Possibly the gayest job title you can have is vocalist in a boy band. JC Chasez was one of the two lead singers in boy band N*Sync (the other being Justin Timberlake). N*Sync were no ordinary teeny-boppers. After wresting the throne from the Backstreet Boys, Chasez and co became the world’s number one boy band.
Since N*Sync decided to have a break two years ago, its members have headed in diverse directions. After a successful stint in the Broadway musical Rent, Joey Fatone is sticking to the stage. Would-be astronaut Lance Bass is pursuing a career in movies, Chris Kirkpatrick is working on an album and Justin Timberlake has become a bona fide superstar.
You’d be forgiven for thinking JC hopes his debut album Schizophrenic will follow Justin’s path, but he insists it’s more about music than money. Success seems inevitable, at least out of the US (current single All Day Long I Dream About Sex is doing pretty well in the Australian charts) but JC wants something more to be excited about.
Success comes and goes, he says. My goal was to make a record I was proud of, because you have to live with that for the rest of your life.
Easier said than done in the world of pop. Chasez’s record company originally tried to pair him up with the same generic hit factory responsible for Timberlake’s solo success.
The first thing they did when I said I wanted to drop a solo album was, -˜cool, we’ll call this guy, this guy and this guy because they make hits’. So I had to stand up and be firm and say I want to make my record my way.
Chasez enjoyed the recording process and says he felt less confined as a solo artist. When you’re in a band, you can’t be selfish. There is always compromise in any relationship. When you write a song, you can’t just have it from your point of view, it needs to be everyone’s.
Outside of the US (where All Day Long I Dream About Sex is yet to get a single release) Chasez has been working the crowds. He recently flew to London to perform at the notorious G.A.Y., an experience he says he enjoyed very much: The crowd was rowdy, man, and I love that.
You’re always gonna play the crowd. All my shows are different. If I’m playing middle America, it’s different to a big US city. If I’m in London, it changes again. Obviously when I’m singing in middle America I know they love the ballads. If I’m performing in a gay club they wanna hear All Day Long I Dream About Sex.
So would JC ever consider doing a Madonna and Britney MTV-style pash with Justin Timberlake in order to create some similar hype?
I’m not sure it would sell many albums. I’d do it, why not? I can’t speak for Justin though.
But there haven’t been any N*Sync kisses to date, he says.
We are very close, they’re some of my best friends in the world, but none of us were ever that close. Sorry!
Oliver Hall is the editor of New Zealand’s Express.