O-Town – Interview [2002]

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How’s the tour so far?

It’s going awesome. Right now we’re out with Britney, which has been an overwhelming experience. We’ve gotten to perform for a lot of people who have never seen us perform before and for people who are used to seeing edited television. That has done wonders for us, being able to showcase our talent like that.

The new season of Making The Band is coming up. Have you gotten a chance to see any of the episodes after they had been edited?

No. (laughs) We know what we are doing, it’s just going to be interesting to see how they put it all together.

Do you feel that the last season of the show portrayed everything pretty accurately?

In general, yes. They do portray everything accurately. I just think that the problem is that there are so many hours of footage condensed into one twenty-two-minute episode and you are only showing pieces of what has happened. So it is only pieces of the story, and any time that you only show pieces there are going to be things that are left out. So we also watch it and wished that they could of showed this or that. People just need to remember when they are watching it that it is just selected truth.

Do you think having the show air on Mtv this season will be better for the group?

I feel that Mtv will be the best audience for Making The Band. This season is going to be geared toward the music, toward the evolution of our group and how we are going to the next level. The first episode was the audition, but now I think is the most dramatic point in our career. Now we have an album out, we have had songs on the radio, and the second album is like the sophomore jinx. You need to overcome that if you are going to be a long-term artist. And that is really scary. We are just writing for the second album and just plugging away at it every day and that pretty much is what the second season is.

You seem to now have a little more control over your career. Has that helped with the writing and the second season?

I think that every single show we do gives us more credibility, not only with the people we work with but audiences as well. We came into circumstances that were already set up with no control. Now with this season we have creative control as well as approval, which we never had. They would just air stuff sometimes. Now we have approval. We can now watch an episode before it airs and say, ‘Let’s change this,’ if it is something that we don’t like.

What comes to mind when I say Lou Pearlman?

I honestly don’t have any hard feeling towards Lou. I’m glad that we didn’t sign the same agreement with him that everyone else did and I think people mistake Lou for our manager and he never was. He wanted to be. He gave us the agreement but we never signed it. We made a smart decision and we didn’t sign it. We give him credit for doing what he did. He went out on the road and went through all of those auditions to find us.

Right now you are on the third single from the album. Do you think people are finally looking at O-Town for its music instead of O-Town the entertainment package that was on television?

Yes and no. I think the critics especially will always focus on the fact that we came together on television. It is very unique and we accept that. We embrace that because we were five guys who were trying to break into the music business and who wouldn’t? Every group would love to have their own tv show. We’re trying to change people’s minds in a sense that there are a lot of stereotypes about us that aren’t true. Come see us live and see what it all boils down to, which is the music and the talent.

Is the music business everything that you thought it would be?

It’s a lot more. It is what I thought it would be and it isn’t and it’s a lot more than I thought it would be. It’s a weird world. It’s full of a lot of surprises and things that you didn’t know. There are also a lot of expectations that don’t get met and some do. But I think the biggest thing is just the experience for us right now. It has been almost two years since this whole thing started and I think that it shows. We look more experienced now. Where in the beginning, coming into this whole thing, we had no idea. The music industry, I love it but it’s definitely very unexpected.

Do you talk to any of the guys that didn’t make the band?

Yes. Actually me and Trevor went to New York and Brian, Mike, and Ikika were out there and went out to Thanksgiving at their house and it was cool. Really, I am glad that Ikika left when he did because it would have caused more problems if he stayed. And the fact that we did get Dan, which I feel is meant to be. I don’t feel we became O-Town until that happened. No hard feeling with the guys that didn’t make it.

Do you have any other plans, such as acting?

We all have things we would like to do. I definitely am an actor and I know I will act. But now the focus is us. It’s hard because we do have individual things and aspirations and places where we will go, but not until we build this. We have had some success, but we do not feel as if we have arrived or that this is it. I think we have a real humble approach where we want to do so much more. I think we are just taking everything in stride. We pretty much keep each other in check.

Any hints you can drop for the new season of Making The Band?

The new season will showcase a lot of the songs that I’ve written for the album. But one of the big dramas is can we get our own songs on an album? Because it is a difficult thing to do when you consider that there are number one songwriters out there who say, ‘Hey, we wrote this for O-Town,’ and they send it out to Clive Davis and they compare it to something that we wrote. It has to be just as good to make the album.

Anything you need to say to the fans?

You think you know, but you have no idea. And I love you guys.

+ sam conjerti

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