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Be specific: Howie Dorough on the Backstreet Boys, the later years

Backstreet's back ... but they never went away. (Courtesy of the artist)

By Allison Stewart

You might never have thought of the Backstreet Boys as survivors, but here they are: Seventeen years after their inception, they've survived the death (and rebirth, and then death again) of boy band pop, and the departure of member Kevin Richardson, who in 2006 embarked, perhaps unwisely, on a solo career, and who has not been replaced.

The group has released two albums post-Richardson, most recently 2009's "This is Us," which they're currently touring behind. (They'll play Wolf Trap's Filene Center next Wednesday, June 7.)
Howie Dorough, 36, talked to Click Track about the tour, and what it feels like to be a boy bander in -- well, not winter, exactly. But you know what we mean.

Are you all used to being a four-piece by now?

I don't think we'll ever be 100 percent used to it. Kevin was a part of the family, and it's definitely different, but I think we've definitely adapted to it. I think hopefully our fans will appreciate the fact that there's still good music… and when they come to the shows or listen to the music, they don't feel like there's anything missing.

Is there still a lot of screaming during shows?

There's definitely a lot of screaming and we're fortunate for that. That hasn't really changed. The frequency is not as piercing, but the overall hysteria is still there. It's really crazy. The fans get older and they move on past us and go do their own thing and get married and start a family. A lot of them have done that, and they still follow us. We're very appreciative of their willing husbands, who let them go out and get crazy.

(Dorough on the perils of being Justin Bieber, after the jump.)

Of all the boy bands, people might not have picked you to be the ones who lasted.

We were the first ones who came out in that era of the quote-unquote "boy bands," and to be the last ones still standing is amazing. We've had the adventure of a lifetime together.

The Backstreet Boys are going on an upcoming fan cruise. How accessible will you be to the fans?

Very accessible. On a cruise ship, you can't jump off it. You gotta deal with it. Unless you're gonna be a hermit and stay in your room, you've gotta be out and about.

Are you glad you're not going through fame for the first time now, like Justin Bieber is?

Totally. When we started, it was a great time and era, don't get me wrong. I think the Internet has been an unbelievable tool. But the Internet, with the paparazzi and stuff like that, can shine a negative light on you. There's definitely some excitement that comes with people wanting to know and hear about you. I feel sometimes for people who are just starting out who don't have a good solid foundation. It's easy for them to get lost, or get their feelings hurt.

You [went a long time without touring]. Does your body have a sense memory for the singing and dancing?

It definitely took some time to learn the whole show. Our bodies -- we're definitely a little older than we were, that's for sure. The muscle memory takes a little bit longer now, [and we need to] stretch out to make sure we don't have any injuries. For me, I love it. It's some of the best cardio I get.

By Allison Stewart  |  June 4, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Be specific  | Tags: Backstreet Boys  
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