Monday, July 1, 2024

Jordan's interview with MediaNews Group

Jordan was interviewed by MediaNews Group about the tour!

New Kids on the Block are still hangin' tough after nearly four decades

By GARY GRAFF | | For MediaNews Group

PUBLISHED: June 14, 2024 at 6:03 a.m. | UPDATED: June 19, 2024 at 11:12 a.m.

New Kids on the Block’s Jordan Knight recalls the wise words his grandmother once shared with him about aging.

“She used to say, ‘No matter how old you get, you can still feel like a kid,’” the singer says by phone from rehearsals for NKOTB’s just-started Magic Summer Tour. “And I would think: ‘Are you crazy? You’re so old … .’ (laughs) I didn’t say that to her, but I was like: ‘How can that be true? Whaddya mean you can still feel like a kid?,’ ’cause she moved slow and blah, blah, blah.

“But now that I’m older, I know that it’s true. Instead of skipping, you may shuffle a little more, but the energy you feel inside you is the same.”

And that’s especially true when Knight and his fellow New Kids — older brother Jonathan Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McEntire and Danny Wood — come together to perform their catalog of hits. “When we go on stage and we’re bopping around and singing to the music, it’s like we’re allowed to let go and be free and be like kids,” he says.

The quintet has no shortage of memories for fans of all ages, of course.

Formed in Boston (as Nynuk) during the mid-80s, NKOTB was mentored by songwriter-producer Maurice Starr, who did the same for New Edition. A self-titled debut album made the charts, but its follow-up, 1988’s “Hanging’ Tough,” broke the group big, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and certified eight-times platinum, with four Top 5 singles. NKOTB’s abundance of the right stuff has resulted in worldwide sales of more than 80 million records, and 10 total Top 20 hits — reaching No. 1 with “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever),” “Hangin’ Tough” and “Step By Step.”

Now, of course, they’re hardly New or Kids. All five are in their 50s (McIntyre’s the “kid” at 51), and all have branched out into other ventures, including solo careers, Wahlberg’s Wahlburgers chain with his brothers and Jonathan Knight’s HGTV show “Farmhouse Fixer.” But the group continues and last month even released “Still Kids,” its first new album in 11 years.

“We still have the desire to make new things,” says Jordan Knight, 54, who co-wrote the track “Old School Love,” which features fellow hitmaker Taylor Dayne. “We just want to make new music to get us excited and also to get the fans excited to hear something new from us and not just be like, ‘Yeah, we’re an ’80s band’ and rely on our 80s music.

“We don’t want to do that. I don’t think it’s in our DNA. So it’s really to pump new life into the bands and into the fans and into the show. That’s why we make new music. That’s always a good thing.

“You could say we’re an ’80s band, a retro band, or a band that had bit hits in the ’80s, and we keep making music. That’s what it really is.”

But, Knight acknowledges, the New Kids fully understand that it’s the old(er) songs that keep bringing fans back, whether the group is touring on its own or curating one of its Mixtape tours with other artists.

“I think when you put a great song out there and it really hits, you make an impression and so many people and people want to go back to that feeling they got when they first heard the song or when they were a big fan,” he explains. “When you listen to it now, you get the same feeling. The music makes such an emotional impression; it just stays in your heart and you want to revisit that. We’re fortunate to have that.”

For the Magic Summer Tour, meanwhile, Knight says New Kids will offer its trademark array of flashy visual production — “All the bells and whistles,” he promises — and precision ensemble dance routines. “It’s actually been a while since we’ve done this type of show, just us on stage for an hour and a half, two hours,” he notes. But Knight says New Kids are up to the task, and he hopes the group’s enthusiasm is evident to the fans who show up.

“I enjoy it more now, in a different way,” Knight says. “When we first went out, it was so crazy and we were so young. It was just nuts. Now it’s more like a slightly slower drip of caffeine. We get the excitement and the thrill of it, but it’s also at a more sustainable pace, a more manageable pace. We get to soak it in.

“I would say we’re actually in the moment more, and we all appreciate it more now.”

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