Following their long-overdue Unity Tour running across the U.S. this summer, the Jacksons plan to return to the studio and work on their first studio album since 1989's 2300 Jackson Street, eldest brother Jackie Jackson tells Billboard.
"That's what we gotta do -- right after the tour, we're gonna go back into the studio and start recording some new music. I can't wait," says Jackson, adding that he has stayed active in the studio over the past two decades, preparing songs for his daughter. The singer says that, sonically, a new Jacksons project would include "a little bit of today, and also a return to our sound. We're gonna keep it simple… We can't shy away from our sound."
In the meantime, Jackson and his brothers Jermaine, Marlon and Tito will break out their classic hits on their first tour in nearly three decades, which kicks off on June 18 in Louisville. Jackson says that the brothers' individual projects prevented a live trek from happening sooner, but it was something that was always on their minds.
"For many many years, we've been saying that we wanted to tour and go out, and sometimes things just don't happen the way you want them to," says Jackson. "All of our fans around the world wanted us to tour as well. So we decided to come together and just do it for the fans because they want to see it."
Rehearsals for the tour kick off on May 1, and Jackson promises a full band and some snappy choreography. "It's a challenge, because I can't move like I used to move a long time ago," says the 60-year-old Jackson, "but it's time to do it."
Of course, the absence of Michael Jackson, the superstar member of the Jacksons who died in 2009, will be fresh in Jackson fans' minds as the Unity tour gets underway. Jackie Jackson says that the upcoming shows will honor their brother's legacy, with performances of his solo songs being part of a segment of the show that will serve as a tribute to Michael.
"I just wish my brother was here with us so we could do it with him," says Jackson, "but there is gonna be some planning to dedicate some songs to Michael in the show, and I'm sure his spirit will be in the house when we're out there performing on the stage."