Stuff Boston: Get close with Jordan Knight

Get Close with ... Jordan Knight

It's been a while since his Teen Beat pinup days, but Jordan Knight still elicits decibel-defying squeals from female fans. At least, that was the case when we caught up with the surprisingly still-swoon-worthy singer when he performed at the Estate during Dancing for Hope, a fundraiser for St. Mary's Center for Women and Children. Next month, he leaves for a tour of Europe, Asia, and Australia with NKOTBSB, the New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys über-group — but not before a final stop on his solo Live and Unfinished Tour, which will hit Showcase Live (23 Patriot Place, Foxborough, 508.543.0609) on Sunday, April 1. Expect songs from his most recent album, Unfinished, plus the requisite dose of oldies. For tickets ($35), visit ticketweb.com.

How'd you get involved with the St. Mary's event?
My wife is on the board. It's close to our heart because we both grew up in Dorchester. St. Mary's used to be St. Margaret's Hospital. . . . I'd go there when I was little with Donnie [Wahlberg]. His mom worked there, and we'd go to get lunch money or money for the corner store or subway. My wife asked me to perform last year, and I told her, “No, I really have no repertoire right now.” Now I'm on the road doing my thing, so she told me this year I have no excuse. I said, “Well, who's going to pay for the sound system and everything?” She said, “You are! 'Cause it's for charity! So get your butt up on stage and sing!” “Okay, okay. I got you!” [Laughs] But it's a great cause. We grew up in Dorchester and know how hard it can be. Some people have it rough in life, and all they need is a helping hand.
Your April concert is right by Gillette Stadium. That reminded me: didn't the New
Kids perform a halftime show at the Super Bowl?

We performed in 1991 at the Super Bowl, but it was cut off by coverage of the Gulf War. We did this big, elaborate performance piece. I think Mickey Mouse might have been in it, the whole cast of Walt Disney. [Laughs] It was a big, big production. We flew in the night before from the American Music Awards, we went on, and we thought it was great. Then when we got off, everyone was like, “We didn't see you on TV!”
Fast-forward 20 years, and the New Kids are back together. How is it touring with the group again?
 The whole reunion is a dream come true. Most pop teen groups, by this time they're on drugs or whatever. Being laughed at. Jokes. For us to be able to do what we did and band together, hold each other up and be strong, and have such a great city help us along and have our backs — it's a dream come true.
How is it working as an independent artist?
I love doing things independently because I control everything. I'm not a control freak, but it does feel good! It makes my experience in music very rounded. When I do the New Kids, we're a democracy. Then I do my own thing, and I get to control everything. It's the best of both worlds.
How has social media changed the business?
We can touch fans instantly with a tweet or on Facebook. For a group like us, with a fan base like ours, that's wonderful. They don't have to wait until we get on MTV or VH1. We can post a video or tweet a TwitPic, so they don't have to buy US Weekly. It's like our own magazine, our own network, our own everything.
Has fatherhood impacted your music?
 I did a song for Unfinished called “Never Alone” that was based around the whole bullying situation. Having kids in school, with them venturing on the Internet and stuff like that, that definitely inspired my songwriting for that song. It's tough, trying to keep it clean and trying to be a sex symbol at the same time, but I think I'm pulling it off.
Are you ever taken aback by how devout New Kids fans are?
It's very touching, and a lot of times the girls will show pictures of us. They'll say, “Look! Here we are, 20 years ago!” And it'll be a real picture of one of us with them that they took at a meet and greet or some event. It's like, holy crap — we're still here and they still really love us. It's a real gift, and a lot of musicians would die for that situation.
SOURCE: http://stuffboston.com/get/archive/2012/03/09/Get-Close-with-Jordan-Knight.aspx

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