Backstreet Boys Weigh in on AJ McLean's New Country Album

Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean recently announced he was releasing a country album, which might have shocked fans – but it didn't surprise his current bandmates. The group, made up of McLean, Nick Carter, Howie D., Brian Littrell and Howie D., have always encouraged each other to pursue interests behind their famous pop group.

"We're really supportive of one another in our individual endeavors," Carter shared with PopCulture.com at a recent media event. "I've done a couple of solo records. They haven't been the biggest thing. I haven't turned into Justin Timberlake, which I'm fine with that. I rather be a Backstreet Boy.

"But really, it's just a way for us to, we like to say, 'spread our wings,'" continues Carter. "Go out there and kind of experiment a little bit. We can bring back these experiences that we have to the group and things that we've learned on our own. And it gives us a little time to breathe from one another. 'Cause when you're in a group, you have to play as a team member, which is great. But at the same time, it sometimes can get a little bit hairy at times, here and there."

McLean not only has the support of his fellow group members, but he also serves as an inspiration for the other four.

"We're proud of AJ, for him doing that," Richardson says. "And, you know, I think that each of us, individually, besides coming back to the group with sometimes even more fans that we may have not had, it also helps us to find our stronger legs to stand on. And we come back and even be a stronger team player."

McLean just released "Back Porch Bottle Service," the debut single from his upcoming country record.

"It's me," McLean tells PopCulture.com of his new set of tunes. "It's got a little bit of all the different types of music that I was inspired by. It's got a little rock, it's got a little R&B, it's got a little pop, but melodies and lyrics are still in that country vein. It's my country, I guess you could say; it's my take on country. My two favorite acts right now are Chris Stapleton and Sam Hunt. So if you were to kinda take Sam's production that's kind of pop urban with Stapleton's soulfulness, that's kind of the vibe that I'm doing."

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Download "Back Porch Bottle Service" on iTunes.

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