When Nick Carter and Jordan Knight were paired together for group segments during the 2011 NKOTBSB Tour teaming their Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block, it was prophetic.
"We're friends before we had done (the tour), and we had written some music together," says Backstreet Boy Carter, 34. "During the tour, a lot of people were like, 'Many, maybe you guys should tour together,' and we started buying into it."
The sale is now complete. Nick and Knight -- whose groups have sold more than 210 million records between them worldwide -- released a collaborative album, "Nick & Knight," earlier this month and are currently touring together with a show that features material from the album as well as favorites from their group's catalogs and their respective solo releases.
"We just have a really good energy," Carter says. "We have a blast on stage. It's a really great chemistry. It's cool to have all these years of experience as entertainers. It's like you don't even have to necessarily say anything, it just happens on stage."
Nick & Knight was, in fact, conceived first as a touring project only. "We were just talking about doing some of our solo songs and putting on a nostalgic show," Carter recalls, "but it evolved into something I think was a little more exciting for ourselves and our fans, just something new and adventurous.
"A lot of people would say, 'Huh? It seems a little strange and we're not used to it,' and even some of our fans are a little reluctant. But once they see the show and the chemistry and hear the music, it make sense. People are like, 'Ah, I get it...' "
Carter and Knight, 44, co-wrote two of the 10 songs on "Nick & Knight," and they found it easy to fuse their respective styles and influences while making the album.
"He's very funky," Carter notes. "He has a lot of R&B influences, and old school R&B influences, which is really cool and I was able to learn from that. And I bring this sort of pop-rock thing to the table. So our different influences really combined and came together and created this amazing music that we're enjoying and our fans are enjoying."
Carter says both of the singers' bands are behind the duo as well. "They're loving it," he affirms. "They're really excited and proud and just supportive. Anything we do outside helps the group, and that's all that matters." And though he and Knight have other endeavors -- including Backstreet Boys' next album and the weekly VH1 reality show "I Heart Nick Carter" for Carter -- they also consider Nick & Knight to be a going concern for the future.
"This is a career," Carter says. "This is a group we started. It's not just a one-off. It's something that we want. The next album could be better than this one.
"The great thing about it is we're hearing from a lot of the fans -- 'You need to keep doing this! Don't stop doing this! We love this! We want more music!' And we're like, 'Whoa, hold on one second...' But it's great. If people like it, we'll keep doing it."
Nick Carter and Jordan Knight
Sunday, Sept. 28. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St.
Tickets are $39.50 in advance, $45 day of show
Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com
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