Sunday, June 16, 2013

Musician and new dad Nick Lachey

By Rebecca Jennings

The 00’s heartthrob (and new dad!) shares his Father’s Day plans and the inspiration for his latest album, A Father’s Lullaby

Nick Lachey at Toys “R” Us Times Square
Nick Lachey at Toys “R” Us Times SquarePhotograph: Marion Curtis/StarPix

While 98 Degrees frontman Nick Lachey spent most of his career crooning to teeny-boppers, his newest project is meant for an even younger set: babies! Inspired by the birth of his son Camden with actress Vanessa Minnillo, Lachey recently released an album full of traditional and original lullabys like “All the Pretty Little Horses,” “You Are My Sunshine,” and “When You Wish Upon a Star”. We sat down with the new dad at Toys “R” Us Times Square on Wednesday, June 12 in between an autograph signing for a massive line of fans and a show in New Jersey the following day. (Lachey is currently on tour with 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men and New Kids on the Block.) Here’s what he had to say about fatherhood, the new album and life on the road.

Congratulations on the new album… and the new baby!
Thank you! Yeah, he’s been on the road with us. We have a show in Jersey tomorrow and it’s busy busy, but he’s just along for the ride, just rolling with it!

Do you have anything planned with the family in the city tonight?
I don’t know what Vanessa’s got him doing today. While I’m doing this, she’s probably got him out walking around somewhere.

The album cover of you and Camden is so cute! How long did it take to get that shot?
[Laughs] I mean, we weren’t going for that shot specifically, we just did a bunch of different shots and went back and looked at them all and thought, “Man, that’s really a cool shot.”

How did you decide which songs went on the album? Did you play Camden a bunch of tunes to see which ones he liked the best?
He was a little bit of a test run, yeah. It’s weird, you know, because if you look at lullabys, a lot of them are in 6/8 time, sort of like a waltz almost. So I did a couple in 4/4 time and he didn’t like them as much. I’d bring him home from the studio and I’d literally play songs for him and see how he responded to them, so he was a little bit of a barometer or a measuring stick for us while we were making the record. There are all these feelings and emotions you have as a new dad, and music’s always been the place where I’ve been able to express myself. I thought this was a pretty cool opportunity to do something for him—honor him, dedicate it to him and do something that’s obviously not like anything I’d ever done before.

So that means it’s your first Father’s Day this weekend—any plans?
Actually, we have a show in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center that night so I’ll be here in the city. But as long as I’m spending it with him, I’m good. Maybe Vanessa’s got some surprise in store or something!

Do they hang out backstage while you’re performing?
Well, he’s asleep. He’s down by 7:30 and we go on at 8:30. Vanessa’s at every show, but he’s in the bus, asleep.

What’s it like going on tour with your old band? Is it all the original members?
It is! Yeah, it’s all the same guys. It’s fun! In a lot of ways, it’s like nothing ever changed. We kind of picked up right where we left off. We’re having fun on stage, and we’re performing for arenas full of screaming women and so there’s not much not to like.

Does everyone have kids now?
They do! I think we did the head count, and between all the members of all the groups, I think we’ve got roughly 30 kids among all of us. I’ve got Camden, my brother’s got two, Jeff’s got four, Boyz II Men have a bunch, so between us all we’ve got a nice little brood going.

Do you ever see people bring kids to the shows?

Not many. There are some kids, but most of them are people who’ve grown up with us when they were teenagers and our music was out the first time. It’s like a chapter in their lives that they get to revisit. It’s just a really fun girls’ night out. Everyone comes and has a blast and just screams their faces off. It’s just fun. It’s a fun night.

You and Vanessa live in Los Angeles, right?
Well, we split our time between Los Angeles and Cincinnati, where I’m from. But we’re here [New York City] a lot. Last time we were here, we went to the Bryant Park Grill and had brunch on Sunday, it was a beautiful day and he was asleep in the stroller. It was a nice little family day. And then on Mother’s Daywe were here and we had Mother’s Day brunch at Landmarc. Our big thing is, we always try to go to new restaurants while we’re here. We went to Hakkasan last time, and that was really good. We both used to live here, and so New York’s always a special place for us to come back to.