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Howie D_Lie To Me

Read: Backstreet Boys’ Howie D talks to WAPS about going solo + new NKOTBSB tour!

Howie D Lie To Me 520x520 Read: Backstreet Boys Howie D talks to WAPS about going solo + new NKOTBSB tour!

In case you’ve been living under a rock, legendary American boybands Backstreet Boys and New Kids On The Block are finally bringing their NKOTBSB tour to Europe! We were lucky enough to sit down for a chat with BSB’s Howie D about his forthcoming solo record ‘Back To Me’, as well as next year’s live dates.

WAPS: Hey Howie, thanks for talking to us.

Howie D: My pleasure!

WAPS: So we hear that you’re rather busy at the moment. Let’s start with your solo album ‘Back To Me’, shall we?

HD: Yeah! I’m very, very excited. This is my debut solo album, and the Backstreet Boys fans have been so gracious. They not only support the band and everything we do [together], but by now, 18 years later, they’re really inquisitive and curious about each of us individually. It’s really exciting, y’know, because we all came from individual solo backgrounds before forming the Backstreet Boys, and one great thing about the group is that we’ve always been very encouraging of allowing each other to spread our wings and not hold each other back. And we truly believe that the stronger we are individually, the more we bring to the table. So I’m excited, I’m actually the fourth [member] branching off with a solo record, and right now I’m between the legs of the NKOTBSB tours.

WAPS: Go on…

It’s a project I’ve been working on-and-off for about 5 years, between Backstreet records. When I first started I thought I was going to go in a totally different direction to what I’m doing now; I wanted to do something totally different to Backstreet, explore my Latin roots a bit – my mother’s Puerto Rican – but over time I thought, I didn’t grow up speaking Spanish, so it didn’t feel as natural. Spanish is really more of a second language [to me], and I also wanted to make a record that the whole world could hear and be able to relate to. You know, with English being an International language and Backstreet having fans all over the world, I just wanted to make something that was more of a worldwide record. I’m very proud of it. The majority of it has come together in the last year-and-a-half, and I’ve gone back to my roots a little bit with the ballads and the mid-tempos.

WAPS: Tell us a bit more about the single, ‘Lie To Me’.

HD: Well, the second single, ‘Lie To Me’, is definitely like a signature ‘Backstreet Boys’ kind of record that I think our fans will relate to. It’s following up [lead single] ‘100’, which was a dance record, and was written and produced by some of the writers from the Glee production, and it’s got a little bit of that Backstreet Boys pop-rock kinda feel to it. I also worked with Swedish producers again so it’s got a little bit of that Euro sound to it.

Howie D ‘Lie To Me’

WAPS: And who else have you been working with on the album?

HD: Well on this record it was really nice to have my own time to reach out to a bunch of great writers and producers – even in my own camp, believe it or not! I wrote a song with Nick [Carter, fellow Backstreet Boy] called ‘Pure’, with a couple more Swedish writers. I also wrote with a gentleman called Wayne Rodriguez, who worked with Natasha Bedingfield on ‘Unwritten’; I worked from the very beginning on a couple of tracks with Jon Secada, so hopefully they might appear as bonus tracks eventually. I know they are going on the Japanese release, and I’m hoping it’ll make it on to the worldwide release as well.

WAPS: And is there a video in the pipeline for ‘Lie To Me’?

HD: Actually we’re in the process of looking into that right now, before I take off for Europe. It’s looking like it might happen in collaboration with a band from Canada called Neverest, who I’ve managed on the side. They opened up for the NKOTBSB tour in the US and Canada, and hopefully they will appear in the video as my backing band. It may even come out as a duet in Canada, but as a solo thing in the rest of the world. But it’s a great introduction to the band I’m working with, and they’re a great pop four-piece who sing and play harmonies and write their own songs. But yeah, hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be shooting the video.

Howie D ‘100’

WAPS: And how does it feel to be doing this on your own? Are you nervous without the other guys around you?

HD: I mean there’s always a little bit of nervousness, hoping that the fans will accept it and like it. For me, venturing outside the box is always a little bit nerve-wracking, out of the comfort zone…but as I said earlier, we all started out in solo backgrounds and it’s nice to all have a chance [again] to express ourselves creatively, and maybe try things that are a little different to Backstreet.

WAPS: Let’s talk about the upcoming European tour with New Kids On The Block!

HD: Yes!

WAPS: Your European fans have been desperately waiting for the joint tour to come over here…

HD: Yeah, we’re so excited to bring it over. Both groups have had so much mutual respect for each other over the years, y’know, New Kids definitely came out a few years before us, and when they decided to take a break we carried on the torch. We’ve followed their careers and they’ve followed ours, and when they decided to come back it was really exciting. It all started with us meeting up at show of theirs in New York, that sparked the fans really wanting this tour, and we’ve put on – I believe! – a really amazing show. It’s almost two hours, takes fans from both sides and joins them together down the middle for a trip down memory lane for both groups. We also do a new song at the closing of the show called ‘Don’t Turn Out The Lights’ – it’s a single which I hope will be released in Europe soon. We do a kind of Elton John/Billy Joel duelling pianos-thing; there are parts where we are on stage separately; together; we do some mash-ups; we start the show together; end the show together…it’s just a really great way for the fans to come out and take their minds of everything else that’s going on out there.

NKOTBSB ‘Don’t Turn Out The Lights’

WAPS: What were the highlights for you, of the American tour?

HD: I think it was 53 dates, over 2 and a half months, and it was just so exciting, to go all across American and Canada, playing all these arenas, seeing all our amazing fans…and most of the shows were sold out, and I know for New Kids I was really happy that we got to make a dream of theirs come true when we performed at the Boston Red Sox ballpark. It’s a legendary place in history, one of the 2 oldest ballparks in the US, Babe Ruth played there….that was definitely a highlight. For the Backstreet Boys it was probably coming back to our hometown in Orlando and playing the brand new arena there. We’ve had some special people join us on stage – Kevin Richardson joined us in LA; we’ve had Boyz II Men perform with us; Naughty By Nature; Bel Biv DeVoe…the guest appearances were all really cool, and hopefully we can have more in Europe.

WAPS: Will we see any solo stuff from you or any other guys, at these dates?

HD: Actually between [the 2 groups] we just have such a massive back catalogue that we can’t even fit all of our singles in to this show, so there’ll be no special spots for individual stuff. But on the last tour, Nick and I performed at some after-parties together, so who knows, it could happen again!

Backstreet Boys ‘I Want It That Way’

WAPS: Who is the biggest party animal on tour?

HD: Actually it’s probably me, believe it or not, and I’m the oldest of the group! I don’t know how I’m still burning that candlewick, ‘cause it’s going down, haha. But we all like to let off steam in different ways, and for me, after shows I just like to catch up with friends from all over the world. There’s a lot of people to catch up with everywhere!

New Kids On The Block ‘Cover Girl’

WAPS: Last question from us – do BSB and NKOTB play pranks on each other, on the road?

HD: Haha, actually both groups are very ‘lively’, there’s no drama between us, and we’re very similar in a lot of ways. It’s funny, we talk about each group’s past and our experiences are pretty much the same…but yeah, we always try to have fun on stage, and there’s a part that’s like a long glass ramp that goes from the A-stage to the B-stage. Quite often when one group is performing on it, the other group will be underneath doing crazy stuff, pulling their pants down here and there, showing bums off to distract the other guys. Also each groups has a ‘ritual’ where they have to prank each other on the last show, so that resulted in A.J. [McLean, fellow Backstreet Boy] dressing up and trying to be one of New Kids’ ‘Cover Girls’ who appear during that song. And then Joey [McIntire, New Kids] ended up on stage in his boxers during ‘I Want It That Way’. I guess he wanted it his way…

WAPS: Brilliant.

HD: We didn’t think it was exactly the same thing! But it was funny. I think the fans are really going to enjoy it, we’ve had great reviews in the States and we’re really glad to be bringing it over to Europe and hopefully the rest of the world.

WAPS: Thank you Howie! We’ll see you there….


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