By Jenny Depper
The Backstreet Boys sure know how to celebrate their 20th anniversary together!
For seven years, Backstreet Boys fans have waited patiently for the group to return… and now for the first time since 2006, the multi-platinum group announced that they're officially back and releasing a new album, In A World Like This, on July 30.
Shortly after the album's debut, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean, and Kevin Richardson will hit the road on a 25-city North American tour. With New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, and 98 Degrees heading out on tour together as "The Package," the boy band drama is bound to heat up again. (Although BSB assured us there has never been a beef between all the boys.)
Although let's face it, fans picked a boy band side way back in the '90s and haven't let up since. Hot on the heels of their announcement, BSB fans took to Twitter, mercilessly hashtagging their Twitter posts with #comeseeyourboys.
The boys – who are now grown men in their 30s and 40s — caught up with Yahoo! Music to dish on what they're fans can expect from their new tour and album.
You guys have been together for 20 years – what has that been like?
Howie: A lot of time. No, it's been great! Some moments it has gone by fast and some moments it feels like it has been a really long time. We've known each other more than half of some of the guys' lives.
Kevin: It feels like it's gone by really fast. It is hard to believe.
Brian: It feels like 40.
Kevin: I was 21 when I hooked up with these guys and I am 41 now.
Howie: We've been a part of all of these chapters of our lives and it is cool. All of us were in this group when we first started in our 20s. Those first 10, especially to me personally, are some of the best memories. I don’t know how I could top those but we actually are topping those in different ways. We're getting older and we're sharing different experiences now with each other— the fact that each of us is now blessed with families. For the rest of our lives, I don't think we'll be able to not think about each other. We've impacted each other so much like that.
You guys seem pretty close…
Brian: Oh yeah, really tight.
Kevin: We have our moments where we are really close and communicating really good and we have our moments where we all need to get away from each other and are like, 'Get outta my face.' [We're] like siblings. It's more like a family.
What was the inspiration behind your new album, In A World Like This?
Kevin: To make music that we were connected to lyrically, and to come up with something sound-wise that we really haven't done before. Hopefully we'll bring our fans along with us and maybe gain some new fans.
AJ: Just life inspiration. There are a couple songs that were inspired by all of the bullying that has been going on. There is a song that Kevin and I wrote that all of our kids inspired us to write. You know, it is just a very personal album for all of us.
Howie: This is the first album that we've done completely on our own. We are without a label. Jive [Records] has always been really great to us, but it is also nice to be in the driver's seat. We really have 100 percent of our input in this album.
How did the split with the label come about?
Nick: The contract just ran out. It was a seven-album deal.
Brian: It really worked out!
What can we expect from the new tour?
Kevin: Twenty years of music.
Nick: All of our hits and five or six new songs. We are gonna dance again. We're pushing ourselves in rehearsals. We want to put on a show that fans who've seen us in the past remember and relate to. And we're suffering from it in rehearsals.
Brian: Lots of Epsom salt.
Nick: We want to look tight. It's almost like we're back in the beginning in some ways. We brought our amazing choreographers in. We have Rich + Tone and Fatima [Robinson] and they're putting together an amazing show… they're taking all of their experience and we're taking all of our experience and we're putting it all into one massive show that hopefully is going to be one to remember for everyone.
Who takes the longest to learn the steps?
Howie: I'll be it.
Kevin: I am probably behind him. I have a point that I reach during the day with new choreography that I just can't retain any more and I need to sleep on it. Then the next day, it is in my body. But once I get it, I'll freak it.
Howie: For me, I'll get it, but I just have too many other things going on in my brain. I'll totally mess up on a dance move that I have no reason to have mess up on. Sometimes my head will just be somewhere else, thinking about, 'What bills haven't been paid yet for the group? How are we gonna pay for this?' Business-wise, I just can't stop the brain from going there. As I've gotten older, unfortunately, that side of my brain is working at another level.