Nick Carter talks Backstreet at 31

Whenever I think of Nick Carter, I always remember him starting out in the Backstreet Boys as this young teenager, stroking his hand through his long blond locks and dancing in the rain in the “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” video. Even in his 30’s, he’s still making a statement. After numerous albums and tours with the other Backstreet Boys over the last 18 years, and two solo albums, his career has continued to take an uphill climb. Carter has made a strong comeback from his health and weight issues, including his diagnosis of cardiomyopathy. Because of his lifestyle transformation, he’s become a lot stronger, and you’ll be able to see it this weekend at the NKOTBSB show, on Sunday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Why did you and the other Backstreet Boys decide to do this tour with New Kids On The Block?

Mainly, because we had done a show with the New Kids up in New York City at Radio City Music Hall and it was sort of a guest performance with them for one song. We performed “I Want It That Way” for their fans, and their fans loved it, and our fans loved it as well, that we were there at their shows. I think the reason we did it is because it was something that was different, it was something that was unique and fun, and it’s never been done before. I mean, it has been done, but not in this way with a pop band.

Well, especially because you both of you as groups have been around for so long.

Yeah, well, I mean, we have been around for very long and I think there are so many fans that we have worldwide, and we just felt like it would be a special gift for them and a great surprise and just something unique.

Speaking of your fans, what exactly does the Backstreet Boys fan base look like now? Is it mostly fans that have grown up with you as a band or do you think you’re still bringing in new fans?

Well, there are definitely older fans who are coming to the shows, but they’re bringing their children and they’re bringing their friends, so we’ll see like really, really young kids from like 14 to 25 to 40 to extremely elderly people. We’ll see like, 70-year-olds coming to the shows. Honestly, you would be super surprised about how many different types of generations that are actually in the audience. That shows how far our music has gone and how it has affected pop culture throughout the world.

So what makes your current tour different from tours you’ve done five or 10 years ago? I mean, besides the fact that you’re with New Kids On The Block, what makes this tour different and unique?

Obviously, it’s epic. You know, you have two groups that have, I can’t even tell you how many hits all together, and so many memorable songs and you just have a stage that’s ginormous, and you have a production that’s extraordinary. It’s like, tons of dancing that is two different styles from two different generations. It’s something that I think that a lot of people never thought would of, could of ever happened. People could live and die in their careers and never see this. That’s the special part about it.

You have a very successful solo career, what kinds of things are you able to do as a solo artist that you can’t quite achieve in a group dynamic?

As a solo artist, I get a chance to write all my music and express myself as an artist, in itself. And that word, in itself, its sort of, as an individual as well, a person who is one-fourth, one-fifth of our group and hopefully has a lot to say. Hopefully, because of me, I am able to give them the dimension of my part of the group. I think that’s what it’s all about.
To be able to put on shows and go places on my own. When you think about it, I’ve been in a group for 18 years, and now I’m able to step out and go on my own and learn new things and bring back to the group and be stronger as an individual. It’s just all-around so much fun. Also too, this album, creatively, it’s been my baby. I’ve had complete control over it, from the songs that are chosen, to the writing, to the photographers down to the music videos that I directed. All of these different things, I have my hands in. You can call me a control freak, but it really, it teaches me how everything works, and how difficult it actually is. I’m not trying to call anyone out, but you can be an artist, whoever it is, and just record the music that your record label gives you, and call it day. It’s all that other stuff behind the scenes from the production side that I think is exciting.

You’ve been performing since you were a kid, how has growing up on stage affected your life and your career?

There was a time in my life where I sort of didn’t know who I was, and resented being, sort of like, just being rebellious over what you’re doing. When you’re a child in this industry, you don’t really get an opportunity to get to do what all the other normal kids are doing. That kind of puts you in an envious mind-frame. So I think, that could be the difficult side of being in this industry, but then the older I got the more I started to realize this is the path that has been drawn out for me and the appreciation became more prevalent.

The Backstreet Boys is the only other band besides The Beatles to sell more than a million records on their sophomore release, and has kept such a strong fan base for almost two decades, what does it feel like to be a part of such a big accomplishment?

It’s exciting. People feel like, “Oh, it’s so cool what you did, that is so exciting, how does it feel?!” I think the reason why we push forward and why we’re still around, even just around, is because we’re not reminiscing at all, we’re looking forward to what’s next, what’s the next thing we can achieve, you know? I think that’s why we’re here and other groups and people aren’t. It shows how resilient we are.

I know you’ve been through a lot with your health and weight, how has that affected your life and your career?

I mean, it affected my career, I’d say in a negative way. People, I’m sure were able to look at me and say, “Wow, this guy is unhealthy, what’s going on in his brain, what’s going on in his life?” That’s how it affected me. It also made it harder to mentally and physically cope with the amounts of work. It’s a lot harder, for us to be where we’re at right now you have to have strength mentally and physically, because we are dancing so much in our shows. We’re in our 30s now. I was able to look in the mirror and I didn’t like who I was, and I was able to change myself. It’s a lot of hard work, and I think that’s why I have been able to continue with my career and our career, and be as strong as I am because of my transformation.

When the tour with New Kids On The Block ends, what’s next for the Backstreet Boys?

We’re in talks right now for another album, we’re talking about, you know, we have lots of cool tricks up our sleeves, we don’t know what we’re going to do necessarily as far as touring or anything goes, but we are talking about another record as far as Backstreet Boys go. I’m at the moment, still going to be promoting and touring on my solo record, and that’s just where we stand right now.

If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be and why?

I like classic artists, artists that I have been around for awhile. I would probably like to collaborate with people like Prince or Paul McCartney. The things that people are missing nowadays are what those classic artists have in them, someone like McCartney.