On Wednesday evening, Examiner.com was on the scene for a very intimate event hosted by The Backstreet Boys, photographer and artist Tyler Shields and Album Artists to celebrate the Album Art Exhibition of the new BSB album "In A World Like This." Stunning pictures of the Backstreet Boys hung on the walls of the Open House Mulbery Gallery on Mulberry Street in Soho. These pictures were shot by Tyler for their new album cover and album art, but were on sale for fans in different sizes. Many of the prints featured autographs by the band.
The special exhibition began around 7 PM. Backstreet Boys fans and art lovers were spotted walking around the gallery admiring the photos and snacking on wine, watermelon, mini wraps and mushroom polenta. We had the opportunity to interview Tyler exclusively about the photo exhibit. Check out what he had to say:
Q: Congratulations on the exhibition. How did you come to shoot the cover art for The Backstreet Boys new album "In A World Like This"?
Tyler Shields: It started out AJ and I are very good friends and I was actually the minister at his wedding, I married him to his wife, which is funny and then they had their new album that they were doing and AJ called me up and said, “Hey, you got to do the cover,” and I was excited to do it because I met all the guys at the wedding, and they are just the nicest group of guys and so I said if we’re going to do it, it has to be epic, we have to go to the middle of the desert to this place all the salt and the sea and they loved it, they said ok.
Q: What desert did you shoot in?
Tyler Shields: We were in Indio, California, this place called The Salt and the Sea, which is an abandoned old city, they were 20,000 dead fish they day we shot, it was a 120 degrees. It’s brutal.
Q: What do you admire about the band?
Tyler Shields: I think it’s interesting they have been around for so long, I remember when I was a kid, you were a kid, they were the jam and what’s great now is so many people that I know, they have been around for so long, they went from not being cool to now they’re cool again…when I was a kid my friends would go to their shows to pick up girls.
Q: How long was the shoot?
Tyler Shields: It was a two-day shoot and we shot at night the first night and I guess the highlight was when we went to a train yard and we hijacked a real live moving train and the guy who was in charge of the trains recognized them and let us ride on the roof of the train, which is one of the photos that you see. That’s a real train that we just got on top of.
Q: How did the album inspire your shot?
Tyler Shields: When we were making this, the whole album was top secret. They didn’t even have it yet, they were still recording it, so I got explained what it was going to be like, for me it was about making something really epic, I wanted it to have that Temptations vibe, or that kind of classic vibe because if you think about it 20 years for a band is a long time, let alone a boy band. When we were all watching “TRL,” did you think they would still be around today?
Q: Tell us about making the transition from skating to art and photography?
Tyler Shields: Well, when I really started out, I made some skate videos, and I would film my friends just jumping off buildings and doing some crazy sh*t, and then I started directing music videos, rappers, Ghostface Killa, Korupt, and then photography and it just kept going.
Q: Most people know you from E! for Clint Eastwood’s wife's show "Mrs. Eastwood and Company." Can you speak about that experience?
Tyler Shields: I think it was just one of those things, you’re just living your life, and then there’s cameras and then there’s editing and then you’re crazy and it’s just fun and then you set a birkin on fire and people want to kill you! That’s about all that happened there.
Q: What's next for you?
Tyler Shields: I directed my first movie called “Final Girl,” with Abigail Breslin and Wes Bentley, and then I am doing my next movie in September, which I am acting in, should be fun.
Later in the evening, all of the Backstreet Boys (Howie, Nick, AJ, Brian, and Kevin) showed up and they graciously signed autographs, posed for photos with fans, and spent time speaking with their fans. Other notables in attendance included Eric West and Jeannie Ortega.