dog.

If he wasn’t in Backstreet Boys, AJ believes he would still be in the music business: “Only I think I would be doing theatre, maybe teaching musical theatre in NYU, which is something I have always wanted to do.

“I was offered Broadway before but it wasn’t possible in our schedule then. I definitely plan on going down that road, and the West End, too.”

All the boys have their own lives outside he group and solo projects are encouraged.

“You just have to make it happen,” AJ insists. “You could co-exist with yourself and the group, so as long as your not killing yourself over it, you’ll be all right.”

After touring Europe, the guys are looking forward to their appearance in Liverpool and expect to see all sorts of people in the audience both fans that have grown up with them along with the new younger ones.

“We’ve got everybody coming to our gigs: guys, girls, couples, families . . . everyone! We love it!

“We live for the stage and performing for all of our fans, as long as our fans want us to keep doing it, we’re going to keep doing it.”

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PostSubject: Re: They’re Older, But Backstreet’s Back   They’re Older, But Backstreet’s Back Icon_minitimeTue 22 Apr - 22:13

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