Nick Lachey calls from the Bahamas where he’s taking some time off before he and the rest of 98 Degrees join Dream, Ryan Cabrera and O-Town for this summer's late'90s pop reunion, dubbed the My2k Tour. The now 42-year-old has since started a family with wife Vanessa Minnillo and settled nicely into the role of sometimes solo artist/reality TV regular/potential pot farm proprietor, should Ohio finally get it together. While no longer a full-time boy bander, Lachey says he and the guys have been looking for the right opportunity to tour again following 2013's Package tour with New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men.
Now that the illusion of being an innocent boy band is lifted, is touring any different for you guys?
None of us are in the same place that we were [when we started] then and our fans are not in the same place they were then either. It’s fun to relive those moments from the '90s and 2000’s that represent special times in our lives because music takes you back. You hear a song again and it immediately takes you back to the place you were the first time you heard it or a special moment in your life. We’ve been really luck because a lot of our songs have been a part of peoples’ weddings and so on and so forth. That’s the cool part of a tour like this; it’s a chance to walk down memory lane.
“I Do” was such a big wedding song the year it came out. What’s it like knowing you were part of so many couples’ wedding days?
That’s someone’s most special day — that and the day your kids are born. Those should be the most important days of your life. There’s no greater honor than hearing that “I Do” was someone’s wedding song. You can’t get a bigger compliment than that.
You were such a big part of the early stages of reality TV with “Newlyweds,” and you’ve be able to stay within the medium throughout your career. Is there anything about that form of entertainment that keep you coming back?
The ironic thing about my first step into reality TV was that — not a lot of people know this —but “Newlyweds” was supposed to be a vehicle for [then wife Jessica Simpson] and I to promote our albums. We both had records that were coming out. No one, including us, ever anticipated it becoming a hit and getting multiple seasons. So we got, kind of by accident, thrust into the reality TV world.
I think the cool thing about it is that it does give people a chance to get to know you and hopefully like you for who you are. I don’t know if there’s anything intentional about [my participation], but it’s been a part of my career and life since then. On the flip side, I think I learned a lot about [reality TV] and don’t think I would necessarily do that type of show again. [Laughs] But for better or worse it’s a part of my life, and you learn the good and the bad and the ugly from doing it.
Are there any plans for 98 Degrees to release new music?
We’re not doing any new music in terms of a new album, but we’ll be on a tour bus for eight weeks straight and you get the tendency to start writing when you get together. It’s the natural thing that happens. I’d be shocked if we didn’t come out of this with new music. But right now we’re focusing on getting the creative and staging of the tour worked out.
All these years later do you think you guys still have the moves?
Well some people would argue that we never had the moves, so we have nowhere to go but up!