Howie D of Backstreet Boys Talks "Back to Me", NKOTBSB, "100", and More
Wed, 15 Jun 2011 08:06:50
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"If '100' doesn't catch you at first, you'll hear yourself humming it by the third or fourth time in the bathroom," laughs Howie D about the first single from his forthcoming solo album, Back To Me.
He's being modest though because you'll most likely be humming "100" everywhere as soon as you hear it. The song builds with a club-ready energy before rising into one of the most astounding and anthemic hooks of Howie Dorough's career, and that's saying a lot given his magnificent pop output with Backstreet Boys. It's kinetic, catchy, and captivating, and it's the perfect jam to kick off the summer season. It's also a fitting introduction to Back to Me. On the album, Howie incorporates a myriad of influences, crafting a diverse and dynamic collection that takes pop to new heights. It's all in a day's work for Howie D though…
Howie D spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about "100", Back to Me, NKOTBSB, and so much more.
Was it important for you to incorporate different musical styles and flavors into "100"?
Absolutely! The Kuya Brothers did a great job on the song. It has that infectious beat and melody. The summertime is very appropriate for this kind of song. The music video is awesome too! We were going over different concepts for the video, and we were toying with a more literal idea. I worked with this great director named RT. When he listened to the song, he was like, "I think this should be like one of those Madonna videos where there are people dancing all around". Little by little, I thought, "This is going to make the song even cooler. The video brings it into this fun, party atmosphere.
Where does the song come from lyrically?
It's about a guy or girl literally telling his or her significant other, "I'm giving you 100. I'm giving you 100 percent of me. I'm giving you 100 kisses. I'm giving you just what you need. There are no secrets here with me. I can be a good person. You know it. I hope that's enough because I'll never give any less. You're worth that much as the chorus says." I can interpret in many different ways. It could even be giving 100 percent of yourself to your career. People can take it as giving 100 percent to your relationship or your job per se.
You've always done as much as you could with your art, and the song is emblematic of that too.
I feel like when I get into something, whether it's a relationship, my family, or my career, I always want to give 100 percent. I have a hard time giving less. I'm not one of those people who go to work and say, "I'm only going to put in 50 percent today and let somebody else carry the rest of the weight". When I'm working on things, I have a hard time letting go and allowing others to do stuff because I'm on top of it making sure it's done to perfection. It's quite a propos of my personality.
The track has an inspirational side as well.
Definitely! When songs are universal enough to be taken in many different ways, people will relate to them a lot more.Back to Me has a lot of up-tempo stuff on there as well as some great ballads. Close to three-fourths of this album is more up-tempo. It's fun for me because I love to dance, and it feels really good and positive.
What does "Lie to Me" mean to you?
I think "Lie to Me" is one of my best songs on there. It's like, "If this relationship isn't right, just lie to me because I'm so into it, and I want this so badly. Even if this person is wrong for me, just lie to me. This person is too good to let go of." I think a lot of people can relate to that. Maybe you were in a relationship that wasn't the healthiest for you, and somehow you couldn't let go of it. Or, maybe it is meant to be and people are telling you that you've got to let go of it. Lie to me and don't tell me I have to let go of it because I can tell that it is right for me. People can relate to that.
Do you aim to tell stories with your songs?
When I'm writing music, I visualize a song like a movie from start to finish. When I get into writing situations with other people, all of a sudden a beat will take me somewhere into a feeling. Little by little, I'll start thinking of titles and that'll inspire me in terms of where the song lyrically goes. Initially when I heard the beat for "Going, Going Gone", I was going through different ideas. I was looking at this little book I had with American phrases, and I saw that expression. Right off the bat, you think of baseball. Then, I started relating that to a relationship. You've got to hold on to me because if not, I'm going little by little further and further until you've lost me. For "Just What I Needed", this person is exactly just what I needed. "Over My Head" is about being in a relationship where you're in over your head, and it's like you're drowning. A lot of my titles do have visual thoughts attached to them.
Is diversity crucial to music?
Besides trying to be a well-rounded person with my family life, love life, and career, that's how I am with my music as well. It's almost like a canvas. I want to paint the whole thing, and I want everybody to see the different sides, corners, middle, and depths of who I am. When it came to making this album, I wanted it to embody my whole craft. I try to create some different ways of getting to those big themes of love and happiness. Most people relate to those two emotions. I also try to show different shades of those colors too.
What's going on with the Dorough Lupus Foundation?
I'm very proud to say we're still working on the Lupus foundation. We have a couple ideas coming for the future. Right now, I've been really busy with Backstreet Boys. I do support a lot of other foundations. I was recently at an event for Lupus LA, and I presented to an award to a company that has a new drug in phase 2 right now and going to phase 3. Hopefully, after that, it will be a FDA-approved. In any way I can, I'm trying to help raise awareness of Lupus whether it's with my own foundation or working with other foundations. I'm glad to hear we're at least getting closer to finding a cure for it.
How is NKOTBSB going?
It's incredible! We're creating history with the two of us together on stage. We've joined forces and we're playing arenas every night. It's amazing. It shows how strong both of our fan bases are. I think we've put on a great show that I'm really proud of. It shows the two groups individually, together on stage, and how we can co-exist with each other simultaneously.
Is it especially fun to balance the solo material and BSB stuff on the road?
I'm very blessed that I have such an amazing following. A lot of times people were calling the song "100 Kisses" so I thought, "What does this relate to?" I wanted to come up with a lip balm for girls that they can take around in their purses. Now, we have a lip balm/chapstick that has "100" on it, and they're giving it out at every concert. The girls at the shows say, "I've got my '100' on, Howie!" [Laughs] It was cool to take "100" and give fans something they can use on a day-to-day basis. I'm using this tour as a promotional run for my single. Nick Carter and I are doing after parties where we're performing these songs. Instead of just hanging at the after parties, we're up there DJ-ing and performing our new singles. That's been really fun.
Are you excited for Back to Me?
Check out our premiere of the music video for "100" here!
Download the Ron Reeser and Dan Saenz club Mix of "100" here!
Check out Howie D online!
Howie D Facebook
Howie D Twitter
Howie D Official Web Site
Backstreet Boys Official Web Site
Get "100 - The Remixes" on iTunes here!