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TORONTO — For Nick Lachey, performing in Canada this week means his group 98 Degrees has come full circle.
“In a lot of ways, Canada is really where we broke first, even before the States,” he recalled. “So it’s pretty cool to be doing it again up here.”
The foursome is currently on tour with NKOTB and Boyz II Men as part of The Package Tour, which stops at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Friday (and returns July 28) after shows in Ottawa and Montreal. Fans in Vancouver will have to wait until July 10.
“Performing together on stage is what we enjoy most,” Lachey said during an appearance with Justin Jeffre on Global Toronto’s The Morning Show.
Jeffre agreed. “We always dreamed of doing this and so to be able to come back and do it again after all these years is just an incredible experience,” he said. “We’re having a blast.”
Lachey said the four singers (his brother Drew Lachey and Jeff Timmons round out 98 Degrees) didn’t expect to take such a long hiatus.
“You really are a family, and dysfunctional like any other family. We all love each other but you also get to a point where it is good to take a break,” he explained. “We just took a slightly longer break than we thought we would.”
In addition to the tour, 98 Degrees has a new album, 2.0 — its first collection of new material since 2000`sRevelation.
“There’s a little more tempo on this record than people are probably used to hearing from us but we still remain true to who we are as a group,” said Lachey.
“It was a bit of a balancing act, especially for us because we were known as balladeers. Love songs are what we did, really. We wanted to keep our signature 98 Degrees sound — a lot of harmonies — but we also wanted to see our sound evolve with where the music scene has evolved over the past decade. I think we did a very good job of walking that fine line.”
The first single from the new album is the double entendre ditty “Microphone” with lyrics like: “Hey lady / Grab the microphone / You’re warmed up and ready to blow / Put this in your hand / And hold it up to your lips.”
Lachey and Jeffre said audiences on the current tour are markedly different than in their early days.
“We’ve all grown up together and the women now bring their daughters to the show,” Lachey said. “It’s a whole new generation that’s being exposed to our music.”
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