AJ McLean: The gay interview

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AJ McLean, far left, embraces the gay fans of Backstreet Boys.

In this week’s edition, we reviewed the new album by the Backstreet Boys, In a World Like This, and, well, we didn’t like it. But we do like AJ McLean, one of the founding members of the group and a self-described fag hag: The straight singer made sure that, in the video of their title track single, they showed an older lesbian couple finally celebrating their right to marry.

Our Chris Azzopardi caught up with McLean to chat about how his queer friends (and “Same Love” rapper Macklemore) inspired that video, doing Marilyn Monroe in the nude for an upcoming book and the time the band performed with men they thought were women. 

Dallas Voice: The video for the album’s first single, “In a World Like This,” celebrates marriage equality. Why was it important to take that stance with that music video?  McLean: It stemmed from me personally. I have a lot of gay friends and two of my best friends have been together for almost 10 years. And living in California, it’s been so friggin’ frustrating to me that they could not get it right; they couldn’t pass the bill. Then, literally, right after we dropped the video, they actually passed the bill [allowing LGBT people to get married] in California, and I was just ecstatic. I just love the fact that people love each other, no matter if they’re the same sex or not. I think everybody’s equal, period.

I had just seen the Macklemore video for “Same Love” and that really inspired me. Knowing what the subject was about for “In a World Like This” — about love conquering all — we had talked with the director about basically having different moments in history that really were very impactful. We had done the first two, and then we were like, “What’s the last one gonna be?” I was like, “Why don’t we do something about same-sex marriage? We have a huge gay following and it’s a huge deal.” The guys were all on board and we made it happen. I was so happy about it.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Will any of One Direction come out? These boy bands from the past give us reason to wonder

The boy band phenomenon seems to be on the comeback with groups like The Wanted and Hot Chelle Rae making waves. But One Direction quickly has risen to the top of the heap causing a new British Invasion among mobs of teenage girls waiting to marry any one of the five singers. Cute boys. Pop songs. Big sellers. They have all the makings of hit makers following in the footsteps of ‘N Sync. Now we’re just wondering who will be the next Lance Bass. Some people have already been asking, anyway, so why can’t we?

These boy bands have all had members come out later in their career and for that we are thankful. So Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry or Louis, if any of you taste the rainbow down the road, you’ll be in pretty good company.

—  Rich Lopez

GIVEAWAY: Tix to The Wanted at the Prophet Bar

If you’re needing a boy band fix, look no further than Tuesday night. Composed of British and Irish boyos, The Wanted may be picking up where N’Sync left off and where New Kids and Backstreet Boys won’t seem to let go of. Embarking on their first North American tour, the group comes to Dallas bringing its twinkish ways and pop music vibes.

And it looks like they really like their gays. Although they hit up Deep Ellum here, part of their tour consists specifically of playing gay clubs. They’ve already performed at Roscoe’s in Chicago and Saloon in Minneapolis; next week, they hit Krave in Vegas and Cherry Pop in WeHo. They got the right idea, because if you make it with the gays, then it’s all clover from there.

Curious? OK. We have five pairs of tickets to give away for tomorrow night’s show, thanks to promoters Tactics Productions. What do you gotta do? It’s a new band, so I won’t give ya tough trivia. Just email me here with “Boi power” in the subject line and your full name in your email. Winners will be selected by random at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Congrats to the winners. Enjoy the show!  In the meantime, check their sound out in the video “Warzone,” after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez