The Backstreet Boys, now a quartet after the departure of Kevin Richardson, are at work on a new album. That's not the only thing keeping A.J. McLean busy: He's also in the midst of his first solo album.
"I've pretty much written everything on the record with these guys, and I've learned a lot about myself through this whole process," he tells AOL Music.
Such as? "I've learned that I've got an angry side, a frustrated side, a happy side. I've learned that there was some unfinished business in things that I didn't get to settle with people like my father," he says. "There's a song entitled 'Sincerely Yours,' which is about my father. There are songs about past relationships, things that piss me off and then there are songs that just make you want to get up and dance. It's all real music. It's not like, 'Hey, you have a nice car. Let me see you shake your a**.'"
Among the people McLean is writing with on the album is friend Dan Muckala, who wrote the Backstreet hit 'Incomplete. ' When Muckala was recently honored at Nashville's Belmont University, McLean got a chance to perform some of the new material live. "We did three of the songs, and it was a great response," he says. "If the college crowd digs it, I'm loving it. Hopefully next year there will be touring, records -- all kinds of stuff."