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    LiveDaily Interview: Brian Littrell of Backstreet Boys


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    LiveDaily Interview: Brian Littrell of Backstreet Boys

    Post by mushy's_Bi&Saved on Tue 11 Dec 2007, 5:22 am

    LiveDaily Interview: Brian Littrell of Backstreet Boys

    During his 15-year career as a multi-platinum-selling Backstreet Boy, there were times during the late-'90s and early 2000s when singer Brian Littrell wanted to escape the frenzy surrounding his vocal group.
    "I couldn't get away," Littrell said in a telephone interview with LiveDaily from Cologne, Germany. "That was tough. I think it was tough to deal with physically, emotionally and personally. But the older I get, I find new values and I value my career. I value the fans. I definitely value my family outside of my job as a Backstreet Boy. But one of the biggest lessons I think I learned in life is embracing being a Backstreet Boy."

    Now he "takes it for what it's worth." Littrell finds life lessons outside of the Backstreet Boys [ tickets ], particularly with his wife, Leighanne, and 5-year-old son, Baylee. For now, he is the only Backstreet Boy who is married with a family. Fellow Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough plans to tie the knot later this month.

    "There are a lot of things outside of the Backstreet Boys that have taught me more about life," Littrell said.

    Littrell and the rest of the Backstreet Boys--Nick Carter and A.J. McLean--are overseas promoting their latest record, "Unbreakable," which debuted at No. 7 on The Billboard 200 album chart. Although they are playing a handful of radio-sponsored holiday shows in November and December, the proper US tour isn't planned until next spring or summer.

    Littrell took the time to talk to LiveDaily about recording for the first time without now-former member Kevin Richardson, why the album is dubbed "Unbreakable" and working with 'N Sync's JC Chasez on the new song "Treat Me Right."

    LiveDaily: How was your Thanksgiving holiday?

    Brian Littrell: We've spent quite a few holidays in Germany in our 15-year career. If I could choose the people I was going to spend Thanksgiving with, outside of my family, it would be the guys. It was good to get together.

    Have you started planning a US tour?

    Not quite yet. We have a Southeast Asia tour that starts the middle of February. We're doing two shows in the Tokyo Dome. The next week after that, we'll be in Australia. We're trying to fit in New Zealand, then either hitting places like Taipei throughout Southeast Asia, maybe China. There's various routings we've talked about. Really, what's solidified right now is Japan and Australia. We're trying to fit in Mexico on our way back. Then we'll be in Europe and the UK from the beginning of April to the middle of May. Hopefully, we'll be back in the US come springtime or summer. We wanted to wait a little while before we put the US on the schedule because we want the fans to live with the record, and really, hopefully, sing along with the songs they like the best off the "Unbreakable" CD.

    Tell me about the "Unbreakable" CD. How long did it take you to record?

    We spent about 14 months on it. Unbelievably, we're fans of our own material. [Laughs] It's unbelievable some times. We're happy and proud of the record. It's really the Backstreet Boys of old and where we're headed in the future. We've been at it for quite some time. It's still an honor to be in the fickle music business after 15 years and still making CDs and still having fans who want to hear the music. So we're proud of it.

    To what do you attribute your longevity? A lot of acts don't make it to year 15.

    It's always been about the group. There's not one stand-out guy who sings all the leads and everybody else stands in the background. We're all strong vocalists in our own right. We always push for what's best for the group. Also, for the past 15 years, we've worked with some amazing songwriters and amazing producers who have really helped us mold our sound into what it is. It's really attributed to us really being a solid group, one, and two, having the right material. Every day that goes by, every year that goes by, hopefully we're getting better as singers, and better as writers and producers ourselves, truly getting a chance to grow up in the business. It's always about the group. It always will be. Our claim to fame is being a Backstreet Boy. I think we've learned to embrace that now that we're almost in our 30s.

    What was the dynamic in the studio without Kevin Richardson there?

    Um, it was a little strange at first, the first few days. We camped out and did a studio session in Nashville, TN. We were supposed to be in Nashville for about two weeks. It ended up being about five weeks because of the material we were writing and the progression of the record and how it was going. The first few days without Kevin were a little strange. I have to say, not having Kevin there really allowed us to focus on the music and making the best record that we could. We really wanted to make a record for the fans and for ourselves that really didn't miss anybody. Vocally, we wanted to have it as strong as it could be and the songs be as strong as they can be. A lot of people know what the Backstreet Boys sound like. It is what it is. We have to continue to sound like that with or without him.

    Why did you decide to name the album "Unbreakable"?

    We were actually in New York having dinner at Nobu--it's a Japanese restaurant in New York. It was all four of us--no managers, no labels, no nothing. I was giving the guys a little pep talk about how people come and go in the music business, people come and go in our personal lives all the time, for the last 15 years. It really, truly comes down to our relationship; we were the ones who had to be unbreakable. AJ kind of hit me in the arm when I said that. He said that would make a great album title. I thought, "Oh, it would." With all the things we've been through--we've been through the highest of highs together and we've been through the lowest of lowest together. We've experienced love and loss and really trying times and a lot of fun times in our career. Fortunately for us and for our fans, we are unbreakable. Unfortunately, for those who don't really want us around anymore, pardon that, but we're unbreakable. [Laughs]

    How do you feel that "Unbreakable" is different than "Never Gone." On "Never Gone," you seemed to have experimented a bit with different sounds.

    Yeah, "Never Gone"--we reference it as like when you're driving and you blow a tire, you kind of veer off to the right or to the left. "Never Gone" was a lot more pop-rock driven based upon the records we had done in the past. It was after our longest break. We were away from each other for about two years. We spent two years making the "Never Gone" CD, from '03-'05. I think music was different back then. To be honest with you, we were really trying to fit in musically versus kind of doing what we were hopefully good at doing. When we got into the studio this time around, we had just come off of the "Never Gone" tour. The music style on the "Never Gone" tour was so rockin' and so pop rock that we couldn't do a lot of dancing on stage. It was kind of disappointing. It was kind of disappointing to us and it was a little disappointing to the fans. I think that's part of our show. We are entertainers. When we went back in the studio, we made a conscious effort to put as many up-tempos on this record as we could. We know what it feels like to step in the studio. We also know how those songs translate to the live stage show. It was important for us in making an album with dance songs, a little bit of rhythmic songs, great melodies. It's very reminiscent of the first couple of Backstreet Boys [albums]. Backstreet Boys is comfortable doing what we do best: That's hopefully good songs and great shows. We're excited about getting on the road and touring. There's going to be a lot of dancing in the show and stuff like that.

    The Backstreet Boys had a hand in writing four songs on this album. What is the songwriting process like for you?

    Songwriting is fun. It's always nice to get together and sit around and try to come up with the concept of what you want to write about, getting everybody's feedback at once on the topic that you're writing about. It's fun to understand everybody's different views, and how they view either a relationship song or a dance song or something like that. It's fun. We all write individually and we always write as a group. We've gotten better over the years with understanding one another and not arguing or fighting over who writes what. [Laughs] It comes down to what's best for the song.

    'N Sync's JC Chasez co-wrote and produced "Treat Me Right." What was it like to work with him?

    You know, JC is cool. JC is really cool. He's a really nice guy. He comes from a group just like us, so I think he understands when it comes to recording vocals and things like that. He's got his head screwed on straight. He knows what he wants musically. He's very driven. It was fun being in the studio with him. Him and I were kind of busting on each other when he was producing my vocal. He kept hitting the talk-back button going, "Man I got you in the studio. Why don't you just tell me how you want to do it and I won't try to produce you." It's kind of funny because he knows what it's like. It was very easy to work with him and hopefully we'll work with him again in the future.

    Great. Well, thanks for your time. I appreciate you calling me from Germany.

    Thank you to all the readers at LiveDaily. Backstreet's here and it's been 15 years running and I appreciate the support.

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