New Kids still make the ladies swoon

 New Kids still make the ladies swoon/Boy band coming to Charlotte, NC
For the Herald-Journal
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a New Kids on the Block concert could basically be described as pandemonium, with arenas packed with (mostly) teen-aged girls screaming to every note the five singers sang and every movement they made on stage.
Two decades later, the same quintet of Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight and Joey McIntyre is back performing in arenas and outdoor amphitheaters. But so many years down the road, one would assume a New Kids concert would have evolved into a gentler, less shrieky affair.
One would be wrong with that assumption.
“They're really not that different, other than age,” Wahlberg said of the group's fans. “They're just as frenzied, just as loud and just as excited. I think we are, too. I think if I can say this, that the X factor in all of it is we're all older and we appreciate it much more, the band and the fans.”
The return of New Kids on the Block has already turned into a more extended reunion than many expected. Reconvening after a 13-year break in 2008, the group has followed up its 2008 album “The Block” with its second post-reunion album “10” in April and is now back on tour (with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees opening) and still showing arena-filling drawing power.
In its first go-around, from 1984 to 1994, the New Kids sold a combined 80 million copies of its four albums worldwide. The group rejected many big-money offers to reunite after its breakup, with Wahlberg often credited as the New Kid who balked at these opportunities.
Wahlberg, in his post-New Kids life, had enjoyed a successful acting career, with roles in such high-profile films as “Ransom” and “The Sixth Sense” He currently stars in the CBS television drama “Blue Bloods” and is staying with the show even as New Kids continues to record and tour.
He had consistently maintained he wouldn't do a New Kids reunion simply for the money. There had to be a legitimate musical/creative reason for the group to exist again.
That incentive surfaced when Wahlberg heard the song “Click, Click, Click,” and thought the breezy, hip-hop-laced ballad was just right for New Kids.
“I think emotionally, I was looking for something different, a different way to express some things I was dealing with,” said Wahlberg, who was going through a divorce at the time. “And I found the song (“Click, Click, Click”). I think when all of the other guys were gung ho (about the song), we took the first step.”
As with “The Block,” the spark for making the “10” album was Wahlberg hearing a song – this time “Remix (I Like The).”
“I loved it instantly,” he said. “And that song had been sitting around for three years. Nobody wanted it. I couldn't believe it.”
The process of making “10,” though, was markedly different than for “The Block.”
“I'd say ‘The Block' album was more sort of me sort of leading the pack and sort of staying in the studio and writing and working with the different producers (including Redone and Akon),” Wahlberg said.
“With this album, the other guys were around (to help choose and develop the songs). I was very satisfied creatively and emotionally on ‘The Block' album,” Wahlberg said. “I think this album's process really helped us to be creatively and emotionally satisfied more as a unit, and I think that's really important.”
“10” has a different feel from “The Block.” The latter album mixed a strong dose of hip-hop rhythms and production with the light pop sound that defined the early New Kids albums. On “10,” the hip-hop influence is less dominant. The group shifts to big pop-styled beats on mid-tempo tunes like “We Own Tonight” and “Wasted On You,” while even airy ballads like “Jealous” and “Take My Breath Away” have an epic quality. The wild card is “Remix,” a rocking track with a thumping beat and hooky vocal melody.
“A lot of the songs sort of have an anthemic, arena sound to them. And we thought about that,” Wahlberg said. “When we connected with a song, we would visualize how is this song going to play in an arena? How is it going to play on tour?”
The group is finding out how the new songs translate live now that the tour with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees has started.
In a major twist, the New Kids are performing in the round on this tour. For a group that usually performs at the front of the stage around its five microphones, this meant re-thinking how to play to the crowd.
“We're still doing the classic five-microphone-stand look, but we've re-imagined and did a lot to not have our backs to anybody in the arena very much.” Wahlberg said. “We don't want to be excluding half of the audience really at any point in the show. So we had to do a lot of sort of crafty planning and use pretty much everything in our repertoire, and we have. It's been a great challenge. It's really given the show a lot of new life.”

Crossfade Interview with Danny Wood

NKOTB on Boy Bands: "We Don't Pay Attention, They're Doing A Different Thing Than Us"

Way before Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, One Direction, and The Wanted, there was New Kids on the Block. And OMG, did these Hangin' Tough boys start somethin'.
For almost a decade, Donnie, Danny, Jordan, Jonathan, and Joey had the world's teenage female population obsessed with their smooth "Step By Step" moves. Dozens of hits later, even after they begged their screaming teen fans to "Please Don't Go Girl," NKOTB Face[d] the Music and called it quits in 1994.
Almost 15 years later, the not-so-New Kids reunited and released their first studio album in 14 years, The Block, embarked on a series of concert cruises (most of which have set sail from the 305 and have featured special performances from Naughty By Nature), and toured with the Backstreet Boys.
And today, they're still doing their boy band thang. Earlier this year, NKOTB released another album, 10, and broke the news of The Package Tour with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees.
Crossfade spoke with former teenage heartthrob Danny Wood as he and his buds prepare to show off their package at the BB&T Center on June 22. The New Kid fessed up about his dream performing with Boyz II Men, his views on O.P.P., and how the boy bands of today compare with NKOTB.

Crossfade: How has it been touring with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees?
Danny Wood: It's been really really great. We have a really tight bond with Boyz II Men, especially because they go back a little bit further and [we] were already friends with them and have been wanting to do something with them for a couple of years, and we have 98 Degrees getting back together. It's a great show for girls to see.
NKOTB broke up in the early/mid 90s. What made you guys get back together?
In 2008, it was music. Donnie played me "Click Click Click" and that was the start of our 2008 album, The Block. It's kind of like we always did things for the love of music. We weren't gonna get back together for a reunion tour. We wanted to make music and it worked out pretty good.
As one of the original boy bands, I'm sure you've had many things thrown at you on stage by obsessed teenaged fans. Any bras?
[Laughs] A little bit. For me, I don't have a specific story. The first time around, it was a blur. It was more difficult to soak it all in and enjoy it at that age... I mean, these days that doesn't happen that much because the girls are older and not throwing bras on stage or anything. Our fans got together [once] and pitched in for a full-page ad in Billboard when our new album went out. We have a special bond with our fans.
Tell me about Naughty Kids on the Block. How did that happen?
We just reached out to [Naughty by Nature] ... We grew up listening to hip-hop and were fans of it already. Our audience relates to it. It's not a stretch at all. And actually, Naughty By Nature did our cruise with us a few years ago. They're just really great performers and entertainers.
Are you down with O.P.P.?
[Laughs] No. I'm a family man. I'm a single dad. I wouldn't really classify myself.
NKOTB started off really young and practically grew up in the spotlight.
We didn't really keep in touch. We were together for such a long time, we needed that time. I have always kept in touch with Donnie. We've been friends since the first grade, but getting back together now, we have an appreciation for each other and have worked very hard. The bond isn't easy to describe. We really enjoy each other's company. That's what separates us from a lot of groups. We grew up together, and no once can break that bond.
How do boy bands of today, like One Direction, Big Time Rush, and The Wanted compare with NKOTB?
I don't really know. I don't know much about them, my daughters do. We take a lot of pride in our performances. We come from a different generation. We don't pay attention. They're doing a different thing than us. I honestly really don't know. But watching the Backstreet Boys and N'Sync come after us, they were really good groups and carried the torch well.

NKOTB recently released its latest album, 10. Will you mainly be performing new releases?
We [released] it on our own and it entered the charts and we did well. No record company, just us. [But] we don't overload the new songs. We will never be the kind of group that puts on a new record and performs all of the new songs, but the majority of the show is all of the hits.
Did you ever think that 20 years later you would be getting together with NKOTB and touring the world with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees?
I'm living beyond my dream. It's like winning the lottery twice. It doesn't really happen. For it to happen twice, it's pretty incredible. We take a lot of pride and wanna keep on doing it for years to come. Boyz II Men, for me ... They're such an amazing group. They've had many hits. They're nice guys and we can relate to them. This is it. To be working with Boyz II Men is definitely a dream come true.
What are your future plans?
We take a break. And hopefully, next year, we tour overseas maybe with both the same groups or a different package, maybe more European, but definitely take a break... We'll always be open minded. I don't know what it will be, but it's a process. It's all dictated by the fans.

100.7 Star Pittsburgh: Q&A with NKOTB (VIDEOS)

NKOTB Q&A - Advice for teen starsAmy in Pittsburgh asked Jordan what advice he has for teen stars like Justin Bieber. Danny gets a question from Melissa in Monroeville about his favorite song to play live
Video - Video -
NKOTB Q&A - Donnie Wahlberg Has Nice Things To Say About PittsburghDuring our Q&A Donnie was asked about his acting. He stars opposite Tom Selleck in the CBS series Blue Bloods, as if you didn't already know. A few years ago, he filmed the Spike TV mini-series The Kill Point in Pittsburgh and had a lot of nice things to say about our city
Video - Video -
NKOTB Q&A - Which Fans Were Wilder...Teens Or Adults?During our Q&A session with New Kids On The Block in the Baierl Acura Theater, the guys were asked which group of fans was wilder, teenagers or the adults they had become
Video - Video -
NKOTB Q&A - Joey Talks Boston MarathonBefore performing at the Consol Energy Center, NKOTB sat down with Melanie Taylor and Star Listeners for a Q&A session in the Baierl Acura Theater. Joey McIntyre talked about his experience running this year's tragic Boston Marathon.
Video -
Video - 
NKOTB Q&A - What's On Your Bucket List?Prior to their show at Consol Energy Center, The New Kids On The Block stopped by 100.7 Star for a Q&A session with fans in the Baierl Acura Theater. Kate Crawford, a listener who is battling cancer, asked the guys what is on their bucket list as she crossed off an item on hers, hangin' tough with NKOTB!
Video - Video -