[ Interview ] Middle-age New Kid Jordan Knight by day: A stay-at-home-dad

Source: [ TwinCities.com ]

By day, 41-year-old Jordan Knight is your typical stay-at-home father.

“I’m a hockey dad,” he said during a phone interview last week. “Actually, today, I’m a basketball dad. I get up with the kids, get them dressed, take them to school. All that good, fun stuff. That’s what life is about, the little moments.”

But by night, he deals with a different breed of kids as leader of the reunited boy band New Kids on the Block. It’s a lucrative business, too, as NKOTB drew about 13,000 fans to Xcel Energy Center in 2008 and a similar number to Target Center last summer on a joint tour with the Backstreet Boys.

Thursday, Knight kicks off his own tour at the Cabooze in support of his third solo album, “Unfinished.” He initially hoped to hit the road last fall but, like most stay-at-home dads, he took another gig as a judge on a Canadian “American Idol”-style TV show.

Here’s what else Knight had to share about life as a middle-age New Kid:

On the joint New Kids/Backstreet tour, which earned surprisingly glowing reviews:

“It was fun to do. I guess I can say it’s probably maturity. When you get a little older, you’re not as worried about what people think. You’re able to be a little freer. The same thing goes with the crowd. We all just want to get away from our troubles and have some fun, reliving great moments from when we were kids.”

On his social media-driven relationship with fans:

“(In the early New Kids days) we didn’t even do
meet-and-greets. They were unheard of. We’d go into a city and the crowd was just one big blank mass. Now, it feels a lot different and a lot more personal. We know the people in the audience personally – or at least we know their Twitter names. That’s why I’m doing the solo tour. The fans were asking for it on Twitter.”

On what makes his solo work different from NKOTB:

“I don’t have to put as much pressure on myself, to make every song commercial and to watch what I say. With the New Kids, there’s a certain responsibility there. (On my own), I just kind of imagine what the fans really want, not what a record company wants. I didn’t have to put the latest rapper on there, or try to do something that would appeal to both a 40-year-old and a 14-year-old. I directed it to a target audience, right to our fans.”

On what to expect from his solo performance:

“Honestly, it’s like a scaled-down New Kids show. There will be some good choreography, a full band and a lot of moments with the crowd. I’ll be playing the keyboard and singing and pulling a few fans on stage here and there. In an arena, you have to do all the hits and it’s harder to relax and look people in the eye. Here, it’s a more intimate level and I can do more obscure songs for the more dedicated fans.”

On what’s next for the New Kids:

“We haven’t recorded in almost four years, so we need to get back to the studio. We will be recording another album, creating new visuals, new videos, new numbers on stage, all that stuff. I would think possibly a late 2012 or early 2013 album release.”

On what his sons, Dante (12) and Eric (4), think about his job:

“They’re used to it. My 4-year-old thinks it’s silly to see dad messing around and making noise. My 12-year-old saw the whole reunion thing happen and he was awestruck, I’d say. I pulled him onstage at one show and his eyes bugged out of his head. I could tell he was really proud.”

Who: Jordan Knight
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Cabooze, 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis
Tickets: $40-$35
Call: 612-338-6425

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