Back from the brink
NO ONE would have blamed Backstreet Boy Nick Carter if he had jettisoned himself from the boy- band amalgamation with New Kids on the Block – NKOTBSB.
In February, Carter’s sister Leslie died of an overdose. She was 25, married, with a 10- month- old daughter.
A grieving Nick, 32, instead has picked himself up and dedicated the coming European and Australian legs of the NKOTBSB tour to Leslie’s memory, noting she loved to see him perform.
‘‘ It was definitely tough,’’ Carter says. ‘‘ For me ( performing) was cathartic, it’s a way for me to get through my emotions. I’ve always used singing and performing as my outlet to really help me. It was only natural for me to do that in this situation to get through it.’’
Carter has had his own battle with cocaine and alcohol – in 2006 Australian fans saw a sweaty, bloated Carter at the height of his boozing.
After the years of excess, he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy – a weakening of the heart muscle and the condition responsible for the death of singer Andy Gibb at 30 and actor Chris Penn at 40.
Since 2009, Carter has cleaned up his act. He’s sober; there’s no more partying with people such as former girlfriend Paris Hilton, no more being snapped in the LA celebrity scene.
‘‘ I try to focus on positive things and not be in the scene,’’ he says.
‘‘ I’d rather be appreciated and respected for artistic value and the things I’m doing positively instead of negatively.
‘‘ A lot of the times if you go out on the scene, you’re just chasing attention. You’re doing what everyone else is doing.
‘‘ I stay home, I write screenplays, develop movies, write music, go to the gym, work out.
‘‘ I’m constantly creating, that’s my way of staying active and healthy.’’
He is also negotiating a deal to write his autobiography.
The Backstreet Boys/ New Kids on the Block on- stage merger has been an unmitigated success.
Last year’s joint US tour generated more than $ 40 million.
The live show is bursting with hits – as well as all nine singers ( Backstreet’s Kevin Richardson left in 2006) uniting for several tracks.
‘‘ It’s like a tag team,’’ Carter says. ‘‘ We’ll come out together, do a song, then we go off; New Kids come out and do 15 minutes or so, they go off; we come back on, and on it goes. Everything flows really nice and easy with all the music.
‘‘ Everybody compliments each other. And there’s so many hits, it’s kind of crazy. It’s definitely a great experience . . . it could definitely happen again.’’
Carter is a fan of the latest boy- band sensation One Direction.
‘‘ The younger generation will hopefully get a chance to experience what our generation experienced,’’ he says. ‘‘ And it’s good to have songs back and harmonies back on the radio.’’