by Whitney Ullman
The Jackson 'Unity Tour' is headed to New Jersey. First the legendary group plays the State Theatre in New Brunswick and then travels south to The Borgata in Atlantic City. Although The Jackson 5 is now four Jacksons - Tito, Jermain, Marlon and Jackie - they will bring the house down with their nostalgic tunes, iconic choreography and just all around fun party atmosphere. Fans can look forward to tunes from The Jackson 5, The Jacksons, and even Jermaine Jackson's solo career.
NJ.com: We are excited about your 'Unity Tour' coming to New Jersey, New Brunswick first and then to The Borgata in Atlantic City, what can fans expect from your performance?
JACKSON: We only know one way of doing a show and that's giving 200-300% and so we try to do the same show that we’ve always done. To my understanding people tell me they enjoy the show. We do a lot of our old songs and we have a party on stage.
When you come to Atlantic City, are there any fun places you like to hang out?
JACKSON: Believe it or not, mainly the brothers, we like to just hang out in our hotel room after our performance. We’ve never been one to go out to clubs after the show and go out to parties, and I don't think we are going to start now. But we do have a great time, we party on stage and have a great time up there too!
With just four of you performing, how do you keep Michael’s spirit alive on stage?
JACKSON: Well his presence is on stage, and when we perform we feel his energy up there. You can feel his spirit up there, so it makes it a lot easier for us. To me it feels like he’s there with us on stage. I reminisce sometimes, especially when we first started, about when Michael and I used to be up front dancing, moving around and singing. You'd feel the energy there, and now it feels like he’s just there. We do some of his songs and show some footage to reminisce about the old Jackson 5 days, and some footage of Michael in concert. We pay homage to him in that way.
How does it feel to be back together and traveling all over the world?
JACKSON: You know what, I don't like it [laughs] Just kidding. It feels great, we are having a great time!
Are there any plans for a new album, maybe something with a twist on the oldies or any new songs?
JACKSON: We’ve been talking about putting out some new material. We’re starting to gather material and make a list of songs.
Have any of your sisters, especially your younger ones expressed interest in joining you on a future tours?
JACKSON: Not really. The brothers have mainly been just concentrating on this performance and doing these shows. I would never say never, but you never know what could happen.
Did you choreograph all the dance routines for your group?
JACKSON: Well mainly Jackie, Michael, and myself choreographed our dancing. A lot of stuff we are doing on stage is some of the old stuff we used to do mixed in with the new stuff. We brought in a gentlemen named Marty to help us out and polish up some things, but most of the stuff is stuff that we used to do a long time ago and changed a little bit here and there to bring it up to date. It was like a little tune up.
Does performing ever get old and if so, what do you do to keep it fresh?
See that’s what’s so great, and what I like about what we do, because what we do on stage is spontaneous...just go for it and do what you want to and have fun.
For over four decades, your music continues to inspire people and is still highly recognized today by all generations, how does it feel to remain a legend even in this day and age?
JACKSON: I never think about it, I don’t look at myself as a legend. I look at it as I enjoy doing the music. I believe the Lord has blessed us to create music. What excites me more, is that I have learned that through our music throughout our years has helped to bring people together, all that positive energy is what’s important. All the other stuff doesn’t matter to me. But bringing people together as one, to a positive effect, and bringing together all nationalities is more important to me. I think that’s really what the Lord wanted us to do, was to reunite people together as one through our music.
As someone who has seen a lot in the music industry, what are your thoughts about the evolution of music, especially that of your genre?
JACKSON: Well you know, music has always been on a journey. when rock and roll first started people didn’t like it, but then it caught on, and now the music today is so computerized...I'm one who likes that, but I also like to feel the movement in music, it doesn’t move as much to me as it used to do a long time ago. The songs a long time ago have a little more depth in them, but today is a different story. There are some great songs out there and some nice things, but music is going to change again. I think its starting to come back with real horns, real instruments, and real sounds...Music is always exciting. It’s always on a journey traveling somewhere.
Are there any plans to reignite your solo career?
JACKSON: Not really, I haven’t thought about it. I’m not going to say never, there are other things that I want to do that the Lord needs me to do before I start looking to do this. I leave it in the Lord’s hands and whatever happens happens.
Coming from a humble background, do you keep those values with you even with all of your successes today?
JACKSON: Let me tell you something, I can’t stand when I meet “celebrities” because the only stars that I know are the ones I see in the sky. They feel that they can talk to people in some kind of way, and that really disturbs me, it’s not what you were put there for. You were put there to try to help people, unite people and give positive messages and I don’t think it makes you better than anyone else. Because at the end of the day, we all have to be judged by one real judge and so when it’s time to be judged he’s not going to ask you what have you obtained in your life, he’s going to ask you what have you done for others. And if you haven’t, then shame on you because that’s what you are here for, to help one another, bring people together, and spread peace.
That’s what the world needs to do, is start studying peace. There is just so much negative energy across the globe that it really doesn’t make sense. And I feel sorry for these young kids who grow up today because they have no idea how great this world really can be because it’s slowly being destroyed.
What are some things you have done to help others?
JACKSON: People don’t realize that us brothers have been doing this from day one. From our Jackson 5 days we used to always go to children's hospitals and visit the kids. Some would have Cancer and we would come back the next year or two years later and they were not there. We used to go to the Ronald McDonald houses all the time and visit the kids. Even when I go to other countries, like Tokyo, I went to an orphanage to visit the kids and did the same in Africa. It’s important and makes you feel good. It gives you a natural high and people always ask me, What are some of the highlights in your life? And to be honest with you, I’ve met Kings, Queens, Head of States and the thing that stays in my heart forever is when I went to Ethiopia to visit the refugee camps and realize how fortunate the less fortunate in the U.S. and other parts of the world are. And that just really opened my eyes to see how much work, we as people globally need to do to bring this world together.
Whitney is an on-air multimedia personality, and works behind the scenes helping businesses gain extra exposure, through her WIN Promotions video production services.