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Nick Carter on Justin Bieber’s Bad Boy Image: He ‘Couldn’t Hold a Candle to What We Did’

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Nick Carter
Denise Truscello/WireImage

Battle of the bad boys?

Backstreet Boys star Nick Carter recently opened up to Elle magazine about the group’s rowdy past, and stated that Justin Bieber‘s bad boy misdeeds pale in comparison to that of the boy band’s.

“I’ll tell you this: There is some s— that AJ [McLean] and I both did that I’m really glad that social media wasn’t around for,” Carter, 37, said. “Because Justin Bieber couldn’t hold a candle to what we did.”

Bieber has had his fair share of run-ins with the law. He was arrested in 2014 for DUI and accused of vandalism that same year. In February, authorities revealed that they are investigating the 23-year-old for allegedly head-butting a man in West Hollywood.

McLean, 39, noted that some of the band’s worst incidents never made it to national headlines — “Thank God,” Carter chimed in.

Backstreet Boys
Denise Truscello/WireImage

“We would have been like TMZ’s saving grace, bro …. just anything from me being drunk or irate at a club,” McLean said. “Or me walking naked down the hallway in a hotel for no apparent reason.”

The Backstreet Boys recently launched their “Larger Than Life” residency at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Both men have gone clean since their Backstreet Boys heyday. Carter knew he was in trouble in the mid-‘00s, when extreme partying caused his weight to balloon to 224 lbs. After being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscle, he made a choice.

“I don’t want to die,” he told PEOPLE in 2009. “I don’t want to be that person people read about and think, ‘That’s sad that he couldn’t stop it and killed himself.’”

McLean has visited rehab three times—most recently in 2011.

It seems Carter’s bad boys days are not behind him quite yet. In early 2016, the pop star was arrested in Florida in an alleged bar brawl.

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This isn’t the first time one of the Carter men have spoken about Bieber.

During a February appearance on the Allegedly podcast with Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss, Carter’s younger brother, Aaron, said that the pop star is merely following in his footsteps.

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Carter teased the “Sorry” singer and his manager, Scooter Braun, stating, “I hope you’re enjoying my pavement.”