Backstreet Boys Address 'NSYNC's Shadow

Given the familiar ground that they have seemed to share throughout their careers, it is perhaps no surprise that rumors of negative feelings between the Backstreet Boys and 'NSYNC have dogged the Boys for some time.

The Boys have long been rumored to have some negative feelings regarding the encroachment of 'NSYNC on their boy band turf, especially since both bands were created by teen pop guru Louis J. Pearlman and they briefly shared manager Johnny Wright. 'NSYNC even jumped ship to Backstreet's Jive Records in September of last year.

The Boys have remained quiet in the past about any conflict, even during 'NSYNC's recent legal woes with Lou Pearlman (who Backstreet waged their own legal clash with in 1998). However, the Boys addressed the issue with MTV News' John Norris last week and talked about the 'NSYNC shadow that always seems to fall across their own limelight.

"It's

more frustrating

on the creative side, like, who you choose to write music with, who you choose to work with and produce your record, who you choose to direct your videos," Backstreet's Kevin Richardson told Norris. "I mean, it's like, 'Find your own identity.'"

"If we talk about things and communicate ideas we want to do, we turn on the TV and it would be done, because of the fact that at that moment in time of our careers, we were being represented by the same people," Backstreet's Brian Littrell added. "We remember, at the Billboard Awards in Vegas, that time when Garth [Brooks] flew out and we turned and we said, 'We want to do that,' and then somebody else is doing it."

"We just... we try hard to be different," Backstreet's Nick Carter said. "We try to have a straight path. Then we see something happening, then we try to go the other way, then all of a sudden somebody starts following us, you know what I'm saying?"

While the topic is a bit of a sore subject, the Boys say they try not to dwell on it. "What we want to do is not look at other people," Richardson said. "We want to look forward and onward towards what we want to do, and that's what we've been doing in the past, and we're not worried about anybody else and what they're doing. We're focusing on us." [RealVideo]

For now, that focus falls on the Boys' current U.S. tour as well as Wednesday night's Grammy Awards, where the group is up for five Grammy awards, including Album Of The Year, for "Millennium."

MTV News will be on hand at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards on February 23 providing complete coverage. The action starts on-air next Wednesday at 7 p.m. with MTV News' "Backstage At The Grammys" and continues throughout the night online, where we will be providing coverage and giving you the chance to share your thoughts on the proceedings as well.

On Wednesday, MTV News will also roll out much more from our interview with the Boys during our Grammy pre-show as well as right here at MTV News Online.