Tommy2: How’s it going – it’s Tommy2 and today we’ve got a very special guest checking in with us – it’s James Maslow from Big Time Rush. How you doing man?
James Maslow: I’m good dude, how are you doing today?
Tommy2: I’m doing well, definitely excited to have you checking in with us again since the last interview we did was actually one of the highest ranking we’ve ever so I know people will be looking forward to this.
James Maslow: Oh, that’s so cool to hear. I’m happy to be back talking with you.
Tommy2: Okay, now let’s start this off with the Better With U Tour that just finished up. What were some of the highlights on that for you?
James Maslow: Well, I’m still in New York City right now and just last week I got to play Radio City which, you know what unbelievable. I’ve played some amazing venues in Canada, been to the Bridgestone Center in Nashville, but Radio City is just such a wonderful and historic stage. Madonna has been on that stage, Lady Gaga, everyone from the old to the new and the biggest stars in the world. So, that was an honor and it was one of the most fun concerts I’ve ever had honestly.
Tommy2: And speaking of some memorable moments, is there any way you can describe performing at the Houston Rodeo in front of 72,000 fans?
James Maslow: Wow… that’s about as close as I can get to describing that. The funny thing about that performance is that it was the biggest performance we had not only on this tour but practically ever. Maybe except for Mexico City, and we didn’t even have our set. It was a half and hour show so for instance this huge 20 foot set with pyro and lighting that we created for the Better With U Tour, that took a month of preparation. For the Houston Rodeo we literally stepped on that stage, I don’t know, 30 minutes before we performed live and kind of winged it. And I hate to say it, but that’s just how it works for the rodeo, but it was so much fun man.
Tommy2: And you guys probably stepped off stage with plenty of energy to go another 30 minutes right?
James Maslow: Oh, I had no idea it was done. I was used to playing an hour and a half every night. But after 30 minutes I was like – I’m barely sweating.
Tommy2: Okay, now I know you guys definitely give the show your all, but what’s the one thing that goes through your head right before you step out on stage.
James Maslow: Usually it’s just, it’s excitement. I mean it’s really just a bunch of energy and sometimes I’m thinking about moves or corrections that we talked about as a group. But for the most part I’m really just focusing on having fun. You know one of the best pieces of advice ever since I was in school studying theater was when you have fun on stage, the audience is going to have fun watching you. And so I try and just focus on that, focus on having a good time and if you don’t know your moves or know your whatever it might be before you go on stage, you’re probably not going to magically fix it so at that point you just try and relax and kind of not worry so much.
Tommy2: You feel that, you know like that fun aspect is getting easier since you guys have been out on the road and performing so much now that it’s kind of coming more naturally for you guys? Like stage awareness and all that stuff.
James Maslow: Oh yeah, I mean the more you do something, the more it’s kind of muscle memory. But, you know all of us and you know me especially and I gotta give Carlos props as well, we you know kind of go out of our way and still go back to basics and still remind ourselves of the easy choreography because it also easy to get too comfortable. So you get on stage and you just forget to do the really specific notes that the choreographer or one of the guys have kind of mentioned before. It sounds easy for sure, but you still have to practice, you still have to, you know keep reminding yourself of the basics to make sure it still stays tight.
Tommy2: Earlier this month you had a special intimate iHeart Radio Show with Cody Simpson and Rachel Crow to promote your summer tour. Was that a fun change up?
James Maslow: Oh yeah! That sounded great, you know Cody has opened a couple times for us in the summer just when we’re doing, you know Radio Shows and Fair dates, and (he’s) really nice kid and very talented. And Rachel, I actually met Rachel a couple of months ago in Los Angeles because she trains with my trainer so we’ve worked out together before, and she is honestly the sweetest little girl. So humble, here family is great and I just saw her perform last night when we did the Nickelodeon up fronts and she blew everyone away including myself. I think that her performance was the best of the night.
Tommy2: And how are you guys going to top this most recent tour this summer?
James Maslow: It’s going to be bigger! We’re going to have more of everything. More music, more pyro, the stage is going to get larger. Honestly, we put pretty much an arena tour into what was mostly theaters, with the exception of a couple of arenas and the rodeo of course for the Better With U Tour. And we’re going to make it even bigger, I mean we want our show to be a spectacle, so everybody whether they know all of our songs or none of them, they can come to show and just really great time and being entertained for the whole, whole period.
Tommy2: I think the girls are going to say, more costume changes.
James Maslow: More costume changes! They’ll probably say less costumes in general. Just wear less.
Tommy2: You know your fans with that answer.
James Maslow: If our set gets any longer. I’m already in a tank by then end of it, you never know we might just be shirtless cause there’s a lot of work on that stage.
Tommy2: I hear you’ve done that before.
James Maslow: On stage, you know I’ve gotten tanks and practically ripped the tanks off. So I’ve been almost shirtless on stage but, I haven’t… you know once in awhile after the show, people will yell out for your tanks. I’ve thrown out tanks and stuff that I’ve used and show coats cause they’re sweaty and I need to get another one, but for the most part we try and stay decent.
Tommy2: Now your first movie – Big Time Movie just aired on Nickelodeon. Was that a fun change up for you guys getting out and doing something different?
James Maslow: It was so cool. I had never been to Canada before, so spending six weeks in Vancouver was a really fun experience. Getting to, you know, to get to know the culture and the restaurants up there. Go to Victoria, which is on Vancouver Island, and also it’s a total different pace. You know, with the show we film all day for 12 to 20 hours pretty back to back. But for the movie, you know we might film 10 pages in a day on the show or 8 pages but a movie we might just film 1 or 2. You know, so the pace is a little slower, the production values better. So it was nice to change it up just like you said.
Tommy2: And were you guys probably hanging out a little more then too, right?
James Maslow: Yeah, there’s lots of down time. You know in fact there was some down time that was a little slow, cause when your there for six weeks like, we love each other but there’s some nights we want to hang out with other people. But, being that we’d never been to Canada we really didn’t have any friends, so that’s actually what encouraged me to get my dog Fox. Cause I was so bored, so in the evening times when we weren’t working and got off early and I thought it would be so cool to have a dog up there with me, and now I do. In fact, Fox is running around my hotel room somewhere.
Tommy2: And how about doing that soundtrack for Big Time Movie. Was that fun or a little intimidating covering The Beatles?
James Maslow: It was a bit of both. You know t was a huge honor and we were really excited when we got asked. Then you know the first time or two in the studio we were like – wow, we better not screw this up. Ultimately, we started tweeting out asking our fans who their favorite member or their favorite song was and we got tons of responses of fans who didn’t know who The Beatles were. That gave us a whole nother sense of purpose for covering the songs. Really that, ultimately we’d be passing The Beatles on to a much younger generation that may not have ever even heard of them. So that kind of gave us comfort. We really make it clear – we aren’t going to make a better song than The Beatles made. We’re not trying to improve upon them, were trying to give homage or respect and just do our version of them so we can pass on their lineage.
Tommy2: Which cover on the soundtrack is your personal favorite?
James Maslow: Hard Days Night is a lot of fun. We actually perform a little bot of that on the end of the video and then go into Elevate which is one of the songs that I wrote on the album. So it’s kind of, that was really especially cool combination of songs. It’s like a little medley. So that was a lot of fun for the movie.
Tommy2: Now speaking of Elevate, what inspired you to write that track?
James Maslow: I was in a room with Damon (Sharpe) and Eric (Sanicola) – two guys, two of my buddies who I wrote the song with, and we had all these other ideas. You know we had a fun upbeat song, we got a lot of mid-tempos and a lot of slows for the album. So we tried to create a party track and I think it was Damon Sharpe who was like hey, do you have a title song yet? And we all kind of looked at each other like no. So, we figured we didn’t even have a title song so that was one of the last songs that was written for the album and everybody liked it cause it really was… it’s just fun. And we love it as a whole and it’s just enjoyable and fun for everybody and I think that track really represents just having a good time.