'NSync talks business during press conference

The group plans to record a new album in early 2001.

by Christina Fuoco <mailto:feed@livedaily.com>
LiveDaily Contributing Writer

After making playful jabs at his bandmates during a 45-minute teleconference with a handful of reporters on Monday (10/9), 'NSync founding member Chris Kirkpatrick turned somber when he said that working with former manager Lou Pearlman was "a life lesson we learned quick."

"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 gave us money and that was it. We kind of did our own thing," said Kirkpatrick, who was joined on the call by bandmate Justin Timberlake.

"When he did control the money, he would say things. And we were like, 'This is our group. This is what we do. You're paying us to be 'NSync. You're not paying us to be your people and your puppets. We are a group. We were a group before your money and we'll be a group after your money.'"

'NSync left RCA Records and Pearlman for Jive Records last year, prompting a $150 million lawsuit by Pearlman, his management team Trans Continental Media, Trans Continental Records and BMG Entertainment, which owns RCA. A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled in November against Pearlman and allowed the band to record for Jive. Shortly after the judge's ruling, the group reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with Pearlman and BMG.

"It's really sad that it went down like that," Kirkpatrick said. "Because at first he tried to make it like a family: 'I want to be close to you guys. I want you guys to be able to trust me.' But in a 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. That was really hard for us."

These are happier times for 'NSync, however. The group is about to embark on the second leg of its sold-out "No Strings Attached" tour, which begins on Oct. 17 in Charlotte, N.C., and ends Dec. 1 in San Diego.

"We're actually starting the tour on a holiday this year. Oct. 17 is Chris Kirkpatrick Day," Kirkpatrick said. "We're real excited about that. ... And you've only got eight shopping days or so left."

"Chris' birthday is Oct. 17." said Timberlake. "Please get him something. Because I'm not."

Besides stages, the group will be hitting TV screens as well. They have scheduled appearances on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" on Nov. 7, "Live with Regis" on Nov. 10 and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Nov. 29. Its concert video "Live from Madison Square Garden" hits stores on Oct. 24.

Timberlake explained that the second leg of the tour will be basically feature the same show as the first leg--with a few surprises.

"This tour is so big, we want to give people the chance to see it in person again. That's why we put the extension on the tour. There's stuff that happens every show that's different. Who knows what we'll come up with? We might throw another song in or something. Who knows?"

When the tour wraps up in December, 'NSync is going to take a break, during which the quintet will embark on "solo ventures," although not necessarily musical.

"I think when we say 'solo ventures,' they're all different types of things, like business ventures, Timberlake said. "Joey's filming something right now--I'm sorry, I don't know what it's called."

Lance Bass is also getting involved in film, while Kirkpatrick will bring his Fu.ManSkeeto <http://www.fumanskeeto.com> clothing line into Nordstrom stores the day after Thanksgiving. Timberlake said he wasn't sure what he was going to do.

"I'll probably just be writing some music, and I don't know, maybe I'll get into some on-screen stuff. Who knows? I'm crazy like that. I'll switch it on you."

It won't be that long of a vacation, however. 'NSync is planning to return to the studio in early 2001 to record the follow-up to its nine-times-platinum album "No Strings Attached."

"We haven't had a lot of time but we're doing a little bit of writing," Timberlake said. "... I think one of our main goals is that we all get at least 10 tracks submitted and just pick the best 12 or so from that big pile. We'll have the best pool of where the sound's going or where we feel the sound's going. 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."

Rabid fans who can't wait for the new album, however, will have "A Platinum Christmas," due out Nov. 14, which will feature holiday songs from a variety of acts including 'NSync and Britney Spears. Timberlake admitted he didn't know too much about his band's contribution, however.

"There's so many different [compilations]. The song is written by J.C. [Chasez of 'NSync]. ... It's called 'You Don't Have to Be Alone.' It's cool. It's a ballad. It's pretty."

One thing that Timberlake and Kirkpatrick don't find so pretty, however, is "Making the Band," the ABC television series about the boy band O-Town.

"What do we think about it? It's a piece of crap," Timberlake said. "It's scary to think that that O-Town show, that they're serious. I'm not dissing the boys on the show. God bless them. I'm almost positive that they don't have a clue what's going on, really.

"I kind of look back and see what we were like: We didn't know what was going on. I don't want to talk bad about anybody but I can't have faith in something that's done by a business partner that we've already had and who was not a very good business partner."