After working together ten years ago for a photoshoot on the cover of Teen magazine, Lance Bass and Mike Ruiz reunite for this new photo shoot that shows the former *NSYNC member moving away from his squeaky clean, boy-band image and embracing a much wilder side. Bass and Ruiz came together just as spontaneously as the images themselves — the photographer called up Bass on a whim and wanted to do something totally unexpected, to which Bass agreed without hesitation.

In our interview, Bass talks about growing up in Mississippi and being a “good Bible [kid],” saying that wearing "guyliner" was a definite no-no back then. He also tells us about his upcoming projects in television as well as his own jewelry line. Read on as the two compare Bass' hair extensions and makeup transformation to an episode of Extreme Home Makeover and to see how the singer's stint on Dancing with the Stars changed his life forever.

Check out our exclusive interview with Lance Bass and Mike Ruiz below.


Q: Where did the idea for the shoot come from? - Erik Meers

LANCE: Well, Mike contacted me a month ago. I hadn’t seen him in ten years. He did a cover shoot for me and the guys [from 'N SYNC] for Teen magazine. He just suggested, 'Hey, let’s shoot again.' And I was bored so I was like, 'Sure, why not?' He had this incredible idea to really do something to kind of mess with my image a little bit, and I think it worked.

Q: You obviously have an image from the boy band days of being very squeaky clean, so tell us about what the concept behind the shoot was and how it evolved. - Erik Meers

MIKE: We just wanted to do something kind of jarring to his general public image to show Lance really out of context. Or at least the context that he’s been perceived in thus far. We just wanted to do something down and dirty and kind of punk rock, and it kind of evolved into a dirty glamrock kind of thing. Initially, we just wanted to go as far from Lance’s image as possible, within the constraints of not having to shave his head or anything. LANCE: I think what’s crazy is coming from a background like myself – I started when I was sixteen years old – the public knew me as a teenager and especially from a pop boy band on top of that. It’s really hard to outgrow something when you’re a child star. So my whole life now, I’m always that boy band pop guy, even though, no, I’m not that squeaky clean and, no, I’m not very poppy. That’s the image that everyone has firm in their heads and it will always be there. So I think it was freaking amazing to really fuck with people’s minds a little bit and kind of get that image erased in their brain.

Q: A lot of teens go through a Goth phase. Before you were in the public consciousness, did you ever have a phase like that? - Erik Meers

LANCE: No, not really. Down in Mississippi, we really didn’t have too many Goth kids. We were just the good Bible kids, going to church twice a week, so I think if anyone even remotely wore guyliner then you were either considered gay or a drug addict. MIKE: [laughs] And what’s wrong with either of those, I ask? LANCE: None at all! [laughs] You’re going to hell down there, if you wear guyliner.

Q: Tell us about how you did it. You probably had to grow your hair out to achieve that look? - Erik Meers

MIKE: I found a team. It’s kind of like Extreme Home Makeover. We go in and from the ground up and just revamp the whole image. We have this amazing hair guy, and he brought extensions and we put extensions in and he cut them and topped them up and made them look the way they did. So it was all on the day of. Everything, from top to bottom. The hair, the makeup, and everything. LANCE: Yeah, I was really surprised. I’ve worked with a lot of people. To have a shoot like that, it would take hours and hours with makeup and hair. Literally, we did hair and makeup and did the whole shoot in less than three hours. It was so quick. I was just stunned. And for someone like myself who is not a model, who’s a musician, photo shoots are not my cup of tea. I always grew to hate photoshoots because doing a photoshoot with four other guys is a very, very long process. You have to do individual shots and group shots and you have to have so many shots because you have to make sure five people have their eyes open. So I’ve just grown to really hate photoshoots because it’s a long, long day and then doing this shoot and coming in and out in like three hours, it’s just changed my mind for sure about photoshoots.

Q: This is a transformation from angel to sinner - your inner sinner. Do you have that aspect in your personality? - Erik Meers

LANCE: I definitely do. All my friends know that I’m definitely not a goody-goody. I’ve definitely got a lot of edge to myself in my personal life. I don’t listen to Britney Spears every day, I’m definitely more of a rock guy. So this image is completely not 100% me, but I definitely felt comfortable doing it.

Q: You’ve obviously gotten into very good shape, as evidenced by the pictures. Tell us a little bit about how you did it. - Erik Meers

LANCE: When I did Dancing With the Stars last year, I lost 20 pounds on the show and that was just from the dancing and I was eating McDonald's every day. After the show was over, I was turning thirty years old. I was like, 'You know what, thirty, an awkward point in life, I’m going to get a trainer and try to be healthy from here on out.' So for the last year, I’ve just started eating healthy, got a trainer, just for fun, nothing too crazy. I guess the shoot came in good time. I also had a stomach virus before.

Q: That's cheating! So, what projects do you have coming up after this? - Erik Meers

LANCE: I produce and write television, so my hands are in tons of things this year. I do cartoon stuff, for this boy’s show called Handy Manny. I’m doing my own jewelry line.

Q: And you, Mike? - Erik Meers

MIKE: I’m kind of in the same place. I’ve got a couple of TV things in development. But I don’t want to jinx it by gloating too much about it. It’s very preliminary at this stage, but it looks pretty promising. Got a lot of on-air stuff coming up, on top of the stuff I already do. I do Canada’s Next Top Model, the Kathy Griffin Show, I’m a reality TV whore. [laughs]