By Gina J

In the two decades since their formation back in April 1993, the Backstreet Boys have become one of the best-selling music groups of all time (and the top-selling boy band in history), thanks to a dedicated fan base and a catalog filled with indisputable hits. As of yesterday, Backstreet’s back again with their latest single, “In a World Like This,” the title track off their upcoming eighth studio album due out July 30th. Nick Carter and Howie Dorough sat down with Gina J to talk all about their new record, what it is like to still be performing with the group twenty years later, and more!

“We surpassed a lot of people’s expectations, including our own,” said Nick, reflecting on the group’s twenty year (and counting) run. “I think we were all big fans of artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, and people who have had long careers, but you never know if the cards are laid out for you to be in that same light. I think it’s all due to our amazing fan base around the world, great support from our record company and management, radio… Now we’re doing it for ourselves.”

With Kevin Richardson officially rejoining the group last year, In a World Like This will be BSB’s first album since 2005’s Never Gone to feature all five original members. It will also mark the first time they release a record independently, leaving their longtime label, (the now defunct) Jive Records, back in 2010.

“Every album is a new experience,” Nick recalled. “It’s exciting, especially since we have worked on this so hard for so long. When it’s finally done, and you finally get a chance to release it, then you start getting butterflies again!”

Even as industry veterans, Nick and Howie both agreed that they still get nervous when they hear their songs on the radio, and when they hit the stage in front of packed crowds– their upcoming tour in support of In a World Like This kicks off August 2nd in Chicago.

“I believe if I don’t get nervous, that’s when I mess up,” explained Howie. “I actually welcome the nerves a little bit. It kind of keeps me on my toes!”

Memorizing dance moves for all their songs has been one of the biggest challenges throughout the years, and Nick explained that the group likes to keep it familiar, but fresh.

“A lot of them are actually moves that we have recycled, and then added new stuff from the past,” he explained.  “We do an amazing hat routine with this song called ‘All I Have To Give’ that we did in the past, so we just re-learned the entire routine, and do that in the show.  It’s kind of like riding a bicycle. You just get back on it again.”

Resurrecting those classic concert moments is a special way for BSB to connect with their fans on a purely nostalgic level, sending both the band and their fans back in time by two decades.  “Those fans who come to the concert and see these old routines, [it] brings them back to that place they were,” said Nick.  “And there are old songs that we’re doing new routines to.  There’s ‘We’ve Got It Going On,’ which was our first single in the states, [we did] this mash-up of, like ‘Poison’ from Bell Biv Devoe… this whole routine is awesome – it’s retro stuff, new stuff, old stuff… the show’s fantastic.”

But Backstreet Boys’ appeal extends past nostalgia.  They have a whole new generation of fans thrilled to see them live for the first time, a concept that blows Howie’s mind.  “Yesterday we saw a girl who was 21 years old. We did the math, and she was one when we first started,” he recalled.  “It was weird that people even at that age still like the Backstreet Boys.  It’s cool.”

–Tyler Roman and Bill Sencio, 96.5 TIC/ Hartford


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