Monday, September 10, 2012
James Maslow Interview: Don’t Rush to judgment
Maslow and the other three members of the boy band, playing the i wireless Center on Tuesday, were put together by producer Scott Fellows for a TV show on the Nickelodeon cable channel.
“Sony and Nickelodeon knew they wanted to create a TV show that was a platform for a band they would have for Sony,” Maslow said from a tour stop in Bangor, Maine. “They knew what they wanted, and it took two years of auditions and screen tests and countless people coming in and out the door until they finally settled on the four of us.”
And the experiment has been successful. “Big Time Rush,” the TV series, debuted on Nick in January 2010 to 6.8 million viewers, a record for a live-action series premiere on the kids-oriented channel. Its self-titled album debuted that September at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 200 charts and has sold 3 million copies worldwide. A 2011 follow-up, “Elevate,” debuted at No. 12 on the album charts. This summer, it won the Kids Choice Awards from Nickelodeon, and a few weeks ago, Parade magazine, a national publication that is inserted each Sunday in the Quad-City Times, chose the group as the top boy band.
Unlike the 1960s group The Monkees, which Fellows has called the model for the band, Big Time Rush is helping shape itself.
“It started as a great concept,” Maslow said, “and the four of us didn’t really get to write the music, but we did design what we think we wanted the band to be.”
That included allowing Maslow and BTR bandmate Carlos Pena Jr. to produce one of their videos.
“We approached Sony with the concept of going to Maui,” Maslow said. “They kind of laughed at the idea at first, but we didn’t need anyone to do hair and makeup and would cut the budget down until we could have to ability to get over there.”
The result, “Windows Down,” was released this summer and is the band’s most popular video yet, he said.
Maslow, Pena, Kendall Schmidt and Logan Henderson were chosen from a pool of 1,500 males in their teens and early 20s.
“There was some absolutely undeniable talent that walked in the door,” Maslow said of the 2007 auditions. “But Scott was very much on the train, knowing that it won’t work without the right chemistry. We’re blessed that he was that diligent because once he knew he found the right people, he knew it would work.”
The four grew to bond from long hours together, said Maslow, a New York City native raised in La Jolla, Calif.
“There was a lot of time spent together between shooting a single-camera show anywhere from 12 to 20 hours (per day) five days a week and then recording albums on the weekends,” he said. “We see each other every day and we get along like brothers, and we see each other more than our family at this point.”
Their tour has quickly grown from theaters over the winter to arenas and amphitheaters this summer in a trek that stretches from mid-July to mid-October.
A few surprises have come their way, including the moms of the teens and preteen girls in their audience who carry some “pretty suggestive signs,” Maslow said.
As far as the criticism of being a band formed by a producer, he said the proof is in the show.
“We expect it, we understand. This concert is not fake. We sing live, 18 songs from beginning to end, and it’s entertaining from the choreography aspect. We’ve spent years working on it and we’ve created this group that can compete against any boy band or group out there today,” he said. “We want to work harder than anyone else out there because we want to continue to prove that although we took this opportunity that was created by Nickelodeon and Sony, we were going to give it our best shot and work harder than anyone else.”
Shared by: BigTimeRushTV.com