Joey and Howie D talk to The Daily Star UK about British boybands, Adele, Whitney Houston and more.
CRACKING America is the ultimate for any budding British group.
And boyband kings New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys are backing our very own One Direction to triumph this year.
If anyone should know about selling records to boyband fans it’s Joey McIntyre and Howie Dorough who have sold more than 200million albums between their two groups.
And they can’t get enough of all things British when we meet up for a spot of traditional English afternoon tea at London’s Dover Street Arts Club.
Joey says: “One Direction are the cutest things I’ve ever seen. I didn’t know if they could break America when I heard the single but now I’ve seen them I have no doubt.
“But JLS don’t have the right look.Let’s face it, you have to be cute to be in a boyband, and for people to like your personalities.
“I was talking to James Corden the other night about The Wanted. I didn’t know they don’t dance. That loses you 10 boyband points.” Joey and the rest of the New Kids – Jordan, 41, and Jonathan Knight, 43, Donnie Wahlberg, 42, and Danny Wood, 42 – scored hits including Hangin’ Tough and Step By Step in the ’80s.
Backstreet Boys took over their mantle in the ’90s with Howie, 38, and chums Nick Carter, 32, Brian Littrell, 37, A. J. McLean, 34, and Kevin Richardson, 40, topping the charts with the likes of I Want It That Way.
The two groups, minus Kevin, have now teamed up to tour together.
So as our boybands cross the pond, we get the kings of the genre in Blighty in April.
Their tour takes in Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham and ends with shows at London’s O2 Arena.
Joey certainly knows his stuff, as someone who started his pop career in 1988 and now at the age of 39 is about to embark on the huge European arena tour with BSB playing a combination of their biggest hits plus some collaborations.
I try to explain to him the virtues of The Wanted and JLS but all he continues to do is swoon about 1D.
He says: “They have Simon Cowell behind them, right,” knowing the power which lies in the hands of The X Factor boss.
Before the hard work starts again, we have some fun on the way to our tea and sandwiches by transporting the pair on Boris Bikes.
The pay-as-you-go bicycles are available to anyone in the capital to hire as a healthy and traffic-beating way to get around the city centre.
Joey hops onto his saddle and happily pedals away like a gleeful child. Then we get separated.
Impressively, Joey stops and asks for directions and soon makes his way like a local to where he needs to be.
As he comes to a pause, a stunned fan walking along the street does a double take and whips out her Smartphone, begging for a cuddle.
Howie and Joey say: “We love coming to London.”
And so the conversation naturally turns to the capital’s biggest music export in music right now – Adele, 23.
Howie says: “I’ve played Adele’s album so much it’s covered in scratches. She blows you away. It’s like Amy Winehouse. She started this new trend for soul singers and Adele just takes it to the next level.”
As for their own divas, the recent passing of Whitney Houston failed to shock the manbanders.
Joey says: “Whitney dying wasn’t really a surprise but it sure was saddening. We all knew she was on a destructive path. Whether you’re in this business or not, if you have that demon inside of you it’s going to come out. At the end of the day only you are in control of your actions.”
Combining their huge fanbases for a joint tour means Backstreet and New Kids are very much in control of their careers.
Howie admits: “One of the most difficult things was choosing the songs to sing, as we wanted to get all our hits out there again. This is our 20-year anniversary and we have a lot of surprises in store, including an album.
“New Kids are seasoned veterans – they’re the first boyband – so we admire what success they’ve had and have learned a lot.”
And the best thing about being back in London?
“We went to see Jersey Boys and One Man Two Guvnors, but on our last night of a trip we like to blow the roof off – that’s our saying.”
Much like they will when those arenas fill up next month.