Backstreet Boys Welcome ‘Backstreet’s Back’ Puns In Wake Of Reunion

Fivesome talk to MTV News about their upcoming album In a World Like This, and why nothing's really changed after 20 years.

If you’ve been seeing a lot “Backstreet’s back” puns lately, it’s for a good reason. All five Backstreet Boys are together again, about to launch the latest phase in their two-decade long career.

And no, they aren’t tired of that joke being made in the wake of their reunion with Kevin Richardson. “We’re playing it up now,” Brian Littrell told MTV News. “It’s like we manifestoed it when we created that song,” Richardson added, referring to their 1998 hit, “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).”

“I wanted to create with them again,” Richardson added about rejoining the group last year after a six-year hiatus. “I stepped away and we kept in communication. And I gave them my blessing and they gave me their blessing and it was all good.”

The guys will release their Max Martin-produced “In a World Like This” on June 25. Working with the super producer was a full-circle moment for fivesome, as he helped shape their careers, producing some of their biggest hits including “I Want It That Way,” “Shape of My Heart” and “The Call.”

“It’s definitely a symbiotic relationship that we share,” Nick Carter said of working with Martin again. “Like Kevin said, we’ve changed each other’s lives. Everything seems right now. It just seems like the right fit. The right time for him because he’s a really busy man, but what we created together from our hits… they’re kind of like masterpieces in his mind. So he wanted to live up to that in a certain way. So that’s why it took this long to maybe come back around. It was just the right time for both of us.”

In a World Like This also happens to be the name of their upcoming summer album and tour, which kicks off in August with Pauly D and Jesse McCartney. So, what does that phrase mean to the guys?

“I think ‘In a World Like This,’ both in a pop world that we’ve been living in for the past 20 years, and just the world that we live in with all the different things, positive things [and] negative things going on in this entire world,” A.J. McLean said. “We’re still here 20 years later, living in this world that we’ve created. And I think it’s positive actually. It does kind of sound a little dark, but I think it’s positive.”