Listen up, former and current members of One Direction! Things aren't always greener on the other side for boy banders that take the solo route, says former boy band member, Nick Lachey.
Nick's the perfect person to speak on the subject, as he temporarily went solo after his band 98 Degrees took an extended hiatus in 2002. And when Wonderwall.com exclusively caught up with Nick on Oct. 21, he offered his take on life after a boy band. "I think when you're in a band you end up doing music that may not necessarily be your passion, and when you're a solo artist you have the opportunity to do what really drives you and moves you. It's a different experience. I think it's true for any solo artist, whether you were in a boy band or not, you've just gotta be true to who you are."
But he advises that going solo can also be a lonely road, sharing: "I know when I went solo I definitely missed having the camaraderie of the guys. You think 'oh, this will be great I'll be out on my own I can call my own shots,' but you do miss the brotherhood and camaraderie of being in a group."
Nick's band, 98 Degrees, eventually reunited 10 years later in 2012. They put out their latest album in 2013, and Nick continues to work closely with fellow band member, and brother, Drew Lachey. The two most recently worked together on the A&E show, "Lachey's Bar," which chronicled the opening of the bar they own in their hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.
On whether or not he had any reservations on returning to reality television, after championing the genre in 2003 on his show with now ex-wife Jessica Simpson, "Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica," Nick explained that producing and starring in the show with his brother eased his concerns.
"This whole project of opening and creating a bar was something we were obviously very excited about, very proud of and I don't think either one of us had any real apprehensions about getting back into that space," Nick shared on popping back up on reality TV. "We didn't want it to be about our families, we wanted it to be about our relationship. And because we were producers on it we felt comfortable that it was going to be reflective of what we wanted it to be reflective of."
Nowadays, aside from owning Lachey's, Nick is a family man. He has two children with wife, Vanessa Lachey, 3-year-old son, Camden, and nine-month-old daughter, Brooklyn, and filled us in on how Camden is adjusting to big brother status.
"It's definitely an adjustment," says Nick. "At first he was aware that someone was taking his attention away, and stealing his thunder a little bit. But now he's very concerned about his sister and very attentive. He's definitely embraced the role of being a big brother now that she's starting to crawl around and starting to talk a little bit. I think it becomes more interesting for them when they see that they're starting to become little people. When they're just a blob that you feed bottles too it's not nearly as much fun, but now that he can play with her it's getting fun for him."
As for whether or not he and wife, Vanessa, have any plans for more kids, Nick says, "We haven't put a cap on it! I feel like I kind of hit the jackpot with a boy and a girl, and if you ask me, at this point, I'm pretty content with the two we have."
Despite being busy parents of two, Nick revealed his secret to keeping the spark alive. His advice? "A good roster of sitters!"
Nick noted the importance of making sure to have time away from the kids with wife Vanessa, whom he married in 2011, saying, "I've always said that it's important to keep your relationship a priority. It's easy to get caught up in everything else going on, or you get caught up in your kids, but it's important to also carve out time for yourselves."
Aside from being a dedicated husband and a devoted father of two, Nick's currently partnering up with the Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" contest, which challenged chip fans to come up with creative flavors and compete to win a $1 million grand prize. The winner, southern biscuits and gravy, was crowned on Oct. 20, and Nick was instrumental in notifying finalists throughout the process.
"All these people with their entries had great back stories as to why this particular food was meaningful to them," Nick told us. "Hayley, who won, based the southern biscuits and gravy on her favorite meal that her grandmother cooked for her as a kid, so it was cool to kind of get into the backstory of why these flavors were so meaningful."
As for the chip flavor Nick would create? "There's a food in Cincinnati where I'm from called goetta, it's a breakfast food. It's like pork and oats, and I've always thought a goetta flavored chip would be a home run. So if I ever get the chance, that's going to be my entry."