In January 2015, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter spoke to Idolator about the groups motivations in making Show 'Em What You're Made Of, along with playing their own instruments and how the group keep the balance and peace:
Q: What made you guys want to do the documentary in the first place?
NC: I brought the idea to the guys when Kevin returned to the band, but we hadn’t recorded any new music yet. I’d seen the Tribe Called Quest documentary, which really rekindled my love for that group. I said, “Guys, maybe we could do the same thing.” We decided to dedicate it to our fans because they’re the reason we still have a career. We’re always grateful and appreciative of that and of them.
Q: In addition to the showmanship we’ve come to expect from Backstreet, the documentary allows us to eavesdrop on a jam session where you guys are playing instruments. Why did you guys feel like it was important to include that?
NC: That’s who we are. Creating music is freedom and when we’re in the studio, we mess around. We’ve all played instruments together — I play drums and guitar, for example—and even did it on the last tour when we did an acoustic set for five songs.
Q: One of the coolest things about that scene is how you all build off each other’s creativity to write a song. Is that what it’s really like behind the scenes?
NC: Totally. For us to be together this long, there’s got to be a common ground, a love, a magic. There’s just something synergistically that works with us — it’s almost like we’re one person. That doesn’t mean there aren’t fights, though.
Q: Maybe the most surprising scene in the documentary shows you and Brian screaming at each other during a meeting with record executives. How do you guys keep the balance and the peace?
NC: There’s a respect there because we all are very opinionated. We are all alphas and that makes us challenge and question one another. That, in itself, makes us better. I can be really, really passionate about something, but if the four other guys aren’t feeling it, then my logical mind will come in and say, “Damn, maybe it’s just my ego talking.” Everyone checks one another. I’m not stupid — okay, I can be stupid, but I don’t want to be stupid — so in order for me to learn, I have to be open to other people’s judgment and opinions and weigh those out. That’s why we run the band as a democracy.
Q: Even during those tense scenes, everyone’s affection for each other is really obvious. Did it help having each other for support when you guys took the often-painful trips in the documentary to places like each other’s childhood homes, the warehouse where you first started rehearsing and to Lou Pearlman’s abandoned mansion?
NC: It was easier together and we all really allowed ourselves to be vulnerable and open. We were the only people who could empathize with each other in those situations. There’s only four other guys on this planet who went through this extraordinary life and can relate.