JC Chasez: It's not really old-hat 'cause we don't get to come to New York every day. It is routine but it isn't, you know what I mean? Because every day something different happens. Even though there's a lot of people there every day, somebody always does something usually that kind of catches us off guard on a regular basis.
Chris Connelly: You guys have all been in show business for a long time.
Lance Bass: You know, actually we've been singing together for three years as a group but two of the guys were on a TV show on the Disney Channel for how long, four years? (points to Justin) Two years, and Universal Studios (points to Joey and Chris) and then I wasŠ
Joey: In high school.
Chris Connelly: What is it about Orlando that's drawn so many talented young people there. You're all from different parts of the country and yet you all wound up there and were performing there at a very young age. Why was that?
Justin Timberlake: I don't know. I don't know if there's a secret that somebody knows that we don't know about Orlando but yeah I mean, we just decided that that would be our place where we met up just because that's where we met for the first time. We figured that that would be our hometown or whatever.
Chris Connelly: Well that is sort of good luck for you right? You were going to wind up on "Star Search" weren't you?
Justin: I was on "Star Search"! I did do "Star Search" alright? Let it go! I got three and a quarter stars.
Chris Connelly: Who'd you lose to?
Justin: Some girl who sang some Broadway song. I don't want to talk about it. (laughter) I don't want to talk about it. Next question.
Chris Connelly: How long did it take for you two guys to hook up though and think that you could make something go?
JC: I was singing on his demos.
Justin: Yeah we were in Nashville. After we finished with the TV show, after the TV show was over, we went and did some demo work together in Nashville. After that for about a year we were together doing a little demo work. But the group originated with Chris... the link from Chris to everybody goes sort of like this -- Chris started the group and I had kind of known him from some auditions and whatnot...he called me and I immediately gave JC a call and then we ran into Joey in Orlando -- big melting pot. Joey: Yeah, we worked at Universal like I said and we were singing and dancing there and we knew each other and I knew JC...
JC: He was actually the first person I met when I moved to Orlando to do the show. When I first moved, he was like the first person not in the show that I met and we became friends.
Chris Connelly (to Lance): You're not in the mix yet.
Chris Connelly: We're getting to you in a second.
Chris: Lance is what made us special.
Joey: Well, I wasn't a bass that's the thing.
Justin: We originated singing acappella harmonies and we could carry lots of cool sounds but we didn't have a bass and we tried to make Joey sing bass but it just wasn't working.
Chris: We gotta use that tape sometime as blackmail material.
Justin: So we got in touch with my vocal coach and that is what led us to Lance because me and Lance had the same vocal coach.
Chris Connelly: What is it about Europe that made them more open to you guys faster than America?
Chris: They don't understand what we're saying...(laughter)
Justin: I think the, the market has changed around in the last year in the States so much but originally it was like that in Europe you know. It was like a big melting pot. You found genuine mixed with some rocker mixed with some like a rock artist. Yeah, and so I mean, I think that... I honestly think that like Hanson just did something. Hanson and the Spice Girls just did something and went to the edge with the pop market and then it kind of mellowed out. And that is kind of when we saw our opportunity.
Chris Connelly: And what did you learn playing those markets? What did you do to get your dancing together; your singing?
Joey: How to work well with the audience you know, audience participation. I mean we were still first a little bit new at it you know. Although we were performing where people are screaming at the top of their lungs, fainting, crying, this and that you know. It's kind of weird.
Lance: Well, we did shows for like 10 and younger crowds you know, to going to like college crowds. Everyone over 21. Crowds, just like different types, I mean you just find it everywhere you know. Because they have so many festivals over there for different types of people and uh, you know that got us prepared to come to America because over here we play for just so many different kinds of crowds.
Chris Connelly: How freaky was it though to just break overseas and like you're writing your friends, "We're huge over here, and they..."
JC: And they're like, "Whatever!"
Chris: I think it's only when we got to meet like famous people that they knew in the States. Like when Coolio or some people like that would go overseas and we would do shows with them and we were like one of the biggest headliners of the show and we're there with Coolio and we're like, "Wow, you're awesome." And we'd be talking to him and stuff like that and then we'd come home and tell our friends. They'd be like, "Did you get his autograph?" And we're like, "No, we headlined the show. Everybody came to see us." And they're like, "Yeah, whatever."
Chris Connelly: I think anybody that's listened to the two records could understand the difference between you guys and the Backstreet Boys. But when people ask you, what do you usually say?
Justin: Come see the show.
Chris: Backstreet who? They don't realize that we really do know them and we're just joking with them and then we say something like, "They're doing their thing and we're doing our thing." It was justŠ it's all about that they're five guys and we are five guys and we're from Orlando you know. It's really you know hard to get out of their shadow because they were first and they're pioneers but you know they're off being successful as the Backstreet Boys and we're off being successful as 'N Sync. So hopefully, like Justin said, people will see the live show, see the difference you know, hear the difference in the music and realize that our personalities are different.
Chris Connelly: Aren't there people who are going to try to pry you apart, say you should have a solo deal, you should do something on your own?
Lance: Of course there are going to be offers and everything but the fact is that we're always going to be a group you know. We're always going to be putting out 'N Sync albums.
Chris Connelly: Why is this music so popular now? Maybe four or five years ago when grunge was huge you guys probably couldn't have bought a break.
JC: Now the market... it's a great time for music right now. Honestly, because people accept every kind of music now. For a while we were going through a rut where everybody was categorizing everything. Everything was wither -- you were a gangster rapper, you are a pop rapper or you're aŠ And now you know the great thing about our music, we do pop music, is that pop kind of dips itself in every kind of music so we can do a different style of pop. We can do R&B pop, we can do pop rock, we can do you know adult contemporary jazz style pop, you know what I mean? With mellow stuff... so, that's the best part about our music is that we can dabble into a little bit of everything and...
JC: Yeah, exactly. And right now, everybody is listening to every kind of music out there. I mean you play one videoŠ it's like you play a Snoop Dogg video, a Master P video, you play a Goo Goo Dolls video, then you play an 'N Sync video you know. It's cool. People are willing to listen to all these different things and that's what we're so excited about.
Chris Connelly: You want to take a more active hand in your music as time goes on? Will we see more song credits from you guys?
Justin: I mean we're writing as we speak you know. We're getting into that, that aspect as we speak. We always get into arranging and stuff. We've arranged a lot of stuff that's on our album with the help of some great producers.
Chris Connelly: Whose career would you like to emulate as you go forward? Whose career do you look at and you say, "Boy, I hope we have something that's a little like that?"
Justin: A little bit of everybody I would think. I mean, we don't want to be anybody else. We want to be 'N Sync, you know?
Lance: We'd like to last.
Justin: Wherever it takes us, wherever it takes us I think that it's going to be in a positive direction because we surround ourselves with positive energy so...
Justin: Yeah. We look up to like the Beatles and the Eagles and the Rolling Stones.
Lance: It's like to last like the Bee Gees or the Rolling Stones.
Justin: We want to be like Spinal Tap.