Making that Musical Transition from boys to men can be tricky. Thus far the members of ‘N Sync appear to be making this leap with remarkable success. Their second album, No Strings Attached, sold a record-breaking 2.4 million units in its first week of release this spring. Things haven’t slowed down that much since then, either, with nonstop touring (another leg of shows was to begin in November). Recently, ‘N Sync’s Justin Timberlake and Chris Kirkpatrick took a few minutes from making the music they call “dirty pop” to discuss their year of living massively.
What’s the best thing that happened to you in 2000?
Justin: We’ve gone from just another one of those other groups to ‘N Sync. I just think it’s the year we showed everybody that we’re musical, that we’re not just poster boys. Before this year, everybody kind of saw us as one of those groups, and I think we definitely made our point – we’re doing our thing. Hopefully we can bring out another album, maybe next year, and do it all over again.
Chris: The first-week sales of the album, coming out of the chute so quick. We weren’t expecting that kind of response right off the bat.
Now that you’ve achieved world domination, what are your plans and goals for 2001?
Justin: We’re going to go back into the studio in January and February to see what we can start cooking up, and we’ll take it from there. We’re at a place now where we’re comfortable, and now it’s just about taking our time, going into the studio and making quality stuff for our audience.
Clearly things are going great for the group, but is anything disappointing about this past year?
Justin: I’m glad that we haven’t become really jaded, because we’ve been screwed over a lot of times as far as the business goes. But, really, I can’t complain. We’ve got a hit record and it’s at the top of the charts, so I can’t sit here and bitch and moan about anything that’s going on right now. You get some bumps and bruises when you go on the road and, you know, you meet people you wish you hadn’t met, but then you also meet people you’re glad you met.
What’s one secret fantasy you have for the coming year?
Justin: To get some sleep. No. I think it would be fun to work with some other artists, like maybe Stevie Wonder or Brian McKnight or somebody like that.
Chris: D’Angelo and The Nutty Professor soundtrack.
What’s the best thing you read this year?
Justin: You mean like a book?
A book, a magazine, anything.
Justin: One of my friends turned me onto Conversations With God. I thought that had a lot to say.
And what’s the one thing you’re going to change in the next year?
Chris: Um, my underwear?
Finally, anything you want to say to your older fans?
Justin: Yeah. Thanks for thinking we don’t suck.
This story is from the December 14th, 2000 issue of Rolling Stone.