A surge of nostalgia washes over the gaggle of sorority sisters in the front row as Aaron Carter jumps out of a black bag (yes, that’s right) and takes center stage. Armed with red plastic cups in hand, everyone is ready to. well, come and get it. The lights dim and before you know it, he tears up the Westcott Theater stage, bouncing from corner to corner, staring into souls and dodging bras being flung at him. Obviously, we all know better than to expect the subtle from Aaron, who looks for any excuse to lift off his shirt to flaunt his newly ripped abs. The good news is his dance routine kept the indulgent, drunk crowd entertained enough to keep their attention off of the pitchy vocals and off-key runs. I mean, who’s to blame? I know my teenage hopes came right back knocking on the door within the first ten seconds into “That’s How I Beat Shaq”. And though nobody remembered, “Do You Remember?”, we ought to give the devil his due for getting the whole crowd on the floor to dance to “I Want Candy” as if it weren’t a day past 2000.
Before embarking on his tour, Aaron Carters gets straight on the phone with Morgan and Gauraa from after his rehearsal in New York City to discuss his new album and tour, The After Party. He might be dripping a sweat, but he claims there’s nothing else he’d rather be doing.
Aaron Carter: What’s up guys? Girls?
Mary Morgan Craig: It’s so nice to get the chance to talk with you.
Gauraa Shekhar: Yeah, finally!
MMC: We really appreciate it.
AC: Sorry if I’m a little quiet right now, I just got out of rehearsal so I’m like really tired right now…
MMC: No problem! So you’re currently working on a new studio album and you’re busy with an upcoming play on Broadway, “The Fantasticks”, and now you’re also going on tour. How do you manage everything?
AC: Oh well, I just go with the flow, I mean, I don’t really try to manage anything really, I just kind of do what I’ve got to do, you know? I love performing so much that, you know, anything I can get to perform I’m just, I’m going to do it. It’s not really something that’s like an inconvenience, you know, I mean, but… I mean logistically what it comes down to is I have a manager, you know that. It helps keep my life simple and, you know, takes care of all the business, so I can, you know, have fun and perform.
GS: Yeah, that’s the spirit. You’re working on a new album. How is that going for you? Could you tell us a little bit more about it?
AC: Oh yeah! I’m kind of taking it a little more, I mean, I’m taking it a lot more seriously this time around. Um, you know, I’ve been growing up so, it feels kind of hard for me to pick a sound that I really like, want to stick with, so um, I think there are quite a few songs that other people produced and wrote for my album. It’s going to be like a dance sound. The kind of music that all my fans grew up with, you know.
GS: Sounds exciting!
MMC: Yeah we’re excited!
MMC: Yeah totally. Do you think you’re going to put any EDM influences into it?
MMC: Any EDM influences in the new album? Like electronic dance music?
AC: I mean, there will be a little bit, but I’ll do little hybrids with my dancers like hip hop, but like pop music.
GS: Yeah, sounds good! What inspired the title of your tour, “The After Party”?
AC: I was just sitting there one day, and it just came to me that the theme for the next album should be, “The After Party”. And I came up with it because, you know, “Aaron’s Party” was a huge success and uh, literally the beginning of my career, you know, was “Aaron’s Party”. I wanted to embrace that, you know, I love all the songs that I’ve got.
GS: So do we!
AC: Yeah, I’ve performed them and toured them and toured them all around the world and, you know, thousands of times I’ve performed the songs, and I was like, it would be cool to bring them back.
MMC: That’s really cool, I’m glad you’re embracing that! I thought it was really clever.
AC: Why thank you.
MMC: A lot of people are really excited to see you on tour again. What made you decide to tour this year?
AC: Well, uh, it’s just been so long and, I mean, I guess after doing Broadway and so many consistent shows over and over and over, I just felt like my endurance, my, you know, my performance had just gotten a lot better and so has my craft. So it was nice to get out there and I can’t even tell you guys how happy I am, you know, that I get to be able to go back out on tour and do what I love, you know? You know, it’s really cool.
MMC: That’s awesome. What was your Broadway experience like, playing Matt the Boy and all?
AC: Oh it’s been amazing! It’s been exhausting and exhilarating, ha. I don’t know I have all kinds of feelings about it. It’s hard work! It’s hard work. I mean, I did “Seussical the Musical” when I was 15 years old for 6 months and you know, it was tough! It was really tough. And I remembered it. And out of all the tours and things I did, you know, it was probably the hardest thing I ever did. You know, the experience, I mean, I learned more from the actors that I’ve worked with, you know, I’m a sponge and I kind of absorb what everybody does. It’s tough, but it’s been good. I like it, but it’s tough. I like feeling exhausted like I am now.
MMC: We want to know what the typical day in the life of Aaron Carter is.
AC: Well, there’s no typical day per se, I mean it varies. I mean, I wake up and reach out to my phone and get right on twitter to talk to my fans immediately.
MMC: That’s great!
AC: Yeah, that’s pretty much what I do. I go get ready to perform and I go chat up with my dancers and those people who are opening up for me. It’s kind of like a party. We just have a lot of fun!
GS: Well, speaking of dancers, we saw that you tweeted yesterday: “By the way, if you recognize some of my dancers from ABDC (America’s Best Dance Crew), that’s because they were on the show”. Are these back-up dancers touring with you?
AC: Yes! They were in The Funkadelics. They’re actually brothers, Nico Rich and Trey Rich. They bring a lot to the table and they challenge each other. They’re really amazing.
MMC: What is the weirdest fan experience you’ve ever had?
AC: Oooooh! Well, I’ve had a fan climb up, like, thirty balconies once. I was actually started throwing paper airplanes with my autograph on them to the crowd of three thousand girls in the parking lot. And then this one girl was just out of her mind, I guess she really wanted an autograph so she really climbed thirty flight of stairs. In the end, she finally made it and ran up to me and started squealing, “Oh my god, It’s Aaron Carter!”.
MMC: Wow! Well, you were definitely my first crush so I can totally relate. I’m sure you get that all the time, though. I was totally one of those girls! Ha, not chasing-you-crazy, though, so don’t get creeped out!
AC: Well, I like hearing that!
GS: Okay, well, a lot of people still look at you as if you’re still that kid who kissed Lizzie McGuire under the mistletoe. What has it been like trying to grow out of that image?
AC: Well, a few million people probably know me from that, but I don’t know, I’m proud of everything I’ve done. People still come up to me today and recognize me from all the different things that I have done. It does kind of annoy me to hear that though because she’s my ex-girlfriend, you know; she was kind of my first love so it pulls on my heartstrings a little bit but that’s about it.
MMC: We interviewed your opening act, singer-songwriter Justin Levinson. What do you think of his music?
AC: I actually haven’t had a chance to check him out as yet. But I’m going to, so good call.
GS: Well, he’s great. So, what was the last record you bought?
AC: Um, I don’t know. I haven’t actually bought a record in a year to be honest! I think it’s probably Aaron’s Party!
MMC: It seems like you’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of scrutiny from the media since such a young age. Obviously, you’ve handled it so well. We were just wondering what was it like growing up under the public eye?
AC: I kind of just, like, bottle my life. I try not to immerse myself in all of this stuff, you know. I just try to be the person that I am and that kind of helps me stay sane.
GS: Your on stage routine is pretty demanding. How do you manage to stay fit on tour?
AC: I don’t know, I just do my performance routine. I try to eat as much as I can and rehearse. That’s the only way to stay fit, really.
Morgan: So what’s your favorite song to perform?
AC: Right now, it’s probably “Leave it Up to Me”.
GS: You’re starting off your tour on the East Coast this time around. But what’s your favorite place to tour otherwise?
AC: Um, that would be Malaysia, South America, and the Philippines. They have a great crowd.
GS: Oh, sweet. You should definitely hit up Indonesia sometime also. I’m from there so I know they have a dedicated following. Really great energy, really.
AC: Oh, really? Will do. I mean, my whole goal with this tour really is to tour the whole year and kind of introduce the fans to my new music.
GS: Sounds like a plan!
MMC: So, do you have a Valentine this year?
AC: Sadly, no!
GS: Well, you have a bunch of fans regardless so it’s not half as bad for you I’m sure!
AC: I mean it’s hard to have one Valentine, you know. I have multiple, ha!
GS: Who’s your favorite artist right now and why?
AC: Bruno Mars. I love him! Great performance at The Grammys. Also, he’s just an incredible singer.
GS: Great choice!
MMC: Okay, we’re going to do a Valentine’s day rapid fire, if you’re down. We’re going to say a word and then you have to say the first word that comes to your mind.
MMC: Okay, so the first word is Marvin Gaye.
GS: Alright, next word is candy.
GS: Taylor Swift.
MMC: True Love.
AC: Um, no.
MMC: Long distance.
GS: Love song.
AC: Bump and Grind.
Who knew a trip down memory lane would only cost $14?