Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Donnie's interview with the Chicago Sun Times

The Chicago Sun Times posted an article about Block Con and they interviewed Donnie. He confirmed they are working on a new album and they have some other exciting things planned for the 15th anniversary of "The Block", and he mentioned we may get to hear some unreleased tracks from that album!

Here is the article

Donnie Wahlberg and the rest of New Kids on the Block will be in Rosemont this weekend for the band’s first-ever fan convention.
By  Selena Fragassi - For the Sun-Times   May 23, 2023, 8:16pm EDT

Nearly 40 years after forming in Boston in 1984, New Kids on the Block are set to host their first-ever fan convention in Rosemont over Memorial Day weekend, BLOCKCON, and Donnie Wahlberg has been busy going through decades of memorabilia to bring with him to the event. 

“I’m actually in my storage shed going through years of stuff,” the singer-actor shared during a recent interview. Wahlberg revealed he was rolling through the itemized list of discoveries he’s been making while unpacking a number of boxes and road cases that have been, until now, safe-kept in a storage unit near the St. Charles home he shares with his wife, actress Jenny McCarthy.

“I’ve found concert clothes from 1989, 1990, iconic looks. I have a stage-worn jacket from the [’90-‘92] Magic Summer Tour. I used to wear these hardware hats that the fans know very well, I found three of them. … There’s my outfit I wore to an awards show in 1989, my graffiti pants I used to wear onstage,” Wahlberg said. “I have fully intact New Kids dolls, the big fluffy ones and the little Barbie and Ken doll action figures. I have a New Kids pillowcase and sleeping bag. And then there’s the box of every jacket my mom got from every tour — there’s 20 of them, all different tours, they all say [her name] Alma on them.”

This NKOTB quasi-museum is going to be just one part of BLOCKCON, which all five of the original members — Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Jonathan and Jordan Knight and Danny Wood — have been personally working on, step by step, over the past year. The result: a fully immersive experience for the legion of the band’s diehard fans, lovingly referred to as Blockheads.

“Typically, people do conventions and it’s sort of like minimal sightings of the band or the actor or whatever the theme of the convention is. But our fans have come to expect a certain level of involvement from us, which means to be there the entire time. There’s no event [at BLOCKCON] that doesn’t involve us. So it’s not going to be like we show up for a half hour and say hi on a panel or take some pictures and leave. We are full-on there,” Wahlberg said.

For Wahlberg, it’ll be an easy trek, since the event is just a quick drive down I-90 from his home. He and McCarthy are full-fledged residents of Illinois at this point — “I have the driver’s license to prove it,” Wahlberg joked — though they often travel for work, with Wahlberg a cast member on the CBS cop drama “Blue Bloods” and also recently appearing on Fox’s “The Masked Singer,” where McCarthy is a judge.

BLOCKCON offers a kickoff concert, daytime panels, exhibits, a prom theme party on Saturday night and “a farewell event with the New Kids on Sunday morning,” according to a press release. And for the really dedicated fans, they can get some permanent NKOTB ink, too. 

“So many New Kids fans get tattoos, I wanted to repay them and I got my own New Kids tattoo in tribute. The artist who did it, so many fans try to seek him out, so he’s actually going to come to the convention and do tattoos if anyone wants them,” Wahlberg added.

BLOCKCON also celebrates the 15th anniversary of the band’s 2008 reunion; the quintet originally disbanded in 1994 at the height of their popularity.

“There’s a maturity that we probably lacked the first time around, even though we kind of got into this when we were all young teenagers and had to mature very quickly. It all happened so fast, it was hard to appreciate it all. And I think with this second go-around, we’re all just all so much more grateful for all of it,” Wahlberg said. “It’s that age-old question, ‘If you had the chance to do it over again what would you do differently?’ Well we’re doing it. We’re living it out right now.” 

In addition to 2.0 highlights including sold-out tours, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and playing their beloved Fenway Park, the band is also working on new material. (Their last album release was the 2017 EP “Thankful.”)

“I don’t think I’m supposed to spoil it all but … we’re working on an album and we’re working on something to celebrate the 15th anniversary of [2008 comeback album] ‘The Block,’ ” Wahlberg said.

“I have the collection of that entire album-making process in my old [computer] from 2008 and I’ve been going through that the same way I’ve been going through this storage unit,” he said. “It’s loaded with gems and unreleased music and little things that I forgot even existed that will be so fun for fans to reminisce and discover right along with us.”

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