The Backstreet Boys are back and putting the final touches on their forthcoming album In a World Like This, due out July 30. A lot has changed since their last album: Kevin Richardson has reunited with the band and the guys took total control of the recording of their new album.
AJ McLean and Howie Dorough chatted with Rolling Stone about what to expect. Here’s five things we learned.
1. The boys aren’t just singing about girls
With four of the five members being dads now, the guys sing about more diverse topics this time around, like fatherhood and bullying. One track specifically, “Show Em What You’re Made Of” is an anthem to combat negativity.
“Kevin was like, ‘Why don’t we write something that’s about our kids or is a positive reinforcement-type song because there is so much negativity out there and bullying and all this crap that’s been going on?’ The world needs positivity,” McLean explained. “Not only was it my daughter and his son, but it was all of our kids that were influenced and even other people’s kids and just fathers, mothers, people that are the kind of people that encourage you to go out and to show ’em what you’re made of, give it your all and the song turned out beyond what I ever expected it to be.”
2. A Tribe Called Quest and Metallica influenced the band’s upcoming documentary
BSB will release a documentary that dives into the past 20 years of the band and A Tribe Called Quest and Metallica are to thank for the doc coming to fruition. Stephen Kijak, the filmmaker behind the Rolling Stones‘ documentary Stones in Exile, will direct the film.
“We’ve actually talked about doing a documentary for many years. We grew up watching many other great documentaries that were out there and Nick about a year ago saw this one about A Tribe Called Quest; it really inspired him,” Dorough said. “Then Metallica did a really, really cool documentary as well and we started thinking, ‘We really have a story to us. A lot of our fans know a lot of it, but a lot of them don’t know a lot of the personal stuff in the early days, where we came from, what it’s like making a record, the creative part of it, the good and the bad.'”
3. BSB penned most of the songs on their new album
“Since we did have complete creative control, we decided to steer this whole ship,” McLean said. “We probably wrote about 22 songs; not all of them got cut, but we just kept writing and writing and writing. The whole record just kind of took off from that point and that was the catalyst that led us into making this a very personal record. There were two or three we didn’t write; the rest were all written by us with other writers and other producers and we’re so excited that we got to have this much creative control.”