Hiponline.com Interview with Chris & Justin

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.

'NSync's album, 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?

Justin 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.

And hopefully 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?

Chris Kirkpatrick: Well, we're actually starting the tour on a holiday this year. October 17 is Chris Kirkpatrick day.

Justin Timberlake: Whatever.

Chris 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…

Justin Timberlake: You talking to me?

Chris Kirkpatrick: No, everybody.

Justin Timberlake: …In the world.

Chris Kirkpatrick: Eight shopping days. Wait, what's the date?

Justin Timberlake: Chris's birthday is October 17. Please get him something because I'm not.

Chris Kirkpatrick: What's the date today?

Justin Timberlake: I don't know.

Today's the ninth.

Chris Kirkpatrick: Yep, eight days. Oh, I'm good. It's a week from tomorrow.

Justin 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?

Chris 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?

Justin Timberlake: I've totally forgot what song we were doing.

Yeah, that's pretty bad when you forget your own songs.

Justin Timberlake: Yeah.

Well, how do you cover for that? I mean, what do you do?

Justin Timberlake: Well...

Chris Kirkpatrick: You rely on instinct.

Justin 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?

Justin Timberlake: Sure.

Nobody is perfect and still have a good time.

Chris Kirkpatrick: Well, I don't usually mess up, but...

Justin Timberlake: Well, I don't ever mess up either. I think it's the other guys.

Chris Kirkpatrick: It's the other three guys we're talking about.

Justin 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 are.

Chris Kirkpatrick: That's what happens when you're the cool guy of the group.

Justin Timberlake: Yeah.

Chris 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?

Chris 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.

As internationally recognized stars, what do you guys do to get away from it all? Is it ever possible to really retreat? Or is that...

Justin Timberlake: Oh, sure.

Chris Kirkpatrick: We go hide out.

You do? Where do you hide out? Where can you hide out without being...

Chris Kirkpatrick: I can't tell you. Then it won't be my hideout.

Oh, that's true.

Chris Kirkpatrick: We build a tree fort.

Because it seems like it would be impossible.

Chris Kirkpatrick: Just go home and relax and be with our families. I think that's the most relaxing thing.

Justin 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.

Chris Kirkpatrick: You could get me video games for Chris Kirkpatrick day.

Justin Timberlake: You talking to me? (laughs)

If you guys could switch places with any other performer for one day, who would it be and why?

Justin Timberlake: Somebody who didn't dance.

Chris Kirkpatrick: Gwen Stefani and I'd look in the mirror all day long.

Why somebody who doesn't dance?

Justin 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 Stefani because?

Justin Timberlake: Chris. Chris wants to be Gwen Stefani.

Chris 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?

Justin 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.

Chris Kirkpatrick: I'm in motor cross.

In motor cross?

Chris Kirkpatrick: Yeah.

Justin Timberlake: He's kidding.

Chris Kirkpatrick: Oh.

Justin Timberlake: Chris has his own clothing line.

Chris 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 about it.

Justin Timberlake: No, you talk about it. It's your thing.

Chris Kirkpatrick: No, I'm just kidding.

So do you pressure these guys to wear your clothes, Chris?

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 them up.

You have a movie planned for later on. What direction, speaking of ventures, what direction do you want to see that go in?

Justin 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.

Chris Kirkpatrick: I think a comedy would be something we would fit into well. But...

Justin 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 it's called.

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?

Chris 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.

Chris Kirkpatrick: There's always conflict.

Justin Timberlake: We have two rules that we go by.

Chris Kirkpatrick: It goes down by the chain of command. First is me, then is Justin.

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.

Chris 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 whole process.

Justin Timberlake: No, you know what? We really only have one rule. And that's so we don't let Joey make any decisions.

Chris Kirkpatrick: Yeah, that's true.

Justin Timberlake: And we're okay. Just kidding.

Chris Kirkpatrick: No, we're not, actually.

Justin Timberlake: Well, we're not kidding about the Joey part.

Chris Kirkpatrick: Yeah, we're just kidding about the other part.

Justin Timberlake: Yeah.

Chris Kirkpatrick: The rule number one part.

Justin Timberlake: I like Chris.

When can fans expect a new release?

Justin 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?

Justin 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?

Chris Kirkpatrick: I wish I had better rhythm to play the drums.

Have you tried playing?

Chris Kirkpatrick: Yeah. I suck at it. I can play the keyboard and the guitar, but I can't play the drums.

Okay. And how about Justin?

Justin Timberlake: I don't know.

Chris Kirkpatrick: He thinks he can do everything perfect already.

Justin Timberlake: Yeah. I'm disillusioned.

Chris Kirkpatrick: He needs to be a little more coordinated, I think.

Justin Timberlake: Yeah.


Chris 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.

Justin Timberlake: Yeah, that's it.

Chris Kirkpatrick: Yeah, I know.

Justin 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 point?

Chris Kirkpatrick: No. The Backstreet Boys are on the label too, and I don't see us doing anything with them any time soon.


Chris 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 that.

What advice do you have for any of your fans that are aspiring to be performers?

Chris 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?

Justin 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 little bit.

Chris 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.

Chris 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?

Chris Kirkpatrick: I can tell you easily what happened.

Justin Timberlake: That's funny. I ask myself that all the time. What did he do?

Chris 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?

Chris 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.

Justin Timberlake: Yeah.

Chris 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 quick.

Justin Timberlake: Yeah.

Chris Kirkpatrick: You know what I'm saying?

Justin Timberlake: Yeah.

What New Year's resolutions do you think you'll be making that you probably won't be keeping?

Chris Kirkpatrick: All of them. Yeah, the same ones I make every year that I break January 14.

Justin Timberlake: Resolutions are like rules. They're just made to be broken.

Chris Kirkpatrick: Make yourself feel good for a week.

Justin Timberlake: Every New Year's I always tell myself I'm going to stop cursing.

What are they usually that they become broken?

Chris 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?

Justin Timberlake: What we think of it?


Justin Timberlake: It's a piece of crap.

Chris Kirkpatrick: You know what I like? I like the show 2gether.

Justin Timberlake: Yeah, that's a good show.

Chris Kirkpatrick: They've actually asked me to be on the show, which I think will be funny.

Justin 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.

Chris Kirkpatrick: Yeah. They make it seem like that's what happened.

Justin 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 ones?

Justin Timberlake: None of us.

Chris 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.

Justin Timberlake: Yeah, I think actually me.

Chris Kirkpatrick: No, see, whenever there's a problem in the group or things need to be resolved, everybody comes to me.

Justin Timberlake: Everybody comes to me.

Chris 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.

Justin Timberlake: You're disgusting, dude.

Chris 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 will.

Thank you, guys.

Justin 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…