In honor of their new album In a World Like This, the Backstreet Boys did an edgy packaging shoot with photographer Tyler Shields, whose risqué, violent, envelope-pushing work with Young Hollywood has made him the go-to guy for getting reactions.
An exhibition of Shields's work featuring the BSB in person is happening tomorrow, then is open to the public from August 15—August 18th, 10 am to 8 pm at Open House Mulberry, 201 Mulberry St., in New York City. All proceeds got to hurricane relief. Why? Because they wanted it that way.
I quizzed Shields in the run-up to the album's July 30 release, when the show was still gelling...
Tyler Shields: Well, AJ set the tone. The first thing that happened was Nick hit AJ with a bat in his baby-making area, so everything from there seemed easy. No one was reluctant; the only rule was that no one could die.
TS: I honestly loved the idea of taking them there, taking them somewhere special. When you go to a crazy place, crazy things happen. The Salton Sea can break you if you are not in your A game. It will destroy you.
BC: What did you wind up getting out of that location?
TS: I got something you would just never get in a studio, no matter how hard you try.
BC: You've shot countless notorious figures. Why did you feel the BSB shots you did warranted a show?
TS: They are one of the biggest groups of all time. They have one of the most intense fanbases ever. And when we decided to do a show with proceeds going to hurricane relief, it just clicked in place quickly!
BC: Will people see stuff at the show they can't see anywhere else?
TS: Of course the show will have things no one has, or ever will, see.
BC: Were you a BSB fan as a teen?
TS: Every girl I knew when I was young loved them.
BS: Did you have a favorite?
TS: I did not.
BC: Who are you dying to shoot next?
TS: Floyd Mayweather, Jimmie Johnson and Lana Del Rey.