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Backstreet Boys look to hit big on Main Street

Backstreet Boys August 26, 1997
Web posted at: 10:32 p.m. EDT (0232 GMT)

From Correspondent Janine Sharell

NEW YORK (CNN) -- There's a new band making girls swoon and the industry execs rub their hands together in glee.

The youthful members of the Backstreet Boys have only released only one album, but that one has gone multiplatinum in Germany and Canada, and platinum in Australia, Switzerland, and Poland. Platinum means it sold 2 million copies.

Now, they're promoting their self-titled debut album back home in the United States, hoping they will strike a similar vein here.

"This album is a mixture of some nice mid-tempos," said band member Kevin Richardson. "We have a couple of those songs, and some nice soulful ballads with lots of vocal harmonies, and then a little bit of some dancey up tempo songs," he said. "We feel like we have a pretty versatile album."

They know they're hot, but they claim to not be "Spicey"; while they acknowledge they're new to the music scene, they say they're not "New Kids on the Block."

Backstreet Boys

"With the Spice Girls ... the only comparison is there's five of them, there's five of us," said band member Howie Dorough. "And I guess with the New Kids, I mean, groups like that, I think their style of music was very prominent at the time. I think our music now is influenced by the '90s."

While the band's members -- Richardson, Dorough, Nick Carter, Brian Littrell and A.J. McLean -- take their music very seriously, the boys, who got together in Orlando, Florida, say they also want to have fun. "I bring, like, a comical side to the Backstreet Boys 'cause I'm very energetic," Littrell said.

Carter agreed. "I just like to have fun no matter what the situation, if we're supposed to be serious and mature I'm not going to be, I'm going to be crazy and light-hearted," he said.

But they also know that being a teen idol carries with it a certain level of responsibility.

"When you're in the public eye -- and we do have a lot of young fans -- you need to be conscious of what you do," Richardson said. "We don't profess to be perfect, clean-cut, you know; we're just trying to do the right things."

The female members of their audience might want to know about the eligibility of these young bachelors. They're single, and despite a schedule that leaves little room for establishing relationships, they say they are dating.

"Nobody can really find anybody who can put up with our schedules, the long distance, the never being around," Richardson said. "But I mean, we're dating and stuff. We like to date around."

After all, boys will be boys.


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