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Hey New Kids on the Block fans, are you ready for some arena pop?

NKOTB have been talking about releasing a new album for a long time. Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre and Danny Wood assure Billboard it’s coming sooner than later. “Yes, we’re gonna do some new music soon. I’m putting it out there,” Wood says. “I know talk is cheap; we will take action and get it done.”

“We’re talking about either doing a whole new album or at least a good chunk of songs and then be able to go on tour and perform those new songs,” Knight adds. “You’ve heard of arena rock. We’re going to come out with a new genre called arena pop. It has to be very danceable, and anthemic. There’s got to be some oh-ohs and callbacks and chants. Very upbeat and inspiring.”

“What inspires me is what will work best live. Although we were thrilled with the reception of our last two records, we are a touring act. We love to perform,” says McIntyre referring to the group’s 2008 Interscope album The Block, and 2013 set 10, released on The Block/Boston Five. Both reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200.

“I always think, ‘Can this work in an arena?’ We have great fans, and we have a great party and we get to put on really entertaining shows — that’s what gets me going,” Knight adds.

While fans remain on hold for the new tunes, there’s no shortage of ways to stay connected with the group, which also includes Donnie Wahlberg and Jonathan Knight. “These days with social media its easy to stay connected. They know everything we’re up to,” says Wood.

There’s a level of intimacy that comes from interacting with many of the same fans for decades. “Back in the day it seemed like our fans were a wall of people, just a bunch of flashes from a camera, but now we really know them,” Knight says. “We’ve been touring so much, we know a lot of them and we’re so grateful.”

One way the group shows its appreciation — and earns a nice paycheck — is its annual fan cruise. The four-day romp is the subject of NKOTB’s reality show Rock This Boat, which airs on cable net Pop; season 2 debuts June 1.

“We’re going on eight years of doing the cruise, and every year we want to outdo ourselves,” says McIntyre. “Ninety percent of our fans are women, and they have families and jobs, and they’re wanting to get away from it all for four days. We we want to give them the time of their lives.”’

Though there’s no big tour on tap like last year’s Main Event, the boys are scheduled to play a gig at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 6 before setting off on the sold-out Carnival cruise out of New Orleans on Oct. 20.

“Everyone has 100 percent access on the cruise,” Knight says. “Everyone’s a VIP.”

[billboard.com]

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