Despite the benefits of success, some pop stars still don't have a say in their creative process. With their seventh studio album, 'This Is Us,' the Backstreet Boys are trying to change all that. "For years, it was always the record company that was kind of running the ship," Backstreet Boy AJ McLean tells PopEater. "On this particular record, it was kind of us running our own lives for the very first time."

Instead of being told who they were going to work with and what songs they were going to sing, Backstreet started calling their own shots and personally contacted the producers they wanted to work with. Nick Carter called T-Pain to see if he was interested, while the whole band reached out to RedOne, Jim Jonsin and others.

Being in control also made the band more personally invested in the material, so they took it personally when tracks prematurely leaked online. "We were a little bit bummed about it, because we were trying to keep this whole record kind of a secret," says McLean. "But it actually turned out to be beneficial. When it first got leaked, we hadn't picked the actual final 12 tracks yet, so it was kind of cool to see what different fans liked. It was surprising what we thought they'd like and then what they really liked."

Lots of people seem to like the Backstreet Boys, period -- they've sold more than 76 million records to date and show no sign of slowing down. 'This Is Us' will be released Oct. 6 and the band will embark on a worldwide tour behind it. We're assuming they'll get to pick their set list too.