How Growing Up in Boston Shaped the New Kids on the Block
New Kids on the Block members Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, and Joey McIntyre recently came back to their old stomping grounds to promote the new season of their cruise ship reality series Rock This Boat.
A lot has changed for the band since they started out three decades ago, but what’s never wavered is the group’s love and appreciation for their hometown of Boston. Knight credits seeing people’s pride in the city and its sports teams as being a huge influence on the members of NKOTB.
“When we went out into the world, we felt that pride and we felt like we needed to represent Boston the best way we could,” Knight says. “That’s how Bostonians are. We knew they were behind us, so it did give us confidence.”
“It gave us an identity,” he adds.
Even though the city now seems to have embraced the boy band as local royalty, that wasn’t always the case.
McIntyre recalls the early years of the group when they first learned the meaning of hangin’ tough. They often had to deal with aggressive, jealous boyfriends of some of their devoted fans.
“It’s not like kids our age were like, ‘Yay!’ You had to tough it out,” McIntyre says. “If you went out on the town, you’d get some stuff from dudes because their girlfriends were going crazy.”
Those types of experiences weren’t necessarily a bad thing, as McIntyre believes they helped to keep the group grounded.
“Part of Boston is not getting too big for your britches,” McIntyre says. “That same kind of working class mentality I think has kept our heads down and maybe kept us balanced.”
Confrontations with envious boyfriends aside, the group does look back fondly on those early days of starting out in Boston. However, Wood admits that things have gotten a lot easier since they got back together in 2008, after splitting up in the mid-’90s.
“It’s so much easier coming back together and being grown,” Wood says. “It’s a lot easier, and you learn to really appreciate every guy in the group.”
He adds, “We never would of thought 30 years later we’d be doing this.”
McIntyre notes that their second run through show business is now almost as long as their first trip around the block, which is “pretty wild.”
“Like 2008, now you got to go, ‘Woah, that was a while ago,'” he says. “Like I was a baby, baby, baby way back when, but I feel like I’ve got to grow again so much as a person through this other, second [run].”
Knight jokes, “Let’s hang on to it this time, guys.”
Season two of ‘Rock This Boat’ premieres on Wednesday, June 1 at 8:30 p.m. on Pop TV.