Monday, January 26, 2009

Madison Magazine - Outtakes of the Interview with the New Kids

Here are some outtakes from the Madison Magazine interview:

New Kids: The Outtakes
26 January 2009 08:00

Often we journalists don’t get to use even half of an interview in a published piece. The New Kids article I wrote for madison was really about the relationship between the fans and the group—and I spoke to a lot of fans with great points to make—but that meant I didn’t get to include all of the quotes I got from my interview with the guys backstage in Philadelphia in November, 2008. However, since I have a soft spot for New Kids fans, I thought I’d share the outtakes from my interview with them here. Enjoy, ladies!

madison: Since you reunited, have you slipped back into the old roles that existed in the group, or have the relationships between you changed?
Danny Wood: They’re kind of the same, but just on a more mature level, definitely. We’re all grown up; we all have our own families. Everyone has their own responsibilities, so that kind of changes things. But you know, everyone is still kind of the same in a lot of ways.

madison: A lot of fans have told me that they’ve enjoyed coming back to see you live because they’re reconnecting with old friends and it reminds them of being young. Are you feeling that, too—like, “Oh, I feel 20 again!”
Jordan Knight: I do. Yeah. It just brings back a lot of memories, being up there on stage every night. It is a nostalgic thing for me. It’s also a brand new thing—new things we’re experiencing in life and within the group, and musically and everything else. But that nostalgic feeling is very much still there. All the girl, the energy, you know?

madison: Does it compare to the old days?
Jon Knight: I would say it’s right on par with back in the day. I think the only difference with the crowd’s energy now is, you know, back when we were in our 20s and our fans were in their 20s and younger, they were a little more hysterical about getting at you. Now that they’re grown up it’s not like they’re tying to claw your eyes out. They just want to get to say hi.
Jordan: I think it’s a sexually more mature energy.

madison: [laughing]
Jordan: Seriously.
Joe McIntyre: They’re smarter about going after their prey.
Jordan: And we are, too.

madison: They go straight for you?
Joe: Well, no they don’t go straight for you—
Danny: They say, “Hey, can I buy you a drink?” Which would never happen before.
Joe: They walk up to you and give you a compliment and before you know it, they’re [makes a cat rrrroaar sound, then shakes his head] No, no…
Jordan: The group is also more mature.
Danny [teasing Jordan]: And more sexual?
Jordan: Yes.
Danny: Yeah—sexual.
Donnie: A fan walked up to me at a meet and greet and said, “Hi, my name’s Heather.” I thought that was pretty cool. “Heather, how you doing?”
Jordan: Yeah, instead of just screaming in your face.

madison: So it’s more enjoyable for you because you get to have an exchange with the fans?
Joe: Yeah, it’s very cool. It’s different things. Like, when we were just announcing our reunion, I was on a train from Boston to New York and the whole time there was a really nice looking girl in her late 20s, a business woman, sitting nearby. We didn’t say a word the whole trip. And when we got into New York, she was like, “I’m really excited about you guys. Congratulations.” And I said, “Thanks”. Then as she walked away, she was like, “I’ll be waving to ya”—meaning she was going to the [Today Show] concert. So, that’s, like, hot to me! [everyone laughs] That’s, like, so cool—so cool! And that’s the difference. The other time you wouldn’t be able to sit that close. If you did, you’d be sweating bullets because you’d be so self-conscious about it.
Donnie: She’d have called 50 of her friends and they’d be waiting at the next stop. The train would have been turned upside down.

madison: What is it about New Kids that is so special? What are people connecting with?
Donnie: Uh… it’s hard to say.
Joe: I think it’s Jon’s dark hair.
Jon: [laughs at Joe] I don’t know. Some questions it’s hard to ask us—about what’s going on over on the other side. Because we’re not on the other side.

madison: Well, what do you see from your side?
Danny: What I see is the way we were brought up, our upbringings, our families, the way we went to school—four of us were bussed to all-black schools. I think the character of growing up in Boston has a lot to do with what separates us from some of the other groups. For me, that’s what I see every night on stage when I watch the fans do what they’re doing. The personalities. I love watching them do their thing every night.
Joe: Along those lines… we didn’t come from a nationwide search. And when you see those groups, they sort of exude that manufactured feel. And that’s not how we were put together. So maybe it’s because it feels real. Who we were was never manufactured. I mean, a lot of people said that because it got a little corporate and the merchandise got out of hand. It just got nuts. But from day one, it was just the five of us coming together and trying to entertain people.
Donnie: It was after us that the blueprint was made. It was like, “Oh yeah, we need the young cute guy and the bad boy and the shy guy and the tall, dark and handsome guy.” All that stuff came later. We just were who we were. It doesn’t matter how you’re in the band—you’re in the band. You just be yourself. There’s no script with us. You’re gonna get what you’re gonna get.

madison: What makes someone a Joe fan or a Danny fan or…
Jon: Jesus! [everyone laughs]
Danny: I can talk about Joe, because one of my daughters is a big Joe fan. Joe is her first crush.
Joe: I like the reason.
Jon: Who is this?
Danny: Chance. Jonas Brothers were her first crush and Joe completely eliminated them in one night.
Joe: Still taking on my role in bringing in the young fans!
Danny: She’s 10 years old and she recorded herself on her Mac saying, “Joe’s hot.” [Jon laughs loudly] I love his eyes. We have the same color eyes, the same color hair. You know what? If there’s anyone she’s gonna have a crush on, I’m glad it’s Joe.

madison: So that explains Joe. What makes people love Danny?
Joe: The reason why I’m a fan of Danny is because he works hard and he knows how to break dance. He can break dance real good! The thing about this group—I guess it’s that age-old thing—there’s something for everybody. And it doesn’t mean that just because you’re a Danny fan you can’t like Joe or Jordan or Jon...

madison: I’ve heard there’s been some switching.
Joe: Yeah. Donnie has taken a couple of Joe fans. And I couldn’t lose them to a better guy. He’s available.
Donnie: It’s easy to gain fans when you’re available.

madison: Yes, I’ve heard fans talking about how flirtatious you’ve been.
Joe: They still have a little piece of me. But they’re sleeping with Donnie. They’re writing me love notes but getting with him on the side. [laughing]
Donnie: Let me make one thing clear—
Joe: I was kidding! Quote-unquote.
Donnie: The first time around, it didn’t last forever with New Kids. And I can assure you this time around it definitely won’t last forever. I’m really, really appreciative of the fans. My goal is to give them everything I can, and to enjoy this to the fullest. And if that means kissing a few extra girls every night at meet and greets, then so be it. I’ll do it. If they ask, I’m saying yes. That’s it. There’s nothing more to it. I think we all are really cherishing this. And in different ways, we’re all finding ways to give back as much as we can to the fans. And that’s just my way. I’m a big love machine.

madison: Danny, I’ve heard from a lot of fans who are touched by the breast cancer-campaign—the T-shirts you’re selling. Even if they haven’t experienced breast cancer, they may have experienced loss and illness. Are you hearing a lot of those stories?
Danny: I hear it every night, in the meet and greets. Every night someone has a story to tell me, somebody comes in and they’re a survivor themselves, or their mom just passed away, or their aunt. It’s every day. I’m very, very proud of what we’ve done to help support the fight against breast cancer. And it’s great for my kids. It keeps my mother’s memory alive.

madison: How does this tour compare to what you’ve been doing? Are you missing what you were doing two or three years ago? Will you go back to what you were doing before?
Jordan: We were just home for a day and a half. And I didn’t want to leave home. It’s really great. You get to a point where… I’ve heard Donnie say this before. You get to a point where when you’re on the road you miss home and when you’re home you miss the road. That’s how it is right now, for me. But it doesn’t really get any better than that. A lot of times I do miss just hanging out on the couch with my sons—my wife—just watching TV. But there are sacrifices that we have to make to do this thing and it’s really worth it.

madison: Do you think there’ll be another tour after this one?
Joe: Australia, baby.
Donnie: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi oi oi.

madison: I was at your Sydney show in 1992.
Joe: Yeah, baby.
Jordan: Australia was amazing.
Joe: We should have went two years earlier than we did. It was like a big vacation.
Jon: Oh, it was so beautiful.
Danny: Amazing.
Jordan: Spread the word—spread the word for us. We’re dying to go.

By the way, the guys and their U.S. publicists told me they really do want to come to Australia and were (at the time) talking about April as a possibility. Nothing has been confirmed, but you can sign a petition to show your support for an Aussie tour here.

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