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Date Posted: 12:21:51 10/01/03 Wed
Transcript From "Popworld" Magazine Sept. 2003
Thanks to Secret Agent T from JJB.
After a break from the limelight, *Nsync fella JC Chasez is finally ready to step out of band mate Justin’s shadow and release ‘the most entertaining record’ in recent memory. POPWORLD flew over to New York to meet the man himself and discover what’s really going on with his music, his women and, of course, his group….
There’s New York, then there’s the rest of America. That’s what they say in Manhattan, anyway. So when POPWORLD was offered the chance to visit the Big Apple and interview a singer from one of the world’s biggest boy bands, who were we to refuse? The artist is JC Chasez, one fifth of *Nsync, and the location is the Trump International Hotel and Tower, an ultra-luxurious hotel situated on the west side of Central Park. JC stayed here last night after performing a private gig at a club in the city and, according to a spokesperson for his record company Jive, it was one hell of a night.
It’s 9am the following morning, and from a beautiful suite on the fourth floor we can see New York going about it’s business. Bright yellow taxis fill the streets, fitness fanatics job around the park and city works swarm out of the subway. Huge skyscrapers that apparently hadn’t even been started a year ago are almost finished and there are road works everywhere. It’s mad, hectic and rushed, the complete opposite of the man we’re here to interview. JC (full name Joshua Scott Chasez) is promoting his debut album Schizophrenic, and, after witnessing his bandmate Justin achieve phenomenal success, all eyes are on him. Will he emulate Justin’s success? JC appears unconcerned. ‘I just did this record for fun,’ he claims. ‘It was like, hey, man, ain’t nothing going on, I can’t sit still for this long, why not do a record?’
Arriving just over an hour late with surprisingly small entourage (stylist, make-up artist, record company reps and the obligatory massive minders) JC strolls into the suite with little fuss and fanfare. Handsome and sleepy-eyed, with fantastic bone structure, the 27 year old shakes POPWORLD’S hand and says a friendly hello before being whisked off by his stylist. A few minutes later, he’s ready to begin our photo shoot. After years of being photographed with *Nsync, the LA-based star is at ease with the camera and knows exactly when and where to shift his body. But being the center of attention is something JC’s still adjusting to. ‘It feels pretty brand new, just because [when you’re in a band] you have somebody else to lean on,’ he reveals. ‘Like when you’re doing interviews you can just chime in when you feel it’s appropriate, or when you’re doing photos you don’t have so much attention paid you, like fixing your hair every five seconds. So it’s a big deal, but it’s interesting.”
After the frantic, perfectly produced pop sound of *Nsync, JC’s chose to slow down the pace a little for his solo record. He describes Schizophrenic as a ‘very earthy’ album which blends R&B, dance, reggae, pop and trance, and freely admits he was beginning to feel repressed by the pop formula of the band. ‘I didn’t make a conscious decision to do something different, I just wanted to make songs that I like and to explore music a bit,’ he explains. ‘I was feeling a bit stale doing the same thing, so I ventured to do different things. It’s just a little bit of everything, which was the best part about making the record. Just kind of exploring myself.’ JC and the rest of *Nsync have until next Spring to explore themselves, then they’ll regroup-something JC is really looking forward to. ‘we were all hanging out last week and we were like, ‘Dude, are you getting ready?’ And everyone was chatting and having a laugh. It’s great being in a band; it’s great hanging out with your best friends and goofing off all day long. You don’t have to be by yourself. You share something that’s real.’
While JC does his solo stuff, his band mates have plenty going on too. Joey’s busy acting in movies and on Broadway, Chris is setting up a record label and working on an album, and Lance, after his plans to be the next Yuri Gagarin were thwarted, is working on his own talk show. Oh yeah, and there’s that other one, Timbersomething. ‘Obviously I don’t even have to tell you how awesome his s*** is,’ smiles JC. ‘He’s a superstar. We’ve all known it.’ How do comparisons with Justin make JC feel? ‘I mean, of course, they’re going to compare us,’ he shrugs. ‘We came out of the same group, but I think once people have heard my record they’re going to go, ‘OK, this is what it is,’ ‘cos they sound nothing alike.’ Although JC is complimentary about Justin, and is obviously his friend, the fact that he mentions the other lads throughout the interview, and lists Justin’s achievements second, suggests he doesn’t want to be merely tagged ‘Justin’s band mate’….
Following some discussion with the record company, JC aggress to be shot outside. So, along with his minders, make-up artist and a Jive rep, we bundle into the lift. Ther’s some concern that JC will be mobbed, but it’s around 11am, rush hour is over the sidewalks are relatively empty. The shoot begins with JC strolling along by the Trump Tower. With his bright pink shirt, shades and cowboy swagger, he looks like the most confident man on the planet. Initially, no one notices what’s going on and it looks as if JC might escape unbothered. Then, just before we head into the subway, some passers-by recognize him. With cameras in hand, they look like tourists and it’s the teenagers among them who spot JC first. They begin talking among themselves, wide-eyed with disbelief that they’ve stumbled across one of the US’s biggest pop stars just hanging out on the street. JC’s minders move towards the group, but they have nothing to worry about; the fans take their photographs from a distance, happy they’ve got within 10 feet of the star. Ever the professional, JC waves and says hello to the group before turning to face our camera again. We move to shoot in the subway, leaving them looking stunned and grinning like Cheshire cats. It’s illegal to take photos in New York metro, but we manage to sneak a few before being thrown out.
It’s JC’s passion for singing, writing and performing that keeps him in the music industry, because, for the rest of the time, he’s the most unlikely pop star. As well as being the very relaxed type, the Washington-born singer is completely uninterested in fashion (which explains some of those *Nsync outfits) and rates music over image every time. ‘My whole thing is as long as my record’s good, that’s my main focus,’ he states. ‘I want people to go out and listen to the record.’ Don’t expect to see a celebrity girl hanging off his arm, either – as far as JC is concerned, they’re off limits. Last year, he went out briefly with American Pie actress Tara Reid but, after the couple split, there were rumors Tara used the *Nsync star to boost her own profile. Whatever the true story, the affair has left a nasty taste in his mouth. ‘I don’t mean to sound rude but I don’t like celebrity girls at all,’ he states. ‘I don’t want to deal with the drama that comes with it. Some people like the hype and they get attention from it. I’d rather chill out and hang out with my girl at home. You know, actresses – as much as they say it’s just acting – walking around with their characters in their head. They’re doing something that stresses them out all day and they come home tense. I’m not going to mess with that, dude. I’d rather hang out with a surfer girl who’s like, ‘Yo, man, I just caught the best set today!”
While regular girls aren’t off limits, they don’t stand a chance of coming between JC and his album. ‘I’m not trying to be an a sshole,’ he says, ‘but I’m more concerned about work than my love life right now. Don’t get me wrong, if I meet somebody nice I’ll be like, what’s up? But making it alone is a whole other ball game, so I’m putting my time and energy into that.’ Celebrity parties aren’t high on JC’s list of priorities, either. When we put it to him that he’s known as the quiet, sensitive one in *Nsync who doesn’t like partying, he doesn’t deny it. ‘I guess I’m moody,’ he admits, ‘but I think everybody goes through those stages. One minute you’re in a party mode, which isn’t very often, though I do go out – I’m not a total stick-in-the-mud. But for the most part, I chill out. I’m pretty mellow. I do think logically about a lot of decisions I make. I don’t like jumping into anything hasty, unless it’s fun. Then I go, OK, I’ll regret it later.’
When we hear some of the tracks from Schizophrenic later on, the most notable is a song with the risqué title ‘All Day Long I Dream About Sex’, a shouty dance number reminiscent of ‘80’s electro-pop acts. A song with a title like that, coming from a boy band member, is going to cause a bit of a stir, isn’t it? ‘It’s weird, yeah,’ laughs JC. ‘It’s the song that took the least amount of time to write, but it’s just one of those songs that’s a lot of fun, so people like it. When I wrote it, I was like, I want to do a song where you point at somebody, so that’s what I did. It’s like you point at someone and you go [sings and points in time], ‘All day long I dream about sex…’ It’s fun.’ Perhaps, but *Nsync were built on a foundation of image, choreography and catchy pop tunes, and their fans aren’t necessarily going to lap up something overly experimental. ‘We’ll see,’ says JC. ‘I mean of course, I hope so. But it’s different, it is a departure for me, so some people are going to be ready for it, some people aren’t. But I will say this: I think it’s probably the most entertaining record that’s been out in a while, in my opinion. Because it’s so diverse. It’s not the same thing over and over, it’s not the barrage of the same material.’ And as long as your boys Justin, Joey, Chris and Lance like it… ‘Yeah, I played some stuff for some of the guys, and yea, they like it. They think it’s cool. They’re like, ‘It’s you, man!’ Well if it’s good enough for *Nsync, it’s good enough for us.