As I walk into The Lounge at The Palms, Joey McIntyre is Tweeting away feverishly on his phone. It’s 10:30 a.m. and the New Kid is in high spirits, waiting to finish his lineup of interviews for the morning. But this isn’t 1992 and New Kids on the Block is not the topic of discussion (for the most part). Instead, I’m meeting with McIntyre to talk about his new show at The Palms.
Starting Feb. 5, the New Kid will be performing in The Lounge at The Palms with producer and friend Emanuel (Eman) Kiriakou every Saturday of the month. Having worked with some of the biggest popstars in the business, Kiriakou and McIntyre’s show “One Too Many at Midnight” is a blend of early ‘90s throwbacks, top 40 covers and everything else in between. I sat down with McIntyre and Kiriakou to discuss the new show and how life is fairing — post NKOTB fame. I’d say the kids are alright.
The Rebel Yell: Have you been busy preparing for the show?
Joey McIntyre: Yeah, we hadn’t performed like this for about five or six years and then we did a couple shows in the fall and just got back together and you know it was so much fun.
RY: Why did you choose to perform in Las Vegas for this show?
JM: Our friend Zoe Thrall who runs the studio at The Palms is good friends with us, especially with Eman. She loved the idea and … we knew how perfect this room would be for what we do — you know, kind of an acoustic intimate fly by the seat of your pants show.
RY: What can we expect the show to be like?
JM: Well you know we’ve written a lot of music together so a lot of our original stuff. Of course a few New Kids songs, we try to do great covers. Some current stuff, you know, songs that are out now that we think are gonna be the future standards. In NY we did a Taylor Swift song, “You Belong to Me.”
RY: You’re [McIntyre] one of the pop all stars and you’ve [Eman] worked with some of the biggest pop stars. Who do you think is going to be the next up-and-coming artist?
JM: Well he’s just gonna say the people he works with!
Emanuel Kiriakou: No, I’m not actually! I think there’s so much good music out. I think Bruno Mars is really talented, and I actually knew him when he was writing for other people and struggling and I think he’s incredibly talented.
RY: So do you [McIntyre] write your own blogs on your website?
JM: All the time.
RY: Back in October, you announced on your blog that you were no longer performing with Eman and that it might be 25 years before you perform again as a duo. What happened?
JM: It was honest … I was trying to be honest by saying this is it, we’re not going to be performing anytime soon. And then this kinda came along … I wanted them to know that we’re not going to be doing a 25-city tour.
RY: Do you have any independent projects in the works?
EM: I’m working with Selena Gomez right now. I just did three songs with Jordin Sparks. I got a song that I’m really excited about with this band called Hot Chelle Rae.
RY: How is the crowd different from NKOTB fans? Do people expect NKOTB songs?
JM: You know, my fans know. But it’s always nice to get fans who don’t know. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of people who have never seen this show coming to see [it.] … Obviously, [it’s] very different from playing the Staples Center or the Thomas & Mack arena, it’s a different setting. It’s very intimate and kinda anything goes.
EM: And they still get to hear Joe’s hits and the New Kids hits, but in a different way. In a way that they have never heard.
RY: Speaking of New Kids, the band announced a tour with Backstreet Boys that will launch this summer. Are you excited to be back?
JM: Yeah, you know, it’s fun … the two groups get along really well together and we both have been doing it a long time so we know how lucky we are to be doing what we’re doing again … we want to make it one big amazing awesome concert ride. Since New Kids have gotten back together, we started off thinking, ‘Okay this might be fun,’ but then it just snowballed into this rebirth of the relationship that we’ve had with our fans. Except they’re older now and they can embrace the past and they can feel young and feel current.
RY: You were in one of the biggest boy bands to date. How do you feel about New Kids now that you’re older?
JM: It is crazy. You know, it’s so long ago. All we know is that right now it’s great so whatever we did we must have done right by ourselves and by our fans.
EK: The fact that there’s still such a high demand for it says everything, that it wasn’t just a fluke. It was real.
RY: Is there going to be a new record?
JM: Another New Kids record?
JM: The plot thickens. We would like to, you know, hopefully do some music together. It’s hard to get nine guys on the same page … It’s tough enough getting five guys on the same page now you got nine guys. So that music thing is definitely another level. It’s got great value. I really hope that we can do that.