For Big Time Rush, the past year has been about growing from boys into a band.
In November the Florida quartet, stars of the Nickelodeon TV show of the same name, released its sophomore album, "Elevate." It hasn't done as well as 2010's "BTR," but the group's Carlos Pena, Jr., says it was much more rewarding.
"The first album came out and we didn't really have any say in that," says Pena, 22, a Missouri native who portrays Carlos Garcia in the show. "As the first one was being finished, we started honing in on who we were as a group, but it was kind of too late to put out our own music and our own ideas and show who we were as a group.
"As soon as we put out our first record, we made a goal for the second one. It was going to be us, Big Time Rush, us four. So we really put a lot of effort into everything -- the songs, the cover, the pictures. It was very strenuous; the label had their opinion, we had our opinions and we stuck hard with it and made something we felt is much more representative of us."
"Elevate" did yield singles in the title track and "Windows Down," and after being named Favorite Music Group at this year's Kids' Choice Awards, Big Time Rush has moved on to making its third album.
"We always knew this was going to happen in steps," Pena says. "The second album was a great step forward for us. In our heads we know the third album, when it comes, is going to be a while different ball game and elevate it even more.
"So I'm just really excited to see what the evolution of Big Time Rush is in the next year. I think things will be even better the longer we do this."
Big Time Rush, Cody Simpson and Rachel Crow perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 31 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $30-$59.50 pavilion, $20 lawn with a $50 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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