J.C. Chasez – Interview

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J.C. Chasez

J.C. Chasez solo release Schizophrenic, features 15 of the 16 songs he co-wrote. The production credit with Dallas Austin, Rockwilder and the Basement Jaxx. We interview him!

I’m wondering how this album is different than when you were with ‘N SYNC, and also if you can give us an update on when ‘N SYNC will get back together?

It’s just a whole different animal, this record. When you’re dealing with ‘N SYNC and everything like that, you’re dealing with a group vision and everything like that, and you’re dealing with a collaboration, five people instead of just one. So there’s always compromise involved in that, and this is just an uncompromising effort on my part on making a record. So it sounds totally different than what an ‘N SYNC record would sound like. The other part is the guys and I we’re always talking and stuff like that, and we talked about a timeline and when we’re going to start being creative. And we tell each other some time, either the late spring or some time we’ll just start passing ideas back and forth and kind of getting on that — into rhythm for that.

How was it different for you to perform the songs? And what is your tour going to be like?

Actually, it came naturally. I think the difference being its different material. I think if I have got up there and been onstage singing, “I Want You Back” or something like that, it would have been a little bit different, but because you I wrote the songs and I sang them top to bottom in the studio, it came natural, just to kind of hop out there and sing them top to bottom onstage. And so that part was pretty normal. As far as like the touring goes, the show is a little bit looser. I would say it’s not as choreographed as an ‘N SYNC show is.There’s still choreography and everything like that, and the energy is definitely high-energy. I didn’t choreographed every song in the show due to the fact that I wanted it to feel a little bit looser, and a little bit more intimate. The show is definitely different every night, the energy will be different every night. It’ll be a custom-made show every night, and that was important to me. I didn’t want to put on another ‘N SYNC show because it’s a different kind of record and it’s a different kind of show, and that’s it..

It’s terrific to go out on your own and to do something uncompromised, at the same time to you ever feel sort of phantom nerves, like, “Oh, I wish I had one of those guys to turn to”, either onstage or when you were recording the record that “Is this going to fall?” For you know, I see the going to succeed or file just on your shoulders.

I just made this record for me. I guess it was selfish of me to say that but I didn’t want to make another ‘N SYNC record. I just did it for pure fun. It was like I just had it inside me, wanted and just did it. I didn’t really begin terms of failing or anything like that; I just made a record because it was fun.

One of the things that have really thrown critics for loop is the collaboration with Basement Jacks, first on Plug It In and then with Shake It. Tell me how that came about, and has it been good for you to sort of get one up on the critics this time and surprise everyone?

I called my buddy BT, and he’s just like, “Well, I know some guys over there, they’re the Basement Jaxx. Have you heard of them?” And I was like, “Yes, I love their stuff”. He gave me the hookup, I basically rung them up and they were like, “Oh actually dude, we’re finishing up our record. We’re kind of like working on the last song today. And we’re in the studio, a way that you just at least pop by, you know? It’ll be a nice break”. So I shot over to the studio. I had a few demos in my bag. So they said, “Well, pop one in… So I sat in the booth for about an hour and [was] just singing different lines that I would kind of like make up in my head, and then I would write down a few lines that they thought were cool and then for another like half-hour they were just like, “All right, now we just want you to make as many weird noises as you possibly can.” We put these elements together and now we just need to make them flow.”

This is a really horny album. There was a lot of sex in there. I wanted you to talk about that, talk about, you know, the place you were coming from in doing these songs and also in the kind of landscape that’s changed as you know — since the Super Bowl. Do you anticipate any problems in that area?

I don’t know, I don’t see it that way. I mean there are a million records that have a million songs about sex on them and everything like that, and not every song on a record is about sex. You know, there are a few. The funny part is that’s just what people gravitated to. When I finished I had a lot more songs than what you hear on the record, obviously. But for some reason, when everybody would be listening to these songs, these are the songs that people gravitated to. Some of the greatest songs of all time are about have sexual innuendos in them as far back as Led Zeppelin going “I’ve Got a Whole Lot of Love.” “Every Inch of My Love.”

I was wondering which song was the most liberating for you to write and why?

The most liberating? I guess they were all you know pretty cool in their own right. You know, one of the funnest ones was “All Day Long I Dream about Sex.” It’s just — it’s obnoxious and that’s what I like about it. It’s like — it’s almost like an anthem. I haven’t heard an anthem from anybody in a longtime, and you know, it’s almost like taking the Queen approach to making a record, just loud chanting, right in your face, you know, it’s an old school approach.

How does the album represent your maturity as a musician?

I don’t know about maturity. It’s pretty silly, but I do feel like it’s an advance musically for me. Again, it’s just not an overly formatted record and you know it wasn’t like I was going after one sound because I thought that that was going to turn it into a hit record. I just did music and I pushed myself you know in whatever direction I felt was necessary and I explored it to the fullest each direction. If I was going with an idea I didn’t try and transform it into a pop idea I would just push that idea as far as it would go in that — in whatever direction it was headed. And that really opened up the floodgates for some cool musical ideas and I guess maybe anyway — in anyway. To me, maybe that shows some maturity, is really just not holding back or not limiting some of the ideas to trying to fit them into a pop realm or whatever. I was actually open-minded enough to really push the record in — let it go in its own direction and to make it the best record that it could be like going that way about it.

Do you feel any pressure with the release of the album and especially in light of the fact that Justin’s solo album did so well?

Well, I mean Justin is a Grammy Award-winning now and he’s a superstar. There’s no question about it. You know, my goal with this record is just you know to have a successful record and at the end of the day I can only do what I do. I feel like I made a really good record and I’m proud of what I’ve done. Right now, I don’t know, the pressures kind of more on you know the record company to kind of just create the awareness at this point. Again, I can only just do what I do. And I’m proud of what I’ve done with this record.

People have mentioned before the lyrics are a little bit saucy and maybe a little bit more adult, and Justin has had great success sort of translating his music to a more adult audience. Do you have any concerns that people who think that they don’t like ‘N SYNC might, you know, sort of write you off right away? And conversely, do you have any concerns about maybe alienating the ‘N SYNC audience?

You know what, I’ll be honest with you, maybe it’s selfish to say, but I didn’t really think about that when I made the record. To me a good song is a good song across the board and it doesn’t matter what the content I guess, as long as the song is written well and it’s good music. The melody is great, you know, and it tells a great story. A good song is a good song, and it’ll prevail. I didn’t really cater my record to ‘N SYNC fans, and you know I’m not worried about being alienated because I was in ‘N SYNC.

How would you define I guess the state of pop now?

I think it’s in a great place. Obviously, Justin has shown that. It’s not maybe — pop isn’t maybe as popular as it was, you know, three or four years ago, but you know, pop will always be around and pop — you know, it’s like even when the market has shifted to where one style of music is more popular than pop, pop will always be around. There will always be need for that kind of energy and you know I think it’s great because at this point I feel like I’ve got a really — I’ve got a great pop record in my lap, so yes, that’s it.

Is there a reason behind the title of the album?

I didn’t have a title for the record before I’d finished the record. I basically had to sit back and after I put this collection of material together I was just like how does this all fit together? You know? And I just — you know, when I was thinking about it, it was just like every song really just has its own life, its own personality, and they’re really different from each other. And you know whenever you hear about like people with schizophrenia; it’s just — you know, that’s just what it is. You know, they’re just two totally different personalities, and so that’s how the title came about.

We’ve all been very serious talking about the record, and you keep talking about how fun it was. And I’m guessing that you’re hoping that people will see the humor on the record, and I wanted to know to that end are you in fact silky like in Milky Way?

In fact, I am. It’s funny man, again, the reason I say it was fun to make, — I mean and it was fun to make, but you know when they hear all these titles and everything like that, it’s not like I’m taking myself seriously when I’m singing All Day Long I Dream about Sex. You know, people are going to come up to me, “Do you really dreamed about sex all day long?” I mean give me a break, you know? So yes, I mean I definitely have fun with it. Some of the songs were a goof, but you know, that’s what’s great about them and some of the songs are serious, but you know it’s just the way — that’s just the way it goes.

In the past year, a lot of performers have resorted to publicity stunts that sort of bring more attention to themselves than their actual music. What do you think of these stunts? And could you ever see your self resorting to something like that?

You know what, some of it’s OK and some of it’s not. I mean you know obviously you know naked flesh you know during a halftime show, you know, you know you’ve got families watching, it’s network television, you know, it’s not the right time and place. You really — you know? But then again, the Britney and Madonna kiss is, to me, — I was like, you know what? Why not.

+ Charlie Craine

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