Who in the world of New York hasn’t partied at Webster Hall, the largest nightclub in Manhattan, whose prestige is comparable to that of Studio 54 and Limelight? Seeing the marquee adorned with those blazing red letters—Webster Hall—creates an air of excitement in itself; however, performing on stage there, as Jeff Timmons, former 98 Degrees member, was invited to do must be unimaginable.
Once again, I grabbed the chance to speak with Timmons, only this time live and in person, moments before he was to headline and take the stage at the iconic venue.
So many changes have occurred professionally for the strikingly handsome, former boy bad idol since we last spoke; however, what remains constant was his warmth, sweetness, sincerity and professional sensibility.
As I entered his green room, I couldn’t help but notice his piercing blue eyes from across the room—not to mention his hot, gym-wrapped physic. Two girls were also there ready to interview him as well. He mentioned how he liked being in the position to have women negotiate “who would be doing him first.” (I opted to be second.)
The last interview you just kept on talking, and it was great.
You know, you made me a rock star. You left the story in about my father in the article. I loved that.
I loved that story too, and I love the way you talk about your wife.
She saved my life. I love her.
I love that you love her. Now tell me how you feel right now, just moments before you’re to take the stage at Webster Hall.
I feel great! I’m at Webster Hall. You know, when 98 Degrees first got signed to Motown, we flew to New York. Our goal the whole entire time was to get signed to Motown. Motown was a legendary label. It had the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson. So we got signed and were told that we’d never have to move to New York. Then later, after we signed the contracts, the next day they said, “You have to move to New York”! So we moved to New York. Webster Hall was one of the places we’d go, but we didn’t play there. This was a place we skipped over. We came here and clubbed, we met girls here, but never played here. So coming back here and playing, I kinda went full circle.
Tell me about your new single hit “That Girl.”
It is not what you would think of when you think of 98 Degrees. It’s uptempo.
Yeah, it is EDM. When you have a couple of guys in a group, traditionally one stands out. It was myself and Nick. One of the things I always wanted to do was that uptempo song. We didn’t have that. We had catchy songs, but we didn’t have a song that got people up. So I was always trying to push that. I’ve always been writing club stuff. I’ll sit in my studio at home after the kids are asleep, the wife’s asleep, and program the uptempo stuff. So when I first did “That Girl,” I heard the track, and my buddies helped me with that track. It did fantastic in the UK.
That’s awesome. The song is awesome.
I mean, everybody loves dance. Thing that’s tough about us is we’re stamped with a certain sound. When you think of 98 Degrees, you think of a sound. You might not necessarily think about the individual song. As for me, I want to get people up and dancing. So this song will perform well wherever it’s played, so hopefully it will do well in the stores.
Maybe you should change your name.
Wow, that’s kind of interesting that you say that, because some people have said, “Wow, you know what, you’re Jeff from 98 Degrees. This could be anybody doing that song.” As much as a luxury that it is to have fans dedicated, it’s almost a detriment, because people accept me in a certain way.
You know what, those fans will know it’s you anyway and love whatever you do musically.
They will, but people might say, “Why is he trying to do this?” or “Why is he still trying to be young?”
You still look like a baby anyway. So besides all this, what have you been doing since we spoke last?
Well, I’m producing a lot of TV stuff.
Well, I’m a father and a husband first, so I do that.
Love that you just said that.
You can do it all. There’s 24 hours in a day, depending on how much sleep you need. You can be a husband, you could be a father, you could produce, you could do music, you can be creative, you could write and you can also work out. So I’m being a dad first, working on writing, producing some stuff. Of course the music is always up there. Those are the things I’m working on. Vegas is one of the things I’m working on. I have a distribution company, which is all about analytics and boring.
So what’s with Vegas?
I live in Vegas. “Men of the Strip” is about to get a residency there, finally.
So you’re doing that hot male revue again?
What happened with “Men of the Strip”? It blew up really big; it got really popular. TV came in, so some people involved with “Men of the Strip” thought that my element could be removed from it and that it could kind of succeed on its own. They tried that, and it wasn’t successful. I’m a perfectionist, so I wanna see anything that I developed be ultimately successful, or I’ll think it’s a failure. That’s sort of something I put my name on, attached myself to, put a lot into, developed. It started getting a lot of success.
I’m glad you’re doing “Man of the Strip.”
So am I, and now I got the reigns back to continue to do some of what I had as far as my plans were, and I can carry out the plans. These guys are going to do a Spring Break thing. We got a couple of networks interested, so it’s back on the map. Hopefully that will work out.