One thing’s clear after reading a recent Billboard interview with the Backstreet Boys on the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut: Max Martin’s status as a super-producer is well-earned. After all, it takes a lot of talent to transform an accidental studio fart into a hit BSB single.
“You know what, there is one that I’m probably going to get in trouble for,” said AJ McLean, prefacing what is probably one of the greatest production stories ever. “When we were in the studio with Max making the song ‘The Call,’ Howie [Dorough] was in the booth and we were doing that vocal break down, [sings] ‘dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun.’ Max gave Howie his harmony, and I think he was just putting so much air into the vocal that as he was singing, he went ‘dun, dun’ and he farted—but he farted not only on the beat, but in key. So Max tweaked it and made it sound like one of his patented bass sounds, and it stayed on the record.”
AJ continued: “Howie’s fart became an instrument and is on the record for the rest of our lives.” Howie, speaking of his butt’s star turn, said: “Everybody at that age—especially Nick [Carter]—was constantly passing gas, just being young 20-year-old guys doing guy locker room kind of stuff. And coincidentally, I got in the booth, was breathing in really heavily singing my part, and I guess some extra air kind of came out. It made everybody laugh, and Max decided to take that and sample it to turn it into the ‘dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun.'”
So listen closely to that bass sound in “The Call”, and start sampling your own home-brewed in case you accidentally capture the hook of the next #1 hit. Might wanna invest in a mic stand.