With their first new song in five years skyrocketing to the top of the music charts, the Backstreet Boys are celebrating 25 years in the music business, talking new music, their Las Vegas residency and doing it all while being dads.
ET Canada’s Sangita Patel sat down with Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson and Howie Dorough in Los Angeles to get the scoop on some pressing questions… like who’s the strict parent in the group?
“You know it’s funny. I did not think I’d be the disciplinary at all,” McLean replies. “And my wife is so mellow and sweet. And I didn’t… But for some reason I thought she might be more than me and I’ve actually turned out to be more of the disciplinary.”
McLean, who is dad to daughters Ava Jaymes and Lyric Dean, is the only one of the Backstreet Boys to have girls: “Having girls is the best, but, you know, you kind of have to put your foot down from time to time.”
And when dad is a member of the Backstreet Boys, you can bet there’s lots of singing at home.
“Every time I change his diaper I’d sing ‘A Horse With No Name’ by a group called America. It’s an old-fashioned song,” Carter says of son, Odin.
Dorough says singing to the kids at home is just a way to get the lyrics and melody of new songs down, including their brand new track, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”.
“We have to do it in our different ways where we can find time to learn the song,” he explains. “Well, for me half the time it’s me taking my kids to school and playing it in the car.”
And in case the band ever needs a back-up singer to fill in, they can look no further than their own offspring.
“They pick up the songs so… fast. My kids knew the words to the song before I could memorize it,” Dorough says about his two sons, James and Holden.
Despite a 25-year career, a new Las Vegas residency and a new album planned for October, the band isn’t taking any of their success for granted.
“We are so grateful to have a hit record right now,” Carter says. “And I mean this is incredible. But you know if it keeps going the way that it is that would be great. But again we have everything in the world we could ever ask for. We have great families. We have our health. We have our residency in Las Vegas. You know we are grateful for every little thing that we have.”
McLean says it’s the guesswork of not knowing how their music is going to be received that stresses him out, but at the end of the day, the Boys are just doing their best.
“Is something going to be great? Or is it going to tank?” he asks. “And that is where I get my own personal anxiety and anxiousness. It’s like, Okay we did all this hard work, we busted our butts. Is it going to win? Is it not going to win? Is somebody who’s more current on radio going to bump us off?’ I go through a 1,000 different variables.”
“In the lowest of lows. And even on the highest of highs we got to still be able to stick together because that’s when the world wants us to tear you apart,” Littrell adds, as Richardson echoes his sentiment.
“But when you have highs and lows that’s what you call a career,” he says.