I‘d love to have a multiplatinum record,” says ‘NSync’s JC Chasez. “Get my name up there. Make my mark on the world.” Oddly, a year ago, Chasez didn’t want to go anywhere near a recording studio. While ‘NSync were on hiatus — to accommodate Justin Timberlake’s solo debut album, among other things — Chasez planned to vacation, and perhaps pursue acting. But he got sucked back into the studio by eager producers, including BT and Dallas Austin. “I did one song for fun,” Chasez, 27, says of “Some Girls (Dance With Women),” which soon became a club hit. “Everybody was like, ‘You gotta do a record!'” That record, Schizophrenic, reflects his eclectic influences, from Gary Numan to Stevie Wonder. “I have my own sound,” he says from his pad in Miami. “I play it for people and they say, ‘Yo, this is different!’ “
What’s the first instrument you ever played?
My mom got me a cheap Yamaha nylon-string guitar when I was, like, ten. My grandfather played piano, and we’d sit around the house singing songs — country music and church hymns. Nowadays I don’t run crazy-mad solos, but I can play tunes and write.
What do you like to play along with?
I can play a lot off Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales and anything from the first three Lenny [Kravitz] records or the first two Seal records. That’s where I learned everything.
Where on earth did the song “All Day Long I Dream About Sex” come from?
[Laughs] It definitely crosses my mind quite a few times a day — I can’t help it. It was two o’clock in the morning — I actually have a studio in a house that I stay in, in Los Angeles — we’d just finished a song, and I said, “We need to come up with something obnoxious. We need an anthem!” So we made this cool Gary Numan synthesizer line and basic beat, and it just blew out.
What artists do you listen to when you’re having sex, as opposed to making love?
For the love thing, you can’t go wrong with a good Sade record. And you can’t have better sex than to a Prince record — “Let’s Go Crazy” or “Darling Nikki.” Anything dirty.
When you go dancing, do you eat a lot of Ecstasy?
No, no, no. Never tried it. I’m terrified. Anything with chemicals really scares me.
What’s the best song you’ve heard recently on a dance floor?
I was down here for New Year’s, and the coolest mix I heard all night was “Say Say Say,” by Michael Jackson and Pual McCartney. The DJ found a way to mix it into a hip-hop set, and I just lost my mind. People sleep on that song, but it’s one of Michael’s best performances.
What are your three favorite records from the Eighties?
Duran Duran, with “Girls on Film.” The Police’s Synchronicity. And Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill was one of the first cassettes I bought with my own money, and I drove my parents nuts blastin’ “Brass Monkey.”
Which artist could break ‘NSync’s opening-week record of 2.4 million sales?
I don’t know if I see it happening, unless SoundScan starts including online purchases. Then I think it’s feasible. Eminem has a good shot — maybe even 50 Cent.
What’s the worst outfit you ever wore as an ‘NSync member?
Oh, dude, I can spot that one. The first time we went to the American Music Awards, we went in these spacesuits. It was the first time something was custom-made for us. I felt sexy. Everybody on the red carpet was like, “Those are really, um, interesting” [laughs].
Justin Timberlake said in Rolling Stone that Justified was better than anything by ‘NSync.
You’re always trying to up the bar on yourself. It’s probably his best performance and material because he’s pushed himself to get better. When we did Celebrity, he thought that was his best work.
Who will be the breakout Backstreet Boy?
Well, they’re already getting back together. They all settled down and became family men — half of them are married. But on talent alone, I’d say A.J. or Brian.
Didn’t you guys ever want to kick the shit out of each other?
No fights, sorry. What’s funny to me is that everybody wants us to fight. You didn’t see the Chili Peppers fighting STP when they were on tour. Or Matchbox Twenty fighting 3 Doors Down. But in the pop world, there’s only room for one, I guess.
Is there a song out there that you really hate?
[Long pause] I don’t know.
OK. I don’t want to hurt the kid’s feelings, but, dude, I can’t take another Clay Aiken record.