Catching up with the Backstreet Boys

Danette Dooley
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Anyone following The Backstreet Boys for the past 15 years probably figured they had a one in a million chance of seeing the American pop foursome perform in St. John's.

But even though they're doing shows here July 29 and 30, not everyone was able to get tickets, leaving some die-hard fans inconsolable.

The Backstreet Boys (from left) Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, A.J. Mclean and Howie Dorough are back on the concert trail. - Submitted photo

Anyone following The Backstreet Boys for the past 15 years probably figured they had a one in a million chance of seeing the American pop foursome perform in St. John's.

But even though they're doing shows here July 29 and 30, not everyone was able to get tickets, leaving some die-hard fans inconsolable.

Some people lined up at Mile One Centre early the day the tickets went on sale so they wouldn't be in a panic if phone lines and computers were overloaded.

The Backstreet Boys have attracted fans worldwide, and tickets disappeared faster than you'd drop a hot cinder.

According to concert promoters, the boys (Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and A. J. McLean - original band member Kevin Richardson amicably parted ways with the band in 2006) have sold more than 75 million albums and have scored a dozen Top 40 hits, including Top 5 singles "Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)," "As Long As You Love Me," "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" and "All I Have To Give."

Special guests for both St. John's shows will be American pop girl group, Girlicious.

The band's performances in St. John's are part of its Unbreakable World Tour.

Following is a recent interview 30-year-old A.J. (Alexander James) McLean did with the Telegram.

Q: What can Backstreet Boys fans expect when the band performs in St. John's?

A: Definitely a lot of energy from start to finish. The show is actually a really fun show. We kind of went back to the Backstreet Boys that everybody knows. ... It's about 85 per cent dancing. There are four solos - one from each of us where we get a chance to use the stage on our own to show and share some of our solo music from upcoming records. You'll hear all of the hits as well as much of the "Unbreakable" CD. There are some twists and turns here and there. Some really cool remakes of some of the old songs. ... We're really excited about the tour and we're really anxious to bring it over there.

Q: You've spent the last several months performing solo in Europe. How does it feel to be on stage alone compared to performing with the other Backstreet Boys?

A: It's definitely different. Initially when I first did it I was a little anxious. I was a little nervous. I was looking behind me, over my shoulder, kind of expecting the other fellows to be there. But ... for me, just being on stage - whether I'm with the guys or I'm on my own - it's where I really, truly belong. ... So I felt great, honestly. It's where I'm most comfortable and most happy.

Q: Are you still expecting to release a solo album in November?

A: We're looking to have a single out hopefully around October or November and then probably have the album out the top of the year; then a tour to follow.

Q: What can you say about your charitable work?

A: I had a charity called the JNN (Johnny No-Name) Foundation that I actually dissolved about four years ago. I'm really trying to find a new charity that deals with animals, especially raising more awareness to have a lot more no-kill shelters built. I'm just trying to find the right organization to team up with. Once that happens I'll be moving full steam ahead with that.

Q: One of the tracks on your new solo album will be a song you've written called "Sincerely Yours." You've described it as a message towards your dad for not being there for you. (McLean was raised by his mother, Denise McLean). You sang that song in Paris recently when your dad was in the audience. How did that feel?

A: It was actually very therapeutic. Initially it was kind of nerve-wracking to know he was there. I pretty much gave the exact same speech that I would give before that song in every show that I'd done on my tour. And I wasn't going to change it. I wasn't going to candy coat it because my dad was there. I definitely wanted him to hear exactly how I felt. ... I briefly spoke to him before the show and kind of gave him a little head's-up about it. He had never heard the song, so it was even more of a shock for him. ... It was pretty difficult to do I but it felt great afterwards. I got through it with flying colours and I felt like this huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

Q: Are fans the same no matter where you perform?

A: They vary from country to country, from city to city. ... Fans that have never seen us before are usually a little bit crazier than those that have. It should be fun. Hopefully we'll have a little bit of time to go and explore the city and enjoy our time there. ... Hopefully, we can get out, spread our wings and have some fun.

Q: You've made a name for yourself as the bad Backstreet Boy. You've been on "Oprah" talking about your alcoholism and drug abuse. Do you think you can use your personal experience to help others who might be struggling with a major issue in their lives?

A: I would love to be able to. ... I struggle with it every day still. ... There are good days and bad days. ... With what I've said and what I go through on a daily basis with my words and my experiences, hopefully I can help as many people who struggle with the same demons that I do.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A: I'd just like to tell our fans in Newfoundland, thank you so much for so many years of dedication and so many years of patience. I look forward, as well as the rest of the guys, to coming and putting on an absolutely phenomenal show for you guys. We love you and thank you for all the years of support.

danette@nl.rogers.com

Organizations: Backstreet Boys, The Backstreet Boys

Geographic location: St. John's, Europe, Paris Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Fan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I actually had the chance to meet AJ in NYC. He is amazing in person. He spent about 20 minutes talking with us, taking pictures etc.... He was very interested in NL. can;t wait for the concert...

  • Fan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    I actually had the chance to meet AJ in NYC. He is amazing in person. He spent about 20 minutes talking with us, taking pictures etc.... He was very interested in NL. can;t wait for the concert...