It's a good time to be Nick Carter: The singer is celebrating 2o years (!) with the Backstreet Boys, is engaged to fitness pro Lauren Kitt and has just published a memoir. "Facing the Music and Living to Talk About It" doesn't shy away from the low points of Carter's life, like his battles with substance abuse, and also examines the crazy whirlwind of a life that comes with being an international pop phenom. We stole a few minutes of Carter's time after a recent book signing.
Why was now the right time for a book?
There’s never a right time. I kind of let fate and things happen for a reason and that’s what happened. I did the show [about my addiction struggles] with Dr. Phil about a year ago, and he mentioned [a book], so we ran with it. I just started writing it just to see how it would feel, and then it started feeling really good, therapeutic, and then things started clicking. [I felt] like this could be something that may be helpful to someone who I like to say is in a moment of strength — instead of a moment of weakness, a moment of strength, when they want to overcome something. So it’s kind of like my way of giving back, I guess you could say.
Were you nervous to put yourself out there and be vulnerable?
That’s the only way I can be. It’s all about just putting it all out there. There’s so many things in life that use the same theory, and that’s: “If you can’t be real, then what are you doing it for?” … I wasn’t scared, I was more so just relieved after it was finally released. I feel every single day as if I’m learning from this experience. Because as an entertainer, yeah, I do give back, but not in this way. When you hear people come up and tell you stories like, “Oh thank you for sharing your story because it’s helping change my life,” or “I relate to it,” or “I have a cousin who’s going through the same issues,” or someone says “you’ve inspired me to lose weight” — all these other stories are striking me as if I’m doing something right.
You weren’t shy about naming names in the book. You spoke about how your relationship with Paris Hilton fueled some of your problems.
I named names but it was because at that point in my life, I think it was the best example, publically too, that people saw. Everyone knew about what was going on and, you know, I wasn’t perfect, she wasn’t perfect, we just weren’t meant for each other at that time. It wasn’t the right dynamic. It fed off of each other’s faults and depression and misery. It just wasn’t good for me at that time.
It’s interesting to hear you talk about depression and misery, because you’ve led what many would consider a dream life.
You think that, and when it comes to her and everything I wanted to make it clear that I wasn’t blaming anyone, even her, for the way I was. There was a lot of things that came in play all at one time, but ultimately I had to assume the responsibility and take it on my shoulders that I’m in control of my destiny. I’m the one who can make the difference. No one else can. You have to and that’s the only way. You have to know that no one’s in control of your life. No one can help you.
On to happier topics: You’re getting married! How far are you into wedding planning?
We’re looking [at] I’d say either January or March. We haven’t decided that. We are actually in the middle of doing a presentation for a TV show. It might happen — I mean, it’s like 70/30 — so we’re really working on it and we’ll see what happens. But VH1 is really interested and it’s gonna be based around the marriage and about the struggles that still happen to this day, but much more lighthearted stuff that’s not as serious. It’s gonna be a happy show.
And the Backstreet Boys have a documentary coming out too, right?
That’s pretty much almost done and that’ll be coming out next year as well. We’ve been through 20 years of a lot and I think people are interested in how we became who we are … the individuals, our dynamic, the kind of group we are, the success, the failures, everything in one documentary.
I once heard someone ask this of a different boy band, and now I’ve got to ask you: With four bandmates, how will you ever choose a best man?
It’s gonna be difficult. I don’t know, in some ways, I definitely want them all there, but in some ways too, I’m super-private. I feel like I would just do it.
So maybe there’s an elopement in your future?
Yeah, who knows!