Newsday: The Accidental Musician: Jc Chasez

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Postby zozon3 » Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:24 pm

The Accidental Musician: JC Chasez

By Glenn Gamboa
Staff Writer

In this age when every facet of a music superstar release -- from production teams to songwriting collaborators to video directors -- is as carefully choreographed as a Broadway musical, JC Chasez has no master plan.

"I did a record for pure fun," the 27-year-old 'N Syncer-gone-solo says, taking a break from his tour preparations in Los Angeles. "I didn't really think in terms of failing. I did a record because it was fun." To hear him tell it, Chasez basically Forrest Gumped his way into his impressive solo debut, "Schizophrenic" (Jive), which arrives in stores Tuesday.

When 'N Sync went on hiatus in 2002, each of the members had an idea of what he wanted to do. Justin Timberlake wanted to record a solo album. Joey Fatone wanted to try out acting. Lance Bass wanted to go into space. Chris Kirkpatrick wanted to build his clothing company. And Chasez? He wanted to rest and hang out with his friends and family after being on the road for seven years.

Unlike Timberlake and fellow former Mouseketeer Britney Spears, Chasez didn't sign on for the blockbuster treatment. "Schizophrenic" features no hit-ready joints from The Neptunes or Timbaland. There are no prime-time, tell-all interviews scheduled, no special appearances on "The O.C." planned, no massive, everywhere-you-look advertising blitz in the works.

Even the NFL pulled the plug on what would have been his largest national audience. His Pro Bowl halftime performance of "Some Girls" was deemed too risque after the "bra-ha- ha" over the Super Bowl halftime stunt featuring Janet Jackson and his 'N Sync pal Timberlake. Chasez took it in stride, saying, "It's an election year, and everybody's overreacting a little bit, but that's just my opinion.

"You gotta trust people to make their own decisions on what they want to listen to. It would be a shame if people came out and started censoring artists. Some of the greatest songs of all time have sexual innuendos in them. Led Zeppelin sings 'Gotta whole lotta love' and 'Every inch of my love.' It's not gonna go away."

Despite the relative lack of buzz, Chasez isn't worried. After all, his first single, "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)," was an accident, the result of a friendly call from producer Dallas Austin, who invited him to the studio. "He said, 'Why don't you pop by, and we'll hang, and we'll talk,'" Chasez recalls. "I went over there and hung out in the studio and chatted for a couple of days. He was at the back end of finishing his 'Drumline' movie. He had one more slot to fill on the soundtrack, and since we had been hanging around, and I had really nothing to do at the time, he asked me would I collaborate with him to write a song for the movie."

After seeing the movie, Chasez and Austin returned to the studio and knocked out "Blowin' Me Up." Chasez was not expecting to sing the song, but Austin disagreed. "He was just, like, 'Nobody else can sing this song,'" Chasez remembers. "He said, 'That's you. When I hear this record, that's you. I can't hear anybody else doing it. Why do you not want to do it?'"

Chasez explained how he wasn't thinking about recording anything or going solo, but Austin persisted, saying that it was only for the soundtrack. "We'll do it just for fun," Austin told him.

Once Chasez finished the song, though, the movie company decided it captured the feel of the movie and wanted to release it as a single and pay for shooting a video. "Dallas just looked at me and said: 'Why not? We'll just hang out for a day and eat craft services, and have some fun and dance around,'" Chasez recalls. "I thought: 'Why not? It'll just be a fun project.' At that point, I had been off for almost a year and figured there was no harm in it. I figured I can't sit around and do nothing forever."

"Blowin' Me Up" became a hit and a "TRL" staple. Soon Austin and others were asking Chasez if he wanted to do a full solo album. "I told them I hadn't planned on it, that this was just a one-off deal," he says. "And they said, 'Dude, you're crazy. You've got all these ideas and all this music in you. It would be a waste for you not to do it.'"

Soon, Chasez found himself meeting with his record label, explaining how he wanted to do a solo album, but he didn't want to assemble a team to create a musical blockbuster. "I said if I'm gonna do a record, I basically just want to go ahead and do it on my own," he says, "I just want everyone to kind of leave me alone. They were really cool about letting me follow my own path."

Chasez holed up in a studio for three months and emerged with the bulk of the songs for "Schizophrenic," aptly named, considering the range of styles he tackles -- from the up-to-the-minute dance-pop of "Some Girls (Dance With Women)" and the Prince- ish groove of "100 Ways" to the ballad "Build My World," which sounds like old-school New Kids on the Block, and "All Day Long," a rockish anthem to sex.

His hookup with British super-producers Basement Jaxx was as unexpected as his success with Austin. Chasez was in London working with Guy Sigsworth, best known for his work with Björk and Madonna, when Sigsworth had to skip a day due to some family problems. In search of something to do, Chasez called his friend BT, who suggested that Chasez call his friends Basement Jaxx and see if they could show him around the city.

The Jaxx, Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton, were in the studio wrapping up the recording of "Kish Kash," but they invited Chasez over to hang out. They played him the track they were working on and asked if he liked it. "I told them I liked it, and they said, 'Get in the booth,'" Chasez says, laughing. "They said, 'It would be really cool if you threw some of your ideas in on it.' So I sat in the booth for about an hour just singing different lines that I would kind of make up in my head, and they would write down a few lines that they thought were cool, and then for about half an hour, they said, 'We just want you to make as many weird noises as you possibly can.' They said they'd piece it all together, and we'll call you tomorrow."

The result was "Plug It In," already a dance club hit on the Basement Jaxx CD. In return, the duo agreed to co-write a song with Chasez for his album, a cut that turned into "Shake It," one of the standout tracks on "Schizophrenic." "It was something that was spontaneous and inspirational," he says. "We inspired each other at the time. That's why it was great. It was organic. It wasn't like, 'If I write a song with these guys, everyone will think I'm cool.' That's not music to me. Music is just about a moment. It's about a feeling that you get."

Chasez says he compiled a CD of all the songs he created in his organic approach, even though he knew they didn't really fit together. When he played what he had come up with for the label, Chasez says the reaction was, "Wow, you are a really different kid." His label supported him, though. And in return, Chasez says he is pushing for the record to get heard, going back to the radio station and club circuit he traveled when 'N Sync was starting out.

He says the high-profile setback from the Pro Bowl won't derail his CD. "I'm not shaking in my boots to wait to see whether my songs are gonna pass or not," he says.

"If one thing is unacceptable, I'll be able to give them another record."


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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:28 pm

<span style='color:deeppink'>:wub: I LOVE him. Really, I do. :nod:</span>

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Postby megzrsa » Fri Feb 20, 2004 3:27 pm

:yay: I thought that article was great, im really looking forward to this album, i :wub: 'plug it in'

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Postby vickitori303 » Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:57 am

this was one of the best articles I think I have ever read about an artist. I can't wait until the album comes out on Tuesday

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