On Wednesday, August 8, 2012, Suite101 chatted via telephone with James Maslow from the successful pop group Big Time Rush. In addition to James, the band is comprised of Logan Henderson, Kendall Schmidt and Carlos Pena Jr. James opens up about his biggest influences, his songwriting, their latest Elevate CD, as well as their television show and hit single “Windows Down.”
James’ Musical Inspirations
James Maslow has looked up to such artists as Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5 and John Mayer. “I met John Mayer and he had some of the most inspiring things to say. He is a talented songwriter and I admire him since he believes in his music,” he says.
Although James is a triple threat in the entertainment industry, since he sings, dances and acts, he notes that singing and acting are stronger for him, but he does enjoy dancing as well.
In their sophomore studio album, Elevate, which was released in November 21, 2011 via their label, Columbia Records, James co-wrote the title track cut, along with fellow songwriters Damon Sharpe, Johnny Powers Severein and Eric Sanicola. “I started writing songs for other artists. When I was in London, I wrote a song for a boy band in the United Kingdom called Blue and it might be their second singleI also co-wrote a song for an up-and-coming band, Wellington, in Los Angeles and they are YouTube sensations. I’m excited about that since one of my goals is to get a platinum record on another artist,” he says.
He listed “All Time Low” and his co-penned “Epic” as his personal favorite songs from Elevate, which ended up on the European edition of the album. “‘Epic’ was exciting to write and it just flowed out. I co-wrote it in a few hours with some other really amazing writers,” James says.
James is stoked with the success of their newest radio single “Windows Down” since it has become a summer anthem. “We are really excited about it since it is an upbeat and fun song that represents they type of music that we want to do for our third album; something that is appropriate for young kids and something that segues into mainstream radio. We are glad that a lot of radio stations have picked it up and we hope everything is as excited as we are. We really want this to be a launching path for our next album,” he says.
The band’s music video for “Windows Down” was filmed in Maui, Hawaii and it features stunning cinematography. “That was rad! We went on vacation there for a few days and had so much fun and we went back and decided to shoot the new video there,” he says.
Big Time Rush: The TV Show
Their critically-acclaimed television show on Nickelodeon, Big Time Rush, has been picked up for a fourth season on Nickelodeon. “We found out around the same time that the public did and that was exciting for us. It was really cool,” he says. “I am so grateful that I get to perform for a living whether it’s a TV show or being on stage. It’s pretty surreal and amazing.”
Concert at Jones Beach, New York
James and his fellow band members will be performing tonight at the Nikon Theatre at Jones Beach in Wantagh, New York, as part of their Better With U Tour. Cody Simpson and X Factor’s Rachel Crow will join them as supporting acts. “We are playing Jones Beach tonight for the first time and it’s a dream come true since it’s a world-famous venue. We have it sold out for two nights and we are coming back on August 17, 2012. It is unbelievable to be headlining this show for a sold-out crowd. The only step above this is Madison Square Garden and The Staples Center and hopefully we could do that on our next tour.”
Presently, his iPod consist of an eclectic mix of artists including Skrillex, Maroon 5 and Ellie Goulding. He notes that he would love to someday collaborate with Adele and Katy Perry. “Adele is one of the best things that has happened in music over the last ten years and Katy seems fun. Although I’ve never met Katy or worked with her, I would to sing with her. That would be a good day,” he says.
Spare Time and Activities
While they are out on the road, Big Time Rush try to write and record as much as possible. When they go back to Los Angeles they hope to work on their third album, and then they go into production in January. “There is not a lot of downtime but I might get a few days off for Christmas so I will probably go snowboarding somewhere,” he says.
Although he truly loves being in the entertainment field, he also has interests in architecture, even though he disliked mathematics. “Architecture is a really wonderful field and designing building is one of the most impressive things of art that somebody can do,” he says.
Big Time Rush love their fans and they stay connected with them through their various social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. “I don’t have an Instagram yet but I might get one soon. Every day I get to talk back to the fans immediately via Twitter on my phone and then we get to meet them during our meet and greets during our shows. We try to get out by the gates at the shows to say hello to them and sign autographs and take pictures with them, ” James says. “My fans are so amazing that being on the stage is the best feeling. There is nothing getting that immediate gratification when they sing along to every word to our songs. That is really cool, especially if it’s a song that I wrote.”
To learn more about James Maslow and Big Time Rush, check out their official website and be sure to follow James on Twitter.