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Solo McIntyre shedding ‘New Kid’ image

The former boy bander also co-stars in a new film, ‘Tony and Tiny's Wedding.’
/ Source: Billboard

With his third studio album due in two weeks and a starring role in a feature film premiering this summer, Joey McIntyre is putting his past behind him. The former New Kids On The Block member is moving on, and is hopeful the rest of the world can do the same.

“People see you in a certain way, so it takes them a while to see you in a new light,” he told Billboard.com. “But I hope and I think my music is good enough to make it on my own and to do it my way. So it’s like, ‘Hey, listen to my record, I think you’re gonna like it. If not, then so be it. But it’s good enough to make you forget about where I came from.’

“Not that you need to,” he quickly added, laughing. Indeed, it’s hard to forget NKOTB, the template “boy band” that sold millions of albums in the late 1980s and early ’90s, fueled by such hits as “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and “Step by Step.”

“When you come from something as big as we were with New Kids, to me, I think it kind of evens out,” McIntyre said. “It’s given me a lot of opportunities. I’ve been able to make these records and I’ve always made them on my own and they’ve been picked up by record labels, so I’ve had creative freedom.

“Certainly there’s a lot of artists that would kill for the exposure and the spins that I’ve gotten.”

His latest album, “8:09,” is due April 27 via Artemis. A 10-track contemporary pop/dance set, the album was co-written by McIntyre and Emanuel Kiriakou, who also handled production. The album follows 2001’s “Meet Joe Mac” (Atlantic) and his 1999 debut, “Stay the Same” (C2/Columbia).

“As I grow as an artist, I want to go deeper inside and get to the truth as much as possible and I tried to do that,” McIntyre says. “I feel good in the sense that I left no stone unturned and I did the best I could do.”

Second love: actingA performer with a theater background that dates to his childhood, McIntyre joined the cast of the Fox series “Boston Public” for the 2000-01 season, and also played the role of Matt Hucklebee in the film version of 2000’s “The Fantastiks.”

Starring opposite “That ’70s Show” actress Mila Kunis, he next takes a title role in the film adaptation of the ubiquitous dinner theater interactive production “Tony ’n’ Tina’s Wedding.” The feature is due to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival (http://www.tribecafilmfestival.org/), running May 1-9 in New York.

“It was sort of a kamikaze production,” McIntyre said of making the film, which was shot in the Tribeca neighborhood of lower Manhattan. “The cast was great and we had a ball doing it.

“It’s obviously hard to translate an interactive play into a movie,” he said, fully realizing that the show has a long off-Broadway history in New York and elsewhere. “I’m sure there’s going to be people that have been in it for 20 years going, ’What the hell is this?”’

Although he’s keeping his options open for future roles, in the short term McIntyre is focused on “8:09,” whose title reflects coincidences relating to everything from a home rented in Los Angeles to the date he met, and later married, his wife, Barrett.

Beyond a few scheduled acoustic shows next month (see http://www.joeymcintyre.com for details), McIntyre said he’s hoping to put a band together and launch a summer tour. Not in the cards anytime soon, though, is a reunion with his former NKOTB bandmates.

“Donnie Wahlberg and I talk pretty often,” he said. “We’ve discussed how people are always bringing up a reunion and what if and all that stuff. You know, it’s just so difficult to get five people in the same room, never mind putting a tour and a record together. To me, that is the number one thing. You’ve gotta come out with a good record first, because that whole nostalgia thing, there’s a good way to do it and a bad way to do it.

“Right now, I think our history is still intact,” he said. “And we’ve got a lot to do individually first.”