Not unlike the Monkees before it, Big Time Rush was a TV show — of the same name, on Nickelodeon — before it became a band. But two albums in, the group’s Carlos Pena Jr. says the music is taking on equal, if not greater, weight.
“For me, it’s not really a balance anymore. They’re kind of going side by side,” says Pena, 22, who portrays Carlos Garcia in the show. “The music and the acting started at separate times. First it was the show; the music was there, but it wasn’t where it is now. It was more like, ‘Here’s our Nickelodeon boy band. Let’s pay some people to write some music and have them sing it.’
“Now we’ve honed in being Big Time Rush and wrote eight out of the 12 songs (2011’s ‘Elevate’), which was better. I don’t think anyone at the label or Nickelodeon expected us to actually become Big Time Rush and write these songs and be a real band — but we did.”
Pena and his mates aren’t about to jettison the visual vehicle, however.
The third season of the “Big Time Rush” show starts shooting during the first week of April and will incorporate some of the “Elevate” songs. There’s also a “Big Time Movie” coming out March 10 that he describes as “like Austin Powers meets James Bond with Beatles songs in it.”
“Even though we’re playing characters in the show and (the movie), it all runs together for us,” Pena says. “We still want to bring a little bit of ourselves into the characters. There are kids who watch the show who know us as those people, and there are people who are just fans of the music who know me as me. I have to just be OK with that.”