With a hit TV show, a hot record and a huge headlining tour this summer, James Maslow is a true triple threat as part of the pop band, Big Time Rush. Originating on a Nickelodeon show, the boys have also found success on stage and have even paved the way for new boy bands like One Direction and The Wanted. And even with his crazy schedule, the incredibly sweet, 21-year-old took time to dish on everything from his favorite shows and celebrity crushes, to the BTR tour and season 3 of the show. Check out my interview with James below!
James Maslow: It was a lot of fun. We had probably a hundred shows beforehand, but never with real production and a real set, but going out there now with pyro and lighting and costume changes, it was just unreal. We got to play Radio City, which was really a dream come true. The craziest part is that after a month on the road, which seemed like three, it all just set the stage for the summer tour.
That’s kind of crazy. You guys have another huge tour coming up!
Yeah, we played 15 or 18 shows and now we’re about to go play 50 or 60 for summer just in the U.S. as a start, so that’s awesome. We wanted to make sure that any fan that wanted to see the show could see the show. So hopefully everybody will sort of be covered.
Are you guys filming in between tours?
Yeah, in fact, once I leave New York, I’m heading back to Los Angeles to start filming the third season.
Wow. So when do you get off? What are you going to do?
Next weekend, I have three days off and you better believe that I will be in Cabo.
Well deserved, well deserved.
I don’t exactly get all the time in the world, but I’d much rather be busy than bored.
Exactly. So you guys have worked with a lot of other bands and artists. How was it working with One Direction?
Those guys are great. For the first half of the tour though, we were both so busy, it was really hard to hang out. The second half, we got to know each other more and they’re honestly just like us, but with British accents. So I know the girls like that. Plus, they like to have fun, they love what they do and they’re so humble. I wish nothing but the best for them, honestly.
Did you guys give them any pointers about how to handle all this fame and craziness?
Pretty much before they went on stage the first night, we got them all together and just said "Hey guys, one piece of advice, take it or leave it, but don’t screw up."
Did they screw up? (laughs)
Nope (laughs). They got a great response. They did pretty well.
You are 21. Do people ever assume you’re younger because you’re in all-boy band and on Nick?
For the younger fans, you might look at a TV show and think we’re that age (17 or so), but through Twitter and social networking, I think most of the fans know we’re 21-22. Obviously we’re not hiding it. We’re happy to be this age. I think that what people ask is if it’s a problem, and being 21 is not a problem. It’s a lot of fun. But we’re always thankful that we know we have a lot of younger fans, so whatever we do that’s 21, we keep to ourselves. There’s no point in getting that from media, because I think that’s setting a bad example for the younger kids because they don’t need to do that until they’re of age.
Of course. So do you have a favorite boy band of all time? Were you in the Backstreet Boys/NSYNC crazy fan base?
My sister was definitely a big fan of the two. I never really listened to their music, but of course I heard it. You know what I mean? Now, I actually know more about them these days since we’re in the same industry. I have to say, with no disrespect to the other, I think NSYNC worked the hardest and I think they were the best. I think those two coincide.
I totally agree.
I think that generally speaking, with any business, they kind of go hand-in-hand. Some people get lucky, but that doesn’t last forever. So anybody that has a good thing and keeps going, staying talented, you know they’re working hard.
Have you ever heard any crazy rumors about yourself?
I try to ignore them, but there are always rumors out there.
What are you currently listening to?
Right now, Skrillex. His new album is good stuff. It’s not that long, I wish he had put more songs out, but he has some amazing stuff. He has some really spunky songs and it’s something that I can play before I go on stage that gets me hype.
When you are on tour, what do you miss the most about being home?
I miss my bed. I’ve always thought I had a very comfortable bed. The bunk is pretty... well considering, but I like privacy. I’m a very private guy, so being able to drive wherever I want to go, ride my bike, just do something on my own. You get some time on the road, but a lot of times it’s pretty much just off the bus, play a show, and then back on the bus for the ride. The quarters are a little tighter.
Do you watch a lot of TV or movies?
It’s hard on the road to get satellite. I don’t understand, you can watch TV on airplanes, no problem, but on tour buses, it sucks. It cuts in and out all the time and frankly, anybody who can fix it reads this, please fix it! I really stay up to-date on the Apple TV or Netflix, but I know that my Tivo has a lot of Californication and Archer for me to watch when I get home.
Do you have any guilty pleasure shows that you don’t really want people to know you watch?
I don’t record them, but honestly, I watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians once in a while. It’s a really entertaining show, OK?
Oh no, it is. I watch it too (laughs). So anyway, what would you like to see for happen your character in season 3?
You know, I’ve never really had a girlfriend in the show, but I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of nice. I get to meet a lot of cute guest stars, so let’s have that happen to him. A lot of my character’s comedic relief seems to be over the top, and I like that, but it’d be nice to see more of a serious storyline for an episode or two.
I was going to ask you about that. Is James Diamond ever going to get a serious girlfriend?
I have no idea. I doubt that Diamond will ever be that serious about anything except wanting to be a pop star, but that’s also why the character is so much fun to play. Even though he looks like me, he’s very different, so it’s fun to play that. But you never know, maybe this season something will change up.
If you could pick a girlfriend for him, who would you pick? Any celebrity crushes that you have?
I think that Eliza Dushku is very beautiful. I don’t know if she’d work in the Big Time Rush facet, but Emma Watson would also be a wonderful girlfriend for James Diamond.
Out of all the guys in the band (for real), who has the most luck with girls?
It’s hard to pick because everyone is so goofy, I mean, you just can’t be cool. Because the four of us know each other so well, if you try act cool in front of a girl, somebody is going to jump in there and ruin it, but everybody does all right. Kendall is a hopeless romantic. Carlos obviously likes to be in a relationship and has a great one going on, and Logan is hilarious. I think we all do all right in our own ways.
Do you guys have similar tastes in girls?
We definitely have similar tastes in that everyone likes a hot girl. But in terms of relationships, I think we’re all such different people that we wouldn’t ultimately want to date the same girl. We get along incredibly well and I think that’s what makes Big Time Rush from the TV show to the music. But in real life, we’re really really different from each other, so I doubt we would ever end up really liking the same girl.
Your last album did extremely well. When you guys do get back in the studio, is there anyone you would die to have on the record?
I don’t think that Adele would ever work with somebody else, and obviously she doesn’t need to, but she may be the only modern day artist that doesn’t. It would be amazing to do a song with her. I would just do backgrounds and let her sing on the track. I think she’s amazing.
Good choice! Down the road, do you want to stick more with music or acting?
I’m going to do both. It’s hard to say which path will be the first, but I think it’s rare to have an opportunity like this to be able to get to do them at the same time. In the future, a film career may be the first big step, then I’ll be writing things on the side and then have a solo career or it could be vice versa. I just don’t know until the time comes, and for the next couple of years, I’ll be focused on Big Time Rush, but I’m excited (just as the readers will be) to find out.
What can fans expect on the summer tour? Do you have any plans in motion?
If anybody who is reading this saw the Better With U Tour, they saw a huge stage, high rows, a lot more choreography, a lot of dancing, even flips. We’re going to add a lot more to all of that. There’s going to be a bigger stage, more pyro, more screens, more songs and something that we’re working on that we may or may not do – there’s a chance we might fly. Can’t really tell you how or why (probably not because we’re magicians), but I’m not going to leave that out.
Great. And a lot of the tour dates sold out pretty quickly. That’s got to be pretty flattering.
It was pretty cool. Since it was our first headlining tour, we really didn’t know that to expect, but it just reminds us that we have the best fans in the world that support the TV show, the album sales and now the tour. As long as they want us to keep touring and keep selling out places, we’re going to keep doing it.