Nick Gets Serious

No he's not leaving the Backstreet Boys for a solo career. And no, he's not dating Britbey Spears. Although new rumors about 19-year-old Nick Carter seem to swirl around his blond head every day, he doesn't pay them much attention. He has his hands full touring the world with Backstreet Boys on their band new Millennium tour.

After breaking records this summer in the U.S. (and most of the world) for the fastest selling CD of all time, Nick and his partners in musical crime- Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, and AJ McLean- leapt into their first European tour in more than a year. Their Millennium show will touch down in America on September 19 with their first concert in Miami, Florida. Te guys are then scheduled to follow a rigorous 56-date itinerary that will take BSB clear across the country and back again. But that's not all! Come December, BSB hits Canada to give all of their loyal fans up north a fresh bite of Backstreet magic.

These days, Nick's not quite the joker he used to be. He still loves video games, pretty girls and sweaty games of basketball, but he's also matured. It's not wonder. As it's been widely reported, 1998 was the group's most difficult year, complicated by a lawsuit, a change in manangement, a heart operation, and worldwide fame and fourtune. And the ride ain't over yet!

TIGER BEAT: Every day there seems to be a new rumor about you dating someone, or marrying someone. Is it hard to have so much attention placed on your personal life?

NICK: The craziest rumor that I haver heard was about me and Britney Spears. That's just unbelievable.

TB: So if you're not dating Britney Spears, who are you going out with?

NICK: I'm dating someone but I'm not going to tell you who it is. Nobody knows and I don't really want anybody to know. It's not about hiding them away. It's just that I don't anybody to know quite yet- for her or for me. It's not about trying to make sure the fans aren't upset, it's more about keeping a part of your like that nobody knows about, because that's probably the only thing that's private.

TB: Some of your fans are going to be upset to hear that you're dating someone.

NICK: I realize that. I knew that there would be pressure when I came into this jph, but if fans really love us the way that they say they do then they will support us in whatever we do- physically, mentally, and with their hearts.

TB: Do you think there's more pressure on you from the fans because you're the most popular one in the group?

NICK: I don't think it really matters to me, even if I was the most popular member. It mattered more to me when I was younger. I do love the attention if that's what you mean.

TB: You've been traveling the world with BSB since you were just a kid- practically your brother Aaron's age. Do you feel like you missed out on anything?

NICK: There's a lot of stuff that I've missed out on, but at the same time there has to be a happy medium., it had to be that kind of life or this one. I missed out on the everyday social life, the normality of being a teenager in school, the sports activities and things like that.

TB: Are you alarmed to see your 12-year-old brother following in your footsteps?

NICK: I worry about my brother because it's a really hard business. We have to take a lot of pressure and it takes its toll. People ten to look at us and say that we're perfect- we're not. We've been through a lot of stress and a lot of it is to do with this business. What am I do think when someone Aaron's age comes into the business?

TB: Would you prefer if Aaron wasn't in the music business?

NICK: I personally would rather he didn't get involved in this but it's his life, it's not up to me.

TB: Did growing up as part of Backstreet Boys change you?

NICK: I haven't had to change but I have changed, just like anyone would. Being in the band, I may have changed a little bit faster but you have to get a grip and make sure you can keep in touch with reality. I'm a very carefree person. I like to be a kid. I don't really like to be grown up- I'm not going to be grown up until I'm 21... and I might not even do that. I just don't like responsibilities.

TB: What's the biggest misconception people have about you?

NICK: It's not really mis-conception but people tend to judge me just on my appearance. I get a lot of flak on things like weight and trivial things like that, sometimes I don't know what I should do.

TB: Is there a big difference?

NICK: There's not really a big difference but there are small things that irk me when people say them. Like, I went out once and there were these girls talking about how fat I was! i was like, 'Wait a minute, just because I've got a stomach and I don't want to be like all those other boy bands and work out all the time.' That's not me. I don't try and do something in order to me people happy or in order to make them like me. And I guess it has worked because I haven't had to change myself.

TB: Do you have a lot of friends to turn to for support outside of Backstreet Boys?

NICK: I have a couple of good friends. I don't have that many, though, really. It's hard to mee new people in the band because you can't really trust everybody. I think I can tell when someone is being fake around me. I also know I've got a lot of good people aroudn me. I do think I can read it pretty quickly if someone is fake with me; if they're only interested in me because I'm 'Nick Carter, Backtreet Boy." But at the same time I don't want to go through life being suspicious of people. I am a big-hearted person and like to make friends. Some people are going to take of advantage of that, but that's a risk you have to take.

TB: You've finally got a house of your own in Florida. What's that like?

NICK: It' very different. I have to still get used to it a bit. There's a lot of new responsibilities which I wasn't really looking for, as I said before. But I can be responsible when i want to be. Once in a while!

TB: What do you miss most about home when you're out on tour?

NICK: The tranquility. [I live in] a small where thy won't find me too easily. I'm not that much of a city person. They're too busy and crowded. I love the sea and live very close to it. I've just bought a boat and I plan to use it- a lot!

TB: What else do you do for fun?

NICK: Just normal day-to-day kid stuff. You know, playing sports, video games, that kind of thing.

TB: All of Backstreet Boys have said that 1998 was the group's hardest year., what with Brian's surgery and the change in management.

NICK: Absolutely! But my way of going about it at the time was not think about it. I just try not to dwell on it because if I do, it will just hit me hard. So I try not to think about it too much. Our prayers were with Brian all of the time he was in the hospital. Although anything could have happened, I knew that he would pull through. I know him, it's strange but it's just one of those things.

TB: What five words would best describe the private side of Nick Carter?

NICK: Tranquil, fun, real, strong-minded, and upredictable.

Interview done by Tina Strummer

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