?I wasn?t the lead singer of the group. I was kind of the guy everyone forgot about,? says Danny Wood, the former member of New Kids on the Block.
Wood, now 33 years old, is the third New Kid to turn solo following the boyband?s successful run in the late 1980s and early 90s, when they sold millions of records before breaking up in 1994.
His debut album, ?Second Face,? is scheduled to hit stores May 20, and offers more of a rock sound than his New Kids fans will be used to. He produced and wrote most of the album, and he sings about his personal experiences.
?I went through a tough couple of years where my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and I went through a custody suit with my son,? says Wood, speaking to andPOP on the line from Miami, where he currently resides. ?It was a tough two years and once everything got resolved, I had a lot to talk about.?
The most difficult aspect of completing the album was getting a record deal and getting someone to believe in what he was doing. He was frustrated when he would get passed over by record executives even though they had good things to say.
?I never got any bad feedback. Everyone was like ?the record sounds great,? and I?m talking about big people in the business. They were like, ?but we?re going to have to put a million dollars into it to make it happen’.?
It also bothered him when other artists that were doing the same type of thing he was doing were getting deals from people he had just been turned down by. ?My situation is definitely different and it got very frustrating.?
A friend of his from Los Angeles set up a few meetings with people he knew. He eventually signed with Empire Musicwerks, which is distributed by BMG. Paul Klein, the President and CEO of Empire, immediately took a liking to Wood?s music.
?He started hearing it and he couldn?t believe it,? says Wood. ?He?s the kind of guy that loves the underdog.?
The first song Wood wrote was the title track, ?Second Face.? He started by writing lyrics down with a concept in mind, and then came up with some melodies.
?That was [about] how you lose friends when you?re at the top of the pile one second, and when things aren?t going so well, you really find out who your friends are.?
Before working on this project, Wood spent some time acting in independent films and working on music projects with Michael Chapman, Mark Wahlberg, and fellow New Kid, Joey McIntyre. He also produced some material for pop trio LFO?s demo, which got them their record deal, but was never invited back to work on their debut album.
?That?s kind of what happens when you do people favors and you get shut out in the end,? he says. ?Their first record was a big record. I would have loved to have a couple of tracks on it and I was supposed to have a couple of songs on it but things went a little sour. And it wasn?t with the group themselves. It was more the business people involved with their deal.?
Fortunately for Wood, he didn?t have to deal with other producers or people directing him in any way on his own album.
?When you?re working with someone else, you each have your own agenda,? he says. ?I got a really good deal, because I financed the record myself and produced it myself, so I don?t have to sell a lot of units. For me, if it could enable me to make another record, that?s all I want.?
His 10-year-old son, also named Daniel, would have his father?s approval if he chose to enter the world of music when he?s older.
?I wouldn?t discourage it, and I would support him. He?s going to have an advantage because I know all the things to watch out for. He takes piano lessons, so he?s far more the talent than I am. He?s pretty incredible. He?s more of an athlete than a musician. But he?s got the skills, so to me it?s just building that base and then later on he can decide what he wants to do.?
Wood is currently concentrating on publicizing the album and lining up some shows for April. He would love to tour with John Mayer, Santana, and Matchbox 20, but not the young pop groups. Jordan Knight, another New Kid who has gone solo, opened up for ?N Sync, but that?s not the direction Wood sees himself going. ?My record is more like a VH1 album. It?s not a teeny bopper record.?
If one of the tracks becomes popular amongst teenagers, Wood says he wouldn?t dismiss the option of reevaluating his perspective. However, he is not marketing his music to that same type of audience as Knight and McIntyre did when they released their solo albums.
As for the possibility of some sort of New Kids reunion, Wood is all for it, but isn?t holding his breath.
?I know in the past, people have been against it,? he says. ?I?m all for anything like that because the fans really never got the chance to say goodbye, to see us one last time. We never did a last tour. I was on the phone last week talking to an agent about it. I?m like, ?Dude, I?m in. You?ll have to talk to the other guys.? I?m not going to be messenger-boy where it looks like I?m asking a favor of someone that used to be in the group. I?m in, but you got to talk to everyone else.?
After a U.S. search that lasted four months, 3LW have announced that Jessica ‘J’ Benson is their third member.
The 15-year-old from Severn, Maryland, replaces Naturi Naughton, who left the group eight months ago after having a falling out with the other two group members, Keily Williams and Adrienne Bailon.
“In the short time she has been with us we have become like family,” Williams and Bailon said of J. “She has proven that she is a hard worker and a fast learner ? the exact qualities we were looking for in a third member. We are also glad that with J we can move forward as a positive image for all girls of color.?
Their first public appearance was on Saturday at the Soul Train Awards.
“Just a few weeks ago I was just a high school student with dreams of a professional music career and now it’s happening so quickly,” said Benson. “I’m so happy that Kiely and Adrienne have so fully embraced me and are teaching me the ropes of how to handle this hectic, fast paced life.”
For the next few months, she will split her time between practicing with the group and completing Grade 11. The trio will tour this summer, reports MTV.
Blue Rodeo will perform at the 2003 Juno Awards, it was announced today. The rock group joins previously announced performers Our Lady Peace, Remy Shand, Sam Roberts and Swollen Members, Avril Lavigne, and Shania Twain, who is also hosting the show.
Also announced were the first batch of presenters: Alanis Morissette, Danko Jones, Glenn Lewis, Jully Black, Molly Johnson, Sarah Slean and Shawn Desman.
The awards will be handed out April 6 in Ottawa.
andPOP brings you information, video interview clips, and links to trailers from “Bringing Down the House,” in theaters this Friday (March 7).
Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) is a divorced, straight-laced, uptight attorney who still loves his ex-wife (Jean Smart) and can’t figure out what he did wrong to make her leave him. However, Peter’s trying to move on, and he’s smitten with a brainy, bombshell barrister he’s been chatting with on-line.
However, when she comes to his house for their first face to face, she isn’t refined, isn’t Ivy League, and isn’t even a lawyer. Instead, it’s Charlene (Queen Latifah), a prison escapee who’s proclaiming her innocence and wants Peter to help clear her name. But Peter wants nothing to do with her, prompting the loud and shocking Charlene to turn Peter’s perfectly ordered life upside down, jeopardizing his effort to get back with his wife and woo a billion dollar client (Joan Plowright). In the end, our unlikely pair has the chance to put each other’s lives on higher ground…if they don’t end up bringing down the house.
Adam Shankman directs the film, which also stars Eugene Levy, Michael Rosenbaum, and Betty White.
View Interview clips from the stars:
He’s the newest reggae singer on the market and his song’s going to be blazing up on your radio soon if it’s not already. His name is Wayne Wonder, and if this is the first time you’re hearing about him, make sure you keep reading.
Wonder has been performing his reggae rhymes since the late ’80s, but only in 2002 did he have his first number 1 hit with “No Letting Go.”
You may have heard him on collaborations with Shaggy, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Foxy Brown.
His newest album, “No Holding Back,” is in stores now and you can preview it through this online listening party.
The debut album from Montreal pop-punk band Simple Plan has been certified gold this week in the U.S. “No Pads, No Helmets?Just Balls” has sold more than 500,000 copies since its release last year on Lava Records.
This year, the band has reached international fame, playing on 5 continents and performing over 300 shows. They’ve already gone gold in Canada and Japan.
But there’s no slowing down in sight for Pierre Bouvier (vocals); Chuck Comeau (drums); David Desrosiers (bass, vocals); Sebastien Lefebvre (guitar, vocals) and Jeff Stinco (guitar). Simple Plan will play some dates on the Warped Tour and Avril Lavigne tour this summer.
After surviving a near-death experience last week, rapper Keith Murray is thankful that the only injuries he, his driver, or his three companions suffered were minor.
“We got bruises and we’re limping, but none of us is hurt, by the grace of God,” he told MTV. “But I’m shook now. I just been telling people how important that seatbelt is. Remembering to put your seatbelt on is remembering that you want to live.”
He recalls to MTV exactly what happened:
“We were driving down [Interstate] 85, and it was icy. Now, I had just done ‘Direct Effect’ and left New York around 9 p.m. Then we drove all night in a customized van to get to North Carolina by morning. But the driver was supposed to have gotten rest all day to prepare for the nine-hour drive. … I don’t know what happened, but I do know I have a phobia about drivers being fully rested. And now I’m even more nervous about that because all I know is that at 7a.m., I woke up to the van spinning and a pre-existing collision heading towards me. My first thoughts were, ‘Oh sh–!,’ and then my mind went so blank.”
Hours after being released from hospital, he went to a radio station to promote his latest album.
“When I can rock a crowd or perform a party song or talk about my music, it’s love. That’s a real healer for me. I love it. Hip-hop gives me a new life.”
Nelly, Ashanti, Musiq and B2K, each took home two awards at the Soul Train Music Awards Saturday in California.
Nelly took home the award for Album of the Year for Nellyville, and received the award for the Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year.
Mariah Carey and LL Cool J won Quincy Jones Awards for Outstanding Career Achievement.
Here is a list of all the winners:
Best R&B/soul single, female: “Foolish,” Ashanti
Best R&B/soul single, male: “Dontchange,” Musiq
Best R&B/soul single, group, band or duo: “Bump, Bump, Bump,” B2K featuring P. Diddy
Best R&B/soul album, female: “Ashanti,” Ashanti (Murder Inc/Def Jam)
Best R&B/soul album, male: “Juslisen,” Musiq (Def Soul/Island Def Jam)
Best R&B/soul album, group, band or duo: “B2K,” B2K (Epic)
R&B/soul or rap album of the year: “Nellyville,” Nelly (Fo’ Reel/Universal)
Best R&B/soul or rap new artist: “Why Don’t We Fall in Love,” Amerie
Michael Jackson Award for best R&B/soul or rap music video: “Work It,” Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott
Best gospel album: “The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin,” Kirk Franklin
Female rockers the Donnas will join Jane’s Addiction, Queens Of The Stone Age, Audioslave, Incubus, and Jurassic 5 on this year’s Lollapalooza tour.
“We all went to Lollapalooza when L7 was on the main stage in 1994,” group member Donna C. said. “We are really excited to be a part of this festival because of its history as well as all the really amazing rock bands who are playing this year, and we really love Jurassic 5 too!”
Before the tour, the Donnas will play two European dates and some U.S. shows.
Dates of Lollapalooza have yet to be announced.