Monday, May 2, 2011

Interview with Jordan from the Edmonton Journal

Here is an article/interview with Jordan from the Edmonton Journal. He talks about 2 more songs from his upcoming album: "Make It Loud" and "Alone", doing an album on his own label, the NKOTBSB tour and more:

EDMONTON - A week before he flew across the country to begin tour rehearsals in Los Angeles, Jordan Knight was at home in Boston, watching CNN and thinking about taking his 11-year-old son to hockey tryouts later that night.

“He’s got a little Canadian streak in him,” Knight joked.

It’s hard to believe this New Kid on the Block has kids of his own.

In two weeks, Knight will turn 41, but time otherwise seems to be standing still.

On Tuesday, he releases his latest solo album, Unfinished, a “very melodic and rhythmic and sexy” collection that comes on the heels of lead single Let’s Go Higher, a dance number striving to land somewhere between Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull.

The music video for the song features Knight in a club, alternately dancing with a girl and breaking it down with two backup dancers.

At the end of the month, he will embark on a North American tour with the rest of the New Kids and their successors, the Backstreet Boys. Knight’s summer will be spent singing the hits that set teenage hearts aflutter more than two decades ago. They stop at Rexall Place in Edmonton on July 12.

“I didn’t think this would happen,” said Knight. That he’s still singing songs peppered with ‘ooh babies’ seems surreal, but then again, those words don’t have quite the same effect as they used to.

“I guess it is a little bit calmer,” Knight said. “All the girls aren’t acting on such high doses of hormone. Well, maybe they are, I don’t know. Everyone’s a little more mature now.”

At the height of their fame, the New Kids packed arenas with screaming, often crying, girls smitten with their good looks, catchy songs, and slick choreography. There was significantly less crying on the band’s 2008 reunion tour and the fire for the NKOTBSB supergroup might better be described as embers, stoked by nostalgia.

Knight, however, sees this as a good thing. “I think we’re able to soak in more, like we’re able to soak in the love from the crowd a little more. And I think the fans are able to soak us in more because they’re not blinded by this new thing, the newness of it all, the overwhelming emotion of it all. They’re able to deal with their emotions a little better so they’re able to actually hear what we’re saying.”

Even as he prepares for a throwback tour, Knight is looking forward, hoping to revive his solo career at the same time. A little more than a decade ago, it looked like Knight might emerge from boyband-dom unscathed — he’d scored a major hit with Give It To You, the single that helped send his self-titled debut album to gold in the United States. But all three albums that came afterward failed to chart. Now, almost five years since his last EMI release Love Songs, he’s issuing Unfinished on his own label, JK Music.

“It means that I’m making my own decisions, I’m using my own money to do it. Of course, then you reap more of the benefits obviously. It’s showing that I control my own destiny. Instead of a record label, a major record label, saying, ‘Yeah, we’ll put your record out and we’ll see what happens,’ it’s like, ‘no, I want to be on the front lines with it and I really want to make sure everything goes right’.”

While a major label might treat his work “like a piece of meat,” Knight feels he can give Unfinished the “best shot possible” on his own imprint.

A collaborative effort between Knight and writers and producers who have worked with Chris Brown, the Pussycat Dolls and Lady Gaga, the album is primarily an uptempo mix, in line with Top 40 trends. “Songs like Let’s Go Higher — it’s kinda a fad. It’s in right now,” he said. “I didn’t do it just because of the trend but that kind of music is infectious and I like it.”

As he talks about the record, Knight keeps an eye on the television, tuned to CNN. Many of his songs, he said, were inspired by current events. Make It Loud, a “big, anthem-y kinda song” was written in response to turmoil in the Middle East. Another, called Alone, was written as Knight followed the story of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, who jumped off New Jersey’s George Washington Bridge in September after his roommate secretly recorded and posted a sex tape of him with another man on the Internet. “It’s kinda telling people, ‘If no one is your friend, I’ll be your friend and you’re never alone’.”

Writing music based on the news, Knight said, “makes the music relatable. It makes it current.”

As far as boybands go, ‘N Sync’s Justin Timberlake may be the only one who has successfully transitioned into a solo star. For most others, a past in manufactured pop is an instant black mark. But Knight embraces his New Kid label. “At this point in time, I still think of myself more as a New Kid. I’m not trying to make a statement like, ‘I’m solo. I’m leaving. I’m branching off.’ It’s more like I’m a New Kid and I also do solo stuff.”

Being a forever young New Kid can help.

“More people hear my solo work because I am a New Kid. So that really outweighs any negative. People might pigeonhole me because of ‘He’s a boybander; He’s a New Kid, blah blah blah.’ But you always have to prove yourself. And I think the material’s the most important thing. If the song’s good, then you really don’t have to do much for it.”

For Knight, Unfinished is “already successful. It’s already a success because I like it, I think the music on it is great and because the fans are all picking it up and pre-ordering it and they’re going to hear it. That to me is successful.”

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