Joey McIntyre Biography
The Same (which spawned a hit single of the same name), Joey set out to record a batch of songs true to himself, as a musician and as a songwriter. Upping the musical ante, Joey McIntyre has made a quantum leap as an artist, fusing the classic elements of pop and rock n' roll into a unique and fascinating treasury of hook laden, idiosyncratic tunes.
Not rushing the process, he took an honest, introspective look at his own life, and a sometimes humorous look at the rest of the world, and succeeded with an impressive array of tracks that range from heartfelt love songs to raucous rockers. Blending pop, rock (with an obvious affinity for the Power Pop and New Wave sounds of the 70's and 80s - think The Cars and vintage Elton John) and shimmering balladry, Meet Joe Mac takes the listener on a
musical journey. "That's what you want as an artist," he explains about the diverse album he co-wrote and co-produced with collaborators like newcomer Emanuel "Eman" Kiriakou and Mark Plati (David Bowie), Walter Afanasieff (Mariah Carey) and Scot Sax (Wanderlust) among others. "You want to be original and you want to do your own thing."
On a sonic level, Meet Joe Mac features a host of organic instruments, not canned-sounding synthesizers. From acoustic and electric guitars to symphonic strings and the occasional harmonica, courtesy of Joey himself (on the upbeat track "I Don't Know Why I Love You"), it's rawer than Stay The Same. "It's definitely more guitar-driven. It's more classic in the sense that it's got real musicians and real drums and not the tricks of the trade, that "now" sound that's done in three months." From the instantly memorable "We Don't Wanna Come Down," a funky track with a can't-get-it-out-of-your-head chorus and a philosophical message about the world we live in, to the tender acoustic ballad "Easier," Joey's voice soars.
Taking flight with Meet Joe Mac wasn't especially tough because Joey was so singularly motivated to take his musicianship to the next level. "I wanted to talk about life as opposed to just singing sweet love songs." "A lot of the songs have been inspired by my personal experiences since the last record," Joey adds. "You're trying so hard to let go and you're trying to think clearly and detach, but no matter how hard you try, you can't. I still haven't been able to let go." The jangly guitar-fueled pop-rock song "I Don't Know Why I Love You" conjures up the universality of why the reasons for loving someone can be hard to understand. "I think the most important thing is love and who you love, and when you can't describe that, it's real frustrating," he muses. (A lighter take on love is eveidenced by "National Anthem of Love," featuring a cameo appearance by the iconic Fred Schneider of the The B-52's).
But along with the deeper, and sometimes darker emotions, Joey's comedic abilities comes through on the funky "NYC Girls" and the raucous "If I Run Into You," a post-breakup song which pokes fun at the way people try to make their lives seem extra cool when they run into their ex. "A big part of who I am is my sense of humor. Letting loose is what music is all about. I don't know if I could say this is definitive Joe McIntyre," he says pausing, and then laughs, "but maybe it is."
Figuring out who the real Joey McIntyre is a theme on Meet Joe Mac, especially on songs like the revealing ballad "Rain." "I was going through a period this year where I didn't know where I belonged and what I wanted to do," he explains. One of the realizations he had along the way was that he had to face his anxieties. "It's scary when you realize that life can be
very simple. And in this business and in my life, sometimes that noise is more attractive and intoxicating, but it can leave you hung over."
Living his life in the limelight since he was a 12-year-old member of the pop phenomenon New Kids on the Block, the Boston native, who was born into a musical family, has had to deal with the kind of notoriety that comes hand-in-hand with superstardom. But, when the group disbanded in 1994, Joey ventured into different forms of creative expression. Returning to acting, which Joey had been involved with since early childhood, he landed a starring role in the film version of The Fantasticks working with an all-star cast that included Oscar winner Joel Grey.
Coming down from the unprecedented worldwide success of New Kids wasn't an easy process for Joey. After years of the endless, non-stop regimen of recording, touring, entertaining and media ops during his formative teenage years, Joey found himself back home in Boston in the mid-nineties with time on his hands and his childhood buddies at work or college. He hadn't
planned on being alone and for the first time in years his professional life wasn't being directed by others. But Joey doesn't regret those seemingly hard times, which cemented a sense of inner strength he he'd always had. "It took me a couple of years to go through all that stuff and then really deep down inside realize that I got to make it on my own."
Inspired by his love for the big band music of icons like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, Joey began working with a musical director and finessing a big band presentation to hopefully take on the road. But, he put that on hold (temporarily, he plans to return to it one day) when he began writing and recording songs for the first time "with more of a pop/R&B vibe" with New Kids alumni Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood, releasing them on his
website, www.joeymcintyre.com. With an instant reaction from his fans and realizing how solid the material was, he pressed up 2000 numbered CDs and took one to Boston's KISS 108 FM, where they put the single "Stay The Same" in rotation that day.
Before long, other DJs were calling up record companies; radio requests from listeners to hear the song spread like wildfire and Joey, who all along had the intent of returning to the stage, sold out his first four solo dates ever. This was all without a record contract. In short order, this time, Joey got a solo deal and he was on his way to mainstream solo success with Stay The Same, a gold album and gold single.
Now, with Meet Joe Mac, Joey has a simple hope for what listeners glean from it. "I hope they hear the music and it makes them think of something in their life. That's what music is about, that's the connection. Whether it's a good thing, a bad thing, a happy feeling, a sad feeling, whatever, as long as it sparks something inside of them, that's what you're looking for."