98 Degrees gave their everything to a fierce round of trivia, proving how much they know about 1998.
The band went on hiatus in 2002 but reunited in 2012 to release a new album, 2.0. Ten years later, they’re back in the studio making new music, in the process of re-recording their masters and gearing up for a 25th Anniversary Tour.
“We have a different take on touring now,” Drew, 47, shared in the band’s Us Weekly cover story. “It’s about [figuring out] what amount of time we feel comfortable being away and how we can route the tour so we can bring our families.”
Another top priority? Having a good time — and enjoying the fruits of their labor. “We’re more relaxed,” Jeff, the band’s founding member, told Us. “Everything is more fun.”
Fun was certainly had while playing Us’ 1998 trivia game, which included questions about major pop culture events, sports, politics and of course, who was dominating the music charts at the time.
“‘Because of You!’” Drew buzzed in when asked to name Billboard’s Top 10 hottest singles from 1998. While the guys recalled their own song-breaking records, they weren’t as quick to remember any others.
“‘Music’ by Madonna?” Drew guessed, to which Jeff corrected him: “No. That’s ’99 [or] 2000.”
“‘Because of You’, ‘My Heart Will Go On’ and ‘Livin La Vida Loca!’” Nick guessed enthusiastically — but also incorrectly. Drew also tried “‘Tearin’ Up My Heart’” by fellow boyband ‘NSync, but once again got his years wrong. “That was ’97,” Jeff quipped. “Sorry, Charlie.”
“Shows you guys how hyper-focused we were back in ’98 of our ourselves,” Nick joked.
They have the right. In their heyday, 98 Degrees sold nearly 15 million records, had four top 10 singles and regularly graced the covers of teen magazines everywhere. They were one of the hottest bands of the ‘90s — but recording hit after hit wasn’t always easy — and sometimes required strange vocal tricks to keep their sound feeling crisp.
“I was a little under the weather when we recorded [“I Do (Cherish You)”],” Nick explained to Us, revealing that he took a “tip” from record producer Keith Thomas to remedy the problem.
“He said, ‘Try eating Lays potato chips. Like, the old-school Lays potato chips. The oil from the chips will help, kind of, coat your throat,’” Nick recalled. “He said, ‘It works for Vanessa Williams, it will work for you.’ So, I tried it. I still do it to this day.”
Nick may need to turn to Lays soon. The group’s anniversary tour — which will feature appearances from legendary R&B group All-4-One — kicked off last month and continues through October 8 before wrapping up in San Diego.
As long as we have fun with it and (are) still good at it, why stop?” Nick told Us.
Watch the exclusive video above to see how well 98 Degrees knows their 1998 trivia – and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.