Justin Bieber may be pop music’s resident bad boy, but the Backstreet Boys believe he “doesn’t hold a candle” to what they did in the past.
Speaking with Elle.com, the guys spoke very candidly about the shenanigans would get into in their hey day, and were thankful social media was not as prevalent 20 years ago. Carter said, “I’ll tell you this, there is some sh-t that AJ and I both did that I’m really glad that social media wasn’t around for. Because Justin Bieber couldn’t hold a candle to what we did.” AJ added, “We would have been like TMZ’s saving grace, bro. Just anything from me being drunk or irate at a club. Or me walking naked down the hallway in a hotel for no apparent reason… Just random stuff that never really got out.”
While the Biebs may have to deal with social media as a hindrance, BSB also believe that this ever-expanding digital world also favors new artists today. AJ explained why upcoming artists today have it much easier than they did. “But, the fame now—it’s like night and day. The other side of that which was different for us: Without social media, without YouTube, without instant access, we had to do everything grassroots. We had to do every interview, every radio show, every outlet. We had to go to every country—that was the only way to do it. There was no Instagram, or posting things on YouTube to get a record deal.”
They even called out One Direction, calling them a “new wave” of boy band that does not put on as exciting a show as they did. Howie explained saying, “The new wave of boy band says, ‘Oh, we don’t do what they do.’ But to be honest, to me, it’s not as entertaining. What we do is we truly entertain people. Music, staging, dancing, everything.” Carter believes this is the reason why they have stood the test of time, and are still selling out concerts, “I think that’s why we’re still here in a lot of ways. Because it was always about a show. Regardless, we could always make great music and we could have hits. But whenever we hit the stage, we had to give a show that people would remember and that stood on its own.”