Backstreet Boys “The Call” 20 Years Later 

Posted: 2:43 pm Monday, August 14th, 2017

By mjonbli

Festival d'ete de Quebec - Day 4I’m not sure if this ruins my favorite BSB song, or makes it even better.  Backstreet Boys sat down with Billboard to chat about the 20th anniversary of their debut album Backstreet Boys, & each member shared some memories.  Although the focus was supposed to be on their debut album, AJ McLean couldn’t help but telling a story from Black & Blue, “The Call.”   “You know what, there is one that I’m probably going to get in trouble for,” McLean acknowledged before getting into the crux of the story, which involves super-producer Max Martin (who mixed the song). “So when we were in the studio with Max making the song “The Call,” Howie  was in the booth and we were doing that vocal break down, [sings] ‘dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun.’ Max gave Howie his harmony, and I think he was just putting so much air into the vocal that as he was singing, he went ‘dun, dun’ and he farted — but he farted not only on the beat, but in key. So Max tweaked it and made it sound like one of his patented bass sounds, and it stayed on the record.” “Howie’s fart became an instrument and is on the record for the rest of our lives.” And after telling the full story, McLean gave Martin some credit for his masterful mixing: “[Max] could turn a fart into a bass sound, that’s pretty damn genius if you ask me.”   Billboard couldn’t let this go with out some clarification, ” I plead the fifth to say anything,” Dorough initially says, laughing, before deciding to back himself up.  “I’m sure there were a lot of beverages consumed back in the day. It’s one of those kind of things… Everybody at that age — especially Nick — was constantly passing gas, just being young 20-year-old guys doing guy locker room kind of stuff. And coincidentally, I got in the booth, was breathing in really heavily singing my part, and I guess some extra air kind of came out. It made everybody laugh, and Max decided to take that and sample it to turn it into the ‘dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun.'”  Max was onto something because Howie’s fart is the most intense part of the entire song! “If it was me, the guys can definitely thank me for that,” Dorough laughs, “and thank what was consumed the night before singing those songs.”  Well… That has definitely changed the entire song for me!

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