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Interview with Parade Magazine
Jesse McCartney is making a statement with his new album In Technicolor, which dropped today. The tunes have a distinctly retro feel that he says were influenced by Michael Jackson and Prince.
“It kind of has this throwback, late-70’s, early-80’s kind of vibe,” the 27-year-old said. “I just wanted to do something a little bit different and take a departure from everything that I had done in the past and I think this definitely does that.”
It’s evident that the former child actor spent some time studying up on the artists he looked up to as a kid. Songs like “Back Together” and “Tie the Knot” evoke that funky pop style with a modern edge.
Now that his album is available, McCartney is hitting the road for his North American tour. We caught up with the singer to learn about his hidden talents (“I’m really into [cooking] Italian food right now”), growing up in showbiz, and a possible return to Broadway.
What were some of your influences for this album?
“I grew up listening to a lot of soul music and a lot of R&B as a kid. I grew up in the 90’s when a lot of my friends were listening to like Nine Inch Nails and Metallica and I was listening to Boyz II Men, Babyface, and Stevie Wonder. That’s just the diet I was raised on in terms of music. It definitely made an impact on me as a musician and as a vocalist. When I sat down with the producers every night, we would listen to some old school albums and just listen to the whole record all the way through, pick out certain sounds that we thought were really cool and that we wanted to sort of pay homage to.”
You toured with the Backstreet Boys last summer. What was that experience like?
“It was great! It was actually my second time out there with them. I had toured with them in Europe in like 2005, so we kind of had a rapport already. They’re a great group of guys, they’re all pros at this point as well. It’s funny, having toured with them in ’05 versus 2013—in ’05 a lot of them were single bachelors and now they’re all married or have girlfriends and have kids. They’re like young dads on the road versus single bachelors, so it was a totally different tour.”
You’re about to go on tour. What’s your favorite thing about those live performances?
“I really particularly love touring when you’re releasing new music because you can sort of gauge what the fans like and what they respond to when you’re on stage and you get an instant reaction. It definitely helps with what songs to release and what songs to promote as the next single, and also to know in the future what people gravitate toward. It’s just fun also personally to get up there and play new songs.”
You got your start on Broadway in The King and I. Do you ever think about doing another stage show?
“Yeah, I think so! Maybe eventually. I’ve been seeing a lot of shows here lately in New York and every time I see a great performance, I do kind of miss it a little bit because those were my roots, I was trained as a stage performer. It’s always fun and it’s always nostalgic going back to the theater to watch the amazing performances. I think maybe eventually, if the right script came along or the right show came along, absolutely.”
What role would you most like to play?
“I’ve always loved the role of the Artful Dodger in Oliver, I feel like that would be a lot of fun to play. I’m probably a little old for that role now [laughs], but I see 40 year olds playing 20 year olds on stage, so anything goes.”
You’ve been acting almost as long as you’ve been singing. What was it like to get your start so young?
“It’s kind of all I knew. A lot of families grow up super into sports or really into one thing. Both of my parents were very musically inclined—my mom went to Julliard and to Berkely and to UCLA and my dad was a theater major and they met on Broadway here in New York. I kind of grew up watching them do it and listening to them play music. I was surrounded by it at an early age and they always supported it and encouraged it because they loved it too, so it was great growing up and doing music. But I also had a relatively normal childhood up until about the age of 16 or 17. I grew up playing baseball with a yard and the suburban Westchester, New York life. It wasn’t until I was about a junior in high school that things started to really take a turn to doing this professionally.”
You’ve got a lot going on right now, but what do you like to do in your downtime?
“I really love to cook, I’m big into cooking. I’ve just recently taken up a hobby with brewing tea and buying all sorts of weird Japanese and Indian and Chinese green teas. I have my whole band on tour right now brewing tea and we’re having, like, tea parties. It’s super rockstar, I know, but we are.”
What are some of your favorite recipes?
“I make a killer caprese garlic bread, I just started doing that, it’s really good. It’s basically just garlic bread with basil and fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes and I oven roast it. It’s almost like a bruschetta but a little more substantial. I’m really into Italian food right now, so I make an awesome lasagna. I buy fresh noodles, but I want to, when I get home, to start making my own noodles. I have to get a noodle press and everything, but I really want to try making a lasagna from scratch. And I can also grill a mean hot dog.”
"Superbad" on the Today Show (June 21, 2014)
He also did some promo rounds today! Check out the pictures below.
"Hangin with some fans after my @todayshow performance of #superbad #intechnicolor"
"Just finished the #morningmashup with my friends over here at @siriusxmhits1. My new album #InTechnicolor is out today kids! Super pumped you guys!"
"Atop the @EmpireStateBldg! New York, New York! Promoting the release of my new Album #InTechnicolor out today, Kids!"
"Meet me here for more #InTechnicolor talk. Chat me up in the comments below"
"Catch me and the beautiful AJ Michalka tonight on the @lifetimetv premiere of #ExpectingAmish 8PM/7PM Central!"
(This premiered last Saturday...Check your TV guide to find out when it'll air again... I actually enjoyed it.)
Source: 1 | 2 | 3
Continue to do you, boo.