He lives with his wife and kids in LA, but Joey McIntyre remains one beloved Boston boy. At 38, the Jamaica Plain-raised musician makes grown women swoon like the teenage girls who worshipped his poster during New Kids on the Block's '80s heyday. That was the scene when he stopped by Woodward at the Ames Hotel to play an intimate set from his new holiday album, Come Home for Christmas, after his public performance for the city's Christmas tree lighting. We chatted with him about his busy year touring with the Backstreet Boys (as part of the boy-band super-group NKOTBSB) and recent television work on Psych and CSI. He also has a small role in New Year's Eve, the new flick starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Ashton Kutcher, and just about everyone else in Hollywood. But NYE is a big day for him off-screen, too. December 31 is McIntyre's birthday, and this New Kid is counting down to the last year of his 30s.
How was it being back in Boston for the tree lighting?
It was a great way to kick off the season. You appreciate it all so much more when you're older - especially having kids and wanting them to have Boston in their lives.
What do you miss most about Boston?
Jamaica Pond. And the Golden Temple Mai Tai. You know, that place in Brookline? But not the regular mai tai! The Golden Temple Mai Tai.
Why was this the year for a holiday album?
I got off the road in August from the NKOTBSB tour. It was amazing, loads of fun. Then I came home and jumped into daddy land. But creatively, I got itchy. I had this album on the back burner for a while. . . . So I jumped right into it with Rob Lewis, our musical director from the tour. I decided to do it in October, which is rushing it, but in this digital age I was able to turn it around in time. I'm really proud of it.
How was it touring with the New Kids again?
It's been a huge blessing to work with those guys again. You relive some of the tough parts, too, but as an adult. Imagine all that stuff you went through with friends as a teenager or in college, all that shit you went through - then to come back 15 years later and go, "Okay, how would I work that out again?" I bet everyone has that experience: you get back with your friends, and even though you're totally different people, the dynamic is the same. That's kind of how it was. Luckily, we're great friends.
Was there some sense of boy-band fraternity with the Backstreet Boys?
Absolutely. There's a soldier vibe, like, "This guy did a few tours." You know what I mean? There's kind of a weathered vibe to us. . . . Both groups have seen it all and been around long enough to know that it was an awesome opportunity to do it the way we did it again. There was a lot of gratitude.
The tour hits Europe and Australia in 2012. Any new music coming?
We just started talking about that. I think new music would keep it fresh, and fans would be excited. Everyone has to stay excited. The minute we're doing stuff just because we can, it's going to show.
How'd you wind up in New Year's Eve?
I was hoping for this one role, and when I finally asked [director Garry Marshall], it was New Year's Eve last year. . . . I said, "There's a part in the movie where, if Matt Damon's not available, I'm your guy." Next thing you know, I get an offer. Then I read the rest of the email and was like, "Who's this? What role is this?" [Laughs] Anyway, it's a great role [and] a great movie to be part of. Plus, with the Psych thing and CSI, I'm focusing on the acting in a way that I haven't.
You'll be 39 on December 31. So what's the biggest lesson learned in your 30s?
What am I trying to learn is more like it. Well, that you can never be too kind - and that takes a lot of effort sometimes. That sarcasm doesn't really work. And that I always have more time than I think I do.