'N Sync has long talked about taking its act to the silver screen; the quintet even went to Cannes this year to promote its movie career. The only question that remained was which project the boys were going to pursue. It looks like they may have decided at last.
"Most likely, it's Grease 3," Lance Bass said in a teleconference today that also included his fellow 'N Sync mates J.C. Chasez and Joey Fatone.
"Everything just got put on hold because of the [Screen Actors Guild] strike, which was just very bad timing for us. We're going ahead and getting the script written. It's a go from the studios, and we just got to wait until the strike is over, and then we can start filming."
The group didn't detail which of the band's members would serve as the movie's male lead or who would be tapped to play opposite him. (Britney Spears, 'N Sync member Justin Timberlake's main squeeze, has also been rumored to be attached to Grease 3.) "I guess it'll be an ensemble," Fatone said.
"It'll definitely be more written for a group," Bass added. "We've got a great cast in mind right now."
Despite all the talk of a new endeavor, 'N Sync is not ready to say "Bye Bye Bye" to the concert stage just yet. The quintet is about to embark on a 31-date string of shows, part of its long-running "No Strings Attached" tour, which kicks off in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 17. Fans shouldn't look for any new wrinkles in the show (which has already sold out its entire run), just the same scream-inducing mix of pop songs, choreography, and special effects.
"We're actually going to keep it the same as of right now, due to the fact that there are actually certain cities, a bunch of places that we have not hit yet," Chasez said. "So people that never got the chance to see it yet are actually going to get a chance to see it. If anything, maybe towards the end of [the tour] we might throw a Christmas song in, but we're not even sure if we're going to do that. For the most part, yeah, it's just the 'No Strings Attached' tour."
The members of the band also addressed such things as their ongoing rivalry with the Backstreet Boys (Chasez doesn't see it as a competition but does think it makes both groups work harder and do positive things), the media and fans prying into their private lives (surprise, they don't like it), and the still-controversial use of taped backing vocals at their shows.
"We never use them on the lead vocals," Chasez insisted. "Sometimes we might use them on the background a bit. We never use them for a cappellas. For the dance numbers, sometimes we use them in the fast songs, yeah. But that's not what rides in the forefront. Everybody wants to hear how the song itself and the leads and everything like that [sound], and those are always live."
"When you're performing, you do get sort of winded, as far as doing background vocals, since you're dancing so much," Fatone said. "The good thing about it is, if all else fails, we can sing the background vocals, you know what I'm saying? It's not a big help to us, but it does at least give us a little backing so [the sound is] a lot fuller and a lot thicker."
If 'N Sync has any spare time these days, it's spent thinking about its next album, which it hopes to finish by February. At this point, the band is still mulling over potential producers to work with and claim that it's likely that Chasez and Timberlake will take a greater hand in shaping the record's direction.
"We're definitely getting into that side of it more," Bass said. "There's been several people we've been talking about. Maybe getting with She'kspere again, Timbaland, Missy [Elliott]. Even Richard Marx would be great to work with again."
Even before that, the group is planning to do a song for the country market — Bass declined to disclose who it will work with on it but said that the band has narrowed it down to "a couple of artists" — and will continue to seek out new venues for its music, like the Latin Grammy Awards, which it played last month.
"We just want to prove that music is music," Bass said.
"We want to challenge ourselves," Chasez added. "Music, it's fun. It's a journey, and I don't think that any artist likes just one kind of music. They're usually very creative people and they like a little bit of everything. There's part of them that wishes that maybe they could do this, that, and the other, and we've just been lucky enough to push the boundaries and do it, instead of wondering about it."