After this summer’s Package Tour with New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees’ Jeff Timmons has switched his focus to a, er, different kind of package.
The singer’s new endeavor is Men of the Strip, a partnership with choreographer Glenn Douglas Packard that came to Timmons after he hosted a show for Chippendales in Las Vegas. He’s taken a troupe of male dancers on the road, combining his music with their movements for what he calls “a grown-up boy band” that’s appealing to a lot of the original 98 Degrees crowd.
|?Men of the Strip?|
“It basically has the same fan base, the same fans that came and saw us and New Kids and Boyz II Men this summer.” But lest the feint of heart worry, Timmons promises that “it’s pretty vanilla, really. It’s edgy, but mostly the same thing 98 Degrees does — sing, dance, take their shirts off. They’re all hams, very charismatic. The fans really love it.”
And that’s especially true when Timmons’ own shirt comes off.
“Yeah, I do the obligatory ‘take your shirt off,’ but it’s nothing like these other guys,” says Timmons, who’s performing a new single, “Satellite,” as part of the shows. “In 98 Degrees, we’re in shape, but these guys are all like 6-2 and ripped to the kills. I try to avoid taking my shirt off when I can get away with it, just to avoid the comparison.”
Timmons’ Men of the Strip has a pair of shows slated for mid-December, but his plans for the concept include a TV reality show and a full-time revue in Las Vegas, where Timmons resides with his family.
“We’ve finished a deal with a network, though I can’t say which one yet,” he says. “We think we’re going to start airing in the spring, and that’s when we’ll launch the show full-time just in Las Vegas. Right now we’re touring and filming the process. These guys have never done anything like this before. It’s the first time they’ve gotten on the road in a tour bus, so they’re getting acclimated to the craziness of the entertainment business before we put this into residency in the spring.”
Timmons says things aren’t quite as certain for 98 Degrees at the moment. Though the quartet reunited for the Package Tour and released its first studio album, “2.0,” in more than a decade earlier this year, a next step has yet to be determined.
“We had such a blast being out on the Package Tour; we never officially ended the right way, so it was a good way to wrap our career together,” Timmons says. But it may not be as final as that.
“We had so much fun this summer that we’re considering going out on tour next summer, maybe with a different sort of package or lineup. But we’ll see. Nothing’s for sure yet.”