By Charlie Craine
December 25, 2000
When we caught
up to them 'NSync was just about to embark on the second leg of their sold-out
No Strings Attached tour.
No Strings Attached, which has been in the Top 10 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums
Chart for twenty-seven weeks, is certified Platinum nine times.
So I want to
know, what kind of game plan do you guys have for the future? Do you see 'NSync
being still as hot five or ten years from now?
Timberlake: Well, I think within the next, I think everything changes, you know,
every couple of years. Everything changes. But, I think, hopefully we'll just
evolve with our audience. It's hard to say where the music's going to go. I
mean, especially for us, you know. I think we've kind of found our sound within
the past year.
we can just grow with our audience. I think that's what all the great, the
people who have stuck around, that's what they've done is they've grown with
their audience. So hopefully we can do that.
For your fans
who have seen your previous show here, how is this one going to be different?
Kirkpatrick: Well, we're actually starting the tour on a holiday this year.
October 17 is Chris Kirkpatrick day.
Kirkpatrick: And we're real excited about that. But I think we're just going to
do a great show again. You know, a lot of people have seen some of the show. But
you know, every show that we do is different. We add little things here and
there to change it up and make it an original show, so hopefully everybody will
enjoy it. And you've only got, like, eight shopping days or so left, so…
Timberlake: You talking to me?
Kirkpatrick: No, everybody.
Timberlake: …In the world.
Kirkpatrick: Eight shopping days. Wait, what's the date?
Timberlake: Chris's birthday is October 17. Please get him something because I'm
Kirkpatrick: What's the date today?
Timberlake: I don't know.
Kirkpatrick: Yep, eight days. Oh, I'm good. It's a week from tomorrow.
Timberlake: Well, I think this tour was so big, I think we want to give people a
chance to see it in person again. You know, that's why we put the extension on
for the tour. And so there's stuff that happens every show that's different. You
know what I mean? But I don't know. Who knows what we'll come up with? We might
throw another song in or something. Who knows?
Do you have any
favorite places you like to visit or things you like to do when you're here?
Kirkpatrick: You know what? I think, kind of like we said before, every place we
go, we find something to do there, something interesting. A lot of times we
don't get a chance to get out. I mean, and we know most of the shopping malls in
the area, have been to them a couple of times, but I wish we had somebody to
coordinate something that we could spend a little more time there. Because we
get there and it's like we can almost tell cities by their hotel rooms. It's
kind of that pathetic. We get that much free time.
Have you ever
gotten up onstage and just totally forgot what city you're in?
Timberlake: I've totally forgot what song we were doing.
pretty bad when you forget your own songs.
Well, how do
you cover for that? I mean, what do you do?
Kirkpatrick: You rely on instinct.
Timberlake: Yeah. I think, you know, we mess up every show, at least one point
of the show. We've just become the masters of making it look like we weren't
even supposed to mess up, to make it like it was part of the show. That's when
you know you can put on the shows, when you can mess up really good.
So it kind of
humbles you too in a way?
perfect and still have a good time.
Kirkpatrick: Well, I don't usually mess up, but...
Timberlake: Well, I don't ever mess up either. I think it's the other guys.
Kirkpatrick: It's the other three guys we're talking about.
Timberlake: Yeah. They mess up a lot and we have to cover for them. But I mean,
you know, that's just what we have to deal with. I mean, being who me and Chris
Kirkpatrick: That's what happens when you're the cool guy of the group.
Kirkpatrick: You just take on that much more pressure. But we can handle it,
don't get us wrong.
Your new record
has such a wide variety of sounds. Do you think you're reaching a new audience,
maybe beyond teenage girls?
Kirkpatrick: I think every time we release a record, or even a single, we're
reaching a new audience. We try to anyway. If we don't reach a new audience
every time we release a single, then we're not doing something right because our
objectives are to be a universal group that everybody listens to. It just so
happens that our biggest fan base right now is young girls. You know, I think
when you hear the sounds that, you know, we've taken pop music so far and turned
it into something different. And we're changing with the times, like Justin said
earlier. And I think we're developing our sound.
internationally recognized stars, what do you guys do to get away from it all?
Is it ever possible to really retreat? Or is that...
Timberlake: Oh, sure.
Kirkpatrick: We go hide out.
You do? Where
do you hide out? Where can you hide out without being...
Kirkpatrick: I can't tell you. Then it won't be my hideout.
Kirkpatrick: We build a tree fort.
seems like it would be impossible.
Kirkpatrick: Just go home and relax and be with our families. I think that's the
most relaxing thing.
Timberlake: Just go and spend time and not, you know, when you can go and be
quiet somewhere. I think we're always on the go, always rush, rush, rush, you
know. So it's good to go quiet, quiet, quiet for a little while.
Kirkpatrick: You could get me video games for Chris Kirkpatrick day.
Timberlake: You talking to me? (laughs)
If you guys
could switch places with any other performer for one day, who would it be and
Timberlake: Somebody who didn't dance.
Kirkpatrick: Gwen Stefani and I'd look in the mirror all day long.
who doesn't dance?
Timberlake: Because I'm tired. No, I'm just kidding. Who would I switch with?
Stevie Wonder. Because he's my idol, because he's awesome, because he's the
greatest ever in the whole world.
Okay, and Gwen
Timberlake: Chris. Chris wants to be Gwen Stefani.
Kirkpatrick: Yeah, she's just a hottie.
I hear you guys
are each going to do something, some kind of solo venture once this tour winds
down. And then obviously you're not breaking up. But can you tell us a little
bit about what you guys are going to be doing?
Timberlake: I think those are more, I think when we say solo ventures, there are
all different types of things, like business ventures, you know. Chris has his
own clothing line.
Kirkpatrick: I'm in motor cross.
In motor cross?
Timberlake: He's kidding.
Timberlake: Chris has his own clothing line.
Kirkpatrick: Yeah, wait. It comes out the day after Thanksgiving in Nordstrom's.
We could talk about that all day, if you'd like. Okay, go ahead Justin, talk
Timberlake: No, you talk about it. It's your thing.
Kirkpatrick: No, I'm just kidding.
So do you
pressure these guys to wear your clothes, Chris?
Kirkpatrick: Oh no, I just threaten them. There's a difference between
pressuring and threatening. You know, pressuring is just me bugging them every
day about it. Threatening them is telling them if they don't do it I'll beat
You have a
movie planned for later on. What direction, speaking of ventures, what direction
do you want to see that go in?
Timberlake: Well, I think the movie thing is something, I think you'll probably
see us doing individual things onscreen before you see us doing something as a
group. I think it would have to be something different. I don't think we'd want
it to be like a regular, what people would expect. I think people would expect a
movie about a group, like Spice World or something. And we don't want to do
something like that.
Kirkpatrick: I think a comedy would be something we would fit into well. But...
Timberlake: I think you'll probably see us doing individual, like Joey is
filming something right now. He's filming a movie. Forgive me, I don't know what
I want to go
back to what you were saying about how you guys are changing with the music. And
you all really kind of set the trend as far as taking more control with this
latest album. Do you guys see yourself as a trendsetter in this genre now?
Kirkpatrick: Well, I mean, that's what we've always seen ourselves as. We have
to make sure that, you know, if we don't adapt, then we won't survive. And we
enjoy new music. We don't enjoy stagnant music or somebody doing the same thing
that everybody else is doing. So we try to change our sound and change our ideas
to be innovative and to have people listen to the album and go, 'That's new,'
'That's a great idea,' or 'I like what they did here.' You know, we don't want
them to go, 'Oh, this sounds like their last album.' It's really good, you know.
I want to know
how you guys handle conflict in the group because, you know, there has to be
conflict, because there's more than two people in the group.
Kirkpatrick: There's always conflict.
Timberlake: We have two rules that we go by.
Kirkpatrick: It goes down by the chain of command. First is me, then is Justin.
Timberlake: We have two rules that we go by. Number one is Justin is always
right. And number two is, if Justin is ever wrong, go back to rule number one.
And that's it. That's what everybody really thrives on, you know. We all,
everybody thinks about that whenever they decide to make statements.
Kirkpatrick: You see, I think my friend here is mistaken. I think he doesn't
really understand that I'm the eldest member of the group. And I'm the wisest.
So I make most of the decisions for the group. Sometimes I let them have some
decision-making privileges, because I don't want to be so overbearing on the
Timberlake: No, you know what? We really only have one rule. And that's so we
don't let Joey make any decisions.
Kirkpatrick: Yeah, that's true.
Timberlake: And we're okay. Just kidding.
Kirkpatrick: No, we're not, actually.
Timberlake: Well, we're not kidding about the Joey part.
Kirkpatrick: Yeah, we're just kidding about the other part.
Kirkpatrick: The rule number one part.
Timberlake: I like Chris.
When can fans
expect a new release?
Timberlake: We're going back into the studio at the beginning of next year to do
another 'NSync album, so I don't even think anybody is really thinking about
that right now.
I was wondering
if you guys started writing for a new album and what kind of sound are you
looking for, the one after the Christmas album, you know?
Timberlake: Yeah, we've been doing a little bit, we haven't had a lot of time,
but we've been doing a little bit of writing. And, I mean, some of the tracks
that I've heard and that I've done, I think it's like we've been saying is
taking the sound to the next level. You know, it's going to be tough because I
think one of our main goals is that we all get like, you know, at least ten
tracks submitted, so, and then just pick the best twelve or so from that big
pile. And we have the best, you know, we'll have the best pool of where the
sound is going or where we feel the sound is going. And, you know, then once
we've all submitted our tracks, maybe everybody else will come in and help
produce them up and get the whole 'NSync sound on them.
Okay, you guys
are so accomplished, but individually what is something you don't do well but
wish you did?
Kirkpatrick: I wish I had better rhythm to play the drums.
Have you tried
Kirkpatrick: Yeah. I suck at it. I can play the keyboard and the guitar, but I
can't play the drums.
Okay. And how
Timberlake: I don't know.
Kirkpatrick: He thinks he can do everything perfect already.
Timberlake: Yeah. I'm disillusioned.
Kirkpatrick: He needs to be a little more coordinated, I think.
Kirkpatrick: Yeah, he has problems like, you know, tripping and chewing his food
and the whole dribbling thing, really kind of weird, basketball, I mean. You
wish you could dunk.
Timberlake: Yeah, that's it.
Kirkpatrick: Yeah, I know.
Timberlake: I wish I could dunk.
I'm a little
surprised that you guys haven't done any recordings with Britney Spears yet,
considering she's on the label and seems to be, you know, friends with you guys
and all that. And I wonder if that may be something that may happen at some
Kirkpatrick: No. The Backstreet Boys are on the label too, and I don't see us
doing anything with them any time soon.
Kirkpatrick: We did some stuff with Joe, who is on the label for his new album.
And I mean, we're trying to, we're still making our own identities, you know.
It's not about, we don't' do that many collaborations, so, you know, when we do
them they have to be something worthwhile, probably something that we've written
and produced. Or like with the Joe situation, he wrote it and produced it. You
know, it's all depending on the circumstance, they don't even have to be under
our record label unless you're a Jive plant and you were just supposed to say
What advice do
you have for any of your fans that are aspiring to be performers?
Kirkpatrick: Get a good agent. Get a good manager. Don't let anybody take all
your money. No, really, if it's something you really, really, really have your
heart put into, don't let anybody tell you that you can't do it.
I was just
wondering if, "This I Promise You", was it hard learning it in
Spanish? And do you guys plan on going further into the Latino music market with
more Spanish songs?
Timberlake: It was, for me, I know it was different trying to sing a song in a
language that you don't even know, but it was a lot of fun. And I learned a
Kirkpatrick: That's how we chat up girls now. We sing to them in Spanish and
they think we're like bilingual and really talented. Not really, but that would
be cool. That's a good idea. I'm going to write that one down.
I just saw a
Court TV special on the tremendous input that Lou Perlman had in developing the
group. And I'm sure you've seen a thousand programs like that.
Kirkpatrick: Yeah, it's funny how those get out.
Yeah, isn't it?
But, Chris particularly, can you tell us it was your idea, you went to Lou? Can
you tell us what exactly was his input and how much did you guys have versus did
he pay for choreography? Did he, you know, what is it that he did?
Kirkpatrick: I can tell you easily what happened.
Timberlake: That's funny. I ask myself that all the time. What did he do?
Kirkpatrick: Actually what happened was, he had the Backstreet Boys, and through
some logistics or whatever, he was losing them. And I had a group that I was
singing with at college. And he came up to us because he knew one of the guys in
my group. Because one of the guys in my group had auditioned for the Backstreet
Boys and didn't make it because I guess when they were around he was, you know,
I'm not positive how they were selected, but I think he auditioned them and
that's how he knew this kid. So this kid came up to me and said, 'Would you like
to take the group to him? You know, he's looking for another group.' So we did.
Didn't work out. I kept in contact with Lou. You know, I got some other people
together. I got Justin together, I got JC, Joey, and then we found Lance and
brought them back to Lou. And that's when Lou said, well, you know, I'd be
willing to put money behind you. And, yeah, he did pay for a lot of the stuff.
But, you know, it was an investment. It was like anything. You know, we had said
all along that hopefully you'll get to make your money back on us, whatever.
But, you know, the only thing that kind of shreds us about it is when we hear
things like, yeah, he used to tell you guys how to sing. He used to tell you
guys all that, you know? He gave us money and that was it. You know, we kind of
did our own thing. And that's how we were…
So the No
Strings Attached and talking about getting out from under dealing with him was
more that the control that the money brought, not that he was in control of you?
Kirkpatrick: Exactly, exactly. I mean, when he did control the money, he would
say things and we were just like, 'This is our group. This is what we do. You
know, you are paying us to be 'NSync.' You know, you're not paying us to be your
people and your puppets. You know, we are a group. We were a group before your
money. And we'll be a group after your money.
Kirkpatrick: Sorry, it's really sad that it went down like that because at first
he tried to make it like a family. And he was like, 'I want to be close to you
guys. I want you guys to be able to trust me.' But, you know, in this business
when it comes to money, you can't trust anybody because the people you start
trusting you never guess that they're the ones that are actually taking all your
money. And that was really hard for us. It was a life lesson that we learned
Kirkpatrick: You know what I'm saying?
What New Year's
resolutions do you think you'll be making that you probably won't be keeping?
Kirkpatrick: All of them. Yeah, the same ones I make every year that I break
Timberlake: Resolutions are like rules. They're just made to be broken.
Kirkpatrick: Make yourself feel good for a week.
Timberlake: Every New Year's I always tell myself I'm going to stop cursing.
What are they
usually that they become broken?
Kirkpatrick: You know what though? My killing sprees have stopped, you know.
I've told myself I wouldn't do, you know, the whole violence. And I've been
pretty good about that one. I don't think I've broken that one yet. But who
knows what the new year brings, you know? It could be one of those things where
the fourteenth, there I am again out on the town.
Hey guys, just
wondering what your thoughts might be on that whole Making The Band tv show
(with O Town)? Have you guys seen it and what you might feel about that?
Timberlake: What we think of it?
Timberlake: It's a piece of crap.
Kirkpatrick: You know what I like? I like the show 2gether.
Timberlake: Yeah, that's a good show.
Kirkpatrick: They've actually asked me to be on the show, which I think will be
Timberlake: That's a humor - it's like, it's scary to think about the fact that
that [O Town] show is like they're serious.
Kirkpatrick: Yeah. They make it seem like that's what happened.
Timberlake: And I'm not dissing the boys on the show because, I mean, God bless
them. I'm almost positive that they don't have a clue what's going on, you know,
really. And I feel like, I kind of look back and I kind of feel like that's what
we were like, like we didn't really know what was kind of going on. And I don't
know, I mean, I don't want to talk bad about anybody, but I just can't have
faith in something that is done by a business partner that we've already had and
who was not a very good business partner.
Thanks for the
honesty. Which one of you guys in the band is considered maybe the big brother
to the rest or maybe the father figure type person in the group, the
level-headed one, the one who has all the good advice or whatever for the other
Timberlake: None of us.
Kirkpatrick: You had the primo question and that's what you asked? No, that's a
very good question because I would have to be the answer to that question.
Timberlake: Yeah, I think actually me.
Kirkpatrick: No, see, whenever there's a problem in the group or things need to
be resolved, everybody comes to me.
Timberlake: Everybody comes to me.
Kirkpatrick: And I've been there before, you know. I feel what they're feeling.
Unless it comes to Justin. Then I just tell him to use a cream rinse and, you
know, it's all better.
Timberlake: You're disgusting, dude.
Kirkpatrick: I don't know actually. I mean, honestly, though, I think it depends
on what's going on or what the situation is because we are all seasoned veterans
in a lot of things, you know, music and theatre and relationships, a lot of
things. So we all kind of help each other out. And whatever the problem is, you
know, sometimes we go to like a couple of them, just to see who has the best
advice. But the answer is usually me. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I
Timberlake: Thank you.
Chris Kirkpatrick: Thank you. We had a wonderful time. Look forward to our next album. It's called Tie Me Up Again. Bring Back the…