'The fans dictated this'
http://www.shreveporttimes.com/ article/20090306 /ENT/903060322/ 1005
Before *NSync, Backstreet Boys and 98 degrees were sending female fans in a frenzy, New Kids on the Block dominated the boy band scene.
Following the model of R&B acts like New Edition, New Kids on the Block burst onto the music scene in the late 1980s with the debut single "Please Don't Go Girl."
The heartthrob group went on to score a number of hit singles including "You Got It (The Right Stuff)," "I'll be Loving You (Forever)," "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" and sold at least 80 million records worldwide before splitting up in 1994. They also shattered concert box office records, playing an estimated 200 concerts a year, in sold-out stadiums throughout the world, while beating out Michael Jackson and Madonna as Forbes highest paid entertainers of 1990.
New Kids on the Block reunited last year with a new album "The Block" which is already making waves and they continue to sell out concerts. They'll bring their show to the CenturyTel Center on Tuesday. The Times recently had a chance to chat with Joe McIntyre via phone from his Los Angeles home where he resides with his wife, Barrett, and their 15-month-old son.
Q. Does it feel like déjà vu being on stage together again?
Joe: It's sort of like you have a job to do every night, but it's fun. It's a blessing and you don't see it, but sometimes it just hits you and I think the fans really get a kick out of seeing us together again.
Q. Are you surprised at the fan reaction out there? I mean, I have several grown co-workers who were immediately jealous just knowing I was talking to you. Does that surprise you to still get that level of reaction from your fans even though they're all grown up now?
Joe: (Laughs) Yes, absolutely, we don't take it for granted. This whole journey could have stopped a long time ago. It could have just been an album or a couple of songs. The fans are the ones who dictated this. They really stepped up and made the world notice and it came from there. Timing is everything and the cool thing is our fans,like the folks in your office, are grown now. You look back at that time with great fondness and we're so busy with our lives that this is like a great break, a chance to get away. And that all has to do with timing and it's great. The fact that we can have a normal conversation with our fans instead of running away from them down the street is pretty cool.
Q. Why did you all decide to reunite? Whose idea was it?
Joe: We were all thinking of it, obviously. Jordan and I have been performing over the years and I've done acouple of movies and a bunch of stuff, but being on stage, Jordan and I were used to it. It's what we do. Donnie was doing his act, but he was talking about it and getting into the studio is what made him excited. Jon's totally out of the business and thought it would be something new and different. Danny is on board, living in Miami with a life of his own. But I think what brought us together was the challenge, the challenge to write a new chapter. A lot of things. The reason we left in the first place is we wanted to do some stuff individually. When you grow up half your life in a band you want to be independent at some point and call your own shots and I think we did that and lived a lot of life and the idea of coming back together to rewrite another chapter and have the last word in our history is challenging. We like each other and respect each other, so the idea of working together was pretty fun.
Q. What's the biggest difference performing together this time, compared to before? Was there anything that you all had to relearn?
Joe: Yeah, 90 percent of the choreography is new. So, yeah we were in rehearsals for quite awhile, for months putting it together, piecing it together. Of course, we have a bunch of songs we do from the new album. So it's a brand new show, basically. I think it's just cleaner, more professional this time. We're not kids anymore jumping around like crazy. I mean, there's still some of that, which is fun and it feels like you're a kid again and there's nothing wrong with feeling young and we use that. But right now, I think we strive for that showmanship, that kind of show that we grew up admiring from New Edition and we'd look at Jackson Five and the Temptations and how they really delivered a show to the people and included them, making it about hem as well. I don't think there's a lot of that going on right now. I think we've brought that back to a certain extent. You gotta know what your gift is, your talent is and do your best to make that happen and I think we've done that on the road and with this tour.
Q. What's the strangest or funniest fan reaction you've had so far on this reunion tour?
Joe: I mean it's not crazy. What may be crazy for someone who's not around it, we've seen before. We haven't seen it all, but I'm sure we've seen pretty close to it. I think the fans get really enthused. We meet a lot of them before the show at these all access events and they sing, some of them change the lyrics or try to get backstage after the show. They'll have costumes on. You gotta love their enthusiasm.
Q. You have the new album "The Block," right? How would you describe it compared to what you did in the past?
Joe: (Jokingly) You mean you don't have it? (He laughs) Yeah, it's been out for awhile. We had our first single, "Single," which is a top 20 hit and the album debuted at number one (on the Billboard Top Pop Album chart). "Single" was a Top 40 hit and a big video for us and the next one is called "Two in the Morning" and a video to be released this week. It's done really well. We could always do better, but as far as the record industry and exposure, we're always trying to push it to the next level.
Q. Anything else you want to say to your fans?
Joe: I love you all and God bless you.