Erik Estrada and Trevor Penick
Could O-Town be the next big thing? Erik-Michael Estrada and Trevor Penick from the hit show Making the Band answered your questions about their experiences on March 27, 2000. See what they had to say below! ***************************************************** AOLiveMC8: Welcome, Erik-Michael Estrada and Trevor Penick! How are you this evening? Nice to have you with us.
Trevor Penick: I'm doing great! How's everyone out there?
Erik-Michael Estrada: I'm doing great too!
AOLiveMC8: OK, here is our first audience question.
Question: What inspired you to try out for this show? Thanks, Kristen, NY.
Erik-Michael Estrada: I've been singing my whole life. I just wanted to sing professionally. I just [wanted] to do that every day of my life. I thought this would be a good opportunity to do that.
Trevor Penick: Hi, Kristen, I've always wanted to entertain. I've always been a big performer. It seemed like the perfect opportunity. This is right up my alley.
AOLiveMC8: Great, thanks, guys! Here is our next question.
Question: Hey, Erik and Trev. I'm Kimberly from Livingston, NJ. Erik, I heard that you love to write songs. Do you write the music and the lyrics? If so, what's the title of the favorite song you've written, and what type is it? (I write music as well.) much <3
Erik-Michael Estrada: A lot of times I have the music written for me, but the majority of the time, it's without the music, it's just lyrics by themselves. The best song I've ever written -- so many are untitled -- but the best one I think that's going to be the most influential is "Spanish Flower," and I do have the music for that one.
Question: Are you related to Erik Estrada from "CHiPs"?
Erik-Michael Estrada: Hahaha. Not that I'm aware of.
Question: Will you guys have a CD out soon?
Trevor Penick: Hopefully, we're looking for August. The single "All for Love" should be coming out pretty soon.
Question: You guys are so cute. How does it feel to go from a person who's not so famous, and then suddenly being in a pop band?
Trevor Penick: It's very, very overwhelming. Such a shock, the way that this has all happened. It still hasn't hit me that I'm famous yet.
Erik-Michael Estrada: I'm not used to being famous, I'm not sure I will get used to it, but it gives me a great opportunity to be a role model.
Question: How old are you guys?
O-Town: We're both twenty, but Erik is a month and 20-something days older.
Question: Has Rosie O'Donnell booked you on her show yet?
O-Town: No, not that we know of. We'll see. That will be the greatest day ever.
Question: Hey, what's up? You are so cute. How has the show changed your life?
Erik-Michael Estrada: It's given me the opportunity to do something I love. The show itself is giving me a chance to look at myself and find the things I like and don't like, and also given me a chance to change those things for the better of the group.
Trevor Penick: The show has made me be able to express my emotions more than I used to in the past, with all the one-on-one interviews that we do. I love the fact that the world gets to see us so up close and personal. They're not going to have a manufactured [view] of who we are. They're going to know exactly.
Erik-Michael Estrada: If they're looking to see pretty TV, don't watch "Making the Band" without expecting to see us at our worst.
Question: I am a big fan of harmony singing. Who are some of the artists you have studied to learn harmony?
Erik-Michael Estrada: Personally, I've had so many different influences harmony-wise, but Simon and Garfunkel have been a big help in letting me listen to a person and harmonizing with them.
O-Town: Boyz II Men.
Question: Trevor and Erik, hi! You guys are so cool and sooo hot! I live in O-Town myself! I'm glad our town is getting some recognition! So how did it feel, Erik, when Jackie didn't get picked as a member?
Erik-Michael Estrada: Jackie and I were really close during the auditions. We're both from up North, and I didn't know until the show that it was between me and Jackie. I felt bad that he didn't make it, but now I feel a lot worse because he's a really, really close friend of mine. I really wish he could have made it and been a part of this.
Question: I watched Friday night's show. When's the next installment?
O-Town: This Friday at 9:30PM EST.
Question: Why can't you change the time of the show on Friday nights so I can watch both this show and "Higher Ground"?
O-Town: It's not up to us. If it was up to us, we'd run it every half-hour, every day!
Question: There is a lot of controversy associated with Lou Perlman and his former bands -- are you fearful of such dealings?
Erik-Michael Estrada: I must say, honestly, that Lou Perlman is like a father to us, and he's been nothing but kind and had nothing but open arms, and shared with us his knowledge on everything. We've had many discussions about the controversy, and we know personally that Lou is one of the greatest guys we've ever met. I speak on behalf of the eight of us. He really doesn't need our money at all. He has a pretty good life himself. He just loves music and the fact that he can be a part of entertaining young people and keeping people smiling.
Question: When do you know who the final five will be?
O-Town: Towards the end of the season.
Question: First of all, I would just like to tell you that the show made me cry. I know how auditions can be, and I felt everyone's pain. My question is, where have you guys studied dance/voice and for how long?
Trevor Penick: I have never studied either of those, surprisingly. I've just always loved to dance, and I will dance 'til I'm blue in the face. If there's music playing, I'm dancing. I've always sung, since I was little, but I never had a voice coach until we got with Mark Goff.
Erik-Michael Estrada: I've been singing and dancing -- I used to sing in church since I was 3 or 4. I've performed in many high school performances and sang in chorus in high school. I also received a full music scholarship, for music, for voice.
Question: What kind of music do you guys like?
Trevor Penick: I have to say all kinds, pop, hip-hop, alternative. I'm a really big fan of country, actually, hard-core, hip-hop, all kinds. Everything, surprisingly. When I say everything, I mean everything, classical, just good music in general.
Erik-Michael Estrada: I primarily have to be [into] rock, R&B, rap, in that order.
Question: Do you guys have your own website where we can find out information? -- Janet
O-Town: You can log onto www.abc.com, or www.MTV.com.
Question: Do you think that everything that Backstreet and *NSYNC have said about Lou is true? Why or why not? Are you worried about your future and in whose hands it's in? Thanks, Jenny.
Erik-Michael Estrada: Our future and our destiny lies within our own hands. Lou has been there as a mentor and a father figure. He's only there to help us and to help cultivate what's inside of us. I only see bright things ahead in my future.
Trevor Penick: I'm the exact same way.
Question: What kinda name is O-Town?
Erik-Michael Estrada: When the whole audition process started, it was called The O-Town Project because of the city it was in. On the buses, everywhere we went had O-Town on them. Whenever we went out in public or the press saw us, they would say, "We just spotted O-Town," or "We saw The O-Town Project." The fans know what they want, and they recognized us as O-Town. The name itself is just a name, because what the group is really made of is the music and the people within the name.
Trevor Penick: Pretty much handed to us before we even knew it. It was fitting that the name was to be O-Town.
Question: Does the success of Lou's other bands, like BSB & *NSYNC make you feel pressured to be better or to try to break away from the boy band image?
Erik-Michael Estrada: Good question. The success of BSB and *NSYNC is not pressure, but more of a challenge. We want to be as successful. We don't try to compare ourselves with them, but it's obvious they're successful. We want to be as successful and have the fans love us just as much. The boy band doesn't apply to us that way, we just want to sing and play instruments, and that's what we want to do.
AOLiveMC8: Here is our last question of the evening, Trevor and Erik-Michael.
Question: How do your girlfriends feel about it?
Trevor Penick: I don't have a girlfriend, and Erik also doesn't have a girlfriend.
AOLiveMC8: Well, that was easy! Thanks, Erik-Michael and Trevor, for being here with us tonight!
O-Town: We're both definitely looking. Thank you for having us!
AOLiveMC8: You are quite welcome! Best of luck to you both. Good night, everyone!