Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jeff Timmons dishes on upcoming Amway Center 'Package Tour' concert

By Allison Walker, Entertainment Reporter/Anchor
What 98 Degrees is doing differently on stage now that they're all grown up

Timmons was in town recently for Full Sail University's Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
ALLISON WALKER: So what's your connection with Full Sail, Jeff?
JEFF TIMMONS: Full Sail's publicist has been a friend of mine for a long time. She knows I have a passion for the arts. The kids here are great. A lot of creatives. Just the philosophy at Full Sail University is amazing. I think it's the best kept secret in entertainment. Any time I can come back, speak, and teach the students some stuff -- they teach me some stuff [too] -- I jump at the opportunity.
AW: The buzz over The Package Tour is mighty loud. What did you do when  you learned you'd be touring with NKOTB and Boyz II Men?
JT: When I started 98 Degrees, I modeled the band after Boyz II Men. I was a huge fan of the band and we wanted to be signed to Motown like Boyz II Men was signed. We got discovered at a Boyz II Men concert. And you know, New Kids on the Block is legendary. Their track record speaks for itself. But to be with Boyz II Men, to sit next to them in the press junket and everything, I was in heaven. I'm a huge fan, so to be sharing the stage with them is a great, great honor.
AW: There's gotta be some kind of rivalry, no?
JT: I don't think so. The tour and the "package" spans three generations of music. There was New Kids in the 80s and early 90s, and Boyz II Men was mid-90s, and then we came out late 90s, early 2000s. So I don't think there was a competitive vibe going on within the groups, but, you know--
AW: Are you sure?
JT: [Laughing] Yea! I mean, everybody has a mutual respect for each other. I think collectively it's close to 200-million records sold. We'll all just happy to be, 20 years later, still in the business and still selling tickets and doing shows.
AW: Give us the structure of The Package Tour. I hear you have a 40-minute set before the headliners [NKOTB]?
JT: That's exactly right. I think Boyz II Men goes on. They have 40 minutes, we have 40 minutes. Then New Kids has the full show. Yea, we're supporting the New Kids on this tour.
AW: Any chance you're going to sport those old outfits?
JT: I think we're going to keep those in retirement - the spacesuits, the firemen outfits, the catcher's gear. I don't know why we wore those! But somebody told us that was cool. I think we're going to try to be a little more sophisticated this time around - a little more mature.
AW: Will we ever see you at gigs around Orlando?
JT: Well you're getting me the gig.
AW: I am. I'm working on it.
JT: You're hooking it up.
AW: I could be your booking agent.
JT: That's right. Booking agent and new manager slash reporter [laughing].