US boy band Big Time Rush (BTR) are coming to Australia for the first time to headline Nickelodeon's (Nick's) second annual SLIMEFEST! Set to create excitement amongst kids and tweens across the country, the triple threat foursome; Kendall, James, Carlos and Logan will be joined by Australia's ARIA award winning artist, Guy Sebastian for two shows (11am and 6pm) on Friday 27th of September at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.
Hosted by Nick's comedic combo Luke and Wyatt, SLIMEFEST will follow in the footsteps of last year's inaugural event as Australia's only just for kids, family friendly music festival that features live performances and Nickelodeon's trade mark green slime. With the promise of big time celebs, big time stunts and big time slime, Big Time Rush's lead singer, Kendall Schmidt explains that he couldn't contain his excitement when BTR were asked to travel Down Under to perform at SLIMEFEST and meet their Aussie fans (fondly known as 'Rushers"):
'I was so excited when I found out that we were travelling to Australia to headline SLIMEFEST, I actually jumped up and down."
'I think it's about time, after four years of Big Time Rush, that we finally come out to see our Aussie Rushers. You guys better be ready to have a good time because we're ready to put on a great show", said Kendall.
Famous for both their music and television show of the same name (which airs daily on Nickelodeon), Big Time Rush have proven that they have what it takes to deliver an electrifying performance on the SLIMEFEST stage, previously working with a variety of pop icons including Snoop Dogg, Jordan Sparks, Justin Bieber and One Direction.
Adding to the excitement, Australia's homegrown favourite, Guy Sebastian will also perform at both shows. Having starred in Nick's very first SLIMEFEST last year, he's excited to be a part of the event's second sliming.
'I had a great time at SLIMEFEST last year, the crowd were insane (not to mention slimy!) and it was a great experience performing alongside my buddy Carmen Smith. I can't wait to be a part of this year's show, I have a feeling it's going to be even bigger and greener than last year", said Guy.
This year, Nickelodeon has also partnered with industry leading entertainment company 6 Degrees Group to expand SLIMEFEST from the stage to the showground, offering families an outdoor festival experience before each show that will feature games, rides and interactive sponsor integrations. A one hour special featuring highlights from both shows will air exclusively to Nickelodeon on Monday 30th of October at 5pm.
Last year's SLIMEFEST telecast is nominated for 'Most Outstanding Music Program or Coverage" at this year's 11th Annual ASTRA Awards.
Big Time Rush (BTR): Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena Jr. and Logan Henderson come together to form Big Time Rush, an internationally successful recording band and a hit Nickelodeon TV series (of the same name). The show, now in its third season in Australia, follows the fictional lives of four high school friends as they move to Los Angeles, sign a record deal, and become a chart-topping boy band. The series incorporates original music into each episode, and has effectively turned the fictional onscreen band into a real-life touring group. The band made their feature film debut in 2012 with Big Time Movie with the soundtrack featuring BTR's reworked cover versions of songs by the original boy band, the Beatles.
Selling over 12 million records worldwide and collaborating with big name artists such as Snoop Dogg and Jordan Sparks, in 2012 One Direction played their first show's in America as part of Big Time Rush's Better With U Tour. Last year, the band opened for Justin Bieber on the Mexican leg of his Believe tour.
As the first international act booked for SLIMEFEST, the event will mark the BTR's first visit to Australia and the boys are set to release their third studio album 24/Seven in Aus in June 2013 via Sony Music.
Guy Sebastian: One of Australia's biggest musical talents, Guy Sebastian has received 17 ARIA Awards nominations since winning the very first Australian Idol series in 2003 and has released seven top-ten pop and R&B infused albums – all of which have achieved platinum or multi-platinum status. Guy was a judge on Australia's X Factor between 2010 and 2012 and his most recent album Armageddon reached the number one position in Australia and double platinum certification. Guy is the only Australian male artist in Australian chart history to achieve six number one singles and has performed for notables such as Pope Benedict XVI, Oprah Winfrey and Queen Elizabeth II. Last year Guy performed alongside Carmen Smith for last year's inaugural SLIMEFEST.
Question: You're performing alongside Guy Sebastian; have you heard music from Guy Sebastian, previously?
Kendall Schmidt: Definitely. I first heard him tearing it up on Battle Scars. The whole song is great, but his part on that song is incredible.
Question: Are there any other Australian artists you'd hope to share the SLIMEFEST stage with?
Kendall Schmidt: I mean, Guy Sebastian, Samantha Jade, Justice Crew... I think we've got a pretty awesome line up for SLIMEFEST 2013.
Question: You seem to be a fairly approachable band, why do you think this is?
Kendall Schmidt: I think it was our upbringing. Our families are all really down to earth and I think that got fused into us. Plus, there's no reason not to be.
Question: Was there a moment when you knew you had made it?
Kendall Schmidt: I try to raise the bar so that I never really 'make it." I always want to push myself to do better. I knew BTR would be a huge opportunity and from that, I would continue to grow as an artist and actor.
Question: How did it feel to hear your song played all over the airwaves?
Kendall Schmidt: That's always so awesome. Whenever I hear our songs, I crank up the volume and jam out. I mean it's humbling and exciting to hear a song you wrote on the radio.
Question: Do you write your own songs? What's your inspiration?
Kendall Schmidt: I love writing music. Very early on, I knew that I wanted to do nothing else, but be a musician. My biggest inspiration? Love and life.
Question: What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?
Kendall Schmidt: Fall Out Boy, Zedd, Skirllex, Foo Fighters, Minus the Bear, among many, many others.
Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
Kendall Schmidt: Although it can be tough on the road, I never thought about giving up. What I'm doing is my dream and I will never stop pursuing my dreams.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Kendall Schmidt: I definitely prefer performing live. There is nothing like the energy of a live performance. There's something special about being together with friends and family and all coming together to share an experience. That's what life feels like.
Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Kendall Schmidt: Life and love and their complexity and simplicity inspire everything I do.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Kendall Schmidt: I think the biggest hurdle for most people, myself included, is performing in front of a huge crowd. Early on, I really didn't dance so learning to dance and jumping right on stage was unnerving.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Kendall Schmidt: When we're on the road, the day usually starts with checking my phone for emails and updates. After that is breakfast and rehearsal until lunch. After lunch we usually wind down before a show. As the show approaches, the energy starts to increase and the excitement builds until... BAM! We rush out on stage and perform.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Kendall Schmidt: The best part for me is being able to follow my dreams, travel the world, and meet so many interesting and talented people wherever I go. It's amazing how much talent and ability our fans have.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Kendall Schmidt: Maybe someone from the dance genre like Zedd, Skrillex, or David Guetta.
Interview by Brooke Hunter