The Backstreet Boys are taking a moment to look back. In fact, they’ve created an entire documentary to do so. Twenty-two years after being brought together in Orlando by wealthy businessman and eventual convicted felon Lou Pearlman, the Boys — Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McClean and Kevin Richardson — let a camera crew follow them as they revisit their past and record their 2013 album, “In a World Like This,” and it’s not all pretty. The result is a documentary, “Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of,” available now on VOD. We sat down with the band for an exclusive video chat about what it was like to see their lives on screen, warts and all.
METRO: When you finally saw the finished documentary, were there any parts that were particularly hard to watch for you?
NICK: I think individually we each probably had something that was a little difficult. If you want to get specific, for me I didn’t like, necessarily, watching myself cry and go through that whole experience with my teacher because I’d kind of put that in the back of my mind. It was kind of a tough time in my life, and seeing myself cry — that’s for me.
AJ: I think kind of reliving everything with Lou and being at the house, just for each of us differently — that whole situation effected us each differently. You know, I think there were high moments and there were low moments even making the film. Some were much more emotional than others. I think it was a great learning experience — a relearning experience — of each of us.
BRIAN: My voice therapy stuff is hard to watch, just because it was such a trying time in my life that I happened to be right in the middle of, so to introduce it to the world … . It was something that I really tried to hide. I didn’t want it to be on the documentary, but it just kind of evolved and came out. But it’s good that I’m better now and getting stronger each and every day.
METRO: And did any of the outfits from back in the ’90s make you cringe seeing them now?
HOWIE: Absolutely. Of course.
KEVIN: There were quite a few, quite a few. Lots of interesting fashion.
METRO: I don’t know if “favorites” is the right word, but were there any that particularly stick out for you?
NICK: Favorite bad ones?
BRIAN: We just saw an interview of us backstage in the green room for the Grammy Awards.
NICK: The Grammys!
BRIAN: It was 1999, and the question was, “So what do you Backstreet Boys think about the Internet? Do you think it’s going to be something pretty cool?” And [AJ] is in a white top hat, white suit.
BRIAN:He looked like… Willy Wonka.
AJ:I looked like Dr. Seuss.
HOWIE:You looked like Marilyn Manson.
BRIAN:No, Willy Wonka!
AJ:OK, Willy Wonka, that’s what it is. Everyone’s in dark colors and I’m just random, as per usual.
BRIAN:I think he thought he was in Jodeci or Boyz II Men.
AJ:There were definitely some wardrobe faux pas back in the day.
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter:@nedrick