In the latest episode of Us Weekly’s “The Anatomy of a Song,” Lachey, 49, joined his 98 Degrees bandmates, Drew Lachey, Jeff Timmons and Justin Jeffre, to reminisce about their most iconic songs including 1999’s “I Do (Cherish You).”
“I was a little under the weather when we recorded that song,” Nick explained to Us, revealing that he took a “tip” from record producer Keith Thomas to remedy the situation. “He said, ‘Try eating Lays potato chips. Like, the old school Lays potato chips. The oil from the chips will help, kind of, coat your throat. He said, ‘It works for Vanessa Williams, it will work for you.’ So, I tried it. I still do it to this day.”
Timmons, 50, poked fun at his longtime friend, saying Nick’s voice “sounds so syrupy and beautiful on that song, it must have really worked.” He quipped: “So if you want to be a good singer like Nick Lachey … [eat] Lays potato chips.”
While the musicians, who took a hiatus in 2002, joked about how Nick got his smooth voice, they all agreed that 1999’s “The Hardest Thing” has their most iconic — and confusing — lyric.
According to Drew, the band “almost didn’t record” the 98 Degrees and Rising track. They originally agreed to put it on the record but told their manager, “We gotta change that Dr. Zhivago line.” 98 Degrees lost that battle and the line remained in the song.
“Fate has a place and time / So you can get on with your life / I’ve got to be cruel to be kind
/ Like Dr. Zhivago / All my love I’ll be sending / And you will never know / There can be no happy ending,” Nick sings in one of the verses, referring to the classic 1965 film, Doctor Zhivago, which was based on the 1957 Russian novel. The shout-out is supposed to point to the lead character by the same name, who is torn between love and loneliness.
Nick confessed to Us that the reference “baffles” him as much as it does their listeners. “It’s a really random [line],” he added. “It was the very last song. We were just ready for the album to be done.”
Despite being confused by the use of “Dr. Zhivago,” 98 Degrees exclusively revealed in the latest Us Weekly issue that they are rerecording their masters. The band is also working on new music and embarking on a 25th Anniversary Tour.
“We have a different take on touring now,” Drew, 47, explained. “It’s about [figuring out] what amount of time we feel comfortable being away and how we can route the tour so we can bring our families.”
Watch the exclusive video above to learn more about behind-the-scenes secrets of the making of 98 Degrees’ past hits — and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.