“I love Dorchester, I’m a Dorchester guy, but when you grow up you have dreams, and Milton is one of those places you dream about,” Knight said while sitting in East Miilton Square’s Abby Park on Tuesday.
In a quiet corner of the restaurant, Knight spoke about NKOTB’s upcoming tour with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees, as well as the group’s recently released single, “Remix (I Like The).”
“We’ve been touring since 2008 since our reunion and we kind of learned… teaming up with other acts from the same genre of music – pop/R&B – and the same era, it really worked,” Knight said, mentioning the band’s previous tour with the Backstreet Boys.
When the New Kids toured with the Backstreet Boys in 2011-2012, fans talked about the two bands as rivals and didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be a great experience for both groups, Knight said.
The newest tour, called The Package Tour, was announced on ABC’s “The View” on Jan. 22. It includes May 29 and 31 shows at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., as well as June 2 and 3 shows at TD Garden in Boston.
Knight enjoyed the announcement on “The View,” describing the audience’s excitement as the group announced who they would tour with.
At the same time as he praised some of the boy bands of the '90s era, he had criticism for similar acts today.
“Boy bands these days, they’re lazy; they just stand around and sing,” Knight said. “Come on, get up and dance! They’re not coming from that old school.”
New Kids on the Block were inspired by New Edition and The Jacksons, Knight said.
Performing is different for Knight in 2013 than it was in the ‘80s and ‘90s, when New Kids on the Block first made their mark. Concerts would begin, fans would start screaming, and cameras would flash nonstop.
“Back then, it was kind of like what Justin Bieber is going through now – Bieber Fever – but it was like New Kids Fever. If we were sitting here 25 years ago, they’d have to lock the front door,” Knight said.
The New Kids stopped performing for more than a decade, and Knight said he appreciated the second chance to sing and dance with the group again.
Social media have likewise changed the way group members have interacted with fans one-on-one, allowing them to get to know faces, thoughts, and personalities, he said.
“We’ll go on stage and people we know will be in the front row, and we’ll give them a wink,” Knight said. “It’s a lot more personal now for me.”
NKOTB’s forthcoming album, “10,” their 10th American release, features songs from Danish producers known as DEEKAY. The first single from the album, “Remix (I Like The),” was released on Jan. 28.
“I don’t know what’s in the water over there in Denmark, but those folks, they know how to make records,” Knight said. “It’s incredible pop music and also so soulful. They have this cool Euro-rock thing, and it’s like Coldplay and U2 all mixed together.”
When not touring or working with the band, Knight describes himself as a homebody.
“I just hang out with my family; I go bowling every other week here in Milton,” he said. “I don’t even leave Milton.”
He also contributes to the community, acting as assistant coach for his son’s hockey team and volunteering contributions for educational writing software now used in Milton Public Schools.
He is also acting as MC for a charity event Friday, Dancing for Hope, supporting the St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in Dorchester. The event is at 7 at the Royale Boston on 279 Trement St. Tickets are $30 - $125. For more information, visit www.stmaryscenterma.org.
Knight thanked his fans and the people of the Boston area.
“No matter where we are in the world, we let people know we’re Boston boys and we’re proud of it,” Knight said.