The Backstreet Boys insist they aren’t splitting, but still can’t
say when they’ll follow up 2000’s Black and Blue. In a new
statement, the Boys announced their decision to defer work on a new
album, citing diverging personal priorities. “Individually we are
currently at different places in our lives,” the statement reads,
“and our hearts and minds are focused in other areas. When the
timing is right, we’ll record another Backstreet Boys album.”
Delays and frustration have marked the band’s effort to record a
fourth album. They were initially scheduled to deliver the set to
Jive in April 2002. After that didn’t happen, the band sued Jive
parent company Zomba for $75 million, alleging the label invoked
contractual loopholes to stymie their efforts to successfully
complete the set.
The Boys’ contract requires that all five members contribute to
the making of each Backstreet Boys album and that the label approve
all songs and producers before material for an “album” can be
submitted. They claim that Jive refused to participate in that
decision-making process and prevented Nick Carter from working on
the BSB record by demanding that his solo set, Now or
Never, take precedence.
At the time of the November lawsuit, the band said they were
writing material together for a new album and would support it on a
summer world tour, neither of which seem likely now.
Though it was certified eight times platinum (8 million copies
shipped), Black and Blue was not the sales phenomena that
its predecessors were. The Backstreet Boys’ 1996 self-titled debut
is fourteen times platinum, and 1999’s Millennium is
thirteen times platinum.
Representatives from Jive, the Backstreet Boys’ label, were not
available for comment at press time.