It’s a while since I’ve written anything Backstreet Boys related. Thank the lord mot of you may cry. Well, hey, my blog, my mortgage, my rules.
It’s a running joke that you’re not quite narcissistic enough until you’ve written a blog or started a podcast, and, as someone who’s done both, I feel that leaves me qualified to comment on both subjects. I was never a massive fan of podcasts unless I was talking on one (there’s that narcissism!) however last summer during lockdown I was so sick of Radio 1 and indeed my own playlists that I started listening to the Backstreet’s Back podcast on Spotify, merely just to hear someone else’s voice other than Dave’s and that wasn’t talking about coronavirus or reminding me I still wasn’t allowed to hug my mum or go to concerts.
Pure escapism at it’s finest, and what better than to hear people talk about my fave boyband, since they weren’t touring or releasing any music. I tuned in not expecting much. Without meaning to sound hoity toity, this is an American podcast and the American and British sense of humour are very different and I was worried it would all be a bit too fluffy and kiss arsey.
I needn’t have worried. This podcast was right up my street. They called a spade a spade, a shit song a shit song and bad behaviour, bad behaviour (trust me, there’s a blog post coming on that Brian scandal in a few weeks – i just need to formulate my thoughts into a non-litigious order). And I was here for it. Hosted by Taylor and Jacob, what they talk about is exactly the kind of stuff I would talk about, if I had my own BSB podcast (and believe me I’ve thought about creating ‘Honestly Boybands’ more than once).
Jacob and I became good mates on social media, he designs all the artwork for the podcast, they’ve launched their own line of merch with his designs, and he’s started a very dark, but very funny BSB related meme account (which features a familiar face if you search hard enough). So I asked him if he would mind coming along and explaining a little more about how a heterosexual male punk fan ended up on a podcast about a 90s boyband.
How did the podcast get started?
The podcast kind of grew out of a joke, from what I remember. I had known Taylor through work and had known about her Backstreet Boy fandom long before the idea presented itself. On the day that the idea came to mind my department that works with public schools in Chicago to provide afterschool and recess programming went on an architecture and/or historical boat cruise on the river in downtown Chicago. Coincidentally, Taylor was able to tag along and joined us. It started off very slow with us being docked for an extended period of time, our view being nothing but a brick wall (I have the photographic proof on my personal instagram). Eventually I would joke to Taylor, “So is this similar to what those BSB cruises are like??” I would goof a bit more with us eventually having the idea to do a podcast. It was a joke at the time but we both were persistent with each other and 1 episode turned into 25 episodes over the span of about two years and some months.
Were you a bsb fan before (are you now?!)
I appreciated the band in and their respective hits before but I think it took me a while to get where I am now. Music has always been a sacred thing to me, just as it is for everyone else, and it was a journey to find out where they fit into my appreciation. At first I couldn’t get into most of the songs that weren’t Everybody, I Want It That Way, or Larger Than Life, but I think I’ve come around since then and have really been able to see things through more of a BSB lens than I would have three years ago. I head somewhere that if you’re appreciated people will make fun of you, it’s when they stop liking you that the jokes stop. I don’t know how true that is for some things but I can honestly say, Helen, that I don’t see myself letting up from my BSB Hell Humor anytime soon.
What’s your favourite episode?
That is very tough. I liked the later episodes right before I left because at that point it was mostly just me editing it (Taylor and I used to edit it side by side and that was always the funnest part, I think our commentary was funnier during the editing process than what we had recorded.) When it got to me editing I really started to turn the listening aspect into a meme in itself. I love the episodes that end with songs that aren’t our regular songs. Just waiting for that cease and desist, that’s really why I do the things I do.
What’s the worse thing anyone has said about it?
The worst thing anybody has said about it is probably a Taylor question. I never paid attention to criticism and still don’t.
Do you know if any of BSB have listened?
I know that they KNOW about it. I don’t know if any ever listened, but how often is there a podcast with a straight hetero male ripping on them with a loyal female fan and have it yin and yang so well?? Probably not too often so they’ve probably listened to at least 10 seconds, that’s my guess.
How did you incorporate your art into the podcast?
My humor is my art in a sense so I think it came through in the editing, the album art for each episode and the promos. And also the attitude of not caring what the fandom thought, positive or negative. I believe there is a true art to not caring what other people think about the work you put out, especially if that art does nothing but inspire, which I hope ours does and continues to do as Taylor enters the second phase of the podcast without me. I have all the faith in the world that she’ll do right by it.
How did the meme account start?
The meme account came spontaneously. I’m a cautious creature of habit but with art it can be spontaneous and cautious and daring and fun and awful all at once and there is something comforting in that. But the main idea was to create a BSB meme account that was Satanic and Anarchistic in theory. Some memes barrow direct imagery, others more subtle. If you know anything about the “chaos breeds” order of Anarchy or the Know-Thyself aspect of Satanism and the Punk-Rock of The Boys (my term for the BSB) than this meme account may be for you. It’s very tongue and cheek and if you are offended by it all I can say is expand your horizons, to me it is the least offensive thing on the internet with still being edgy (tongue in cheek).
What’s doing this taught you about the bsb fandom?
I think the fandom has many layers and so far I’ve only run into positive interactions. I do hope to run into some negative fans, I would like this account to serve as a stepping stone for opening dialouge for larger problems in the fanbase (bullying, xenophobia, racism, transphobia, etc). If you think the fandom has these issues, this may be the account for you to follow, maybe not, who knows. And if you don’t think the fandom is guilty of these issues, this may be the account for you to follow, this I know.
Who’s your fave bsb?
Howie definitely. It’ll never stop being Howie, this I know to be true. I do have respect for the rest, indefinitely, and also All American by Nick Carter is a top favorite of mine in general. But yeah, I’m a Howie kind of guy.
Would you rather be attacked by 1 horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?
I’ll go for those tiny horses.
Some of mine and Jacobs fave memes from his account:
And find the podcast on itunes, spotify, or anywhere else you get your podcasts (I always wanted to say that!!)