On Friday, Joey McIntyre will release a new single, “Own This Town,” and a video to go with it.
The New Kid On the Block, who’s back in Los Angeles after spending some pandemic months in Boston and on Cape Cod, said he hopes the song matches how many of his fans are feeling right now; it’s about staying optimistic and trying to keep it together, despite the odds. The first lines: “Is anybody sitting here? I think it’s gonna be a good night. Are you feelin' lucky, dear? I think we’re gonna do alright"
McIntyre called Tuesday to talk about the single, and explained how it became a local project. Turns out, he filmed the video for the song at one of his favorite childhood haunts.
Q. I hope you can hear me. I’m at home in Jamaica Plain and everyone is doing loud construction on every property right around my house.
A. Booming Jamaica Plain!
Q. “How are you?” seems like a loaded question these days, but ... how are you?
A. Well, I feel like my family is definitely grateful, considering we’re all healthy. Of course, we all have our emotional ups and downs. You know, it just [helps] to stay busy and creative. I guess that’s how this record came about. I’ve been staying busy with a Web series, “Whatever Night You Want It To Be,” and I would get on with a buddy or two. We’d sing songs and check in, and it’s just a way for me to stay connected and on my toes as far as singing and performing. And then, you know, the other 90 percent of my life was having three kids and doing the home-schooling.
Q. I wondered how you’ve gotten any of this done.
A. You know, you’ve really got to dig in and find space, and luckily my wife is amazing. It’s an ongoing juggling thing. It’s not easy but it is important. Because if you don’t kind of give yourself some time, you’re not going to be present the other times, when you want to be there for your kids and your family. It’s not a perfect science. ... This song, “Own This Town,” I wrote with my friend Emanuel Kiriakou a few years back. I think we always wanted to make it a record; we just never got around to it. He produced a great track and I’m really happy with my vocals, and it is kind of fitting, you know? I think it has some melancholy to it. It feels like a song that’s saying, “OK, here’s where I am. This is what I’ve been through, but, like, I still want to go for it.” You know, “I still want to get up and show up and swing for the fences.” I also have a video coming out Friday, too. I didn’t intend it to be a love letter — a valentine — to Jamaica Plain, but I shot it at the Footlight Club. My family grew up performing in that theater.
Q. When did you make this?
A. The beginning of September. You know, as the universe would have it, my cinematographer, who lives in LA, he’s from Massachusetts, so he happened to be home. Then I had an actor — Arielle Reitsma — she is living in LA, but she came home. She’s from Weymouth and is an amazing actor and performer.
Q. I heard “Own This Town” was a feel-good anthem, but I’ll admit I was happy that it’s mid-tempo. That seemed better. Like, it’s a “happiness is possible” song, without it sounding like “everything’s fine!"
A. I understand what you’re saying. I don’t think we’re ready for that. ... When you make something and you put it out there, you kind of got to let it go. I have to be happy with it; I’m doing this for myself because it makes me feel good and it makes me feel like, you know, I’m alive and I’m contributing. And I’m lucky enough that the New Kids have a bunch of amazing fans.
Q. I’m sure those fans would love to know whether you guys have one long group text going on right now.
A. Oh yeah. We’re always texting goofy memes, old YouTube videos. We’re all connected, that’s for sure.
Interview has been edited and condensed. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at Meredith.Goldstein@globe.com.