Big Time Rush isn't one of those boy bands that shies away from the term. The Nickelodeon stars -- Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Peña Jr. and Logan Henderson -- embrace it.
In the video for "Like Nobody's Around," the first single from their new album, "24/Seven" (Columbia/Nickelodeon), they perform as a whole string of boy bands, from the Monkees to 'N Sync. "That's who we are," said Schmidt, calling from a tour stop in Charlotte, N.C. "We are a boy band that started from scratch -- a real live group of guys, and they made a story around that."
How did it feel to have "24/Seven" debut at No. 4 on the charts?
It was pretty incredible. But forget about it debuting at No. 4, putting out a strong record is a special thing. I was thinking about it the other day. In 2008, I was making YouTube for fun. ... I went from being stoked about getting a few thousand views on a video to selling 200,000 tickets on a summer tour. It's pretty mind-blowing.
What did you change between last year's and this year's shows?
We've had a change of heart. I think the last tour, we were thinking bells and whistles: What can we throw at 'em? This tour, what we learned from the last one is that the fans really just want to see us. We could go out there and ride a tricycle, because they really want to see us. ... What we did was strip away the bells and whistles to get to solid performance. We go into the crowd for like 10 minutes -- and we go all the way to the back to try to meet everybody.
Why do you think Big Time Rush has done so well?
I think we have shown that we will work harder than anybody else. In the past four years, we have worked 345 out of 365 days because we're dedicated and we love our fans. I don't want to gain popularity from being in a gossip magazine for saying something or dating somebody or anything like that. I want people to like us because we have great music and we treat people well. I hope it's still possible for doing that instead of doing something crazy.
WHO Big Time Rush
WHEN|WHERE 7 Thursday night, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, 1000 Ocean Pkwy., Wantagh
INFO $29.50-$149; 516-334-0800, livenation.com