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You can find taking a walk at Apple Podcast Spotify the podcast Playground or wherever you get your podcast Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the block is Buzz Knight’s guest on today’s episode He’s been part of a band that sold over 80 million worldwide He has a successful solo career and acting career Joey is heading out on solo tour and we’ll talk to him next on taking a walk.
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Hi Joey Welcome, to taking a walk.
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Hey, how are you?
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I’m doing great I wish we were in person Maybe strolling uh strolling down Newbury Street in Boston or something but uh maybe some other time Joey.
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I love a good walk man I love a good walk Well.
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thank you for um for being on I so appreciate it Uh We’re gonna talk about the summer tour 2023
Joe Did your mother call you Joe or Joseph ever If she got annoyed at you.
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it was Joseph It was always Joseph.
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and she would demand that people call me Joseph That didn’t that didn’t work out but uh yeah I was Joseph to her
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That’s funny Fond memories Right For sure What’s the fondest earliest memory of when uh you and the new kids on the block were first together What’s the earliest memory you have.
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You know when something blows up the way it does you’re gonna have all the ingredients you know and and we did you know we had certainly the right music and the right songs eventually But you know the five of us you know we just had a certain energy I think they had to do with coming from Boston and having great working class parents And you know every gig was the greatest thing ever You know we just we were just so excited to have
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an opportunity to get up on stage and we’d perform almost anywhere back in the day So um you know that kind of um excitement is what you remember.
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Do you have a recollection of the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio and where you were?
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Yes Yes I was
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uh I was in Chestnut Hill
Fancy Chestnut Hill I was driving with my dad in the car and I was in the front seat My brother was in the back seat and my brothers was always you know he was very supportive but he was a big brother So
I asked my dad to change it to Wild which is a station in Boston and um AM station and they were playing the record He’s like they’re not gonna play your record you know And uh and sure enough uh we switched it to the station and it came on a commercial and the first song they played was a song called Be My Girl Our first single ever And it was uh
it was special So it was special to hear a song but also you know be able to stick it in your older brother’s face at the same time.
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I love it Now how did you handle such early fame and fortune
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Well it goes back to family it goes back to having you know four of the guys that experienced it with you You know you couldn’t get you know going back to being from Boston where you can’t get too big for your britches
You know you gotta be lucky you gotta have family looking out for you know
and we were able to do that I mean there were tough times it’s not normal being you know that famous and that big at such a young age And you know it was the like any life you know you go through your ups and downs and and we had those but we were able to uh hang in there
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now early Dorchester uh certainly in the period that uh that you grew up I know you grew up in in Needham but the early Dorchester area um actually was chronicled in the author Dennis Lehane’s new book Small Mercies I think you know Dennis from his great work uh and he was on an earlier version of this podcast
What was it like I mean do you remember the whole era in terms of segregation and everything or was that a little bit later on and did that you know bypass you
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I think Donnie Wahlberg think talks very very eloquently and about bussing and what it what it
it’s hard to think but you know bussing.
there were good intentions with it Obviously you you you were on the top line is you know trying to get you know people of color to get to better schools but
you know the other to to integrate you know was was supposed to be a good thing so we can learn from each other and learn how to live with each other and respect people’s what they brought to the table And you know I guess Donnie talks about how
you know he benefited from that you know he he he was that kind of guy that learned about a different culture and was attracted to you know something different and something new and that curiosity you know especially in the arts you know can really feed off each other And um you know I didn’t have that I was I was a little bit younger than those guys So
I was and plus I went to Catholic school, so I didn’t I didn’t have that bussing thing
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Very very well stated Thank you for talking about that So how have you balanced solo career band projects acting how do you juggle it all.
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you know day to day I mean it’s um you gotta want to do it you know.
You know it’s like II I think of that line It’s like Jerry Seinfeld said on a podcast you know it’s like
the people that are successful in this business are the people that keep doing it You know it’s not always the most talented you know sure those who have you know I know what I bring to the table and I love to do what I do and I’m and I’m and I’m good at it but I mean you gotta want to do it You really gotta uh you know I love I you know sometimes I love being home Of course I got three great kids and
and a beautiful wife but you know the road is a very special thing you know and getting out there and connecting with people and it’s a grind But once you get up there every night it’s uh it’s like nothing you could you could really imagine
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Well you seem to have really figured out in your life What a lot of musicians don’t figure out um and actors don’t figure out and that is a work life balance evidenced by you know your solid family life Um uh how did you learn that Is that something from uh your parents that you kind of learned
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again, You got to be lucky I mean I I just happen to love being with my wife You know what I mean She’s she’s an amazing person and you know
not a simple gal She she’s very entertaining and complicated like me and we enjoy each other’s company and we love our kids So and we’re passionate about our kids and we do a lot of amazing things Um you know but I also I’m on the other hand of you know I got to remind myself that you know I’m a man I’m a person I’m an adult like the time is now
my dad worked a lot but I knew he was always there so we can tell ourselves you know well I can’t be on the road because then I won’t be there for my kids Well that’s part of life You know you go out you earn a living and you have your own experiences and that’s inspiring to your kids as well So you know that balance is is is important
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Can you describe what an amazing feeling for you and the band playing Fenway Park What did that feel like
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Yeah Well I knew you were gonna say Fenway Park so that that kind of answers its own question You know when you said can you describe the feeling You know II I just I guess right that you’re gonna bring up Fenway because it’s really one of those things Can you describe the feeling and and you know I’ve been lucky enough to play it you know three times now and you know you just got tears in your eyes You’re like holy cow here I am on stage in the middle of center field in Fenway Park You know my my boyhood you know neighborhood you know Red Sox Boston It’s just it’s overload you know Um and we’ve had some amazing amazing shows there and special sort of once in a lifetime events And um yeah it’s everything you could imagine
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Tell me how pumped you are to be going out on the summer tour 2023 So the solo Joe tour.
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I’m very excited you know I I’m you know I’m playing I decided to play the Cape Cod Melody Tent which has a ton of history you know in New England and Cape Cod and Boston And that’s gonna be my Boston tour and I just wanted to you know I I played it a few times and it’s just got a really special vibe a lot of history there And um yeah I mean I um you know it’s a lot of work hitting the road Um but it’s something you know, it’s something that you do because you have to do it and um I’m excited about it and uh yeah August 4th and Hyannis it’s going to be a good time
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and tell me how the Lifetime project uh came together and um and how that’s worked out
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Yeah I I did um I kind of got a last minute offer and next thing you know I’m up in Vancouver doing this series it’s based on the VC Andrews novels which are pretty gnarly and crazy It takes place in the seventies and
the people that know that the the stories are like wow what’s that going to be like it and the character I play isn’t the nicest guy in the world So it’s uh it’s saucy it’s spicy and I think the the fans are gonna grab a glass of wine and put the kids to bed and uh check this thing out
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Wow It sounds like a a little bit of a turn for you.
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Yeah Yeah it’s exciting
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Is there any uh music that that you like that uh might surprise some of your fans that they wouldn’t have thought that you like.
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Uh I don’t I’m a pop guy You know what I mean I grew up on pop music making pop music I mean, you know grew up my dad listening to Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole I’m kind of right down the middle But, you know and my kids are pop fans too I mean they like hip hop and and and some rap but you know we’re crazy about Taylor Swift you know I I think you know she’s pretty amazing and you know so we’re that kind of a family
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So you’ve been through um you know formation of a band a band disbanding and then reforming Um
tell me how complicated these relationships sometimes can be.
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uh incredibly complicated I mean there is as complicated as you want to make them, I mean so you know I think that’s the reason why a lot of bands don’t stay together because it really can be difficult to ride the wave of emotion and personalities and um, you know you really get it’s a give and take situation Um, The new kids are super lucky you know we do feel like a family We’ve been together for so long you know our families are are are close over the years and you gotta realize how lucky you are And just sort of like you know you gotta have the courage to ask for what you need and what you want and stand up and you know you know air out you know your desires and hopes for the group But you also have to you know let people take the lead and and let people have their chance and uh we somehow worked it out you know and we know how lucky we are So we’re one of the lucky ones
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You’ve collaborated with a lot of artists and bands over the years Is there anybody that you haven’t collaborated with that You’d love to?
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you know I do a lot of theater.
and Sutton Foster whose sort of like the Belle of the Ball when it comes to Broadway is fantastic and she does a lot of you know TV acting too She’s a great singer and
she just came off of uh the music man with Hugh Jackman And that would be a cool collaboration I I just I appreciate how she seems to really stretch and grow and and and uh she’s phenomenally talented So how about that
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That’s a good one.
Well lastly anything uh you would uh give advice wise to aspiring musicians who are listening to this podcast.
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you know just um do the work you know it’s uh there’s a lot of fun to be had I mean but you know there’s no substitution for just sitting there at the piano and grind and and feeling like oh man this sucks Like I’m I’m not good enough I’m not right for this Like everybody has those thoughts and if you stick with that passion I think it gets better you know practice makes perfect
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Mr McIntyre Thank you for being on taking a walk I really enjoyed it.
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Thank you sir
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Good luck on the tour.
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All right man Thank you.
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Taking a walk with Buzz Knight is available on Spotify Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.