The Backstreet Boys, presumably mid-fart (Photo: Ollie Millington/Getty Images)

Before today, the Backstreet Boys’ “The Call” was best known as the first recorded song about ghosting. That’s all changed, however, as bad boy AJ McLean just dropped a bomb: The whole thing is built around a fart.

Not AJ’s fart, though. In an interview with Billboard, McLean outed his bandmate Howie Dorough for ripping a robust one during a recording session for the song. Producer Max Martin, the mind behind any number of this century’s biggest pop hits, proved his producing acumen once and for all that day by turning that toot into one of the song’s central beats.

So 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.


As anyone who’s farted can tell you, farts are literally the funniest thing on the planet. And knowing that a fart is surreptitiously lurking in a shroud of bass fuzz in “The Call” makes every sound suspect, which makes listening to this 16-year old song a veritable giggle-fest. Literally anything can be a fart.


In what’s looking like a trend about the Boys, Dorough’s response found him outing another of his colleagues for their gastrointestinal tomfoolery.

I’m sure there were a lot of beverages consumed back in the day. It’s one of those kind of things… 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.”

You’ve been listening to Howie’s ass this entire time.

Now, excuse us as we wait for Carter to tell us about the time Brian Littrell sharted his parachute pants.