You knew Nick Carter as a Backstreet Boy, but did you really know him?
Was there any significance to the name of the album Now or Never?
Yes. I felt like this was the time to do it or that I would never get another chance to do it. This is the time that I needed to start the chapter of what I want to do for the future. I have to learn a lot of stuff and a lot to grow into in music. It’s kind of like college in a way.
When you were approaching the album was it weird to have so much freedom?
It was weird to a point, but it was so much fun because I could say what I felt like I had to say and get everything out. I got a chance to create. I had a lot of stuff in my mind that I wanted to do and it finally had a chance to come out.
I’m curious about the track “I Just Wanna Take You Home”. It sounds like two things might be going on there. First that you can say something here that maybe you couldn’t say as a Backstreet Boy and second that you were telling parents that this isn’t the same Nick Carter you used to know.
You might be on to something there. (Laughs) I feel like what I’m doing now is what is in my heart and what I really want to do. I’m not trying to fake or join anything, or follow the times. I’ve always loved rock music and rocking on stage. Ask anyone, I used to play in rock bands, produce rock bands and write rock songs.
And speaking of rock, there are some guitars on the track, but not much, were you worried that if you over did it that you’d alienate some fans?
Yeah, I was definitely challenged with the situation. I had to come up with the right solution. Everyone knows me from what I came from and what I’ve done. It would have been a little shocking if I had gone the way I really wanted to. So I slowly got into it. The cool thing about it is that I want to shock people. I like to be unpredictable. I don’t want people to see what I do next, like Madonna.
When “Help Me” was coming out were you worried that some fans might not accept you as a solo artist?
There is still that possibility. Really, I like that. I like a challenge. I’ve always been the type of person who has had to win people over from friends to girlfriends or anything I’ve decided to do. I just had to work really hard at it. In the end it is much better because people respect you. They truly have respect for you not because of all that other stuff, maybe because of the trends. I like to be an underdog.
The fact remains that you and the other guys in Backstreet did bust your ass for years before anyone even knew you existed.
Yeah. That is why I’m accustomed to working hard. I do know what it is like to start off with nothing and then having a lot in the end. I like to start from scratch and build up. I want to start low and get back with the fans; I want to get more in touch with the fans. I want to entertain and show them love. That is what its all about.
Did you write the songs specifically for this album or were some around that you thought you might be able to use with the Backstreet Boys?
There were some songs that could have gone with the Backstreet Boys. I wrote about thirty-eight songs for this album. The songs that I wrote seemed to come right out of me. My name is on the album for the songs that I wrote and there are songs on there that I didn’t write. Maybe because I’m not fully prepared to write an entirely myself, I’m not afraid to admit that. I have a lot to learn. I’m like a big sponge. I absorb everything from everyone I work from writers to producers. I feel like I’ve just hit the tip of the iceburg right now. I’ve been playing guitar now for about a year and I’ve really been hitting it heavy. I’ve played drums since I was twelve. I want to learn more instruments as well.
Did you feel pressure to try and get every song on the record that you wrote instead of bringing in writers? What I’m getting at is that a lot of people say ‘they aren’t real musicians’, but in the same sense no one ever said that about Sinatra.
No, I don’t really feel like I have to write each song. If I feel a song I’ll do it. If the song doesn’t connect with me then I can’t do it. I’m an emotional singer and I sing with my soul, so I have to be able to put that into it. If I don’t feel it I can’t sing it.
…Do it for the hell of it.
Right and feel pressure to answer to the critics.
Look at Elvis. There was a lot of people who didn’t sing their own songs.
So is that unfair to expect in this day and time?
I guess its like this, if you can’t write then don’t.
I heard you were on the tv show American Dreams.
Yep, it was a lot of fun.
I know you are playing the front man of Jay and the Americans, what tracks did you do?
We did “Come A Little Bit Closer” and “She Cried”.
What are the best and worst things about fame?
The worst thing about being famous is not being able to trust people. The best thing about being famous is being able to touch people with the one thing we call music.
+ charlie craine