Faculty’s Jared Paul on NKOTB, the Package Tour, Boston, Themed Cruises and MoreSOURCE: http://www.hitsdailydouble.com/news/newsPage.cgi?news09389m01
May 9, 2013
Manager/producer Jared Paul, who recently rebranded his company Faculty, has had his hands full with the New Kids on the Block album, 10, and Package Tour (the latter also featuring 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men). Then there are all his other acts, the all-star Boston Strong benefit concert, and multiple other projects. Why he wasted a few precious minutes of downtime talking to us is a mystery.
How did Boston Strong come about?
It started with a call from Donnie Wahlberg; he said the bands of Boston had to come together and help after what happened at the Marathon, so we reached out to Don Law and Dave Marsden at Live Nation. We’re all extremely passionate about it. It’ll take place at the TD Garden Arena on May 30 and will benefit ONEFUND, which was set up to aid victims and first responders. New Kids on the Block, Aerosmith, James Taylor, Carole King, Jimmy Buffett, Jason Aldean and several other major acts will perform.
Tell us a bit about the NKOTB album and the Package Tour.
We’d done the previous record with Interscope [2008’s Top 5 album The Block]. But we set about very consciously to produce the record ourselves and to produce the record independently.
And one of the biggest reasons we did that—having the absolute utmost respect for Jimmy Iovine and everything he did for the band —is because the New Kids are in a way no different than Phish or the Grateful Dead. They’re touring juggernauts with an extremely loyal community. Our agenda was to make a record that we were proud of, that the fans would love. It’s the soundtrack to the party.
You’ve also had an interesting array of partners.We’ve been able to get some amazing partners—whether it was Ryan Seacrest debuting the single or the artwork, or VEVO debuting a lyric video that we did with fan-generated content, or Perez Hilton being a partner on the making-of-the-album piece, or VH1 doing a making-of-the-video piece. Live Nation actually helped us debut our video, and this was a nontraditional partner. We know that it was the single biggest engagement of any piece of content Live Nation has ever put on one of their platforms.
Let’s talk a little bit about the creative that went into the album: the writing process, song selection.The band is very much a partnership. There were basically two production teams heavily involved in the record: a Dutch production team called DEEKAY Music, and a producer/writer named Brent Paschke, who worked directly with some of the band members as well.
It was made over the course of about three months. It was a very safe, exploratory process, and it happened very quickly. It’s an adult pop record. That said, their fans have actually gotten a bit younger. I think we grew our audience. We did a Backstreet Boys tour, so they can be in their early 20s and go up to their late 30s.
How did the package come together?The BSB tour was such a banner success. We saw that there are like-minded fans—and bands—out there. The New Kids prefer to play arenas. We took a two-year break from North America and toured internationally. We started thinking about like-minded artists and friends. The 98 Degrees guys played the Mixtape Festival with us, and there was camaraderie there. And, of course, the band has always had such a high regard for Boyz II Men. It started with a 25-city tour, and we’re at 50-plus right now.
We’re touring in the round, which is important, because we want every seat to be a good seat. We are very aggressive about keeping our ticket prices under $100. We haven’t significantly increased our ticket prices in six years. And we offer many VIP options, which sell out in minutes, because the band spends a lot of time interacting with their fans before their show.
Can you say a little bit about the cruise?We’re on our fifth one. We did it the summer of 2009, and it sold out in an hour. That was a 1,900-seat boat called The Imagination; we subsequently increased the boat to 3,000 people for all the years since. You don’t know what you’re getting into. At that time it was the fastest-selling cruise ship of all time. We’ve been doing it ever since. They have a great time. Who wouldn’t want to be on your own cruise ship you’ve chartered with 3,000 people who love you?
Let’s get into some of the rest of your roster.
Emblem3 on Columbia is exploding; every tour date and VIP package sold out in a minute. Their record is due out in June, A&R’d and executive produced by Savan Kotecha. I’ve managed Julianne Hough since before she was on Dancing With the Stars. She’s sold a half-million records as a country artist for Universal and toured with some of the biggest acts in the genre. MKTO just went triple platinum in Australia on their first single. We did 75 shows with Big Time Rush last year for Nickelodeon and Columbia, averaging well over 10,000 people. They’ll tour with Victoria Justice this summer in arenas and amphitheaters.
Great talking to you. Here’s hoping you get a little time to breathe.Well, it looks like I’ve got four tours going out this summer, so I’m just feeling very grateful.