Nick Lachey was at the NBC party for the Television Critics Association in July. He’s competing in a new reality series, Stars Earn Stripes, where celebrities train with the military and go on missions. Lachey is already part of the NBC family for hosting The Sing-Off, their a cappella music competition which was cancelled after three seasons.
Perhaps the biggest Lachey news of late is the reunion of his boy band, 98 Degrees. That’s where I started with this interview, and moved a little into Stars Earn Stripes and The Sing-Off. Stars Earn Stripes premieres August 13 on NBC
Fanhattan: Is 98 Degrees doing new music or reuniting to do the hits?
Nick Lachey: Now we’re doing all music to begin. We’re going to do a reunion concert, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some new music imminently in the future.
Fanhattan: Did the NKOTBSB tour make that a reality for other groups?
Nick Lachey: Well, I guess there’s a certain argument to the whole strength in numbers thing. You see them go out and do that and have fun and have success, but we always said, “You know, we leave the door open on the reunion. We’ve never broken up. We’re just taking a break.” For us it was more about the timing being right, everyone’s schedule being in the right place and I think now we’re at the place where that’s actually starting to happen.
Fanhattan: Are your voices different now?
Nick Lachey: We’ve been in rehearsals a little bit and it seems like everyone’s right where they were 11 years ago. It’s ironic. No one looks that different, no one acts that different, no one sounds that different so it’s kind of a weird time capsule moment for us.
Fanhattan: Will you be doing “True to Your Heart” from Mulan?
Nick Lachey: [Laughs]
Fanhattan: You have to think about it.
Nick Lachey: You know what, it’s a great song in terms of what it meant to our careers, a great moment in our career working with a legend in Stevie Wonder and a company like Disney. It’s a hard song to pull off now because it’s such a dated song, but we do love the song and we know the fans love the song. I think we’ll find a way to work it in.
Fanhattan: Which songs are you looking forward to doing again?
Nick Lachey: “The Hardest Thing,” “Because of You,” “I Do,” the songs that people really say, and I hear 10-12 years later, “That was my wedding song” or “That was the song I met my husband to.” Those are the songs that meant something to people and they tend to be the songs you’re excited about doing again.
Fanhattan: Did having your own solo career affect the way you came back to the group?
Nick Lachey: No, I think it’s completely different. I was blessed to have a solo career there and that will continue, but it’s also exciting to come back to the group and revisit something that was so meaningful for all of us. Drew went on and did Dancing with the Stars. I went on and did some other stuff. Jeff, Justin, we all did but it all started with 98 Degrees so it’s cool to come back and do that again.
Fanhattan: How important is it as a performer to be seen in other mediums, like hosting a show, competing in Stars Earn Stripes?
Nick Lachey: Well, it’s fun. This is a show I believe in a lot. I believe in the mission of it and certainly believe in what the show is. It’s a great thing to be part of. I mean, you do those things because you believe in them. That doesn’t necessarily take anything away from the other things you do in life.
Fanhattan: I’m sad The Sing-Off isn’t coming back. How did you feel about that?
Nick Lachey: Man, like you, I was very sad. I loved it as a job but more importantly I loved it as a show. I loved being around those talented people every day and being part of that whole experience, so I was bummed when I heard it wasn’t coming back.
Fanhattan: I’m following Delilah on Twitter from that and I hope they stay together and make music.
Nick Lachey: Yeah, you know I’ve lost track of those girls. I do too. They were great. Amy specifically just has the most incredible voice, having seen her a couple different seasons on Sing-Off. That’s the thing. There’s so much talent that comes through that show, you just hate to see it go to waste in some capacity. So I hope they stick with it, all of them. Pentatonix is doing great. Their album’s incredible. They’re doing really well on iTunes so I hope it all continues.
Fanhattan: I was glad it was making harmonizing and melody cool again. I hope that doesn’t go away.
Nick Lachey: No, that’s the thing. This is real talent. These guys and girls were so talented, it’d be a shame to see any of that overlooked. I hope they all get the chance to keep performing together and doing what they do because they’re so great at what they do.
Fanhattan: What do you enjoy on TV?
Nick Lachey: I’m hooked on Breaking Bad. I’m part of this whole Breaking Bad fad. I love Breaking Bad. I caught a little bit of The Newsroom and not enough. I was on a plane and my connection wasn’t fast enough to keep up, but even the five-10 minutes I saw in the beginning of the pilot, I was like oh my God, this is my kind of show. So I’m going to be hooked on that I can tell you right now. I can’t wait for Homeland to come back. Love Game of Thrones. Love any sporting event known to man.
Fanhattan: Any favorites growing up?