Ever since the members of ‘N Sync embarked on solo careers, Lance Bass has explored just about every opportunity available to him. In addition to singing, Bass attempted to go to Space, tried his hand at acting, and wrote a memoir.
Most recently, Bass has found success with roles that are more behind-the-scenes. In addition to hosting the Sirius XM radio show “Dirty Pop with Lance Bass,” the entertainer is one of the producers of Kidnapped for Christ — Showtime’s new Christian behavior modification documentary premiering July 10 at 7:30 pm EST — and he hopes to revolutionize the world of online dating with the new app, Sparxx. So many projects would make most people dizzy. For Bass, it makes him “well rounded.”
The entertainer sat down with Out to answer our 10 most burning questions about everything from his upcoming on-air nuptials to Michael Turchin to the group texts he shares with the other members of ‘N Sync.
Out: How did you get involved with Kidnapped for Christ?
Lance Bass: This project — I came on — the footage was already shot. Kate Logan was the filmmaker and a young girl, she was an evangelist Christian doing her for college video and she wanted to do a story on the school that treated teens for any type of problem. She went down there to do her father’s story and what she got was just so creepy and jaw-dropping that it’s just insane.
So I came on board and they’re trying to put together a documentary for film festivals and things so I helped produce that and we hit all the festivals and did amazing. The audiences at all the screenings were just so shocked. We had people walking out of the theater that were just so disturbed by it — which is good for us because that’s a call to action for sure. I think it’s going to change a lot of these schools when people see this doc.
When you were growing up did you ever feel conflicted about being a religious gay kid?
Being a kid growing up in Mississippi, I knew I was gay since I was five years old. So it’s something I was very aware of at an early age but I also knew that it was wrong and people hated gay people. And that meant that there was something wrong with you. And you know, no kid ever needs to think that at all. So the religious thing coupled with being gay, it was hard. It was very hard to grow up like that because you were just so confused. Because you knew you were made that way, it was something that you couldn’t change, but yet, every day in church you were told the opposite. So it was very confusing.
Did you ever hear of or know anybody else going through conversion therapy? Was that even something you knew about growing up?
Oh yeah. But you know, growing up I never really knew anyone that did that, but after the fact, now that I’m an adult, yes, a lot of those stories did come out — that my friends went through. What’s crazy is, everyone that goes through that is ashamed and they never tell people about it. It’s almost — you hear that about rape victims — they don’t tell anyone, and they’re just so shameful and that’s exactly what everyone that I knew that went through this said the same thing. For years they would not tell anyone what they went through.
Shifting gears a bit. You’re from the South. Do you think you and Michael will have a big ole Southern-style wedding?
No, but there’ll be a southern element to the wedding being that both of us are from the South. He’s from Miami, which I guess you don’t really consider the South. It’s nothing like the other Southern states but he has a lot of family from New Orleans too. So we’ll definitely have some Southern elements to the wedding, which will be great. But it’s going to be very us. It’s going to be in Los Angeles — be a nice loving wedding. To me it’s all about the entertainment at a wedding because I’m a performer. So, I’m really focused on who’s going to be singing at the wedding, what kind of band can I get. All the rest of the stuff I’ll let Michael decide.
Are you planning any sort of 'N Sync reunion at the wedding — either in attendance or actually performing?
For sure we’re all going to be there — so if you call that a reunion. But you know it’s great that people still want it to happen. It’s so nice to see that we have such fans and that support out there — and that’s great — but as far as us performing at the wedding, I doubt that’s going to happen. I think that it might be a little too cheesy. But who knows? If we all get drunk who knows what could happen.
I hear that all the members are on a group text.
Yeah, I mean, it’s really not updated. Sometimes we have things like “Hey guys can you tweet this out for me?” and stuff like that. But mainly, if we’re in a place and we all remember and have a funny story — Justin’s in Munich, Germany and is like “Oh my gosh guys I’m at that place where blah blah blah happened” — we start reminiscing and really telling bad jokes to each other.
Why did you want to create a new dating app? What can you tell us about Sparxx?
Yeah it’s an app that I wanted to do because our LGBT community is a little stereotyped — well, a lot stereotyped — with our dating lives and how we don’t take relationships serious and are one night stand people. And that’s not the community at all. We want to find love, that’s why we’re fighting so hard for marriage to be legal in all the states and I’m lucky enough to get married to the man of my dreams beginning of next year and I want other people to have that same feeling. I wanted to create an app where it wasn’t your one night stand apps, I wanted a legit app where you could trust it to find the person for you. And the algorithms that we created and the security that we have on it — the Q part of LGBTQ, they’re very scared to be outed online or through apps — so we’ve created this amazing feature where you won’t be able to see anyone that you’d ever know. Friends of friends of friends can never get to you, so you’ll be able to talk and meet other people just like you and you won’t have to worry about ever being outed.
Is privacy the key function that’s missing among the current selection of dating apps?
Yeah. I love Tinder, it’s one of my favorite apps — a lot of my friends use it and they’re getting really great dates out of it. A lot of people start relationships off of it. I wanted to create the “LGBT Tinder” — because you can get on it but it’s not geared for all of LGBT. I wanted to create something where our whole community could be represented and focus on that. We’ve got lesbian, gay, bi and transgender all on this app and it’s definitely the first of its kind. I’m just excited to be able to focus on the community and relationships.
You have your hand in a lot of different projects. Do you ever feel like you’re doing too much or too little?
I mean, I’m definitely spread thin, but it’s something I’m used to. Since I was 16 years old and was thrust into ‘N Sync and we worked so hard and so it’s what I’m used to. I’m used to being so busy and when I slow down, I get sick and depressed when I have nothing to do. I like to keep myself busy and I’m so interested in so many things and I have so many amazing teams that help me out. Every project that I have, you know, it’s not just me. I have amazing people who help me take it over the finish line and there’s no way I could do it without them. But, yeah, I love managing projects like that, I’m very ADD, I like to hop around to things, I get bored very easily and so — right now — having so many projects going that are so different form each other, it’s nice.
I can only compare it to, when I did 'N Sync for eight years and it was just music, music, music. I had to take a break from it because my brain just couldn’t take so much music. I needed another out and that’s when I went to television and all those other types of space. It’s nice to be well rounded.
Since you've done so much, do you feel like you’re now “Lance Bass the entrepreneur, singer, producer” versus being “Lance Bass, the former member of ‘N Sync?”
Yeah. I hate when people say former member because we’re still members of ‘N Sync. We’ll always be ‘N Sync. So just as long as I’ve touched someone with any of my projects in film, television, music, the app, whatever — as long as it helps someone in their lives then that will make me happy.