A GoPride Interview

Aaron Carter

Get Carter: Aaron Carter to perform at Northalsted Market Days

Thu. August 8, 2013  by Gregg Shapiro

I give them something that they know me for and also do something that's currently on the radio. I want people to enjoy themselves.
Aaron Carter
Aaron Carter was a preteen himself when he recorded his major-label debut disc containing his trademark preteen anthem "Aaron's Party (Come Get It)." More than a dozen years later, Carter is still throwing parties, but as you can tell from the title of his After Party Tour, he knows when the real revelry begins. Northalsted Market Days attendees will get a little taste of what Carter and crew have been doing on the road when they perform on the North Stage at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 10.

GS: (Gregg Shapiro) You are currently in the midst of your After Party Tour, which began in February. How is it going, so far?

AC: (Aaron Carter) It's been really good, actually. I've gotten to reconnect with my fan base, been able to see everybody. We're about to head out on the second part of it and extend it with a full band this time, make it a little bit different. The fans have shown a lot of support. From just having Twitter and my fan base, to be able to tour the whole nation was really exciting. It felt great.

GS: Do you have a sense of audience members being fans who have been with you from the beginning or are they new to you and your music?

AC: There's a ton of new fans. There is a huge, young fan base, as well. I didn't really realize that, but I guess a lot of these older sisters have younger sisters who now know who I am. Some of the venues were over 18 or over 21, so a lot of people couldn't come to the shows. After me not touring for so long, for 10 years, I had to come back out and assess the situation. But the young fan base is really prominent.

GS: Are there any tour highlights that you'd like to share?

AC: Every show was an event. They all stood out in their own ways. Sometimes there were technical difficulties or people jumping up on the stage and deciding they wanted to do back flips from my stage. Some would run up on stage and grab the microphone from me or try to hug me, stuff like that happens all the time. It was a lot of fun. Every night was entertaining.

GS: During the course of the tour you are making a stop in Chicago to perform at Northalsted Market Days. Have you had a chance to sample any of the city's famous cuisine or take in any of the sites when you have performed here in the past?

AC: I never really got a chance to do a lot of that stuff. I'm sure I've gotten certain things from the cities I've been to, food or whatever, but it was probably brought to me on my tour bus. I'm going to try to see a little bit of the towns. It's a really cool opportunity for me because I get to tour and can go to these places. I want to take advantage of that.

GS: Northalsted Market Days is located in the heart of Chicago's gay neighborhood, sometimes referred to as Boystown. Are you aware of gay fans within your following?

AC: Absolutely! I've been around it my whole life. It's always been something that's been there and that I've been cool with. I support it 100%.

GS: Have you attended or been asked to sing at any gay weddings?

AC: No.

GS: If a friend or family member asked you to sing at their gay wedding, would you do it?

AC: Why not [laughs]? Absolutely!

GS: Will you be performing songs from the tour or will you be customizing your set list for this show?

AC: It's going to be a lot of songs that people know me for. A couple covers, too. Bruno Mars' "Treasure," Daft Punk's "Get Lucky." I also do "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke. I give them something that they know me for and also do something that's currently on the radio. I want people to enjoy themselves.

GS: After witnessing Amanda Bynes' recent public meltdown, and as someone who survived his own struggles, do you have any advice for child stars growing up in the public eye?

AC: I have plenty of advice. You'll be hearing me talk about a lot of that in the future. I plan on releasing some sort of statement or open letter in regards to that situation.

GS: Are you planning to write a book?

AC: No book right now. Eventually, yeah, I will do a book. I have a lot to say when it comes to being a young child performer and then transitioning, how to transition to getting your act together.

Northalsted Market Days opens Saturday, Aug. 10  at 11 a.m. and runs through 10 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11 along North Halsted St. between Belmont Ave. and Addison St. There is a suggested $8 gate donation to benefit the Northalsted Business Alliance. The entertainment lineup also includes Wilson Phillips, Kat Graham, David Cassidy, Lynda Carter and 10,000 Maniacs.

Complete Market Days schedule: Saturday, Aug. 10 | Sunday, Aug. 11

Interviewed by Gregg Shapiro. Gregg Shapiro is both a literary figure and a music and literary critic. As an entertainment journalist, his work appears on ChicagoPride.com and is syndicated nationally.