Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

December 27, 2013

‘Big Time Rush’ star ready for a new start

Schmidt to visit Wild Adventures

VALDOSTA — Kendall Schmidt hopes to make a smooth transition from the character he played on Nickelodeon’s television show, “Big Time Rush,” to being a musical performer in his own right.

Part of that transition takes place this Saturday when he is scheduled to meet fans at Wild Adventures Theme Park. Park guests will have the opportunity to meet Schmidt, ask questions, and take photos with him. Park pass holders who registered earlier this month will have the opportunity to ride Wild Adventures attractions with the star.

From 2009 to this past July, Schmidt played steady and laid-back Kendall Knight on “Big Time Rush,” which was a television show that launched a boy band of the same name. Some have compared the show and its band as being similar to the Monkees in that it featured a musical group created solely for a TV show but also found success outside of the television series.

Though Schmidt, 23, has also had acting roles on television series such as “ER,” “Without a Trace,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Frasier” and “Gilmore Girls,” he is now focusing on Heffron Drive, his band with long-time friend, Dustin Belt.

In a phone interview earlier this week with The Times, Schmidt said he’s seeking to make a transition from the

TV-created Big Time Rush to his own music in Heffron Drive.

He believes making a nuanced transition will help him please Big Time Rush fans while making new fans for Heffron Drive.

“It’s not super, drastically different,” he says of the comparison of music between the two bands. “I still write and perform love songs.”

But with Heffron Drive, Schmidt has far more creative control.

In the show, “Big Time Rush,” Schmidt was joined by James Maslow, Carlos Pena Jr., and Logan Henderson playing musicians who start by becoming a band on the television show. In tandem with the series’ 2009 premiere, the group signed with Nick Records. As the fictional group gained real chart success — Big Time Rush’s “BTR” debut entered the Billboard 200 at number 2, the band signed with Columbia/Epic Records.

Schmidt and Belt created Heffron Drive prior to Big Time Rush. Together, they both write the group’s songs. Schmidt says he has a passion for songwriting. It allows him to explore various themes and ideas.

Though pushing the Heffron Drive single “The Art of Moving On,” with several records, a TV show and a movie under his belt, Schmidt may not be finished yet with Big Time Rush.

Kendall Schmidt meets with fans, 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, All-Star Amphitheater, Wild Adventures Theme Park, Old Clyattville Road. More information: Call (229) 219-7080; or visit www.wildadventures.com

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