Thursday, September 19, 2013

Drew Lachey on "Dancing with the Stars," 98 Degrees' future

By Lauren Moraski

Drew Lachey of 98 Degrees performs at the Mandalay Bay Events Center during The Package Tour on July 6, 2013, in Las Vegas.
 Now that "The Package Tour" has wrapped, Drew Lachey and his 98 Degrees bandmates are in the process of mulling their next move -- and from the sound of it, fans will likely get to hear more from the recently reunited boy band.
Lachey told on Tuesday: "We're back together, making new music and had a great time this summer, so we're seeing what the opportunities are for us and seeing what makes sense for everybody else, because 3 of the 4 of us are parents so we gotta make sure we're doing right by our family and not just by 98 Degrees. People have other commitments and working on other projects, so we're trying to navigate that landscape right now. So yeah, we're definitely going to be doing something soon."
"The Package Tour" -- which also featured Boyz II Men and New Kids on the Block -- marked 98 Degrees' first major outing since going on hiatus in 2002. To coincide with the summer road trip, 98 Degrees unveiled a new album this past spring, featuring songs written by Bruno Mars and Ne-Yo, as well as from 98 Degrees members themselves.
"To be gone for 10-15 years and come back, you don't know what the reaction is going to be like from the fans," admitted Lachey when asked about reuniting with his brother Nick Lachey, Jeff Timmons and Justin Jeffre. "To step foot on that stage and get the reaction we did was amazing...It was like no time had passed at all."
But some things have changed over the past decade -- namely a few kids have been added into the mix. The "boys" of 98 Degrees are now fathers themselves, so "The Package Tour" was a family affair.
"The background, what happened behind stage was very different. Everyone had their families out," said 37-year-old singer. "So lots of kids and people riding scooters in the parking lot. During the day, instead of sleeping in all day, you're taking your kids to museums and amusement parks -- doing things out there with your family."
Family is part of the reason Lachey recently became involved with the Buckle Up For Life program, a national injury prevention initiative developed by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and Toyota. It aims to encourage families to make sure their children are buckled up properly in the car.
"This program tries to give parents all the knowledge -- and not just parents but caregivers, nannies, babysitters -- give them the knowledge they need to make sure they're being safe and doing it correctly," said Lachey, who noted that safety was big in his house while growing up in Cincinnati.
"My Dad wouldn't even start the car until he heard the click of every seat belt," said Lachey during Child Passenger Safety Week, which takes place from Sept. 15-21.
Now with two children of his own, Lachey is following in his father's footsteps. He says his 7-year-old daughter, Isabella, is anxious to get out of her booster seat, while his 3-year-old son, Hudson, remains in a car seat.
"We don't move the car until you're buckled in. 'Oh Daddy, it's too tight.' [I say] 'No this is the way it needs to be. 'Oh Daddy, I don't want to ride in a booster anymore.'"
Lachey said he and his brother Nick -- who welcomed his first child last year -- will sometimes share parenting tips, but overall, he doesn't love to give too much input.
"I have this blanket thing about giving parenting advice to parents and that's: 'Don't take other people's advice on parenting.' Love your kid as much as you possibly can and do what you need to do for your family because my situation and what I do for my kid may not work for you," said Lachey.
The families get together "all the time," too. Lachey pointed out how Nick and Vanessa Lachey's son, Camden, "just had his first birthday and we had our extended families together. Every chance we get we hang out together."
And with everything going on Lachey didn't have the chance to tune into the season 17 premiere on Monday night, but the season 2 "DWTS" champ read the recaps and caught up on the series by watching a few clips.
"It's a very eclectic cast this season," Lachey said. "Valerie Harper is a very inspiring story so who can't be rooting for her? You can't help but want her to do well. I think Amber Riley and Derek Hough will do a really good job. There's a lot of personality there. And Derek always seems to have people in the finals. I think Cheryl [Burke] and Jack [Osbourne] will do a good job. And Snooki did awesome from what I saw. So I think it's going to be an interesting season like always."
Lachey, who was crowned winner of "Dancing with the Stars" in 2006, said his big win thrust him into the national spotlight.
"For me, it took me from a boy band guy who's also on a reality show to kind of more of a household name and people saw me more for who I actually am and go to know me as an individual," he said. "So I always look back on season 2 with memories and lots of great friendships were made them. And I still keep in touch with a lot of those people."
Lachey revisited the dance floor last year as part of the show's all-star cast, but was eliminated in the third round.
"I guarantee I was more shocked that anybody," he said about the early ousting. "The all-stars season was a little shorter than I was hoping it would be, but it was a lot of fun...The show itself is fun. Doing the dances and learning how to carry yourself and perform that way is a great challenge. I wouldn't trade any of it," he said.
Lachey hopes to soon return to a more familiar spot soon -- performing with 98 Degrees: "Once you step on that stage, to me, that's where I feel most comfortable -- performing live. So that's something would do each and every day of my life if I could."