Interview: Big Time Rush – Live Up To The RushPosted April 27th, 2011 At 7:29 pm By MTV ASIA
Text and interview: Lennat Mak
If there’s one thing that really stands out when you talk to Kendall Schmidt, the leader of rising boy band Big Time Rush, it’s how much he loves the fans. Not only does he attribute the band’s phenomenal crossover success from Nickelodeon to MTV to the fans, according to the 20-year-old, they also “have the best fans in the world.”
And Kendall is right. What is success without the fans? Since the launch of the TV series Big Time Rush, the boy band (including Logan Henderson, Carlos Pena, Jr. and James Maslow) has become an overnight tween sensation. The TV series is currently the highest rated and most-watched live action series on Nickelodeon and the band themselves are gaining much popularity with the mainstream masses with their single, “Boyfriend.” Their debut album, B.T.R also sold over 500, 000 copies in the U.S. alone.
Evidently, Big Time Rush’s knack to connect with their fans with their TV persona and music has struck an emotion chord among their audience. And like how Logan puts it in their official biography, “the cool thing about us is that we are cheering alongside of our fans and it’s awesome to be a part of something big.”
Read on to find out what Kendall has to say about their success, their awesome experience with Snoop Dogg, his take on why pop music has such an uplifting effect on people and more!
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The band just got back from a recent trip to Europe. How different are the European crowds as compared to the U.S. crowds from your past experience?
Everyone is special in their own little ways. They know all our songs even though they don’t speak English very well. But all our fans are all really great. U.S. is big country and the show has been out for a while. The fans are seeing more of us in the U.S. But the show is going worldwide now so hopefully, fans will just as be excited everywhere else.
Is there a most popular guy in the band?
You know what’s funny? It really depends on where we are, state by state. We did a promo tour across U.S. and every state seems to like one of us more than the others. I would say it evens out and it’s pretty hard to say who is the most popular guy in the band!
You guys seems to have a pretty crazy, pretty tough working schedule. How’s life being in Big Time Rush?
Life is great! I reside in California with my family. I get to work with really cool people and make great music. It isn’t tough. It’s more of a privilege. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if it wasn’t for all our fans. We have the best fans in the world!
You started out as actors and now you are singers as well. How was the transition like?
We love both. I grew up acting and music has been part of my life for seven years now. It’s all I’ve ever known. It’s my passion in life and I just followed it. Doing both is second nature to me and to the other boys as well.
Did you envision yourself to be part of a boy band when you got into music seven years ago?
I didn’t think I would be in a boy band! I don’t think we are a boy band really. We all play our own instruments. I play the guitar and I know the other boys play the piano. So perhaps we are more of a music group because that’s kind of what we are. I actually don’t ever envision myself to be in a group like this. But life goes in mysterious ways and it’s been a pleasure to be part of it.
You also have your own band called Heffron Drive with fellow actor and singer, Dustin Belt. How do you differentiate yourself between these two bands?
When it comes to music, Heffron Drive is pretty much just what me and Dustin and what we come up with. For Big Time Rush, we all work on stuff that more pop-oriented. For Heffron Drive, we write everything ourselves and the songs more rock influenced.
Would you say you more of a rock person?
Yeah! I grew up listening to rock music. Some of my favorite bands are Taking Back Sunday, Incubus, Muse, Radiohead and Foo Fighters – more alternative rock stuff.
So it’s safe to assume that each member in Big Time Rush brings different musical influences to your music collectively then?
That’s kind of what it is. I bring more rock influences to the group. Logan is more hip-hop/R&B. James is more pop/R&B and Carlos is more a pop/hip-hop kind of kid. It’s a pretty cool combination and it’s working out pretty well for us so far.
Speaking of hip-hop, you guys managed to have Snoop Dogg on your hit song, “Boyfriend.” How was it like working with him?
You know what? It’s a lifelong dream! I’ve always loved Snoop Dogg and I’ve actually gone to see his concerts and stuff before. Seeing him perform live and actually seeing him on set and performing on Kids’ Choice Awards with us, it’s just a dream come true. The guy is the nicest dude. He’s a family man and he’s funny. He wanted to continue working with us so I think that’s definitely not the last time you see us working with him.
That aside, do you feel your street cred points have gone up with the Snoop Dogg association?
Definitely! I felt pretty cool hanging with Snoop. The guy just breathes coolness. He is just the coolest ever. It was pretty awesome to hang out with him.
Anyone else you like to collaborate with?
I know all of us would like to work with Justin Timberlake. We’ve always talked about that since we’ve been together. We just met Dave Grohl and I would love to work with him. I think that would be pretty cool! Working with Adele will be awesome as well. We love Pixie Lott; she’s a good friend of ours. And Jessie J too. We have a lot of dreams and aspirations and we will definitely be going towards them.
Is Justin Timberlake someone that you really look up to? Is his career path something you would love to emulate?
Someone at the KCAs asked us if we look up to any boy bands. *NSYNC sold over 40 million records and they were the biggest thing in the world. In a lot of aspects, they still are. So when it comes to boy bands, of course we look up to them. And Justin has such a cool career with his music and acting. So yeah, I definitely look up to him as a role model who was part of a successful group and later made it on his own. It’s a dream come true.
Lastly, why do you think pop music have such an immediate connection to audience across the world?
I think it’s because music is the language of the world. It doesn’t matter what language you speak. Everyone listens to music. Pop music is popular music. It’s what everybody loves. There’s something that connects to the population because people love to dance and they love to have fun. And that’s a universal thing.