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  • Big Time Rush Talks "BTR", Upcoming Tour and Tarantino

    Mon, 11 Oct 2010 16:23:33

    Big Time Rush Talks "BTR", Upcoming Tour and Tarantino - Big Time Rush's James Maslow speaks to ARTISTdirect.com editor and <i>Dolor</i> author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about <i>B.T.R.</i>, the band's upcoming tour and so much more...

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    Big Time Rush don't waste a moment getting down to business on their anxiously awaited debut, B.T.R., available in stores now.

    Big Time Rush dispense one hit after another over the course of the album. For the uninitiated, Big Time Rush are the eponymous stars of Nickelodeon's hit series. Showcasing original songs from the show, B.T.R. is a must-have for fans and a perfect introduction to Big Time Rush for newcomers. "Till I Forget About You" comes to life brilliantly with all four voices shining, while "City is Ours" teeters between danceable and arena-ready. This is everything that pop music should be. It's fun, fresh and even a little fiery.

    James Maslow of Big Time Rush sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author for an exclusive interview about B.T.R., collaborating with Jordin Sparks, Quentin Tarantino and so much more…

    Do you feel like you guys are putting a different spin on pop?

    We've definitely been striving to do that. We have four completely different voices, and I think that gives us a unique twist. Carlos [Pena] has a musical theater background. I grew up in theater, but I sing more pop and R&B. Kendall [Scmidt] is more of a rocker. When it comes together, I think we create a cool blend.

    Are the creative processes behind acting and creating music similar at all?

    They're very different. Acting is about stepping out of yourself. I believe you're going to bring a piece of you to every character, but you're playing somebody else. You're trying to create a character or emulate someone else's life. That's a different process compared to performing. When I'm performing, I'm James Maslow. I'm myself. It has nothing to do with the show or anything. In fact, the more free and wild you are, the more fun it is and the more fun the audience seems to have. It's the opposite in a weird way.

    Is there one common thread between all of the songs?

    I think the common thread is all of our songs are uplifting. That's a similarity with our show as well because we never want to put out a bad message. Obviously, the music is not quite as PG, but it's still appropriate for kids. None of our songs are about sadness. A lot of them are more upbeat. There are some party tracks. Even when we're singing about girls, it's about having a good time. Our single, "Till I Forget About You," is about being able to get over that girl. You're moving on.

    What's the story behind "City is Ours?"

    Kevin Rudolf produced that track. That was one of the tracks from earlier in the season last year. It's not brand new, but we still perform it all the time. We originally wrote the song for the show. We wanted to create this idea where we shoot a music video in the show, and all these directors have terrible ideas about how to make the city theirs. It was our way of saying, "Hey, we just moved to Los Angeles. Let's show everybody we can have a good time, and this is what we love to do." We relate the song to everywhere we go. When we tour around the country, it's going to mean, "We're partying. This city is ours. Let's rock out and have a good time. Everybody believe you're meant to be here."

    How did "Count on You" with Jordin Sparks come about?

    Jordin is an unbelievable singer. If you hear her sing in real life, she sounds just as good live every time. She absolutely deserves to be where she is. She's so talented, and she's a sweetheart too. We're on the same label. She wanted to get into acting, so we wrote an episode about her. She came on and was a great actress. The song is one of our first group ballads. It's a five-way ballad, but it turned out pretty cool. Usually, a duet has one person on each side. This has her voice one side and then there are our four voices on the other [Laughs]. It worked out though. It was such a pleasure to have Jordin on the song. She became a good friend of mine. She took me to the actual show before she was in it last time [Laughs]. She's so down-to-earth like that.

    If B.T.R. were a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?

    That is a really good question! The movie would have to be something artistic with action in it because the majority of our stuff is upbeat but we still put our own spin on it. We're trying to create something different and unique. I would say something like a Quentin Tarantino movie. Look at Kill Bill without the violence. If you look at it, Tarantino does something completely out-of-the-box. People hadn't seen that before him. I think we're doing something similar. Yes, there have been lead singers in a band together that have sung before. However, it's never really been done where all four guys take lead parts and have different voices. We'll be singing four-part harmonies on a song then go into a rock song after that. I'd say Tarantino's a good example as a director.

    What can fans expect from the upcoming tour?

    Everybody can expect us to be playing 3-5 songs at every high school we're stopping at. Then we're going to be doing a signing. We're in between filming, and that's the crazy part. We're in the middle of the second season. It's going to a pretty fun month for us! I hope people are excited for us to come to their towns. This is going to be done by the end of the month with filming in between, but we absolutely be back on the road with a full set soon.

    Your sense of humor seems important to the music as well.

    We're four goofballs. We take our jobs seriously, but we're always going to have fun.

    Which records and artists do you always come back to?

    I go back to Donnie Hathaway and Marvin Gaye. I know they're not exactly what I'm doing these days, but I think they're some of greatest singers who ever lived. For a more current version, I still listen to Brian McKnight too. I think he took their principles of singing and made it modern R&B. Currently, Jack Johnson is a favorite. I love his new record To the Sea. One of his early albums, In Between Dreasm was a big part of my life. I played it so much. I grew up in a beach town, and it was always on in the car. "Better Together" is a song that my sister and I share with our brother. He was in the hospital for awhile. He was in a motorcycle accident four accident, but he's better now. That song is still a big part of my life. Every time I think about that song, I remember my family and where I came from.

    —Rick Florino

    Have you heard B.T.R. yet?

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