James Maslow Interview: "I Don’t Plan on Getting Married or Having Children Until I’m Closer to 30"
Image attributed to Jean Claude
Singer/songwriter/actor James Maslow stars in the Nickelodeon hit television series Big Time Rush along with Kendall Schmidt, Carlos Pena Jr. and Logan Henderson. The guys signed a record deal in 2009 with Nick Records simultaneously with the television series and because of production and musical rights to the show, this group called Big Time Rush was eventually signed to Columbia/Epic Label Group.
No stranger to music, Maslow began training as a singer when his parents placed him in the San Diego Children’s Choir at the age of six and had a small role in the San Diego Opera’s production of La boheme when he was ten.
“You can only experience certain things when you’re with someone in a monogamous relationship, and that’s a feeling of love or compassion or whatever you can share with each other, but at the same time, I don’t plan on getting married or having children until I’m closer to 30.”
In 2008, Maslow made his television debut in the Nickelodeon sitcom iCarly and has guest starred on the series See Dad Run on the same network. Big Time Rush is currently in its fourth season. The boy band of the same name released a new album titled 24/Seven and is preparing to embark on the Summer Break Tour beginning on June 21, 2013.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): James, this is our third interview together. Thanks for taking the time today. You are one very busy guy! How do you fine the time to record music, appear on a regular television series, go on tour and still have some semblance of a life?
James Maslow: I’m sorry. Are you referring to a personal life? I’ve heard of those things, but I’m not sure exactly what they are. I’m kidding (laughs). You know what? I’m lucky to have a job and the jobs that I do, if you think of it that way. If you enjoy it, you don’t think of it so much as work, and you sacrifice a little bit of sleep to get your personal things done.
Last night after a meeting, the gym and rehearsal for eight hours, I went home and did another cover for You Tube because I enjoy doing it. I love playing music. I love doing my own thing on top of the BTR thing. I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, but I’m having fun, so I can’t complain.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Will this year’s summer tour be different from the last one?
James Maslow: They will be quite a bit different. We’re changing some major aspects. I don’t want to give away any trade secrets. We just started rehearsals a few days ago, but the music, the band; everything behind us is going to be completely changed. Most importantly, we’re playing new music from our new album 24/Seven. Any older material we’re playing, we’re revitalizing. So we’ve changed that as well. If you’ve seen us one time or ten times, you’ve never seen this show.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is this the last season of Big Time Rush?
James Maslow: I couldn’t tell ya. It’s not my call. The band and I are happy to keep going if the network wants us to keep going. Historically, we’ve already set records in terms of how long we’ve been doing this and how old we are, but none of that seems to make much of a difference. If our fans want us to keep going, we will. But at this point, we’re just focusing on the tour and the new album, and we’ll see what is to come as it comes.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): The episode airing June 27 titled “Big Time Cartoon” sounds interesting.
James Maslow: Scott Fellows, the creator of our show, was originally in animation, and he still does a couple of animated shows on top of our show, so he’s very versed in making our show a live action cartoon. We thought that would be an interesting aspect if we could bring to life or cartoon, I should say, because he’s so knowledgeable in that field.
We actually have about six or eight minutes of cartoon in that episode where we take a music video and really caricature ourselves. It’s a lot of fun. I think at one time we threw around the idea of doing a BTR cartoon fulltime. I doubt that it’s something that will happen, but I can tell you we all enjoy doing voiceover work. Scott Fellows is amazing at it, so I wouldn’t be opposed to it.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): The season ender is “Big Time Awards Show.” Is that about the Teen Choice Awards?
James Maslow: We call it the Tween Choice Awards to make it fictional, but yes, it’s essentially about the Kids’ Choice Awards. As usual, it’s very good for being self-deprecating for the sake of comedy. Basically, we’re up for five awards, and we don’t win ‘em all. We don’t give ourselves too much credit, but we do end up coming out on top in our own way.
I think it’s a very accurate reflection of how we perceive our jobs in real life. We just make the best of every situation, and we have fun at the end of the day. We do have some diehard, amazing fans and because of that, we have won multiple Kids’ Choice Awards and still get to do what we do.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Nick Cannon guest stars in that episode.
James Maslow: He basically hosts the awards.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): He’s a funny guy.
James Maslow: Very funny.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): “Big Time Scandal” aired last month and guest starred Cher Lloyd. She played herself?
James Maslow: She performed a little of her new single, and it was pretty much a storyline of her and me. That was a lot of fun. She did a great job for someone who’s not an actress and never really did any acting before.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I also found her tattoos to be very interesting. Do you have tattoos, James?
James Maslow: No ma’am. I have no tattoos. I’m not against them. I think they’re beautiful, but I’m not sure they’re for me. I think they were more unique five, ten, fifteen years ago and not that there’s anything wrong with them right now, but it’s almost like the new tattoo is having no tattoos.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Have you and the guys become closer after spending so much time together over the last few years?
James Maslow: The boys and I have always been incredibly close. I don’t think the show or especially the touring aspects would work if we didn’t get along and didn’t work well with each other. I mean, rehearsals would be a pain in the ass, I tell you that much. We all get it. We’ve done this together, and that’s the one key that keeps us bonded that the other three, putting it in the perspective of either one of us, understand what you’re going through. Being on the stage in front of as little as 200 or as much as 75,000 people, we’ve performed, played and done this BTR project and the rollercoaster it has been, together.
That keeps us together, man. As upset as you might get at one another sometimes, and that’s inevitable, you get over it pretty quickly because you understand that the other guy is working just as hard as you are. We’re all on this ride together. It’s a group effort.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You were approached recently for a film project, correct?
James Maslow: Yeah. We’ve had this past month to ourselves before we started rehearsals, and I’ve been busy reading a few scripts and taking a few meetings. There’s nothing set in stone, but of course, I’m starting to plan for my future and look at what might come after BTR. If we don’t do another season, then the end of this summer gives me the opportunity to start looking for other projects. I know our fans will be sad in some ways, but they should also be excited for us because as individuals, we are all going to go off and do our own thing that can give them four times as much to watch in the fall.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Are you looking for dramatic roles?
James Maslow: Absolutely. I love comedy. It’s great, however, I do want to do something that is different, that’s quite on the opposite side of the spectrum because I’m capable of doing that. I grew up acting. This is where I really strive to gain the most credibility in the world.
I think a dramatic role would be a nice opposite of what I’ve been doing. I’m looking at something a little more mature, a little more my age, but not necessarily too dark. I don’t think that’s necessary at the moment. We’ll see. Until the projects I’m writing (and I do writing on the side) come to fruition, it will be what’s out there, what’s available and what works out.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Are you also writing songs for a solo project?
James Maslow: I always write. I love it. In fact, just the other day, a song I wrote for a You Tube artist named MattyB just came out, and I featured on it. That’s exciting for me to help other artists become more successful and be able to write music for them as well. I keep some of my favorites for myself, but otherwise, I write for other artists. Writing is always going to be a passion of mine.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What are the differences between the last album and 24/Seven?
James Maslow: The last one was almost gearing toward electronics and what we perceived radio to be at the time where this one is much more organic. For this one, we really didn’t have any restrictions for sound. We just said we’d go out and write good pop music. It’s age appropriate, though, not too sexual because we had to remember our audiences, but you can still write a great pop song with a positive message. It doesn’t have to be so four-on-the-floor and the same thing each time.
This album is much more diverse, and it feels much more genuine because the majority was written by the band whether individually or all four of us together. We’re excited about it. I think we really have honed our skills as writers individually, and we have some of our best songs on the album.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Will there be a sequel to Big Time Movie?
James Maslow: I think that would be fun. I’d love to do another film with the band, but nothing is set in stone. We’re just in the middle of our fourth season and just beginning preparations for the tour, so once we get on the road for discussions on the next project whether it will be another season or a movie, it will begin to happen then.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What started the regular photo postings on Twitter about your dog Fox?
James Maslow: I always post regular pictures of my life, my habits, whatever it may be, but I didn’t have anything consistent. They wanted more photos of my dog after that first picture of him and kept asking for them, so I figured I’d just make it a weekly thing so they would know when to expect something instead of just asking for pictures a thousand times a day (laughs).
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Anything quirky about Fox’s personality?
James Maslow: He’s the greatest dog in the world, but he does not like to be alone. Because of that, he has become the most spoiled dog in the world, and he goes with me almost everywhere I go. He’s always with me or someone else. Fox rarely spends time at a kennel of by himself at the house. So, he’s a great dog but definitely a lot of separation anxiety there.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I imagine the girls out there want to know if you’re still in a relationship with Halston Sage.
James Maslow: I appreciate the fans’ concerns, and I’ve been pretty open about my relationship, but I’ve got to tell you that this industry is kind of crazy. There is very little left to the imagination, very little of my personal life left, so right now, I can tell you that I’m happy. Halston is going to be a good friend of mine whether we’re together or not, but I do choose to refrain from answering that specifically right now.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you have an age in mind where you might be settling down with someone and having kids?
James Maslow: I absolutely want a family. It just kind of goes back to the answer preceding this one in that being in a relationship at my age, or even at the age of some of my fans who are younger, is fantastic in many ways. You can only experience certain things when you’re with someone in a monogamous relationship, and that’s a feeling of love or compassion or whatever you can share with each other, but at the same time, I don’t plan on getting married or having children until I’m closer to 30.
Having said that, I just feel like it’s hard to take anything at my age too, too seriously. That’s with all due respect to anybody that’s in my life. That goes with my friends and family also that understand my work is my priority, and that’s going to be the case until I do decide to have a family because to be fair to your family that needs to be your priority, and I’m just not prepared for that at the moment. I have much bigger goals to accomplish first.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What are some of the goals you’d like to reach before you are 30?
James Maslow: My career needs to be in a place of my dreams so to speak. I need to be doing several films a year and writing music for myself and writing music for other artists. Be in a place where I’m not wondering what’s the next step and actually can control my career and producing some films I’d like to be in. That’s a place I’d like to get to.
I’m just scratching the surface of it right now. BTR has been a fantastic stepping-stone whether it continues or not, but that’s going to take some time. I know I’ll get there, but it’s not going to be a year or two. It’s going to be several years.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): James, I hope you can stop and take some time for yourself in the midst of all the chaos.
James Maslow: (laughs) Maybe I’ll find some time for a little vacation after the tour.
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