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Brian Littrell
Itís not often ~ okay, never before has it happened ~ that we answer the phone and have a Backstreet Boy on the line. Thatís right: no record company representative, no personal assistant, no annoying hold music while the artist is located ~ we have a real live member of one of the most successful boy bands of all time calling us directly from his home in the USA for our exclusive interview.

Brian Littrell, the Backstreet Boy with the quiet manner and ready smile, is all set to release his first solo record. Titled Welcome Home, the album sees Brian trading in the dance-floor beats and syrupy ballads for something a little deeper. But the fans neednít worry, going solo for Brian is not the usual precursor to a band break-up ~ although we note that just days after our interview, Brianís cousin and fellow Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson announced that he was leaving the band. However, Brian talks about the Backstreet Boys several times in our conversation and even brings us up to date on their latest plans.

Soft-spoken, warm and so friendly that itís easy to forget heís a superstar, here is Brian Littrell telling us about his brand new album, the overwhelming response to it, undergoing major surgery in 1998 and the three most important things he has learned in his years on Earth.

The Record: Great to talk to you, Brian! The Backstreet Boys were on the cover of the first issue of our magazine so this is extra special for us.
Brian: Oh wow! Itís very special to know that, thank you.

The Record: What has been the biggest influence on this new record?
Brian: I would say just my upbringing. I grew up singing in church as a little boy. Iíve always wanted to make a solo inspirational Christian pop/rock record ~ whatever you want to call this record ~ itís a lot of things. [Laughs] But I think my inspiration comes from just my experiences as a child before I became a Backstreet Boy as well as my experiences with the band.

TR: Which song stands out for you?
Brian: At the moment Iím listening a lot to the title track Welcome Home. It is the first single and the reason Iím listening to it a lot is because we just finalized the video for that song last week. So Iíve been watching the rough cuts of the video and really analysing it. My wife and I are trying to make the best video we can. That song in particular, I would have to say, is one of my favourites on the record because itís like the story of my life you know. I wrote that song at the end of last year when I was on tour with the Backstreet Boys over in Europe.

TR: How has your career as part of the Backstreet Boys influenced this record?
Brian: The experience with the Backstreet Boys has taught me a lot about life, about being a better songwriter, a better producer. With the experiences that weíve been through in the studios, on tour as a group, itís taught me a lot about the music business. I think itís a lot easier as a solo artist to write about what you want to talk about rather than I guess what someone else wants to talk about. [Laughs]

TR: What kind of feedback have you had for this new record from Backstreet Boys fans?
Brian: Iíve got a lot of feedback from Backstreet Boys fans as well as just Christian music fans. The feedback has been amazing. Everyone has really accepted this project overwhelmingly well. I just finished a small two-week tour here in the US. We were performing in small clubs and radio festivals, in front of crowds of about 15,000 people. The response has been overwhelming. The music, I think, is touching peopleís lives in a special way.

TR: It sounds dramatic but music is a religion for a lot of people ~ do you agree and if so, what music has influenced you that deeply?
Brian: I would agree, yes. For me, itís been a conglomerate of all kinds of different music. I would have to say the Backstreet Boysí music has touched my life in a special way over the past 13 years that the band has been together, but before I was in the band I was influenced by contemporary inspirational music. As a musician myself I donít have just one style of music thatís really taught me the most about life, I would have to say I listen to country, R&B, pop, big bands ~ you name it I listen to all of it. [Laughs]

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Brian Littrell in the July 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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