98 Degrees Reveal the '90s Boy-Band Members They'd Recruit to Join the Group
The recording industry has certainly transformed since 98 Degrees came onto the scene 25 years ago, but one thing remains the same: “There’s still some great music being made,” Nick Lachey tells POPSUGAR. Ahead of a 98 Degrees reunion concert at all-inclusive resort Beaches Turks & Caicos in late August, the R&B group chat with POPSUGAR about nostalgia’s impact on their revival, all things ’90s boy bands, and what members Nick and Drew Lachey, Jeff Timmons, and Justin Jeffre have been up to since they first started adorning posters.
Last summer, the band released new music for the first time in eight years: an upbeat track called “Where Do You Wanna Go” that was “great for the moment.” “Everybody had been in lockdown for so long, and when things were opening back up, we thought the song was incredibly catchy and just represented fun,” Jeffre says. “Everybody was ready to get back out and have some fun.”
“The late ’90s, especially, was just a feel-good time for music.”
In fact, 98 Degrees credit society’s obsession with nostalgia for fueling the band’s recent music and staying power. “The late ’90s, especially, was just a feel-good time for music,” Nick says. “People are excited to take a little walk down memory lane to those times. It’s a little escapism from the wild world we’re living in right now, so we’re blessed to be a part of that and still come out and do those great songs years later.” The band continue to lean into that nostalgia, performing a medley of popular hits like the Backstreet Boys’s “I Want It That Way” and the Spice Girls’s “Wannabe” at their concert at Beaches, where *NSYNC, Hunter Hayes, Lee Brice, and more have performed.
As veterans, the band – who are set to introduce even more new music in early 2023 – have an important piece of advice for any up-and-coming musicians: stay humble. “Respect and be nice to everybody on the way up,” Nick tells POPSUGAR. “And if you’re lucky enough to have that rise, you never know when you’ll need those people on the way.” Timmons agrees, adding, “Keep creating and finding ways to invent yourself and stay relevant out there. Those kinds of things transcend time.”
98 Degrees also speak with reverence about other groups from their era. When asked who they would love to recruit from other ’90s boy bands to create a super boy band, the members have several picks, including Boyz II Men’s Wanyá Morris, *NSYNC’s Joey Fatone, the Backstreet Boys’s AJ McLean, and New Kids on the Block’s Joey McIntyre. “We’re friends with all of them now. It just depends on in what capacity we’re trying to fill that fifth spot, but they’d have to work for free because we’re not splitting five ways,” Drew jokes.