The Backstreet Boys’ 20-year reunion tour has officially kicked off. Backstreet’s back, ALRIGHT!
It seems like just yesterday we were wallpapering our bedrooms with Backstreet Boys posters (ahem, maybe it was…), but it’s actually been 20 years since BSB (that’s A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, and Brian Litrell) formed the famous boy band in Orlando, Fla. In the last two decades, fans have swooned over the quintet’s epic career, which spans seven albums and countless chart-topping songs like “All I Have To Give,” “Quit Playing Games (with My Heart),” and “I Want It That Way.”
Since there’s no official BSB Day (we’re currently petitioning the U.S. government to make it a national holiday), we wanted to properly honor the boys’ reunion by 1) throwing a Millennium-themed dance party, 2) lighting a few more candles in our Nick Carter shrine, and 3) meeting up with the guys to chat about their greatest memories as a band and what’s on the horizon. Yep, after regaining consciousness, we sat down with A.J., Kevin, and Brian last Saturday before their “Celebrating 20 Years” fan appreciation concert in Los Angeles to ask them 20 questions about their summer tour, forthcoming album and documentary, and their new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! (Oh, and it hardly needs to be said, but we will anyway: the guys have aged like FOINE wine.)
A.J. McLean, Brian Litrell, and Kevin Richardson share their favorite BSB memories of the last 20 years.
1.) First things first: What was the most embarrassing thing to happened to you guys on stage?
A.J. McLean: It’s not about me, but when Howie fell in between the stage and the speakers! He just was dancing and then suddenly he was gone off the stage!
Kevin Richardson: When I ripped my pants during a show on the Millennium tour… and then, during “Quit Playing Games (with My Heart),” we used to fly in [on harnesses] and mine got stuck. The song was done, and I was still floating above the audience. The song ends. The guys were in quick change to start next song and I was like, “Can I get some help?!”
2.) What was your weirdest celebrity encounter?
Brian Litrell: I was in a tattoo place with my wife, like 13 years ago, and Kathie Lee Gifford walks in with Brooke Shields… It was just the funniest thing — those two together in a tattoo place?
A.J.: It was meeting Alice Cooper… we golf together now.
3.) What’s your favorite song from your own albums?
A.J.: I really loved this song on Never Gone, “Siberia.”
Brian: Me too, I really liked “Siberia.”
Kevin: “Lose it All” [from Never Gone]. The live version we worked on had this great Beatles sound.
4.) What was your favorite music video to make?
Kevin: It had to be “I Just Want You to Know,” when we were rocked out as an ’80s band. It was awesome! I think we all loved making that one.
5.) Who’s your favorite current boy band?
A.J.: Ummm, the Backstreet Boys — just kidding! Actually, touring with New Kids On The Block has been great.
Kevin: The Wanted. I saw them do an acoustic song on “Ryan Seacrest”… it was really good.
Keep reading our interview with the Backstreet Boys after the jump!
6.) What was your weirdest and/or craziest fan moment?
Brian: Some fan stuck a knife under Nick Carter’s hotel room to see if he was in there!
A.J.: That’s right! Some girl slipped a note under his door, and he went to reach for it and all of a sudden a knife slipped in! Most recently, for me… fans have been showing up to me and my wife’s house because we’re selling it. They’re pretending to be buyers… Thank you, Google Maps!
7.) What was your funniest or weirdest tour bus moment?
Brian: After performing in Hamburg, Germany, we had these two women sneak in to our tour bus. Our manager was looking for his bag, he reached for his backpack and felt something weird and it was the girl’s knee! We drove a couple hundred miles with them hiding there!
Kevin: …And we sent them home in a cab.
8.) What’s the weirdest fan gift you ever received?
A.J.: The [same] German girl that stowed away on the bus… she gave us two gold rings that turned out to be her parents’ wedding rings!
9.) Do you guys have any unique backstage rituals?
A.J.: We do a group prayer before every show.
Kevin: Also, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
A.J.: …And chicken wings! Let’s just say we have have a very interesting tour rider.
10.) If you could collaborate with anybody, dead or alive, who would it be?
Brian: Wow… that’s tough… We’ve already collaborated with a lot of talented people!
A.J.: I wish that Frank [Sinatra] was still around. That would have been really cool to do an acoustic thing with him…
Brian: The whole Rat Pack!
Kevin: Dean Martin would have been great.
11.) Which celebrity still gets you star struck?
A.J.: Ryan Reynolds!
Brian: [Laughs] He even has a photo of him on his phone!
A.J.: My personal trainer works with him, and I carry a picture of my phone as inspiration! He’s my man crush!
12.) What’s the weirdest rumor about the band that made you guys go “WHAAA?!”
Kevin: When, apparently, I got the lead role for the “Interview With The Vampire” movie. I was like, well then!
A.J.: Oh! When they said that all our fan mail went into a dumpster… that we didn’t read any of our fan mail. We used to hand write every single response back in the day!
Brian: Now we just tweet and retweet at our fans… It’s a lot easier these days!
13.) What’s one thing you really hope happens on your reunion tour?
Brian: We really want to see our old fans…
A.J.: …And meet some new ones!
14.) There’s a Backstreet Boys Cruise coming fall of 2013?! What can we expect there?
A.J.: To never sleep! No, really! We keep telling people that you should catch up on your sleep before the trip. It’s gonna be nuts — a big party!
15.) What’s something that fans don’t know about you?
Kevin: Honestly, the fans know too much! The documentary is very telling, though…
16.) And speaking of the documentary, what can we expect to see once it’s released?
Brian: Well, it shows everything… even down to us getting in to fights about songs and sounds on the new albums. Not real fights, but like, as close to arguing as we get. We’re like brothers and family, so we’re close and say and do anything. It’s an honest portrayal of where we are now and where we’ve come from. New and old fans will really appreciate it.
17.) What can we expect from your new album?
Kevin: We’re excited! We spent time in London living together in house and wrote 20 songs in three weeks! It’s an “indie record” [Backstreet Boys currently have no official label and produced this reunion record on their own tab], so we got to be as creative as we wanted. We’re working with Max Martin again [Martin helped BSB with past hits like “I Want It That Way,” and “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”], but the new sound will be pop-friendly with some folk-like flare.
18.) How does it feel to be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
Kevin: Next to being fathers and husbands, it’s one of the biggest life accomplishments we could ever ask for.
19.) If you could, would you do the boy band game all over again?
Brian: Absolutely. Wouldn’t change a thing.
A.J.: Totally. It was the greatest time, and I can’t wait to keep going.
Kevin: In a heartbeat!
20.) Do you have any advice for future boy bands?
Brian: Go for it and have fun!
Kevin: Be true to yourself… and get a good lawyer. [Laughs] Have no fear… just enjoy every minute of it. Oh, and take advantage of the cities you’re in. Go out and see the culture. Enjoy the places you’re visiting.
A.J.: …And if you can ever stop and shake a hand with a fan, do it. It means the world to them and shows just how much you appreciate their love.
Photo credit: Big Hassle Media