With Justin Timberlake nearing solo superstardom, J.C. Chasez dropping his first album this summer, and Lance Bass, um, hosting ''America's Most Talented Kid,'' you may have assumed that 'N Sync are over. It ain't so, says Chasez, the 26-year-old Washington, D.C, native who shares the band's lead vocals with Justin. ''We didn't break up,'' Chasez tells EW.com. ''Everybody just needed a breather because we had been pushing so hard.''
The group (which last performed together in a Bee Gees tribute at this year's Grammys) plans to reunite in October to start work on the follow-up to 2001's quintiple platinum ''Celebrity.'' ''It'll be a fresh, exciting new record,'' promises Chasez, ''and a new look for us. We felt like if we did something again [without a break], it would just be the same thing all over again. And we don't want to be stale.''
Chasez won't say what the new 'N Sync record will sound like (or, for that matter, what their ''new look'' might be -- Hives-style suits?). But the Neptunes-produced R&B of such Timberlake hits as ''Like I Love You'' provides a possible clue, as does the bombastic soul-pop of Chasez's chart-topper, ''Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love),'' from the ''Drumline'' soundtrack. What's more, the band is still friends with electronic music producer BT (Brian Transeau), who created the skittery, sample-heavy track for 'N Sync's ''Pop.'' Throw all that together (maybe with some au courant rock edge) and voila: 'N Sync for a new millennium.
Even though the pop boom that spawned them is as dead as disco, the members of 'N Sync are keeping their world-conquering ambitions alive. ''We haven't lost the hunger. It's like when you're working towards something and you don't know what it is, you just think you want it. Now we KNOW we want it.'' In other words, watch your backs, Good Charlotte.