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Danny Wood didn’t think it would last this long.
“We thought we’d do like 20, 30 shows at best probably, and be home,” Wood confessed. “But we’re very happy it’s gone this long and we’re happy to now be doing the ‘Full Service’ tour.”
New Kids On The Block released The Block in September 2008. The LP marked the boy band’s first studio release in 14 years. After the CD debuted atop the Billboard Pop Charts, NKOTB embarked on a North American tour – then extended the trek to dates overseas. A “fan cruise” last month took the guys with supporters from Miami to the Bahamas. Now, New Kids find themselves on the “Full Service” tour – playing outdoor amphitheaters throughout the summer with opening act Jesse McCartney.
The Boston-born singers themselves didn’t expect this reunion to last in to the summer… but now some are wondering not when will it end, but if it will cease at all?
“We have some plans for next year. I think a new record will probably come in 2011, if we all agree to do that. But, we’re pretty much all on the same page right now. I don’t see this being the last time to see us.”
Wood joked that someone in the group “acting like an asshole,” could prevent the CD release. But, according to him, everyone in the band agreed on that plan for the time being. Still, Wood noted that family situations could play a factor.
“It’s different this time around, so you never know. I mean, I know I never thought my kids would get to see me back on stage. My daughters are with me so, it’s always perfect when they’re here.”
Also with the group is McCartney, a 22-year old pop star that wasn’t alive when NKOTB released its self-titled debut LP in 1986. But apparently, that doesn’t mean the former All My Children actor is seeking out Donnie Wahlberg or anyone in the group for advice.
“You want me to be honest?” Wood asked. “I haven’t seen the dude once. I don’t know… I don’t know. He does a mad dash or he’s hiding or I don’t know.”
Wood seemed a bit bothered, perhaps even offended, in his tone and body language, but insisted that is far from the case.
“I don’t give a shit. He can do whatever he wants, I don’t care,” Wood insisted. “We’re pretty accessible… if you walked around here you’d probably run in to all five of us.”
Give the man credit – I did in fact run in to all the guys at one point or another while backstage. Donnie chatted on his phone. Joey McIntyre walked his puppy. Jordan Knight snapped a photo with me before a Boston Herald phone interview. His brother, Jonathan, attempted to chat on his cell, but of course, coverage can be spotty up on the mountain.
And as for McCartney – Jesse told me later that earlier that day he finally met all five of the guys. The singer blamed a hectic schedule – which even forced him to jet back to Los Angeles at one point – as the reason for his notable absence backstage.
The Wingman advises a "creeper" about dating women that are younger than him, but legal, despite friends ripping on him.
Visit The Wingman on MySpace.
Part 1: Traveling, Story Behind "Knock You Down"
Part 2: Writing for Britney, Soulja Boy Tell 'Em "Collab"
Keri Hilson’s most uncharacteristic moment may prove to me the most career shaping in her transition from songwriter to singer, yielding the biggest track from In A Perfect World… in the process.
While Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records prepared to press the final album cut in Los Angeles, Hilson found herself in New York – working with Kanye West on a viral commercial to promote the LP. “Miss Keri Baby” wanted ‘Ye on the album, but he didn’t make the version sent to L.A. Then West asked Hilson how the album was coming.
”I’m completely tongue-in-cheek at this point,” admits Hilson. “I said, ‘Well, the only thing missing on this album is you.’”
Hilson didn’t expect the spur-of-the-moment honesty, nor did she expect West’s response.
“He said, ‘Is there anything I can do tonight?’” Hilson recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh, my, God. Let’s book the studio right now before he changes his mind!’”
With Kanye and herself now accounted for, Hilson needed the final piece of the puzzle: Ne-Yo.
“He was about to go film a movie in Prague. We called him, he wanted to do it but he was leaving the country the next day. He had literally an hour break in his schedule.”
Thankfully for Hilson, the R&B crooner can work quick, and on the spot. Keri’s manager flew to Miami, waited with a car service in tow at the studio as Ne-Yo wrote and recorded his verse, and jetted back to L.A. with the audio files on a hard drive.
”We had to push (the release date) back, and it cost us a bit,” revealed Hilson. “But it was worth it, and thank God the album is doing so well that (Interscope) don’t care anymore.”
It’s quite a change in pace for Hilson, prior to this LP worked mostly as a songwriter and back-up vocalist, penning tracks for the likes of Ludacris and Britney Spears – notably Spears’ “Gimme More” and “Break The Ice” off of Breakout.
“I love to see the 180 (degree) turn because when we worked, it was a tumultuous time in her life,” Hilson said. “She was pregnant with her second child, seven months pregnant mind you, so focused, in a booth. It just showed me how dedicated she was to her craft.”
Keri relates – the singer/songwriter is so married to music that she just invites herself on tracks – namely Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em’s “Turn My Swag On.” There were murmurs that Hilson’s impromptu cameo would be combined with Lil’ Wayne’s official remix for a “megamix” of sorts, but she believes that may not be in the cards.
“It was supposed to be the three of us, and we haven’t shot the video yet, so I guess it’s not going to happen,” Hilson noted, with a bit of disappointment in her tone.
But, it’s almost never to late in this business for anything to happen – and if anyone knows that, it’s Keri herself.
Actress-turned-singer? Not exactly, says Taylor Momsen.
“I’ve been singing longer than I’ve been acting,” Momsen reveals. The Gossip Girl star performed on Saturday with her band, The Pretty Reckless, at 97 BHT’s Summer Jam 2009. “I’ve been writing music my entire life. I know people aren’t going to know that instantly, but yunno, it all takes time.”
And time is on the side of the 15 year-old. Season 3 of Gossip Girl enters production in July. So for the next month, she’ll tour, opening up for The Veronicas. When Momsen returns to New York City and the set, she’ll also return to the studio, to finish production on The Pretty Reckless’ first LP. No timeline or dates are set, but Momsen already wrote the entire record.
Now she’s cutting her chops live, on stage. And it’s a learning process. 97 BHT’s event brought forth yet another lesson.
“Never again with no soundcheck!” said Momsen. “The entire first song, you couldn’t hear vocal at all.” The lead singer didn’t throw a fit nor storm off stage, instead rolling with the punches as sound techs worked out the issues.
The theater tour circuit certainly differs from the network sitcom set. It also seems that the average fan of The Pretty Reckless’ songs could differ from the average Gossip Girl enthusiast. So will fans of Jenny Humphrey buy in to Taylor’s music?
“I think it’s gonna take some getting used to,” she admits. “It might be a little bit of shell shock ‘cause, it’s rock man. It’s not lite, and it’s really real.”
But Gossip Girl viewers will probably see season 3 before they hear any studio material from Momsen. Now that “Little J” is the queen, the actress wouldn’t mind Humphrey become more active.
”It’s gonna be interesting to see what they do with her character as queen with all this power,” said Momsen. “I’d like to see her shake it up a little bit.”
After The Ting Tings finished performing for 97 BHT listeners, Katie and Jules spoke with Ralphie inside the 97 BHT on-air studio about touring the states, Katy Perry, moaning with celebrities, and more...
Check out video of The Ting Tings performance here.
Ever wonder what musicians say to each other when they meet? The Ting Tings’ Katie White shares a little insight:
“All bands like moaning. We love to moan,” said White. “We saw Katy Perry the other day, and she moaned – and we had a good moan together.”
Perry seems to be quite the confidant to her cohorts – the songstress and Rihanna have been known to hang out. White says the two talked about “just girl stuff really,” like their hair and skin.
“She’s funny really, she makes me laugh,” said White. “If she wants to do a cartwheel on stage, she does a cartwheel on stage.”
Of course, any type of acrobatics on a stage with Katie and Jules would be near impossible, let alone dangerous, given the amount of equipment the two uses to duplicate the vast array of sounds in their music.
“No, you’d have a guitar up your ass,” Katie joked – with Jules tongue-in-cheek challenging, “I bet Katy Perry couldn’t do that.”
The Ting Tings just wrapped up an American promo tour – and will run the Europe festival scene before returning to the States in the fall in support of Pink.
“I don’t know how many U.K.’s you can get in just a California,” said the other half of the group, Jules DeMartino. “You can do a two week tour in the U.K. or even a three week tour and that’s it, you’ve covered pretty much every corner.”
White also noted that in addition to the physical aspects, the media landscape is also vastly differently in the U.S., specifically involving radio airplay.
“If you get BBC Radio 1 and 2, you’re done really,” explained White. “It really is a shame in a way as well because if they don’t like your music, it’s really hard because they’re aren’t many other stations to get played on.”
BBC Radio’s reach is vast according to White, “literally every household.” Lucky for the pop-rock duo, BBC Radio loved their music, and the rest is history.
“We’ve got a map that we carry around with us, and we circle every town or city or state we go to,” DeMartino said.
White continued, “We never know where we are but we always know where we’ve been.”
And it won’t be too hard to figure out where The Ting Tings are going. First Europe – then the States with Pink – and then to Berlin – where Katie and Jules will write, record, and throw house parties in search of new tunes for the band’s second LP.
Thanks to Rodano's in Public Square, Wilkes-Barre for providing free food!
Powered by Rodano's, Columbia Records & 97 BHT!
MTV's Bam Margera invited himself to 97 BHT's Summer Jam 2009. But we didn't mind. I stopped him backstage to catch up and ask him about his new MTV reality show, Don Vito's legal issues, and more.
Bam Margera showed up to 97 BHT’s Summer Jam 2009 on Saturday. The MTV star dished about his next TV project and Don Vito’s legal issues before hanging out with The Veronicas and the guys of Carney.
Margera drove from his home in Westchester, PA to the F.M. Kirby Center for the event.
“I heard The Veronicas were playing in Wilkes-Barre (he was intrigued by both the “barry” and “bear” pronunciations),” said Margera – who’s birth name is Brandon. After calling up a few people he knew in the concert business, Bam scored six tickets for his wife and entourage.
The Jackass-alum recently wrapped up a music video shoot with his brother’s band, CKY. Another video is on the docket within a few days – and then Margera returns to the network that made his antics famous; or infamous.
“I’m doing an MTV show where I go back to high school, because I quit in the first day of tenth grade,” Bam revealed. “I bet Raab Himself to s*** on a locker and he did, and then he got caught. I felt really bad so I quit.”
The series will be filmed at East High School in West Chester. Margera funds a $5,000 scholarship at the school, awarded to a student who makes the best short film. The former dropout thinks we could see the first episode as early as this fall.
Will Don Vito be involved? As of now, no – but that doesn’t mean Bam isn’t hopeful. Authorities convicted Vito, real name Vincent Margera, in December 2007 on two counts of sexual assault on a child. The incident occurred at a mall appearance in Lakewood, Colorado. Vito received a sentence of 10 years probation – to be served in Pennsylvania. The judge also ordered Bam’s uncle to register as a sex offender and relinquish the “Don Vito” character throughout the duration of the probation.
“He has to go back to Colorado for his appeal, and it’s been long enough so I’m sure it’s gonna be fine,” said Margera. “It’d be fabulous if he could be on (the show).”
Meanwhile, Vito and the rest of Bam’s crew will live through MTV re-runs, none of which Margera watches.
“It actually came on last night, and I turned the channel,” confessed Bam. “Lil Wayne was on the next channel, so…”
Margera doesn’t take himself too seriously – evident by his antics on camera and his laid-back personality off. At 97 BHT’s Summer Jam, Bam held interviews, took photos with fans, and even appeared on-stage – little coaxing involved.
Bam and crew didn’t cause a single raucous, backstage or otherwise at Summer Jam – which may seem as out of the ordinary as him showing up in the first place.
97 BHT Summer Jam 2009 Artist "Jada" checks in to The Ralphie Radio Show, updating Ralphie on the group's latest whereabouts while creating a to-do list for Saturday's show.
Visit Jada on MySpace & Twitter!
06.04.09 : Cobra Starship f. Leighton Meester - Good Girls Go Bad
Cobra Starship's Gabe Saporta chats w/ Ralphie about the track:
Cobra Starship's Gabe Saporta is glad he called The Ralphie Radio Show. Thankfully for the lead singer, I reminded him that Pete Wentz's birthday was the next day. Sure Gabe may not know what to get Pete, but Saporta did chat about Cobra's new CD and the bar he, Pete, and a few others own in NYC: Angels & Kings.
Check out Gabe talking about Leighton Meester and Cobra's new single, "Good Girls Go Bad" here.
I suppose you could excuse Cobra Starship’s Gabe Saporta if he did forget Pete Wentz’s birthday… his band is touring the globe and gearing up for the release of a new LP in August.
But, thankfully for Gabe (and possibly a gift-receiving Pete), I reminded the lead singer of June 5’s significance when he called up The Ralphie Radio Show.
“Aw man, thank you for reminding me, you just saved my life!” Saporta acknowledged as an answer to a question about what he’d get Wentz for his 30th life anniversary. “I’m always glad to know when it’s Pete’s birthday because it always reminds me that I’m a little younger than him.”
Cobra Starship’s 29 year-old lead singer discussed Cobra’s new single with Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester – the story behind Hot Mess – and the pending legal issues with a New York City bar co-owned by Wentz, himself, and members of the Gym Class Heroes.
“(Laughing) It was just something we were using to describe all of our favorite kind of girls,” Saporta admitted of Hot Mess, which drops August 11. “Then we’re like, ‘Why don’t we just call the album that?’”
The story behind Cobra’s new LP title doesn’t seem the least far-fetched. Saporta takes pride in the band’s reputation for its fun-first, music-second approach.
“You can’t insult me because, that’s the whole point of our band is yunno, we like to knock each other all the time.”
Matter of fact, the insults can even yield positive results. Saporta notes that one of the songs on the new CD, “Pete Wentz is the Only Reason We’re Famous” stemmed from a live on-line fan chat.
It also makes sense that the front man neither felt insulted nor shied away from questions regarding the bar he part-owns with Wentz, Angels and Kings. The drinking establishment recently experienced a run-in with New York State Liquor Authority. Officials cited the spot for serving minors. Saporta noted that the bar is now open, and that New York in general is offering quite the amount of tickets these days.
“They’re just cracking down left and right, even on crazy stuff – on like parking tickets and garbage fines,” said Saporta. “It’s hard to run a business like that, we’re not there to run it.”
Instead, Saporta and company are making music, playing shows, and filming videos. The band just wrapped up the shoot for “Good Girls Go Bad” – a track produced and written by Kevin Rudolf and American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi. Cobra’s front man noted that both Gossip Girl actresses-turned-singers – Meester and Taylor Momsen, were possibilities for the song.
“They both talked to our management,” revealed Saporta. “I’m like, ‘Yo, they came in here? Why didn’t you tell me about it? I wanna meet them, I love Gossip Girl!’”
But first, thank you. 24 isn't usually a birthday heavily celebrated, but because of you, and a few national recording acts, this by far has been one of the, if not, the best birthday.
I'm headed to cap off the weekend, Yankees game followed by a meet and greet with Mariano Rivera. Enjoy your Sunday, talk soon.