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<p class="p1">Aaron Carter, who has a firm place in many of our hearts, will be at the High Dive downtown this Sunday.&nbsp;</p>

Aaron Carter, who has a firm place in many of our hearts, will be at the High Dive downtown this Sunday. 

Your middle school crush and Tampa native Aaron Carter will be returning to Gainesville on Sunday at the High Dive, along with opening acts The Crazy Carls, Sona Holiday and Katie Hargrove.

The Avenue spoke with Carter about the changing landscape of the music industry, his upcoming album release and his dream musical collaboration. Hint: It’s another ‘90s pop icon. 

Last year you were here for the nostalgia tour, but now you’re on the Wonderful World Tour promoting your new album. Can you tell me more about the new record?

I’ve been collaborating with some amazing writers. I’m looking forward to getting back into the music game. It’s gonna take a hot second for people to understand who I am today as a man and, like, a grown up dude. But that’s fine. I just have to keep pushing at it and focus on the music I’m doing today. 

Any word on when it will be released?

It’s up in the air. But it’s gonna happen in the second quarter of next year, as far as I know right now … There’s a lot of politics that go behind it.

So with the new batch of songs then, are you planning on retiring some of your old hits like “I Want Candy” and “That’s How I Beat Shaq”?

No, I think that’ll always be part of the stuff I do. I love that music, and that’s how people grew up with me. They can always get it from me.

Do you have any crazy stories from your meet-and-greets?

What I’ve been starting to gather, which is amazing, is that my fans will get lyrics autographed on their face. I think that’s so, so hard for me to comprehend. How do you comprehend that? I’m not the kind of guy to be like, “I’m the shit, I’m so cool.” I’m looking at it, like, what’s going on?

Even though you’ve been at it since you were 7, it’s still surreal to you?

Exactly! It’s really weird for me to deal with. Sometimes I catch myself in this realization moments at meet-and-greets with people, and they’re crying. I don’t know. I think when I was a kid, I overlooked it. But now that I’m an adult, I’m like, what’s going on? 

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So what do you do when a fan starts crying in front of you?

I get embarrassed! I’m like, “Oh my God, why are you crying?” I want to make them feel better. It’s really weird.

 

You’re in a unique position, more so than other young pop stars on the scene right now —  you’ve been doing this since you were 7. Can you tell me about some of the ways you’ve seen the industry change?

I saw the evolution of social media. I was here before it, and I’m here after it. That’s probably the craziest thing. The industry is just full of change, and everything changes so fast. You gotta stay up with the game, constantly releasing new music or else you fall off. 

Your brother, Nick Carter, released a memoir last year. Are you planning on writing a book anytime soon about your turbulent career?

No. To be honest, I’m not the kind of guy that wants to be successful off all the negative stuff that’s happened in my career. I’d like to be the guy who remembers all the bad stuff that happens and then not talk about it. I think that’s kind of —  bad. I have to be choosy with my words here. Writing books, like —  not much is going to be positive. It’s nobody’s business. How can I entertain you if you’re sitting in the audience thinking about all the bad stuff that I’ve done?

I found a Teen People Online Chat interview you did in 2001. Is it OK if I ask you a few of the same questions they asked then?

You’re gonna ask me the same questions they asked me in 2001? That’s awesome. 

OK, here we go: If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be?

Christina Aguilera. 

Which song?

Maybe, like, “We Found Love” by Rihanna.

Favorite type of car?

1957 Chevy Mustang GT500. 

Craziest thing a fan has ever done?

Scaled up a building to get into my room, 2005 I think it was. It was crazy. She knocked me down, ripped out a bunch of my hair, said some Spanish shit and ran out. 

Last one: Describe your perfect date. 

Getting on a private jet, having a gourmet chef up there, landing in Paris, listening to Cole Porter, walking in the rain in Paris at night. 

That’s a pretty solid perfect date. 

Pretty good, right? I try.

Doors for Carter’s show open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance at Hear Again Music and Movies or the High Dive box office and $18 at the door. VIP meet-and-greet tickets can be purchased on ticketweb.com for $65.

[A version of this story ran on page 10 on 11/20/2014]

Aaron Carter, who has a firm place in many of our hearts, will be at the High Dive downtown this Sunday. 

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