Sunday, June 30, 2013

98 Degrees talks 'Microphone,' families, and 'Praise Jesus!' fan reactions

By Allison Walker, Entertainment Reporter/Anchor
Why 98 degrees made us blush

It was 5 p.m. Friday, two-and-a-half hour before show time. Our cameraman and I were waiting backstage for 98 Degrees. Suddenly, a deafening "Eeeeeeeeek!," "Yea Baby!!!" and a  "Whoo whoo!" permeated the office walls.
The source of those vocal bursts of extraordinary excitement was a group of 6-inch heeled women in their 30s. No one was without a beer. Some were double-fisting. They were 'taking the edge off' on their way to the meet-n'-greet.
Watch out boys because here they come.
Heaven only knows what happened in that meet-n'-greet, but everyone survived. Like the slow-motion intro to "Baywatch," Nick, Drew, Jeff and Justin strutted down the hall toward us.
Smooshed into a corner of a production office, we cozied up for a chat.
Here's the interview:
ALLISON WALKER: First of all, Jeff, it's good to see you back here, my friend! We've run into each other a few times at Full Sail.
JEFF TIMMONS: I'm a big fan of the university. I love Orlando. This is obviously the home of boy bands, although we're not from here. We didn't spawn from here. We're Ohio guys, but I'm a big fan of the area, big supporter of Full Sail University. I love the university.
AW: Are you geek-ing out that you are following Boyz II Men on "The Package" tour?
DREW LACHEY: Yea, for us, Boyz II Men is probably the single largest influence on us musically, and us getting together and singing - period. So for us to be on tour with them, regardless, is a huge honor. The order of this tour doesn't really make a difference to any of us. We're all going out, performing for the fans, having a great time. To be on the same bill as Boyz II Men and New Kids on the Block -- you couldn't ask for anything better than that.
AW: How do you travel? 3 luxurious buses?
JUSTIN JEFFRE: We have 3 different buses. Jeff has a big family and these guys each have wives and kids. [The buses] accommodate the families. I'm with some of our wonderful crew members, but it's a lot of fun. We get to spend enough time around each other. So we're always together.
AW: Nick and Drew, do you know the name Chip Foose?
DREW LACHEY: Yea, very well!
AW: [Showing them a sketch by Foose] He recently came to town for Car Masters Weekend. I know that you two were on his show "Overhaulin'."
NICK LACHEY: Drew had a truck, a Ford F100 - '67. It needed some TLC. So we surprised him for his birthday and went on "Overhaulin'" with it and Chip did his thing with the truck and completely pimped it out.
AW: I want to talk about "Microphone" real quickly. Would that have ever made it onto your debut album back in '98?
JEFF TIMMONS: Obviously, you have good mic technique. So you've been studying the song. You're putting the mic up to your lips and are doing the best you can. So I think it's just about -- it transcends generations, learning how to use a microphone.
NICK: It's very important.
AW: Er, shifting gears  --  I understand you bring up 4 lucky women on stage during the show?

DREW: There is a rumor that we bring up girls occasionally on stage.
AW: Say if that rumor came true, I imagine you have very interesting reactions.

NICK: Some people freak out. We've had some cryers. We've had some 'Oh Praise Jesus!' We've had some -- some people just kind of sit there --
DREW: We've had some cinematographers.
NICK: Yea, some people just do video. So it's interesting to see how the different people react to that moment. I mean, they're up there in front of 17-18,000 people. Some people relish it. Some people get completely intimidated by it. It's a lot of fun for us.