Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nick Lachey Talks About Kara DioGuardi And 'Center Stage,' But Not About Jessica Simpson

Java: MaryEllen Fillo
February 21, 2009

American pop singer and actor Nick Lachey, who rose to fame in the late 1990s as a member of the boy band 98 Degrees, stopped by the Insurance City on Thursday, courtesy of WTIC-FM (96.5), which hosted a VIP party for some serious fans at the Black Bear Saloon.

Lachey starred in the hit reality TV series "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica" with his then-wife, Jessica Simpson. He recently released a new single, "Patience," has a new CD called "Coming Up For Air" and a new MTV show, "Center Stage," that starts in March.

His breeze through Hartford included lunch at Arch Street Tavern (there were some complaints about the reported less-than-10-percent tip he left) and happy hour "Bear Bites" and a Miller Light at Black Bear before performing for the "by invitation only" crowd.

In between eating and singing, he ducked into a cellar stairwell (the only place that was quiet enough) to Spill the Beans (no Jessica Simpson questions allowed) with Java.

Java: MaryEllen Fillo Java: MaryEllen Fillo Bio | E-mail | Recent columns

Q: You have so many things going on: the CD, the new single and the MTV show. But I also understand you are very active in the nonprofit "Feeding America Campaign." How did you get involved in that?

A: I think hunger is an important issue no matter what the year, but especially in times like these. More and more people are having to rely on others to help, and I got involved to do something to provide that help. We were brought up on that. Me and my family have been blessed and it is only right to take the opportunity to do something good.

Q: Tell me about the duet on your new CD with songwriter Kara DioGuardi.

A: She is a remarkable artist and writer. We wrote "Temporary" together, she did the demo and then recorded it together and it is my favorite in the album. Now, a year later, she is on "American Idol" and a star. I don't watch the show, but she is a great addition.

Q: Your CD is called "Coming Up for Air." Is it reflective of your life?

A: I'd like to think so. I'm 35 now and it is time to grow up. I can't be a kid forever.

Q: What was the idea behind your new MTV show?

A: I am really excited about that show because it is based on my old school, The Cincinnati School for Creative & Performing Arts, and will be a kind of "Fame" story. We are profiling six or seven high school seniors as they go through life not just as teenagers but as teenagers in the performing arts. I've been working on this for over a year and it's exciting to get it on MTV.

Q: Do you see jumping from singing to producing in your future?

A: I hope I don't have to make a choice and can continue to do both. I have been afforded a lot of opportunities and have a great relationship with MTV and glad they were receptive to this idea.

Q: I understand that you took off your shirt at a radio station in the Bahamas in exchange for five spins of your new record "Patience" a few weeks ago. Any interest in cutting a deal like that with 95.6 FM and this crowd?

A: The price is up because this a lot bigger crowd than the people that were in the radio station when I did it in the Bahamas. It would take quite a few more than five spins to get me to do it here. There is a lot more at stake.