Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena and Logan Henderson are names that most teenage girls fawn over. For those not "in the know," it's the name of the four guys that make up the Nickelodeon band Big Time Rush.
The band is a force on television and in music. The show "Big Time Rush" -- which follows four best friends from Minnesota who trade in their hockey sticks for music superstardom in Los Angeles -- averages 4.1 million total viewers, according to a press release. Last spring, "Big Time Rush" was renewed for a third season and will premiere later this year.
Before the release of "Elevate," the band's second album for Columbia Records, BTR sold more than 2.7 million combined digital tracks worldwide, thanks to its debut "BTR." The first single off "Elevate," "Music Sounds Better With U," has been a raging success, with the act recently performing it on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
"Elevate" was an experiment for BTR, with the quartet working with top-notch producers to hone its sound. The knob-turners included OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, Tricky and The-Dream, JR Rotem, and Toby Gad, among others.
To celebrate the success of the new album, BTR will begin a headlining tour Feb. 17 in Las Vegas.
SoundSpike chatted with Logan Henderson about the tour, the success of BTR's TV show and playing a show with Justin Bieber.
SoundSpike: Congratulations on the success of your TV show. What do you think has been driving the audiences in?
Logan Henderson: Thank you! The show is just a lot of fun and I think people definitely see that. Most of all, our fans have been so loyal since season one, so they make sure to tune in.
What is more challenging, the TV show or the live performances?
I wouldn't say that one is more challenging than the other just because I love doing them both. I love acting, and being on set is great. But there's nothing better than doing live performances because you get immediate gratification from seeing how fans react.
I understand you're continuing your tour. What can fans expect from the shows?
Our shows always have such high energy, so fans can expect a lot more of that. It's always like a big party every time.
What else do you have planned for 2012?
After the tour we'll begin production on season three of our show. There's also the "Big Time Movie" that comes out March 10th, which is great because we actually sing four Beatles songs in addition to our own music.
Now that you look back at 2011, what do you think of your year in retrospect?
It was a super busy year. We got to travel a lot. We went to the U.K., Germany and went to Mexico, and did a show with Justin Bieber. Of course, we played some great shows all over the U.S. and got to meet a bunch of our fans. We went on location and filmed "Big Time Movie" toward the end of the year. Our second album came out. It was a crazy fun year with amazing experiences.
Tell me about the album "Elevate." It's a great record. What was the inspiration behind it?
"Elevate" is our second album and we're really proud of it because it's music that better represents us and who we are. I think it's really cool for fans to see a different side of BTR. The first time around, a lot of the music was geared more toward the TV show, so we really didn't have much of a say. This time, we had a much longer time to work on it, so we were very involved creatively. We're going through a lot of changes, so it's nice to just let that out and talk about it through our songs. Our fans are growing along with us, so for them to hear the type of music we like is great.
I understand you wrote one of the tracks on the album?
Yes, I did. It's a song called, "Time of Our Life." The four of us definitely grew as songwriters for the album, and there's at least one song that we each individually wrote.
You worked with some amazing producers. Who brought out the most in Big Time Rush? What did he/she bring out that was notable?
We did work with some of the most amazing producers. I don't think there's just one specific person who brought out the most in us. All of the producers we worked with helped shape the album and brought out something different in each of us.
I know you just released "Elevate," but any new material in the works?
There are several songs that were written that didn't make it onto the album this time around, so who knows, maybe we'll end up releasing them someday.
Are you guys really big hockey fans? (I'm originally from Detroit, so I was born a hockey fan.)
I do like hockey, and I've been to a few games. All of us have played some form of hockey at some point.