FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Larry King Live Interview (January 9, 2001) – Part 2
KING: We’re back with ‘N Sync. Why are you called a band since you don’t play instruments?
KIRKPATRICK: It’s all about the special effects.
KING: You mean I imagine the instrument?
BASS: We’re definitely a vocal group first.
KING: Yes, but you’re called a band: band of the year, band of the hour.
TIMBERLAKE: I don’t know. We called ourselves — we call ourselves a vocal group.
KING: A vocal group. And the dancing? Were all of you good dancers?
Lance, you had to learn?
BASS: No. I had to learn.
KING: Was it hard?
BASS: It was. I mean, but we — we would dance every day…
BASS: Yes, hours a day we had this warehouse that was like a 110 degrees in Orlando, and the year before we had a record deal, we would just, you know, work every day, you know, just sweating and…
TIMBERLAKE: I think the whole dancing thing came into play when we decided to do a video demo to send out to record companies. We said, well, we just can’t stand on the stage, and saying we should give them a show. So, that’s where the choreography came in, and we got some choreographers that JC and I had worked with on the Mickey Mouse Club.
KING: So you are choreographed, right?
KIRKPATRICK: Well, we play instruments, too, though. I mean, you know, when we do a lot of the writing for the album, we do it, you know, on the keyboards, on the guitar. I actually have worked on turntables and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and a lot of different things that we all incorporate, we have incorporated into our shows. And it’s just that in the show, we don’t pick up…
KING: But when we think band, we think…
OK, Joey, you’re huge hits overseas, you come home and nobody knows you. How did they finally know you here?
FATONE: Wow. Well, when we — after we were with RCA for a while — we were in Germany — and then we went over to RCA in the States, because in Germany we were with Munich BMG. So when we did that, put out a video, and we actually had a redo “I Want You Back” because it was so old and we were so, you know, doing stuff in Germany (TIMBERLAKE: It’s so different.) over there.
And it was like slowly people started to just be like, “Oh, OK, that’s ‘N Sync, it’s great,” and it slowly started building up…
KING: There was no boom?
FATONE: Well, the Disney Channel. We did a show on a Disney special.
TIMBERLAKE: We also got a big a boost from radio, too. We got some good radio…
KING: They played a lot…
TIMBERLAKE: … airtime for the first single.
KING: What was the biggest hit initially at the start?
FATONE: The first thing was…
KIRKPATRICK: “Tearin’ Up My Heart” was — it hit big. But like we said, it was definitely the Disney special.
KING: And what was it like for you, frankly — let’s go around. What was it like for you, Lance, to be suddenly phenomenal?
BASS: I don’t know. I mean, we — to us, it’s been the same, you know, from day one. I mean, things have changed as it’s gotten bigger, but I think, you know, since we’ve stayed the same and we surround ourselves with such great people, and you know, such great — we come from such great families that…
KING: You’re all close to mothers and everything…
BASS: Yes, you know, we’re very…
KING: But how about, JC…
KIRKPATRICK: My mom’s here.
KING: JC — your mom is here. How about adoration, dealing with that? I mean, all these girls?
CHASEZ: Well, I mean, we appreciate it, I mean, because we know what it’s like to not have it, and we’re thankful for it, that’s for sure.
KING: Look at this. Look at this
KING: Why do you think you bring this out?
CHASEZ: Well, I think the one thing that’s great that we bring is we bring a good time with us. It’s like when people want to go somewhere, forget about everything that they’re doing in their every day lives or whatever, when they come to a concert, we give them a solid two hours of take your mind off of everything. Don’t worry about whatever problems you had earlier that day, come to the show, scream your head off, get rid of every piece of energy that you have in your body, go home and sleep great.
KING: And why, Justin, girls?
KING: Why so many girls, do you think?
TIMBERLAKE: Why not?
KING: Good way to look at it, Justin. I mean, why does — it is a kind of a phenomena, isn’t it?
TIMBERLAKE: Yes, I don’t think — that’s something I really wouldn’t know how to analyze.
KING: Do you enjoy it?
TIMBERLAKE: Of course. You wouldn’t enjoy like millions of girls screaming “Larry, Larry, Larry”?
You’re onto something there.
KING: Yes, the nursing home!
What do you enjoy most about it, Joey?
FATONE: Traveling, I think, for me. I mean…
KING: You like traveling?
FATONE: I like traveling, love traveling. I think, for all of us, I think it’s everything, from the creative of recording to the creative of bringing the videos, things doing on stage, touring, choreography, doing the promotion, you know, everything.
KING: Are you really all good friends?
KIRKPATRICK: We’re like best friends.
KING: You hang out together?
KIRKPATRICK: We started out as best friends, and you know, I think it shows — it shows in everything we do. From when we’re on stage, when we’re clowning around, we do like so many shows that each show is so different because of the interaction amongst each other. And we’ll goof around with each other. We do little things to each other on stage that a lot of people that come to a lot of the different shows go, oh, that’s funny, or I know he’s messing with him there. And it’s just, I think, when we start as friends and we’ve grown as a group…
KING: Because some groups, you know, historically haven’t liked each other.
TIMBERLAKE: Well, the chemistry we have is unreal. I can’t tell you, you know even with this tour last summer, I could just look at Chris and it could say 10 things at the same time, and he would know exactly what I meant just by looking at him, because we’ve been together, you know, even before everything took off, we were together, some of us working 9:00 to 5:00. But every day, singing, and you know, trying to get our act together. So…
KING: This ties with the family. JC, did you always have your mother’s approval?
CHASEZ: Actually, my mom — my family’s been an amazing support for me. Really, my mom brought it to my attention the whole show business thing in the first place.
KING: She did — she wanted you to do it.
CHASEZ: I was doing — yes, I was doing like talent shows and stuff like that for fun with friends back home, but she was the one who said, you know…
KING: Did you do like “Star Search” or something?
CHASEZ: … if you really want to try it…
KIRKPATRICK: No, he did “Star Search.”
TIMBERLAKE: I did “Star Search,” yes.
KING: Did you win?
TIMBERLAKE: No. Lost the first round.
KIRKPATRICK: We saw Ed McMahon last night, too. We were going to get him.
KING: First round?
TIMBERLAKE: He owes me $10 million. If you’re out there…
KING: You’ll never make it…
TIMBERLAKE: … it never showed up.
KING: If you lose on “Star Search,” you’ll never make it.
TIMBERLAKE: Yes, of course, there you go.
KING: Your mother very — well, your mother’s here with you, right?
TIMBERLAKE: Yes, she’s always been very supportive. She always — she always did. And I think with all of our parents, they always said, you know, if it’s not fun, don’t do it.
BASS: My family’s been there, you know, throughout the whole thing. It was hard for me, because I had to leave, you know, my high school, going from Mississippi, and I had to leave them for a few months just to, you know, go do this group. So it was very hard on them and…
KING: They didn’t say to you what are you doing here with some pop group? What are you doing with your hair?
BASS: Well, you know, they — they were just nice support. You know, we would talk about it, and you know, it was a very hard thing.
I mean, I could imagine if, you know, if my kids, you know, would do that, I don’t know what I sound like. Are you crazy? But they were very supportive.
TIMBERLAKE: Yes, me and Lance came from some small towns. I think Chris did, too.
KING: I’ll get to Chris in a minute. Joey, you’re from Bensonhurst.
KING: In fact, Joey grew up — I grew up at 2136 83rd Street. Joey grew up at 2140 84th Street, one block away.
FATONE: That’s right.
KING: So we know the neighborhood.
KING: Do your parents…
FATONE: Oh, yes. My dad used to sing in a group, old ’50s group kind of — ’50s and ’60s — called the Orions. So, that’s how we got influenced by listening to ’50s duop. And he was always supportive, always trying to do something creative.
KING: So they encouraged you?
FATONE: Oh, yes.
KING: And Chris, your mom?
KIRKPATRICK: My mom’s been real supportive. She’s been — you know, we grew up kind of very underprivileged, so…
KING: She was very young when you were born?
KIRKPATRICK: She was 16, yes. She had me when I was 16.
KING: Did you know your father?
KIRKPATRICK: Yes, I know him.
KING: But they’re not together?
KIRKPATRICK: No, they’re not together now. But yes, she’s always been — I mean, she’s basically been the backbone in the family. You know, she had to raise me and my four sisters younger than me. So you know, growing up, she was always like just do — do what makes you happy, like Justin said.
KING: Do all your parents go watch you work?
BASS: Oh, yes.
KING: A lot?
TIMBERLAKE: They enjoy it.
KING: They enjoy it?
BASS: Whenever we want to bring them out on the road. They get tired a lot. I know — like when we bring our friends and family on the road, they’re like “How do you do this?” You know, they spend like three days and they have to go take a week off.
KING: Over the weekend, they won the People’s Choice Award for favorite group or band. They are ‘N Sync. They’re our guests for the full hour. We’ll be including your phone calls. More after this.