The 22-year-old Big Time Rush member just returned from overseas where he played a few gigs with his other band Heffron Drive.
Meanwhile, BTR is gearing up for their big summer tour and their new album 24/seven, which drops June 11th!
JJJ caught up with Kendall to chat about the tour, the new record, and what we can expect this season on the show too!
JustJaredJr: First of all congrats on the Teen Choice Award nomination! This is your first one, right?
Kendall Schmidt: I literally just saw it on Twitter and I’m shocked. Yeah, that’s why I was shocked, because we were always hoping the last three years since the shows been on, we’ve been hoping to get nominated. Of course we’ve been nominated for Kids Choice Awards a couple of times mainly because it’s a kid’s show. We’ve always imagined we played to a large teen audience and we were always kind of wondering why we never got a shot at a Teen Choice, but our fans are the best and I’m sure they had everything to do with it, so I told them to go vote and we’ll see what happens.
JJJ: We heard you just got back from Germany with Heffron Drive. How was that?
KS: It was amazing! I was really surprised by the fact that people bought tickets to come see us play and it’s music that I have never properly released. I mean, it’s on the internet and you can listen to it, but it’s been around for 5 or 6 years now and I’ve never had the chance to play ever. The show we did in Vienna, which was the first show, was the first time we ever played those songs for anybody. So it was definitely interesting and it was weird because it was the first time and they knew all the words already. It was really amazing. There were parts when I would stop singing and they would sing the whole thing, and it was really loud. It’s one thing to hear Big Time Rush lyrics, which has been amazing, but hearing stuff that I wrote a long time ago was pretty trippy.
JJJ: How do you usually describe the difference between the two bands?
KS: I mean, I guess the difference is… there’s definitely some songs Big Time Rush didn’t have any part in the writing process of, but in this later album maybe other than two songs, we personally penned all of them so they mean a lot to us and it means a lot to the fans. Whenever I see “Cover Girl” tattoos and stuff like that, it really is amazing and I’ve seen quite a few of those, which is really cool. It’s the same feeling when somebody sings a Big Time Rush song. It’s the same feeling when they sing one that I wrote for Heffron Drive, but I guess it means a little bit more because it was something I did with no intentions. It was just to make music that I love. I wasn’t doing it for the band or for an album, I was just doing it to do it. I was writing pure heart, just writing. It was pretty amazing.
JJJ: You have such a busy schedule with recording and filming. How do you have the time to do anything else?
KS: Well, you got to make use of your time off. I feel like a crazy person if I don’t do anything for a couple of days. Like I just got back from Germany and I had Monday and Tuesday to get over jet lag, and I was texting people like, “You want to do a writing session? Like can we go write?” And friend and I are going to go try and write some songs for Maroon 5 pretty soon, which would be pretty cool. So I’m trying to figure out when I have time to do all that stuff and there is no time. I sort of just have to make time, but because I’ve been in that routine that’s constantly going that it’s kind of become normal now. A couple days off a never a bad thing, that’s for sure.
JJJ: BTR is headed on tour soon! What are the things you have to have with you on tour?
KS: On the rider, it’s kinda funny. Everybody has things that stand out that just… scream them. There’s protein bars and beef jerky and that’s mainly for James and Carlos because they’ve been bulking up a lot. I’m more on the skinny side, so the only thing on the rider that’s specifically me is, above everybody’s stuff, which is the initial intro to the rider, is it says things like “Mostly organic nature.” I start the list with that. And then the only other thing I have to besides the obvious things like your phone or computer and everything is, I gotta have almond milk. It seems really lame, but I have been trying not to drink milk lately. It’s a long story. So yeah, almond milk, and it’s hard to find in places. Most places they usually drink soy and they’re like, “Is this cool?” I’m like, “It’s not the same thing,” but at that point I’ll just drink regular milk (laughs).
JJJ: Interesting! So in regards to the Big Time Rush album, it seems like it was a long time coming! Why the name 24/seven?
KS: We’ve been so excited for this thing to come out for the last six months, in the process of finishing it and stuff. We’ve been like, “Let’s put it out” and they’re like, “It’s not finished yet.” And we’re like, “It doesn’t matter just put it out.” We really started doing the majority of the writing after our South American tour last year. I think it was November/December we started writing a lot and then January/February/March was deciding which songs we wanted to continue to work on. Then it’s just been polishing everything and making sure correct vocals are on the right parts and that process is interesting because it’s a lot of letting the producer we’re doing the song with pick. And then a lot of making sure everyone has pretty much equal amounts of singing because we all love showcasing each other. Why 24/seven? Well pretty much because of that. We’ve been working on it 24/7 since we finished the tour. We’ve been busy 24/7 since the beginning of Big Time Rush and our fans support us 24/7 so it seemed appropriate. And there’s a song called “24/seven” so it made sense to name the album that.
JJJ: In terms of the show, what can we expect from your character in the upcoming episodes?
KS: My character is always, you know, rounding up the troops and has maintained that for the past four seasons. It’s funny I asked (creator) Scott [Fellows] for stuff more along the lines of what the other guys were doing, like more goofball stuff. My character always stays calm because there’s stuff between me and my girlfriend on the show, we’re always having our problems. I think we break up once or twice this season and get back together, of course. There’s always relationship conflict and I’m always helping the other guys with stuff. There’s some funny episodes in general. I’ve been really excited for everyone to see them because you figure after four seasons we really get into a stride of our comedy and how we want to do the show.
JJJ: What are your plans for the future? You’ve been acting forever, but you’re also really passionate about music. Do you have a preference?
KS: Well like you said, acting is really the only thing I’ve ever done. I’ve never had a proper job other than helping my dad. My dad owns a retirement home so we would clean the bugs out of the lights and stuff like that. That was like my job growing up. Other than that, I’ve been acting and I love doing it and if the right thing comes up, I would love to be a part of it. But I’m really focused on music and I’m getting Heffron Drive going, just changing the music and the ability to release new music it takes time. I have to sort of not be in the middle of Big Time Rush to put out music. All in due time, I was talking earlier today that I’d like to eventually start a record label and sign other artists or manage other people’s careers too. Because there are not many people that have had a crash course in TV, movies, and music like the four of us. The band has done all of those things, all of the above. We even joked about doing a Big Time Rush management group. Carlos could direct the music videos and the content, James could do the image, I could be part of running the music side of it, and Logan would be the sales pitch guy (laughs).
JJJ: Speaking of your band mates, let’s talk about them! Who owns the most clothes?
KS: Me, for sure. Actually Carlos has a closet the size of a living room, but maybe because it’s all organized it looks like a lot. Mine is just spread out around the house. There are four rooms that have piles of clothes of mine in them. Honestly I would say me, but I’m going to be doing some spring cleaning and donating very soon.
JJJ: Who takes the longest to get ready?
KS: Logan. He’s just late, he doesn’t do much to his hair. It’s pretty much the same all the time, I don’t know if you’ve noticed (laughs). It seems like he gets up in the morning and it looks like that, but for some reason we’re in the van waiting to go to the airport or something and Logan is the last one to come down.
JJJ: Who is the luckiest when it comes to girls?
KS: That’s really tough because everybody has different ways to approach that. I’m pretty shy I guess, until I get a conversation going and then I open up a lot. We’ve always said that Logan is a very flirty guy, extremely flirty and always flirting with the girls. James is like so damn pretty, so all he has to do is smile and chat them up a little bit. Carlos is very specific, like the girl really has to like him. It’s kind of opposite. Me, I don’t know, the luckiest I think it really depends on the day or depends on the girl because if they like one of us, they sure as hell don’t like the other three (laughs).
JJJ: Who knows you the best?
KS: I spend most time out of the show with Logan because we have similar families. Our families are really good friends with each other. Like we’ve had Easter holidays and stuff like that together, so he probably knows my habits the best. But all of the guys, I mean we all know each other like the back of our hands. I can see what each one of those guys are thinking without them having to say anything. We’ll be in a group situation together and someone will walk up and talk to that person and it’s absolutely ridiculous, so we’ll look at each other and give each other the eye like, “This person is crazy.” When you have those kinds of conversations you can kind of speak to each other without speaking.
JJJ: Have you ever had any crazy fan encounters? Anything that sticks out?
KS: I wouldn’t say anything crazy, like I don’t have anybody waiting outside my house, which is good. There are a couple of times we’ve been followed after a show or something along those lines. In Germany though, there were a couple of girls that went to every single show. You could imagine how much it cost to get a hotel room every night and fly to Berlin. You could imagine how much that costs. I would just consider that crazy supportive. I love so many bands I was wondering which one I would do that for. It’s kind of like being a modern day version of a Dead Head.
JJJ: Definitely! And lastly, tell us about this group called the Cougar Rushers.
KS: Well there are a lot of moms that like the show because their kids watch it with them. But also there are a lot of moms that are single so they watch the show and we’re four 22/23 year old guys. I’m sure it’s probably a dream for a lady like that. So they have a club called the Cougar Rushers, which is really funny. I tend to like older ladies myself so I’m never opposed to the Cougar Rushers, but when they call themselves cougars they’re like 30, so I wouldn’t really consider that much of a cougar. There are some definitely some older cougars in there, but you know what, we’ll take the support from everyone.