In their first press conference since it was announced they would be reforming, late 1980s boy band and purveyors of all that is soulless and wrong in music New Kids On The Block discussed a wide range of topics Monday. These included their upcoming reunion tour, their place in music history, and the political, social, and cultural impacts of 19th century Utopian Socialist movements in modern Europe. Wait, scratch that last one.
Speaking to reporters from the EconoLodge just outside of Missoula, Montana, the five Kids – Jordan, Jonathan, Joey, Donnie, and, uh, Bashful – wanted to assure their long-time fans that it will be the same Teen Beat NKOTB they loved with lustful, pre-pubescent zeal back in the day.
Said Jordan: “Some have suggested our new sound will be influenced by the current popular music trends. Our fans will be pleased to know that it’s still 1989 to us: Bush is president, the Middle East is a boiling cauldron of chaos and violence, and the economy’s about to go in the shitter. Our new songs will have the same mediocre, innocuous, and ultra-Caucasian qualities that previously endeared us to so many.”
Many of the reporters’ questions centered around whether there is a market for the band in the 21st century. The band is convinced the world is ready for another rash of NKOTB-induced mania. According to Bashful, who remained strangely silent after answering just a few questions, “There hasn’t been a truly successful, vacuous, and empty-brained pop band in about 20 minutes. This is America baby. There’s always a market for us.” Bashful added, “I need to get out of this freakin hickburg. Bum a quarter for bus fare? Anyone?”
The band also used the press conference as a way to address its many detractors. Asked to respond to criticisms that the band is simply reuniting for the big concert paychecks, Jonathan said, “Sure the money that poured in years ago from posters, lunch boxes, action figures, strawberry-scented prophylactics, and toilet paper dispensers was nice. But it’s not about the green: we’re back to show everyone that we’re still the best five-piece, non-musical-instrument-playing band in the world.”
The band is also keenly aware that many people view the reunion as pointless. Joey was blunt in his assessment: “Mission of Burma, The Stooges, Pixies, and Dinosaur Jr. all reunited and nobody busted their balls. To my ears we’re just as good as them. What’s the difference between Doolittle and Hangin' Tough? Nothing.”
The Kids are also comfortable with their place in music history. “We’ve blessed the world with offspring like 98 Degrees and the Backstreet Boys. And don’t even act like Nirvana didn’t borrow their subject matter from our back catalog. A subtle layer of angst and loathing ran through all our songs long before Cobain and those two other humps cashed in. Bastards should be paying us royalties,” Donnie stated.
This defiant attitude characterized the hour-long press conference; only when the motel’s manager reminded the Kids that “check-out time is at 11 am, and the room service wasn’t free” did the band lose their stride. Exiting to tepid applause and a selection from their 1989 Merry, Merry Christmas album, the band ended the press conference with a final impressive show of bravado. “It’s an NKOTB universe. All you slobs just live in it.”