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Interview:
98 Degrees at Sound Board, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

» See more SOUND CHECK

98 Degrees' first holiday tour last year turned out to be a happy affair for all concerned.



So the pop quartet is doing it again this year.



The initial tour followed 98 Degrees' 2017 seasonal album "Let It Snow," and this year features a similar mix of Yule-tilt fare along with hits such as the chart-topping "Thank God I Found You," "Because of You," "The Hardest Thing" and "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)." The holiday trek, meanwhile, gives 98 Degrees as chance to go out as a band while its members continue to balance it with their other activities...



The group's Nick Lachey says by phone that the success of last year's holiday tour was a bit of a surprise for he and his groupmates, including younger brother Drew Lachey. "We weren't really sure how the response was going to be or if we were even going to like doing it, for that matter. We had a great time doing it and the crowds were great, so we thought, 'Why not go out and do it again?' This time we're hitting a lot of new markets we didn't get to last year, too."



While Lachey, 45, affirms that "this is certainly a holiday show," he promises the rest of 98 Degrees' catalog will get an airing, too. "Obviously we'll change the show up a little, do some Christmas covers we didn't do last year. And of course we have to work in the hit songs that our fans want to hear when they came to see us back in the 90s. I think it's a really good ratio, almost half and half -- a little more Christmas, but a good balance. It makes for a really nice show."



After a 10-year break, 98 Degrees reunited during 2012 and released a new album, "2.0," the following year. As for a follow-up, Lachey says that "we don't have any imminent plans. We definitely still love recording together. I think we sound better together than we ever have. I'm sure we'll get back in the studio to do something, but for now we don't have any plans. But there will definitely be more music coming from us."



This year marks the 20th anniversary of the group's sophomore album, "98 Degrees and Rising," which was a quadruple-platinum smash. "In some ways it feels like 20 years and in others it feels like just yesterday that we were out promoting it," Lachey says. "That was the record that put us on the map and brought us into the mainstream. It's such a meaningful album for us. I think given the gift of time and perspective we just feel really blessed that we're still able to do this 20 years later and our fans still come out and support us. It's very cool."



Outside of the band, Lachey -- who co-hosted this year's Miss USA 2018 pageant with his wife Vanessa Minnillo -- was active in the campaign to legalize marijuana in his native Ohio. It failed there but he was interested to see the measure pass last month in Michigan. "Obviously I'm proud of every state that has the foresight to go ahead and get that done. Believe it or not, I'm not even an avid smoker -- I just believe it's the right thing for our country at this point. It makes too much sense, for a multitude of reasons. I'm not part of anything going on now in Ohio, but that industry and that world is something I continue to monitor, and I think it's an inevitability it will (be legalized) in every state."



98 Degrees performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino Hotel 2901 Grand River Blvd., Detroit. $43-$55. 313-309-4700 or soundboarddetroit.com.

Web Site: www.soundboarddetroit.com

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