I have another post I planned originally to post first. But to be honest, I keep an eye on the temperament of the fandom – even when I’m taking a mini break because of work or vacations. And I’d rather talk about the current atmosphere, it’s more appropriate right now. Mainly because it’s been years since I’ve seen a majority of fans at this low a point. Not since around the Never Gone era in all honesty.
It’s been three years almost since the release of In A World Like This. Now a lot’s happened since that album has come out. We’ve had the documentary, we’ve had a very long world tour that featured two North American legs. Two cruises happened. We’ve seen Nick dancing with the stars and give us All American. Then he gave us the epic zombie boyband-a-palooza that was Dead 7. Brian’s supported his son’s big venture onto Broadway. Howie’s been working on a children’s album/musical. And AJ? He’s been working and reworking on what looks to be a great solo album.
That’s not including all the random media appearances now that the Boys’ are nostalgically trendy again either. (Side Note: I really should do a side post looking at this cause it’s weird in a good way. Ironic too.)
But we won’t see a new album or single until at least 2017.
Fans are getting restless.
In the end I get it. I do. We were spoiled for a long time. 2005 brought us the Never Gone era. 2007 gave us Unbreakable. 2009 came with This Is Us. And while a lot of people (myself included) may not have been the biggest NKOTB fans, the NKOTBSB era in 2011 filled the gap and gave us an extremely fun tour. Because really – it had a lot of energy and it was the tour that announced Kevin was returning to us. Now whether you liked those eras/albums is up to each fan. Still, in the end we had an album or era happening approximately every two and a half years. Mostly. NKOTBSB was more a greatest hits album so I really only count it as a tour. But it filled the gap.
It didn’t feel like four years between This Is Us and In A World Like This. But it was. The Boys were present though. We got updates on what they were doing, they held true to what they told us. (Or…maybe certain BSBs didn’t speak too soon? Though I get why that happens too, they’re excited!) This time though, while Nick has been crazy busy…the group hasn’t been. We haven’t had Backstreet keeping themselves on our radar. We feel the absence more. So fans get frustrated.
Fans get frustrated that the Boys aren’t communicating the way they should. Fans get frustrated that our favorite group is relying more on nostalgia when they have so much more to offer. We get annoyed that our pleas to our favorite singers seem to go unheard whether it’s about fan behavior (and lack of consequences) at events, or what we’d like to see happen before we join a fanclub again. We get angry that we hear rumors and scraps of news without confirmation of anything – until the last minute where we’re forced to scramble if we’d like to go or be a part of it.
But…this isn’t all on the Boys. Fans cry out about special treatment when they go on social media. Fans shove and push at events when if they’d calm down, they’d stay out longer and mingle. After Party behaviors changed because fans couldn’t act like adults. On the cruise fans got violent in their attempts to reach their idols, who would blame them for not wanting to interact much?
The way I see it? The solution is in the middle of all this.
Boys, if you read this…reach out to us! Be honest with your timetables. If they change, let us know! Don’t assume we’ll be there. Find ways to remind us why we want to keep sticking around. Listen to what we have to say. Not only will it show that you don’t see us as mindless teenyboppers stuck in 1999, but we’ll respect you more for it. And my fellow fans? Remember the Boys are people. They have families. They don’t want to be treated like commodities. If you give them time, we’ll get what we’re craving. Insulting them or calling them lazy? Why would they want to hurry if their fans don’t even respect them and the fact that they have lives too?
As for waiting, we waited four years for the last album. Remember how amazing it was when everything came together? Remember how good the tour was? How they made sure they put out the best album possible? Don’t let this down time destroy your fandom. Remember why you became fans in the first place and every good thing that’s happened since. No, the ride hasn’t been perfect. The Boys aren’t perfect. We’re not perfect. But that’s okay. We’ve survived worse than this. Remember the last time they rushed an album? (I’m looking at you Black and Blue.) I think that era speaks for itself. And let’s not forget the hiatus that followed, where we didn’t even know if our group would pull an NSYNC or come back together the way we hoped they would. Big things are coming guys, don’t give up now. Good things come to those who wait.
I have faith in those five men we call The Backstreet Boys.
They haven’t let me down yet.