For a group that’s been in the game for almost 26 years, the Backstreet Boys don’t show any signs of slowing down.
So far in 2019, they’ve been busy dropping their tenth studio album, DNA; filming and promoting their new Doritos Super Bowl commercial (also featuring Chance the Rapper); giving their all on-stage in Vegas, where their residency is coming to a close in April and putting the finishing touches on the DNA World Tour, their largest arena tour in 18 years. We’d say Backstreet’s back, but have they really gone anywhere?
PEOPLE chatted with Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson, the cousins of the group, to find out what the rest of 2019 has in store for the Boys—and what they’ll be eating along the way.
Self-proclaimed foodies, the Backstreet Boys love to sample the local fare of whatever city, state or country they’re in during their downtime. “We just came from Japan, and we had some incredible meals while we were in Tokyo,” Richardson recalls. “Hibachi, Wagyu beef, sushi, a couple noodle spots…we always like to get out and experience the local cuisine.
Sometimes, though, they’re stuck eating backstage, and for those times, they have a rider—a list of requests written into their performance contracts. And despite being the best-selling boy band of all time (with hundreds of millions of records sold, but who’s counting) the Backstreet Boys keep it pretty simple. Richardson and Littrell say chicken wings are always on the rider.
“We like to have a little protein powder, too” Richardson says. “If we want to go a little lighter, a little healthier, we’ll do a protein powder drink before we hit the stage instead of eating a big meal.”
“We also ask for a coffee maker,” Littrell adds. “That’s changed over the years. We’re getting a little older, we need a little caffeine!” he laughs.
In addition to coffee and chicken wings, the Backstreet cousins have similar snack preferences, likely due to their shared roots. Both Boys grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, and share a set of grandparents.
“When we would go over to my Papaw’s house and spend the night, Papaw always had a bag of Fritos in the cupboard,” Richardson says. “A sandwich that’s good is if you take a big old-school bologna sandwich and put some Fritos on it.” Littrell goes one step further: “Fritos dipped in peanut butter. You don’t know unless you try.”
The Backstreet Boys took their snacking habit to the Super Bowl this year, starring in the new Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho commercial, which features Chance the Rapper spitting Dorito-related verses on top of the Backstreet Boys’ classic hit, “I Want It That Way.”
“When they mentioned Chance the Rapper we were like ‘Oh my God,’” says Littrell, 43. “You know, it was taking an original and putting some hot sauce on it.”
No matter what their diet, Littrell and Richardson assure fans that they will always give their all on stage, and the upcoming DNA tour will be no exception. The tour, which will hit 27 countries and 43 North American cities, will be full of the same upbeat energy the Backstreet Boys are known for. It kicks off on May 11 in Lisbon, Portugal.
“We put an incredible show together to take around the world and we want to take fans down memory lane with the classic hits,” Richardson says. “And we’re also going to sprinkle in a couple of our favorites from the new DNA album.”
Fans hoping to bop to classics like “I Want It That Way” and “Everybody” are sure to be in luck, so be sure to dust off the old BSB concert tees and merch.
“We want to take fans in a time machine and transport them back to the days they didn’t have a job and bills to worry about,” Richardson says. We’re grateful, we’re blessed. We just want them to have a party with their boys.”