New Kids on the Block Talk Tour... and a New Album?
"That comes up; people ask us in interviews and Donnie [Wahlberg] and Jordan [Knight] will say, 'Yeah, we're doing a new album,' and I go, 'Really? We are?!'" McIntyre tells Billboard. "It's a living, breathing thing. You never know where it's gonna come from. I enjoy making records with these guys. I think we have a certain sound because we've been doing it for 30 years -- that R&B, blue-eyed soul thing, whatever anybody wants to call it. I know Donnie has a ton of ideas and we can get the musical bug, and Jordan makes his own records and so does Danny [Wood]. New music is part of the puzzle, so maybe it's not 12 songs. Maybe it's five songs. Maybe it's eight songs. Who knows what it's gonna be, but new music is a good way to inject some energy into what we do."
McIntyre was an acknowledged driving force behind 10, which was NKOTB's first set of new material in five years, bringing in songs he wrote with his regular team of collaborators before the group made the majority of the album with the Danish team of Lars Halvor Jensen and Johannes Jorgensen. McIntyre predicted that NKOTB will again look to work with other writers and producers on fresh material. "In this day and age of making records, it's really an investment in the group and the relationship with the fans," he explains. "It keeps it fresh for us, and [new] music is good for the fans." But he does acknowledge that the quintet's main focus these days is on the stage rather than in the studio.
"We're a touring band, and that's what we do and that's how we make our music," McIntyre says. "With record sales as they are today, that's really just a piece of the puzzle and not our main concern. But when you look at the Stones to Journey to all the rock and roll bands, they're still out there, and there's no reason we can't figure out how to keep it fresh and entertaining for years to come."
While next-album plans are bandied about, NKOTB is on the road into July with its The Main Event tour, a package that also includes TLC and Nelly. "It's a little bit outside of our zone," McIntyre says of the outing. "We usually do the boy band thing. But it's been great. I think it's a party. You have the arguably the biggest girl band in the world with a big boy band, and then you have Nelly to kick off the party. It's very exciting. It's the Main Event, like we call it, hit after hit. People are showing up to have a good time and we as artists are getting pumped up every night 'cause we want to keep the excitement going and have a bunch of incredible moments going throughout the night."
One show moment that's generating lots of attention is McIntyre's solo spot, a mash-up of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" and NKOTB's "Twisted," during which he peels off his shirt to show a torso still well-chiseled at 42. "That's a great way to get a cheap [reaction], 'cause there's no better inspiration than to have to take your shirt off in front of 10,000 girls every night. That's kinda fun," McIntyre says with a laugh. "But I enjoy the whole show. Being able to sing 'Please Don't Go Girl,' which was our first single 27 years ago, and to have that song mean more to me now than it ever has and to sing it as a grown man and have it still work is really cool."