Q&A: Howie Dorough
Nick Carter, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson and Howie Dorough have accomplished a lot in the last 20-plus years as the Backstreet Boys. From becoming one of the best-selling boy bands of all time to having recently launched a Vegas residency, Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life at Planet Hollywood Resort (this week on March 15 and 17-18), the pop group shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Dorough spoke with Las Vegas Magazine’s Chanelle Hayes about how the Vegas show came about, BSB’s recipe for success all these years and what’s next.
So tell me, how long has Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life been in the works?
It’s interesting because we were trying to pinpoint exactly when this all started and came about. Live Nation, who we were on the previous tour with, they asked before coming into Vegas about performing there, just kind of getting a feel for the theater, what we thought of it. They thought it could be a potential opportunity for us if we were into it. So we were like, “Let’s try it out.”... Over the years, especially when Celine Dion came there, and Britney, of course, and the younger generation, you know, JLo (Jennifer Lopez), it’s become a hot spot … A lot of our fans right now are at that age where they have their own money, they’re spending their own money, no longer mom and dad’s money. A lot of them are actually getting married. They’re having bachelor and bachelorette parties and birthday parties, and Vegas is one of the hottest spots for that in the world, so we’re like, “This could be actually really interesting” ... It just made a lot of sense ... The fact that Live Nation was so behind it, and our agents and our managers. Once we started putting it out there, when we did the iHeartRadio show with Florida Georgia Line and the response we got from iHeart and all of the fans there, it almost was like a no-brainer.
What is it about the Las Vegas residency that makes it “larger than life?”
We’re able to create a show that’s going to be different, and probably, I would say bigger and larger than some of the other shows because we’re able to utilize that money that it would cost to be constantly taking down the show and travelling, all those extra expenses. We’re actually able to put all of that money into this show … We’ve taken on a big production, dancers, us—it’s going to be huge. It’s going to be like the Into the Millennium Tour; mostly with the greatest hits. We realize that when people come to Vegas they want to hear the hits. It’s not going to be a completely nostalgia tour, but we are going to take our fans on a trip down memory lane and re-create the memories they had when they first heard our songs. But we’re also going to sprinkle on a few fans favorites and a couple of Backstreet favorites.
How has a group as legendary as Backstreet Boys been able to stay together for almost 20 years?
A lot of communication, that’s for sure. In the documentary Show ’Em What You’re Made Of, it really shows where we came from, where we started, the trials and tribulations we went through ... we were going through a lot of turmoil between us and management and record labels, even amongst ourselves and family issues, but really bonded together. I definitely attribute that to being able to communicate with each other. Also, with being in a group, you have to learn to be selfless. It’s not about “I,” it’s about the team.
When “We’ve Got It Goin’ On” debuted, did you ever dream that the group would be so big?
No, to be honest, I was just lucky. I thought to myself: I’m here in my second year of college and had the opportunity to be in this group that hopefully would be a little bit more travelling than being in the state of Florida, because at the time I was working at Universal Studios. I was like, “Let’s see where this goes.”