Digital Get Downs, Memes and Y2K’s Joyride: *NSYNC’s JC Chasez Reflects on 20 Years of ‘No Strings Attached’

<p>JC Chasez of *NYSNC circa 2000. </p>

Y2K’s apocalyptic frenzy signaled a shift where pop singers became more defiant in taking risks with digitized sounds — from Aaliyah going full futuristic acid-rap fusion on “Try Again” to Britney Spearsturbo driving her dance-pop into outer space with “Oops!… I Did It Again.”

*NSYNC was one of the sonic spaceship’s main navigators, thanks to the group’s sophomore album, No Strings Attached. The album (which turned 20 on March 21) saw the quintet transitioning from the thumping, Swedish synth-heavy jock jams of 1998’s self-titled album to exploring their urban influences. The end result? Millennial interpretations of New Jack Swing, and staccato rap-adjacent flows that were previously made mainstream by Destiny’s Child and TLC.

Helping to lead the charge was JC Chasez who, along with fellow *NSYNC lead vocalist Justin Timberlake, earned his first official album credits on No Strings Attached. He stretched his talents to co-write and co-produce four songs, with assistance from songwriter Veit Renn and production duo Riprock ‘n’ Alex G: “Space Cowboy (Yippie-Yi-Yay)” featuring Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes,” “Digital Get Down,” “Bringin’ da Noise,” and the title track.

“From a business standpoint, this is exactly when we became far more involved and took control,” Chasez tells Billboard, as *NSYNC had to delay the album’s original fall 1999 release due to a messy legal battle with former manager Lou Pearlman. “We always had our opinions about our music and tried to be open-minded. We recorded songs that we don’t love and ones that we do, and that’s just a part of the experimental process.”

That experimentation led to immediate success. It made history as the first album to sell over 2 million copies within its first week of release (a record later broken by Adele with 2015’s 25), and birthed three top five singles (“Bye Bye Bye,” “It’s Gonna Be Me” — which topped the Hot 100 for two weeks — and “This I Promise You”). In 2001, it also earned a Grammy nomination for best pop vocal album.

Below, JC Chasez speaks to Billboardabout the stories behind the songs he helped curate, the legacy that No Strings Attached leaves behind, and what he really thinks about the boy band’s eyebrow-raising tour outfits. The conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

No Strings Attached is a lot more R&B-inspired compared to *NSYNC. Was that intentional?

We were raised in the States, and at the time, music had more urban influences — even before our first record came out. I think what happened — and this could be just me taking a shot in the dark — we moved to Europe to record our first album. And you’re a product of your environment. You get excited about things that people around you are excited about, so we were actually opening our minds up to something new at that point. We were in the middle of it, so we took on those [Swedish] influences. For the No Strings Attached record, we came back home and essentially called upon those influences inside of ourselves that were always there. We were just in the environment to allow those things to flourish. It happens naturally.

Did you guys draw from any specific inspirations?

I think the main thing when we were working on songs was we wanted it to translate live — we always saw the song live in our mind. We knew that it had to be theatrical in a way, because that’s the most fun to see. And we were very passionate about our shows. So as we were recording songs, we’d think “It would be cool if we did this and the crowd reacted this way” or “Everyone can sing this part.” We were conscious of our audience.

Can you recall any particular fun stories while you all were recording?

When you’re in it, you don’t think it’s crazy at the time. But then people look back at you and say, “Y’all were nuts!” [Laughs.] I didn’t even think of it that way. But because “It’s Gonna Be Me” has become a meme for the month of May, it was interesting when we cut that record. It was actually a very conscious choice to say it that way, because we wanted it to really punch.

For certain words, we bent the pronunciation. We were hitting the L’s hard on “lose.” Instead of saying, “You don’t wanna lose” — which would be kind of boring — we’d be like “You don’t wanna NLUUSE.” But when you’re listening to someone in the studio singing it that way, at first you’re like, “What is wrong with you?” But you have to dig and hit these different shapes of consonants and vowels to give them energy. Instead of saying, “It’s gonna be ME” we said “ET’S GONNA BAY MAY!” for it to hit harder.

Those conscious choices sound funny from the outside, but when it all comes together it sounds amazing. There weren’t memes back then, but we knew it needed to be more.

What was the decision behind getting more involved in writing and producing with Riprock ‘n’ Alex G?

I always wanted to be involved, and even in the beginning I had written some of the demos we shopped our [record] deal with. When we got signed, we moved to Europe to record and it was a bit of a fish-out-of-water [experience]. I was recording on kind of an amateur level with my production and writing skills at the time. When you’re put out into the world, you need to develop those skills and need to be around other high-level musicians.

So the first album was a great learning experience for me, to be around all these writers and producers. I acted like a sponge and learned as much as I could inthe process while still being myself and giving my point of view on my vocals. By the time the second record came around, I felt I had learned a bit and wanted to use that knowledge.

Riprock ‘n’ Alex G were producers in their own right who came together as remixers. They remixed a couple of our tracks. One day, we were working in different rooms in a studio and we started talking and exchanging ideas. We became friendly, and before you know it, we were working together. It was a very easy working relationship and friendship.

I want to get into the songs that you personally worked on, starting with “Space Cowboy.” Were you all in the studio when Left Eye recorded her verse?

Yeah, she was a really kind person. I went down to Atlanta to cut that record at Dallas Austin’s studio and she had people that she liked to work with. So I met that whole team — it wasn’t like a huge entourage. TLC was the girl group, and they were people that I listened to. So I was excited just to have the chance to work with her.

The song really encapsulates that signature Y2K sound. Did you guys feel that paranoia during that time?

Look, the song was written for that purpose. Some songs you want to be timeless, and others you speak about the time. And this was absolutely one of those songs where I had the opportunity to do so. I wanted it to be entertaining and fun, and also a bit interesting to capture that moment. Luckily it came out the way I wanted, which was exciting.

I always thought you had one of the more powerful vocals within the pop sphere at the time, and your voice really shines on the title track.

That’s very nice of you to say. I guess I got the chance to sing loud and aggressively. [Laughs.] That was the whole point of it. I was thinking in terms of how it would inject energy into the record and into a room full of people.

“Digital Get Down” always stood out to me with the way you guys thematically pushed your sexual limits. Were you wary of that?

It was just an instinct. It was kind of like, “Look man, this is gonna happen. We can either shy away from it or go right at it.”[Laughs.] As an artist, I don’t think you should be running from yourself. You can’t be afraid of everything. The sound of the song gave it a tapestry that maybe was less offensive. It was more of us making it dance-y, and it won’t be as intrusive as if we did it slow and sexy, and really put it in somebody’s face. We made it fun, but still got our point across.

Oh the point was definitely made! Can you confirm if the song is really about cybersex?

I don’t know if “cybersex” is the exact term that I would use. I would say it’s using a digital construct to flirt. It can be as explicit as you want it to be, but it’s essentially putting away your inhibitions and sharing something through the digital stream.

“Bringin’ da Noise” is definitely more of what we expected from *NSYNC with its synth-y, Europop sound.

Originally, I think something came up about a movie soundtrack. So I started there with [the song]. The soundtrack went away, so the thinking was to just go all the way with it — because to me, it’s kind of like the little brother to “Here We Go” on the first album. Putting it on the album made for a bit of continuity, because we were pushing for some of the songs to be different from the last record. But you don’t want to leave your entire fanbase by just making something so different that they can’t connect with any of it. So we thought, “Hey if you liked the first record, here’s something that’s still living in that vein.”

Were there songs that came easier than others? Or was the process a bit challenging since this was the first time your pen could really shine?

I wasn’t worried about my pen shining, I was just hoping that my songs were good enough. With every artist, you believe in these songs yourself, but you never know how people are going to accept them or not. But the song that was the most difficult yet the easiest at the same time was “No Strings Attached.” The chorus was what I wrote first, but I didn’t have the line “no strings attached” at the end of it — it was something totally terrible.

So I never laid down the track because it wasn’t really going anywhere. Then all of a sudden, when we came up with the album title, I now had the “No Strings Attached” concept in my mind every day. I revisited the old song and thought, “Wait, if I just chop this off and find a way to connect these [ideas] this could be really interesting.” So what was originally a rough go at a song — because I liked pieces of it and I was struggling with it — became very easy once [the album title] joined the record. Then the song wrote itself.

How involved were you all with choosing the collaborators for this record? You did end up reuniting with a few of the Swedish producers that worked on *NSYNC.

They were crazy and fun to work with, so when it came time to do a second record we were excited to work with the Swedish producers again. Once you sell records, everyone is going to want to start working with you. Then it’s up to you to understand who is pitching what and remain calm and remain yourself. As soon as Max [Martin], Kristin [Lundin], Rami [Yacoub] and all those guys had some songs that they said were 2.0, we were ready to hear it. We went off to the races to cut them.

“It Makes Me Ill” was such a standout record on the album.

We just wanted a concept record. We were excited to work with producers and writers Kandi [Burruss] and She’kspere [Briggs]. They had a great run at the time. And again, keeping in line with the Atlanta vibe that was going on, it was killer down there. So we ended up being lucky enough to work with those people some more. When we were working on the tune, we thought, “How do we make this pop? How will this translate on stage?”

What was your initial reaction to the way Ariana Grande used the song for last year’s “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored”?

I thought it was great! You never know what songs will translate or become timeless. So to hear a piece of our song be put in a modern setting, and essentially be interpreted in her own way because it’s not the exact same way. She took a piece of something that she liked when she was young and gave it a new identity. I thought it was rad. I’m always excited to see people take the next step.

I was personally excited to hear it because I think “It Makes Me Ill” is in *NSYNC’s top five best deep cuts.

It’s one of the better ones, 100 percent! And we feel that way as well, by the way. [Laughs.] To me, that song is a BOP.

What were some of your favorite songs on No Strings Attached?

“It’s Gonna Be Me” is always going to be one of my favorites. “Bye Bye Bye” is fun because everyone likes to do the dance. “This I Promise You” is such a good memory for me, just working with Richard Marx. That was a full-circle moment because the first thing I ever sang in public was a Richard Marx song. [Editor’s note: JC Chasez sang Marx’s “Right Here Waiting” for his The All-New Mickey Mouse Club audition in 1989]

Full disclosure: “This I Promise You” is going to be my future wedding song!

Good! It’s a beautiful song. He writes treasures, that guy. When he gets the guitar in his hand and has an idea, he’s incredible. Because we sold so much on the first record, everybody was ready to work on this record. And we were fortunate enough to have people like Marx and Diane Warren come to us and say, “We want to have you record this.” It was an absolute honor.

I actually wanted to bring up the fashion during this time. You all wore some pretty out-there outfits, especially for the No Strings Attached Tour.

Look, I’d wear that stuff again! I think if you’re going to be on stage in front of 20,000 people, don’t be boring and don’t dumb it down. If you’re on a stage that big, your costume needs to be big. You need to give people theater. It’s more interesting to me to watch.

I’ve always enjoyed when people push themselves. We took the mindset that we need to heighten reality. If we just came onstage in the same thing that everybody else was wearing at the time, we would just blend in. And the point of being on stage is to take the opportunity to go bigger. [Performing] “Digital Get Down”was a perfect example: We can kind of look like robots, but there wasn’t enough going on. So we were like, “Let’s cut some mesh and stitch some silver in it and run a light through it! MORE! [Laughs.]

Did you keep any of your stage outfits?

I have a ton of that stuff. We ended up getting a star on the Walk of Fame [two years ago], and we wanted to do a pop-up shop for any of the fans that wanted to check it out. So we pulled out different stuff for each of our storage units and threw it in there. We wanted everyone to see the real thing in person.

Every so often, your name pops up on Twitter where fans think you didn’t get your due credit. Did you ever feel that way?

Uh, no. [Laughs.] Look, I’m fully aware of my contributions and I feel confident in that. I mean, if you listen to the songs you’ll hear me sing on them. I’m good with it!

Looking back on No Strings Attached20 years later, how do you think it fits within Y2K’s pop legacy?

I don’t really concern myself too much with the thought of “legacy.” My hope is that people had fun, you know. The entire reason we were able to go out there and sing those songs is because people seemed like they were having fun. We wanted to make sure we did that for those [fans] who invested in us. When I look back on it, I think I tried my best to show you a good time. Everything was so elevated at that time, but again we didn’t lose perspective. Understand that it’s elevated and crazy, and have a laugh about it.

I know you guys had your head in the ground while recording. But aside from the album’s major accolades, is there anything else that stands out from this era?

It just felt BIG. At the time, you just feel like everything is heightened and at a [level] 12. That’s the best way to explain it. There was never a moment or a day that you were awake and you didn’t feel like there was something at stake. It was a pressure cooker for sure, but we made tasty food. [Laughs.]

Read the article in its original entirety here.

‘It’s *NSYNC’s World, We Just Live in It’: An Oral History of ‘No Strings Attached’ Selling a Historic 2.4 Million First-Week Copies in 2000

‘It’s *NSYNC’s World, We Just Live in It’: An Oral History of ‘No Strings Attached’ Selling a Historic 2.4 Million First-Week Copies in 2000

<p>*NSYNC at the 2000 Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles on Feb. 23, 2000.</p>

Following our Billboard staff-picked list of the 100 greatest songs of 2000, we’re writing this week about some of the stories and trends that defined the year for us. Here, we flash back to late March of that year, when one of the biggest groups in pop music released their much-anticipated sophomore album — and set a record-breaking mark for runaway success that stood for 15 years to come. 

Twenty years ago, pop heartthrobs *NSYNC set an industry standard with their sophomore album, No Strings Attached. The LP sold a whopping 2.4 million copies in its first week in March 2000, doubling the record their boy band contemporaries the Backstreet Boys had set the year before with their own blockbuster sophomore effort, Millennium

For *NSYNC, the timing of their second full-length release couldn’t have seemed more perfect: Big pop acts were beginning to take over the music industry, with the prior few years seeing the rise of boy bands, as well as teenage darlings Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. CD sales were at an all-time high, as artists of all genres (Dixie Chicks, Kid Rock, Santana) were reaching diamond status around the turn of the century; meanwhile, MTV’s Total Request Live was at its peak, giving those young stars a platform to connect with fans (and promote the hell out of whatever project was coming next). 

But while the scene was set for *NSYNC, the new millennium marked a period of uncertainty for the group, as they were coming off of a highly publicized legal battle with their initial label, Trans Continental/RCA Records, and now-disgraced mogul Lou Pearlman. The fivesome — Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and Justin Timberlake — sued Pearlman for defrauding, nearly losing their group name (and $150 million) before a judge ruled in their favor in November 1999. The decision allowed *NSYNC to sign with Jive Records, an independent label that was home to Spears and, ironically, the Backstreet Boys.

Read more here.

*NSYNC reunion: Lance Bass’ surprise for fans as No Strings Attached turns 20

25 years ago, a group of five friends burst onto the music scene, marking the genesis of one of the world’s biggest boy bands – *NSYNC.

The boys had it all, from the hair to the fashion and dance moves – and they sold over 50 million records, tearing up hearts the world over.

Watch the full story above 

Led by Justin Timberlake, the band quickly sought world domination – from fashion to toys and posters in every teenage girl’s bedroom.

But it was late recruit Lance Bass who fans developed a soft spot for.

Famous for his frosted tips and ‘shy guy’ persona, he remained one step ahead of his bandmates, leading to his own showbiz supremacy.

Now, 25 years on from his first audition, Lance is back behind the mic for a new project – but it’s his time as part of the world’s biggest boy band that will forever keep us all in sync.

“When we got together, we were all friends, and we decided we would start an a capella group and it just got bigger and bigger and bigger,” Bass said.

“You didn’t even really have time to think about what the future would be, but I know it was definitely bigger than we all thought it could be.

“When I joined the group, I was the last to join the group. None of the guys thought that my mum would let me do it because I was 16-years-old. But somehow she let me do it.”

Early-2000s nostalgia 

And with the 20th anniversary of *NSYNC’s second album, No Strings Attached fast approaching, Lance knows the fans are eager as ever for a reunion.

“If there’s any time to do a reunion, it would be now,” Bass said.

“Everyone loves the nostalgia of the 90s and the early 2000s. It’s something that we are actually discussing right now. I don’t know exactly what will happen, or if anything will happen, but we are talking about it right now.

“It definitely hasn’t happened in over a decade, but the reunion is certainly closer.”

*NSYNC reunion news

After leaving the band, Lance went on to start his own management company – and now he’s co-hosting a new podcast called The Daily Popcast, and he’s got some big news for *NSYNC fans.

“This podcast format has been incredible,” Bass said.

“We started a couple of months ago, and we just have the best time going over all of the pop culture news of the day.

“Leading up to the No Strings Attached 20th anniversary, each of the *NSYNC guy will be sitting down with me one-on-one leading up to the anniversary.

“This is going to be the first time I get to interview Justin Timberlake. I’ve had the show for a number of years, but this is the first time we will have a sitdown – and I’m excited to really get into it with him.”

Source: here

JC Chasez ‘doing his research’ for possible *NSYNC reunion

Chasez, 43, is doing his “due diligence” in conducting “the appropriate research” for a 2020 comeback, a source close to the boy band told Page Six.

The timing could coincide with the 20th anniversary of their album “No Strings Attached” in March.

“Anyone who knows JC knows that everything he does, whether it pertains to the original group and even Coachella, is done in a very thoughtful and meticulous matter,” the insider said, noting that the singer has been spotted meeting with industry insiders.

Read more here at PageSix.

Inside the making of NSYNC’s iconic ‘Bye Bye Bye’ music video

Enjoy this article from Entertainment Weekly!

On Sept. 7, 2000, Lance Bass, J.C. Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, and Justin Timberlake of the beloved boy band NSYNC accepted the award for Best Pop Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. Dressed in an array of early 2000s fashion — Leather trench coats! Double denim! Ultra-fitted turtlenecks! — the group gathered onstage as Timberlake thanked God for His blessings and their respective families for being behind them, “no matter what stupid stuff we did or wore or sang or whatever.”

Twenty years after the video’s release, on Jan. 11, 2000, it’s clear that — clothing aside — their fans found nothing stupid in what the guys did or sang. At the time of publication, the “Bye Bye Bye” music video has over 214 million views on YouTube. So in honor of its anniversary, we called up (most of) the group and a few of their collaborators to reminisce about the video’s making, its feature film-sized budget, the days of TRL (that’s MTV’s Total Request Live , for the youngins), and the story behind one of the most memorable dances of all time.

A Group Effort

In the early 2000s, it wasn’t uncommon for music videos to resemble mini-action movies, with high-energy dance breaks, bizarre concepts (we all remember Britney in Mars for the “Oops!… I Did it Again” video, right?) and money to spare. The “Bye Bye Bye” video was no exception. Complete with speeding trains, car chases, rabid dogs, and synchronized choreography on strings, director Wayne Isham created a thrilling four-minute ride that — if you don’t overthink it too much — somehow fits with the lyrical theme of escaping an ex. “It was a fun time to make music videos,” Bass tells EW. “It was all about MTV and how can we outdo each other — but spending $1 million on a video? That was probably stupid.”

With the band’s input, Isham used the guys’ unique traits to come up with the concept. “We had a good run together,” says Isham, who later worked with the group on the “It’s Gonna Be Me” and “Pop” videos. “It definitely was a lot of fun because those guys all had a blast and took a lot of chances. They all have big personalities and we had to make sure we shined the light on everybody. Chris and Joey had the sense of fun, Justin has that smile, and J.C. and Lance had very wry humor about it all.”

The clip kicks off with the guys on strings, being controlled by an evil ex-girlfriend puppetress (played by Kim Smith, who later starred in the “It’s Gonna Be Me” video), before she cuts them loose, just to pursue them some more. “You kind of feel like an action hero for a second,” says Kirkpatrick, “Like, ‘This isn’t a video, this is real life!’ It was such a cool fantasy come true.”

“Oh, I Know That Dance!”

If you don’t know the signature move to the “Bye Bye Bye” chorus, you’re too young to be reading this piece. “I feel like I’ve taught that dance to about 50 people this year alone,” says Bass, who remembers actually breaking his ankle while performing the routine on SNL shortly after shooting the video. “It’s funny how things come back to you so easily, but I guess if you did it, you know, five million times, it’s somewhere in your DNA.”

That unforgettable choreography was the brainchild of acclaimed choreographer (and creator of everyone’s favorite 2001 instructional dance VHS, Darrin’s Dance Grooves), Darrin Henson. Henson — whose résumé boasts names such as New Kids on the Block, Britney Spears, and the Spice Girls — was actually on the brink of quitting the industry after losing out on a VMA for his work on Jordan Knight’s “Give It to You” when he got the call from NSYNC manager Johnny Wright. Henson told Wright he was pursuing acting and no longer choreographing, but Wright wasn’t having it. “He was like, ‘No, no, no, you don’t understand; you gotta do this song,’” Henson recalls. “’This is going to be the pinnacle.’” So Henson hopped on a flight to Vegas where NSYNC was performing at the Billboard Awards so they could play him “Bye Bye Bye” for the first time. “I was like, ‘Man, this track is slamming!” he says.

Excited by the song and the fact that “those white boys could dance,” Henson got to work right then and there in his Vegas hotel room. “I turned the music up as loud as it could go,” says Henson. “I came up with the pumping hand — that’s the black power fist — and the hand going across the front during the ‘bye bye bye’ lyric is the ‘stop talking s—.’ I come from the Bronx, and in New York whenever somebody said something, you’d put your hand up in a talking manner, like open and close, meaning, ‘stop talking s—.’”

All Strings Attached

Back in L.A., the band convened at Alley Kat Studio to run through the moves. “I gave them the choreography over a few days and we rehearsed, rehearsed, rehearsed,” says Henson. “The guys were always good. J.C. had a lot of energy and Justin always had this laid back kinda cool attitude. Chris, and he’ll tell you this, was probably the one who had the biggest obstacles when learning and distributing the choreography. It was very, very difficult because I incorporated hip-hop, popping and locking, and really put Darrin into it. I put moves in there that other boy bands wouldn’t be able to mimic. That’s what was so special about NSYNC.”

Nailing the moves onstage was one thing, but for the music video, the guys were fastened to bungee cords and asked to dance as if puppets on strings. “It’s not easy, that’s for sure,” says Chasez. “The bungee is where it gets a bit challenging. We’re all supposed to be in sync and we’re fighting with these bungees to make sure our arms are all in the same place. When you’re doing the choreo on those things, it’s certainly challenging. But like anything, with a bit of repetition and a bit of practice, you settle in.”

Dancing on the Ceiling

Is anything harder than mastering moves mid-air? How about doing them in a spinning room? Interspersed throughout the girl-chasing-guys narrative of the video, are scenes of the band dancing in a rotating gimbal room. “The gimbal room goes back to Gene Kelly who did it originally in the ‘40s,” says Isham. “As a filmmaker, these are challenges I want to do. The guys were ready to accept, and Darrin was excited about doing something different.” But Isham didn’t factor in the group’s excitability until he got on set. “They started having fun by jumping around from one side to the other,” he recalls. “Containing their energy was always a challenge and trying to get them to focus on the dance routine when they were jumping from wall to wall to wall… Well, let’s just say that footage alone could’ve been its own video.”

While fun at the time, a couple of days later, Bass was suffering. “I don’t know if the other guys got motion sickness, but I had vertigo for a good two days after that,” he says. “What was crazy was that it didn’t even set in until about 48 hours later.” Adds Kirkpatrick, “I was nauseous before I got into it.”

If the five guys got so stoked about a rotating room, you can imagine how they responded when asked to race cars and run on speeding trains. “They never hesitated at all and did all their own stunts,” says Isham. “Today someone would totally raise a flag about insurance.” Cue Fatone and Kirkpatrick jumping from one moving train car to another (one Steadicam operator wasn’t nearly as comfortable with the risks and had to be replaced mid-scene).

“There was no green screen,” says Kirkpatrick. “Today it’d be like, ‘If Jackie Chan is not in this video, you are not doing your own stunts.’ It was funny because the train I think was going something like 20 miles per hour, but of course they made it look faster.”

The slow speed was probably for the best, since at one point, Kirkpatrick realized he was dangerously close to one of the train’s tires. “Before the train started, I’m sitting there and I realize we’re going to be kicking off the tire,” says Kirkpatrick. “So, if my wire fell off, I would’ve gotten sucked under the train. That made me a little more nervous.” Remembering the same scene, Isham adds, “Yeah, Joey turned to me and goes, ‘Um, there’s big steel wheels right underneath my feet.’ Thank goodness, knock on wood nothing bad happened.”

Back on the ground, Bass and Chasez found themselves contending with a different type of fast-moving vehicle: a red Dodge Viper RT/10. “When we were talking with Wayne in the planning stages, I had mentioned that my favorite car chase at that point in any movie ever was in the movie Ronin with Robert De Niro,” says Chasez. “When I showed up on set, it turned out that he had literally hired the guys that did the car chase scene from the movie to help stunt coordinate and teach us some of the driving. There were certainly one or two scary moments when the car got a little out of control, but it’s kind of controlled chaos. I’d be in the car and the guy with the camera would be like, ‘Go faster!’ and I’m like, ‘Okay!’”

Part of the scene saw Bass and Chasez drop into the car from above, as if landing there after being cut from their puppet strings. “There was an 18-wheeler behind us with his light pole and we were having to hang on to the pole and, as we’re moving, drop into the car,” recalls Bass. “The first time we did it, I missed the car and something on the roof of the car just cracked.” Fatone didn’t get off quite so lucky, sustaining an embarrassing injury he remembers to this day. “I ripped my pants — right in the crotch,” he says. “They had to duct tape them back together.”

As for Timberlake, well, comparatively, running from dogs suddenly didn’t seem so daunting. “J.C. and Lance jumped into a moving automobile, Chris and Joey are on top of a train running, so I think I got off easiest on the stunts,” he said during an interview with MTV’s Making the Videoat the time. “All I have to do is run, but I have to make it look good — I can’t look like a dork when I’m running. Gotta be cool.”

Leaving A Legacy

Twenty years later, the guys are philosophizing on why the video was so popular at the time. Whether a sign of the times or something more enigmatic, one thing they can all agree on — besides the fact that it can’t possibly be two decades since they shot the thing (“Are you sure it isn’t it the 75th anniversary?” jokes Kirkpatrick.) — is that its success, though initially surprising, took a lot of effort and is something they’re proud of.

“We were working hard to be at a very high level,” says Chasez. “It takes a miracle for it to actually work and we were lucky enough to be part of that miracle in that moment.” As for what he remembers most? “Looking back, it’s in the little moments,” he says. “When I blow on the CD or Justin looks up from landing on the ground and gives you that little laugh, that, to me, makes the video three-dimensional. We allowed our personalities to break the wall and we made a video that’s more than just the song. We made something that’s stretching into the next realm of entertainment, and that’s what I was proud of.”

Some recent pictures

Good morning everyone! ICYMI, JC, Chris, Joey and Lance have been together in some capacity over the last few weeks. JC paid Chris a visit in Nashville and then Joey, Lance and JC spent July 4th together.

We love when the boys get together so we thought we’d share some of the lovely pictures that have been posted. All photos belong to the original posters on IG.