Danny was interviewed by Cleveland.com where he talks about how being in the group effects their solo endeavors, NKOTB-paraphernalia, being a "former child star", his favorite tracks on the new album, pitch correction in recording and more.
New Kids on the Block lead boy banders 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men into The Q on Sunday night
Boy bands have been around since the first issue of Sabertooth Tiger Beat profiled Nate & the Neanderthals, but nobody put it all together quite like the New Kids on the Block.
Now, Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre and Jonathan Knight are coming back to town, headlining "The Package Tour," which also features boy banders 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men.
We got a quick email interview with Wood, talking a little about the "old days," and a little about today.
PLAIN DEALER: Some of you have gone into producing, some into acting, some into other fields. Other than just the fame of being one of the kids in New Kids on the Block, how has membership in the group helped (or hurt) you in other endeavors?
DANNY WOOD: I think none of us that will do anything that's bigger than the group itself. I mean, it was pretty big the first time around and now to be doing it again 15 years after we broke up and then to continue it for 5 more years, which is actually longer than the success that we had the first time around, I think none of us as individuals will do anything as big as the group.
But, I think maybe with some of the guys with their acting it helps in some instances and hurts in some instances. It depends on maybe the casting director, or the producer, or whatever. We all just kind of roll with it and I think now we all view it as completely positive and if someone has a negative opinion and it hurts you in some other endeavor that you want to do, that's their problem.
PD: The initial group of fans are now in their 30s. Are those the fans who are coming back to you, or are you picking up new ones – maybe their daughters?
DW: Definitely picking up new fans, it's definitely gone to that next generation. The first time around fans have grown up, and have their own kids, and now some of their kids are now fans.
Also doing the tour with the Backstreet Boys, we're noticing some younger girls in their 20s are coming to the show. I think now with the Internet and how you can get a lot of information on us and see what we have done in the past, I think that benefits us, and we definitely have some new fans, too.
PD: What was the most bizarre NKOTB-paraphernalia (i.e. sleeping bags, dolls, etc.) that you can recall, and do any of you have any of it?
DW: The stuffed animal dolls were the worst, most horrific things you could ever see. They look they would come to life and murder people. I do have one of myself that one of my daughters used to play with when she was little.
PD: Paul Petersen, who starred in "The Donna Reed Show," has been a huge advocate of former child stars and fought their exploitation. Given what you've been through, was it worth it?
DW: It was more than worth it. I am blessed and lucky to be doing what I love to do. We didn't fall into those traps that young stars fall into. I think a lot of that has to do with our upbringing in Boston and coming from big familiars, and kind of always having people around you that will be honest with you and give you their real opinion. I think that's how we avoided the pitfalls of fame when you're young.
PD: This particular tour features some of the best in the boy band era. How did it come together?
DW: How it came together is we're big Boyz II Men fans and we've been wanting to do something with them for the past two or three years. We've talked at different times about doing something, so after we finished with Backstreet Boys, we knew that was the next thing we wanted to do.
At the same time, we heard 98 Degrees was getting back together and we're always trying to look to give the fans more for their money and we figured, "Let's add 98 Degrees on and see what the response is," and response has been amazing.
PD: When you did a lot of these songs – and in particular, the dance steps – you were teenagers. You're, um, not anymore. What kind of steps, if you'll pardon the pun, did you have to take to get back into boy-bad dance shape?
DW: I think that happened in the beginning when we first got back together. I think the guys needed to get in shape and adapt to dancing again. I definitely had to adapt to learning choreography again after 15 years of not doing it.
But now, five years later, there's not much of that. We all know when the tour's coming up. We kind of gear up and get into better shape than we're already in. We're a lucky group, all the guys are all in pretty good shape and now it doesn't take much.
PD: The hiatus was a pretty lengthy one. What was the final piece that fell into place to get you back together?
DW: There wasn't a final piece; it was the combination that Donnie found a great song for us to record, which was called "Click Click Click," that kind of started it off. Also, we have a great manager. our manager is Jared Paul, and he had a vision of what he wanted us to be doing. I think those two things were the final pieces to get us back together.
PD: "10" is a lot more mature, for obvious reasons, than the earlier albums. But what lessons from then went into it?
DW: I think we have a lot of experience, so I think the main lesson that we learned from back in the day to now is not to waste time. Especially when you're paying for it. You know, we put up our own money to make this album, so you kind of want to get in the studio, sing your parts and get out and make the most of it. We worked consistently, we worked hard, and we got it done really quick. I think the five of us together know how to go through that process and how to make the most of our time.
PD: When you went into the studio for "10," did you have a particular plan or goal in mind?
DW: The goal is always to just make a great record for the fans, and I think we accomplished that. We also want wanted to make a record that we would like and we would play. So along the way, by hearing the songs and saying we wanted to record them, we were accomplishing that because we knew we liked the songs then you gotta hope the fans like it and now we know they definitely dig it.
PD: What are your favorite tracks on the new album, and why?
DW: My favorite track is called "Wasted On You" and I think just because you get a nice flavor of Joe, Jordan and Donnie and for myself, I'm kinda fans of theirs. It's an emotional song and I love the lyrics, I love the production and if I had to pick one song, that would be it.
PD: When you guys first started recording, it was the tail end of the tape period, before pitch correction, Pro Tools, etc. Do you think this technology would have changed the original NKOTB sound?
DW: No, I don't think it would have changed the sound much. I mean, I think now it's more of a habit that people use the pitch correction and all that stuff, and the auto-tuning, but I think it's not right. It is a crutch for some people, you know, for the people that are maybe not so talented. But if you can sing, you can sing.
PD: What's your favorite memory of those old days?
DW: One of my favorite memories is us playing to over 100,000 people in Santiago, Chile, for an Amnesty International Concert. It was such a great cause the stadium we played is where people were killed and tortured and it was just an amazing and emotional time and especially for Amnesty International to bring awareness to such a great cause, was pretty awesome.