AJ McLean Explains Why Backstreet Boys' Upcoming LP 'DNA' Is 'One of Our Best Bodies of Work'

AJ McLean Explains Why Backstreet Boys' Upcoming LP 'DNA' Is 'One of Our Best Bodies of Work'


The group launched their newest single ‘Chances’ right this moment (Nov. 9).

Next yr could also be 2019, however for followers of the Backstreet Boys, it might really feel extra like 1999 once more. The legendary boy band should not solely releasing a brand new album, however they're additionally embarking on their greatest tour in practically 20 years.

The group gave followers a glimpse into this subsequent period of BSB on Friday morning (Nov 9) with a brand new single referred to as "Chances," a thumping love tune that enables all 5 Backstreet Boys' voices to shine on their very own. The monitor — penned by a staff of writers, together with hitmakers Ryan Tedder and Shawn Mendes — follows the group's dynamic comeback single "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," which landed the quintet their greatest Pop Songs airplay hit in 13 years.

Along with the brand new tune, album information and tour announcement, BSB additionally launched the fanatical video for "Chances," which was directed by AJ McLean — the primary time a Backstreet Boy acquired behind the digicam for one among their visuals. That makes the monitor significantly particular for McLean, however he guarantees that the whole album (titled DNA, due Jan. 25 on RCA) is chock filled with unimaginable tunes. "Literally tune for tune, I really feel that each document on this album may very well be a single," he suggests.

Ahead of the discharge, Streets Talkin caught up with McLean to listen to about working with Tedder on "Chances," directing the video, and why he believes DNA is without doubt one of the Backstreet Boys' greatest albums of their profession.

How did you find yourself with "Chances" after Ryan Tedder and Shawn Mendes wrote it?

I’ve recognized Ryan for about 15 years — him and I labored collectively on my first solo endeavor. So I saved saying “Dude, you’ve gotta ship us the hotness, man!”

Finally we acquired a tune submitted all of us fell head over heels in love with it. We cherished what it stated, we cherished the vibe. He's simply such an excellent author and simply an all-around superior freaking man. And identical with Shawn. Shawn’s so gifted and a freaking sweetheart. I hate he’s so tall and good-looking, it kills me. [Laughs.]

What made it really feel like the fitting follow-up to "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"?

"Chances" is sonically the closest to "Don’t Go Breaking My Heart," nevertheless it additionally stands by itself. Lyrically, the tune it’s not your typical Backstreet Boys love tune, which is one thing all of us actually appreciated. It’s extra of that life like love story about likelihood, to seek out that particular person in probably the most precarious of situations. It’s a extremely stunning love tune.

Also, everybody will get their second to shine, and it’s simply an throughout a feel-good document. Going into the vacations, you don’t need a full-on dance, power-pop document, you may want one thing a bit of bit sweeter. I believe we actually nailed it with this tune.

You simply directed the music video to your personal solo single, "Night Visions" — is that what impressed you to direct "Chances"?

I form of acquired a bit of little bit of the thrill for the directing factor! I actually take pleasure in it, and I might even love to do it for different artists outdoors of our group. But I believe it’s one among our very best movies thus far.

That's an enormous factor to say as a Backstreet Boy. You guys had so many iconic movies!

We did, however I believe so far as aesthetically, visually, this video actually stands out. It’s the primary time that you just see all 5 of us carrying fits in a video, for one. There’s a wonderful elegant dance sequence that, as an alternative of slicing again from the dancing to us singing, it’s an uninterrupted 30 seconds of a wonderful dance routine. I used to be a bit of bit scared that I used to be going to get pushback, however the fellas cherished it, the label cherished it, administration cherished it, they usually stated "Don’t contact it."

It takes you off on this new world, form of how La La Land did — "Is this right this moment, is that this 30 years later? I don't care, I’m in love with what I’m seeing." That’s form of the entire inspiration behind it.

As for the lyrics of the tune, do you see it connecting with the story of how BSB was fashioned, in a manner?

There’s positively an homage to that how issues transpired for us. What are the probabilities us 5 guys would come collectively from all walks of life, from totally different states, totally different backgrounds, totally different upbringings, and be right here 25 years later nonetheless making music, nonetheless having enjoyable, and about to embark on our greatest tour in 18 years?

You know, it's humorous, I simply considered one thing — to today, each time we do any form of interview or no matter, individuals all the time throw in that tongue-in-cheek “Backstreet’s again!” and we’ve to say “All proper!” I acquired a sense "Chances" is gonna be the brand new one. Every interview for the remainder of this tour goes to be like, “So what do you suppose the probabilities have been this, this and this,” Like, "Oh, there it’s once more. Chances."

You guys simply have to be extra cautious about naming tune titles that may be puns.

Puns are the most effective a part of a variety of issues, so so long as it’s being talked about, then we’ve accomplished our job. We’ve made the impression with one other nice tune, and it’s simply been concerning the music for us, and it all the time can be. If we are able to maintain making nice music, then we’re going to remain round for 25 extra years.

I’ve a sense that'll occur with the album title DNA too. What sparked that title thought?

Kevin was the catalyst for it, mainly strolling us down reminiscence lane and reminding us, "Guys, take into consideration what has actually encompassed the sound of the Backstreet Boys. It's been digital, and analog. Songs like '[Everybody] Backstreet’s Back' or 'Larger Than Life' positively fall within the digital class, and songs like 'As Long As You Love Me,' 'Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,' 'I Want It That Way' which have that acoustic reside really feel, fall within the analog division."

As quickly as he stated that, I used to be like, "So mainly it’s kinda just like the DNA of what makes up the group." And everyone checked out me like, "That’s the album title." I used to be like "You’re welcome." Wasn’t my plan, however all proper. What are the probabilities Kevin would’ve stated it? [Laughs.]

How a lot involvement did you guys have within the creation course of for this one?

We have been positively hands-on with the entire document, actually letting every of us have their second to shine. There's actually distinguished group information, there's some information the place there’s solely three guys singing, there’s some information the place there’s solely two guys singing. Really making an attempt to make this album form of one thing totally different for everybody, but additionally a unique expertise for us as nicely to form of break up the monotony of it.

The one factor I believe will ring actually true on this album, compared to our final album In A World Like This, is that we’ve positively gotten again to that signature Backstreet sound so far as the harmonies. We actually actually tuned that again in once more.

I believe you guys have accomplished an excellent job of nonetheless being the Backstreet Boys, however the Backstreet Boys in 2018. How do you suppose you've managed to do this?

With each album, we all the time attempt to one-up ourselves. One factor we take pleasure in is we by no means attempt to conform to what’s taking place elsewhere within the music world and to remain in our personal lane. Whether it's doing one thing like Las Vegas, which is capitalizing on that nostalgia, but additionally reigniting the flame and reinventing ourselves once more, and getting ourselves hyped about embarking on a model new journey collectively, with a brand new album, with what you stated, Backstreet Boys of 2018.

You’ll hear songs on the album that may take you again, however the manufacturing may be very present, or the lyrical content material may be very pressing, however the harmonies or melodies could take you again to the Millennium album, or Black and Blue, and even the primary album. We discovered a solution to embody the final 25 years on this album.

Where do you suppose this falls within the rating of all 10 Backstreet Boys albums?

I do know it’s a daring assertion, however I’d say it’s proper up there in between Millenium and Black and Blue. It’s simply such an incredible physique of labor. We actually have nice songs that present development. There’s sure components from every tune that takes you again to these wonderful albums, whether or not it’s the manufacturing, the lyrics or the melodies. This is one among our greatest our bodies of labor in a very long time. I actually, really imagine it.

You stated the Vegas present reignited a flame. I'd assume the residency will play into how the tour comes collectively, however did it even have any impression on how the album got here collectively?

It form of falls into each. We’ve been doing these songs for a very long time, however seeing new faces within the crowd, and to see new followers falling in love with us for the primary time, and followers who’ve been with us for 25 years falling in love another time, is so inspiring in so many ways in which it reignited this new fireplace underneath our butts and say, “We’ve acquired to ramp issues up guys, we’ve acquired to go to the following degree.” And that’s precisely what we did.