"We're just starting to scratch the surface with Big Time Rush," says James Maslow.
Our favorite pop group will bring everything to another level altogether with this summer's "Big Time Summer" tour. In support of their excellently epic new offering, Elevate, Big Time Rush have continued to raise the stakes with every subsequent tour, and this will certainly be no exception. There all kinds of incredible surprises in store—just like with everything Big Time Rush does.
In this exclusive interview, Big Time Rush's James Maslow previews the "Big Time Summer" tour, talks inspirations, playlist, and so much more.
How are you going to up the ante with the "Big Time Summer" tour?
Well, the "Better With U" tour already changed the game for us. We played probably 100 shows between radio gigs, fair dates, and such. Any show we played was usually the four of us on stage with microphones and a backup band if we were lucky. On the "Better With U" tour, we had a 20-foot stage on either side with pyro, lights, more wardrobe, and choreography. Wardrobe and production value went up exponentially. We wanted to do another jump. We wanted to take the "Better With U" tour and make it bigger and better. We're going to add more songs and choreography, maybe even more backup dancers and pyro. We want the show to be not only fun musically but entertaining for anyone in attendance. The summer is going to be huge.
How do you put together a production like this?
We're lucky to have a wonderful team around us when it comes to the production side of the tour. The band will have meetings with the stage manager who will run everything eventually, the production coordinator, and the stage designer. We'll say what we want. They'll bring their ideas, and we'll either sign-off, provide our own ideas, or come to a mutual agreement that's most feasible, fun, and reasonable. We have fewer limitations this summer because we're playing arenas and amphitheaters instead of theaters. We're going to get to do and bring a lot more. Once we do that, the four of us have to go back to recording and filming the third season. The team puts everything together, and we come back for rehearsal and keep it moving. It's a round-the-clock job. There are a ton of moving parts. Everything comes together, and then we hit the road.
What does the title track of the record, "Elevate", mean to you?
That song is actually one I wrote for the album. I was sitting down with my buddies Eric Sanicola and Damon Sharpe, and we were going to write. We had a bunch of fun ideas. Damon asked me, "Do you guys have a title song?" I was like, "Nope, but we're about to!" That was the idea running forward. We wanted to create something that encompassed the whole album for us. It's not necessarily a specific sound but the idea of having fun and elevating everything whether it's your lifestyle, your wardrobe, or the tour for us specifically. It's about elevating life and having a great time. We tried to make that into a really fun song. Whenever I listen to it, I'm energized and it makes me happy. I think of having a good time and pushing yourself further.
What are your "Elevation" tactics?
For me, every day I try to improve on something. I go to the gym every morning as part of my daily routine. In a physical sense, it keeps me healthy and moves me forward. I'll try to write a song or study something whether it's in the music, television, or film world. In any field, you want to try to improve your skills every day. If you do the same thing over and over again, it becomes mundane. If you try to get better every day, the more opportunities you'll have and the better artist you'll be.
Do acting and music come from two different creative spaces?
Definitely, being in the studio, I'll go in there with an idea. This past week, I spent my time in the studio working on the summer single. I was thinking, "We need an upbeat summer single. That's where we should go". Then, I could come up with something totally different like a ballad. The creativity differs. When you're acting, you have a specific role you're trying to gauge. You try to understand the character you're portraying, and you try to do a good job with that. It's specific, and it's much more personal. As an actor, you can get advice, but your choices are the choices that matter on camera. As a writer, you can co-write or write something and completely change it. They're both creative, but they're two different styles.
Are you writing songs currently?
Yes, I always am. I love writing, and I've done it for a long time. It's only been professional for the past couple of years. I've got several different goals with writing. I'd like a platinum single or record for Big Time Rush. I'd like a platinum single or record for another artist, and I'd like one for me personal down the line. For now, I'm going to keep writing and honing the craft. The more you do it, the better you get at it. I want to work with more people too. If you have one great song, it moves you forward. We're looking for that next great song with Big Time Rush.
What else inspires you outside of music?
I love surfing. I found a lot of inspiration having peace by myself. I like reading. Often, I'll put a book down and daydream which will take me to something else that'll give me inspiration. During the past several years, it's also come from meeting fans. Fans tell you stories. I hear life stories and personal stories. I get a lot of inspiration from fans.
I've been listening to Adele for the past year. I love Skrillex's album. I'm a sucker for dubstep. It's the best snowboarding music or we'll play songs like that before we go on stage to get hyped up. Some of my favorites areMaroon 5 and Jack Johnson.