For their comeback track, 98 Degrees knew they needed to find the right song after a 10-plus year hiatus from the pop scene. And, so they felt offering fans a saucy PSA on the proper technique to hold a, um, mic on their single “Microphone” would be just the right message to send their fans.
“It’s about a microphone. It’s all about holding a microphone,” Jeff Timmons assured MTV News about the lead single off their May album release 2.0 .
While Nick Lachey tried to brush off descriptions of the song as “cheeky,” one listen to the up-tempo tune may prove otherwise. On it, the guys sing, “Put this in your hands/ And hold it up to your lips/ We can be a two-piece band/ And make some hits while you sing in this microphone.” (That sounds kind of naughty to us.)
He further downplayed any subliminal messages fans might be hearing on the tune. He said, “One of the earlier lessons we learned when we got signed to Motown Records was how to use proper microphone technique. It’s very important as a singer. If it’s too close it distorts you, if it’s too far away… you have to be very very precise with your mic technique. We felt like it was time to share that message with the world, and here we are.”
Known for sweet love ballads like “I Do,” as soon as the foursome heard the upbeat “Microphone,” they knew it was the right song for the 2013 version of 98 Degrees. “Aside from the lyrics and all that and whatever innuendos folks might think, I think the sound of the song is cool,” Timmons said. “We’ve always wanted to have an up-tempo song. We really only had one with ‘Una Noche’ and I think just the overall dynamic of the song is suitable for what’s out there now and suits us as well.”
Drew Lachey added, “It’s a fun song. It’s got a great melody to it. It’s a got a great beat to it. It’s great track, so why wouldn’t we record it?”
Now that fans have gotten the chance to hear “Microphone,” they might be wondering when they will get to check out the video for it. The only answer the guys have is “That’s an interesting question you ask. We’re in the process of making the video now,” Nick said.
But, they think that the video might take them back to Sin City, where their memorable video for “The Hardest Thing” was shot nearly 15 years ago. “I think we’re gonna do it in Vegas,” Timmons teased. “I mean, maybe just to be sexy and fun like the song is without being too gratuitous and out of control. It’s gonna be fun.”
And maybe this video will have the same long-lasting legacy as that other one. You see the “Hardest” video was given the ultimate honor when it was sent to the “TRL” Retirement Home. Nick laughed, “I think I have a plaque of sorts… that was our last award. Wait! That was our only award!”
98 Degrees are also set to New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men on the Package Tour this summer. The jaunt will begin May 31 in Uncasville, Connecticut, and will circle its way around North America before wrapping up July 13 in Minneapolis.