Interview: Howie D. – Backstreet Boys

Tommy2: How’s it going, it’s Tommy2 and we’ve got a very special guest checking in with us today. It’s Howie from the Backstreet Boys. So how are you doing man?

Howie Dorough: Hey, really good. How are you doing?

Tommy2: I’m doing well and am excited to talk with you about the new Backstreet Boys song, It’s Christmas Time Again. So what things came together for you guys to write an original holiday song?

Howie Dorough: Yeah, you know I’m actually really excited to have had actually hands on, I actually co-wrote the song with one of my other colleagues Nick (Carter) and two other writers. And it kind of came about believe it or not about a month ago. I was in town here with Nick trying to do some writing for the next Backstreet Boys record and management came to use and said we had an opportunity to do the Disney Christmas Morning Special out here at Disneyland and they had asked if we wanted to sing you know one of our previous original Christmas songs or a classic, or they gave us the option and Nick and I said you know the last Christmas song that we had, the only Christmas song that we had was about definitely over 12-13 years ago and we said, why don’t we write a new one and just see if they would be into that. And so we did it and presented it to the rest of the guys and they all fell in love with the song and Disney fell in love with the song as well and I’m just really proud of it. You know it came together really effortlessly and you know it’s something that I feel like it’s definitely current, hip, modern. It’s almost got like a Backstreet Boys meets Coldplay kind of vibe to it and it’s just something that not only are our fans are really enjoying but a lot of people who are not normally Backstreet Boys fans have come up to me and said, wow this song is really great. So, it’s awesome.

Tommy2: That’s an amazing story about how fast you were able to put it together. It definitely shows how much the times have change since when you started, to now, that you can put together a song that fast.

Howie Dorough: Yeah, actually we wrote the song probably in about two hours and then like I said we had an awesome production team around us the whooped up the track quickly to it and within’ a week not only we had the song not only demoed, written, but also recorded by the rest of the guys. So, it’s awesome… modern technology these days.

Tommy2: That’s right, and of course a lot of the speed of putting that song together also came through with your experience. Cause you’ve written hundreds and hundreds of songs right?

Howie Dorough: Yeah, you know actually I’m really proud to hopefully say that my writing experience, you know, my knowledge has definitely sped up over the years and I’ve been grateful to have the chance to start writing back in the early days, probably about fifteen years ago with the the group and worked with a lot of great writers that have really helped educate me on writing and making a good song and yeah, not only right now for Backstreet Boys and my own solo projects, but also for other artists out there and you know I’ve had a chance to work with Mandy Moore and JoJo and Kaci and Luis Fonsi, you know quite a few different international artists out there. So I’m proud of it. It’s definitely, you know all the Backstreet Boys, we have grown so much not only as being you know singers, entertainers on stage but also the production outside of you know getting up on stage and writing and recording and producing.

Tommy2: One thing that is definitely getting fans excited about this new song is that its Kevin’s first song back with the group. How’s it feel to have him back?

Howie Dorough: It feels awesome. You know it feels just like being back at home with the family for holidays.You know sometimes the kids they’ll, the oldest one will move off to college and comes back home and it’s just a big reunion back when everybody gets back together and it’s great. Kevin’s always been a Backstreet Boy at heart with us even when he wasn’t up on stage with us physically and to see us all up on stage again is really a joyous experience.

Tommy2: Just last weekend, you performed It’s Christmas Time live as you mentioned at Disneyland for the taping for the Walt Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. Based on the videos on YouTube, it was apparent your fans really loved the new song.

Howie Dorough: Yeah, it was really exciting cause I think our fans had heard rumblings of us doing a Christmas song and you know actually before taping the special we weren’t able to really talk to much about it, but we did invite some fans over to the park. We didn’t tell them exactly what we were doing but they definitely found out when they got there that they were part of a Christmas Special that would be taped. It was awesome. I mean the fans that were there, as well as not only the fans but a bunch of people that were in the park came over to see us perform. Everybody was just really into the song. We taped it a couple of times and by the time we did the forth taping everybody knew the song out there. And I got a lot of people that came up to me and were like “wow, great job Howie not only for writing the song but for putting together all of the guys on the songs and a really great production.” So, I’m very proud of it… very, very proud.

Tommy2: Looking back through all of your Christmas memories, what was the best Christmas present you ever received?

Howie Dorough: Actually I can definitely say, and I’ve said it before in the past. My parents got me a karaoke machine when I was around… I think around between 12, 13, 14 years of age, around the time. And it like one of the first ones that came out around that time that had even 8-track tapes and cassette tapes on it… before CD’s. I’m kind of dating myself unfortunately here, but it was so awesome. I can always credit that gift to really jump starting my career, my music career, and helping me put my voice on tape to send it out to people and just experiment with singing to live tracks and so, definitely always been a special thanks to my parents for that one.

Tommy2: And as far as the future goes, at you’ve got a clock counting down to your 20th Anniversary – which will include a new album a new tour. Is that mindboggling that the group has been together for that long?

Howie Dorough: Absolutely! It’s kind of crazy. Now at this point I’ve definitely been in the group now more than half of my life. I joined the group when I was 19 years old and now to think that 20 years later we’re still going strong. It’s amazing, it just gives credit to our amazing fan base that we have that has supported us throughout the years. Through the thick and thin, through the times that we’ve been on the radio and not on the radio and you know the highs and lows, and also just to us as a group. The commaraderie that we have amongst ourselves and the strive to constantly put out good music for my fans.

Tommy2: You bet! So as far as 2013, are you exited the most about the album, or the tour?

Howie Dorough: I’m excited about it all. I mean I’m excited about first of all having Kevin back in the group, a big reunion record. We’re right now in the process of making the record which is really, really exciting… doing a lot of writing for. Then then next step will be getting the record out, promoting it, and then putting a tour together, which we hope to kick off here in the states over the summer and then the rest of the world to come after that. It’s exciting, you know the whole process of making an album and getting it out there, putting your heart and soul on a record, getting out there to our fans and seeing how it touches their lives and then them coming and supporting us up on stage and taking the record to actually performing it live is such a fun experience and then traveling around the world and seeing them enjoying the shows.

Tommy2: Yeah, I have to say that last summer I saw the NKOTBSB show and was just blown away and I’m really anxious to see you continue to raise the bar with your live shows.

Howie Dorough: Well thank you, thank you very much. Yeah, it was an awesome experience with the New Kids, they’re really a class act and we had a great time with them and hopefully we can rejoin back up again and in the future and do some more shows together.

Tommy2: Alright, before we wrap here, I want to remind everyone that they can pick up the new Backstreet Boys single – It’s Christmas Time Again at iTunes and at the Backstreet Boys Official website. Howie – thanks so much for making time for us today.

Howie Dorough: Oh thank you very much, and Happy Holidays to all of our fans out there.