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So McLean He Shines


AJ McLean is best known for his part as one of the Backstreet Boys. After having a go at solo stardom as ‘Johnny No Name’ back in 2000 he is now preparing for his solo album and tour… as himself. He talks to Simon Savidge about his new music, exorcising demons, wearing a dress on stage and which Backstreet Boy is the best endowed.

So AJ tell me about the new album and when it’s out?

The album is a real fusion of sounds. I will say one thing I just realised; there are no happy love songs. I mean break ups just aren’t like that; they can be shit, so I have made some realistic love songs. There’s still a pop element but it’s really a fusion of all sounds.

Did this album exorcise some demons?

Definitely! I am enjoying this new phase of my life where thankfully sober everything seems new and fresh. I think I got some problems out, such as the relationship with my father, which is non existent.

So is this it for the Backstreet Boys?

No. We are still doing the rest of the tour, then all doing solo stuff, we’ll make another album in the future. It’ll just be a case of schedules.

What’s happened to Johnny No Name did you kill him off?

He started as a joke, a bit of a ‘fuck you’ to the record industry and then he got taken serious, maybe he will be a warm up to my show, that could be cool.

And what can people expect from an AJ gig?

Raw, sexy, me being myself. No censorship. I can swear, wear a dress, and do what I want. It should be fun. I just want it to be a great show where people see the real me. If I could perform naked I would. Actually talking of dresses and stuff… I am planning to do a coffee table book of erotica, I think that would be hot, a bit like Madonna’s Truth or Dare book. I am very comfortable in my own skin.AJphoto2

Ok now I have to ask, which Backstreet Boy is the best endowed?

(Laughs) I’m not sure now since Kevin left. I can only vouch for myself and say for a short guy I ain’t doing badly at all thank you very much. I mean it’s not a babies arm holding an apple, but that’s just me keeping my modesty. Maybe people will see it on tour one day.

The Backstreet Boys have a large gay following is that something you wish to keep?

Hell yeah, I have a huge amount of gay friends and they have been telling me which songs they love etc. There is one called ‘Gorgeous’ which is quite Prince-like they all seem to love that. Have I had a gay experience? Never you mind, (laughs) I definitely want to keep a gay fan base. Maybe I will definitely do some stripping on tour.

AJ McLean will be performing at the Indig02 on 15th May as part of his European Tour. A single and album will be out later in the year.