ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION

Return to David Cook

‘American Idol’ notes: David Cook interview (City Winery 11/19), David Archuleta, Lauren Alaina, Daughtry

Nov 09, 2018

David Cook has been touring and making music for more than a decade since the end of winning season 7 of “American Idol” in 2008. The rocker’s next stop in Atlanta is a return to the City Winery, a place he visited a little over a year ago.

He’ll be there again on Monday, November 19. (Tickets available $24-$32 here)

“Honestly, it’s’ one of my favorite rooms,” Cook said. “The staff and room were fantastic. We’ve had great vibes in that room. I’m excited to be back.” 

Cook will return with an acoustic set. “Doing that last year opened the door to break down these songs,” he said, “and tell these stories a different way. It’s exciting for us to perform ‘Light On” and rework it a bet, keep it fresh.” 

He recently released a dark tune “Death of Me,” which he has been playing on tour. He had just finished his second run with “Kinky Boots” on Broadway and it was near Halloween. “I first thought of a title that would work and ‘Death of Me’ popped up,” he said. “The toughest part for me is trying to tweak a melody the right way, the lyrical content. This one happened pretty quickly. That’s a sign of a good song.” 

Cook said he has wanted to scratch his theatrical itch for awhile and was finally able to latch onto “Kinky Boots” last year. “I love the show,” he said. “I love the story. I love the message. The show to me seemed so pertinent especially now, the idea of inclusion and acceptance. I had done theater in middle school and high school and went to theater school. But the band thing took over. To revisit this was an awesome shot in the arm. I made some amazing friends in the process.” 

He was super nervous meeting Cyndi Lauper, the brains behind the music of “Kinky Boots.” 

“She said she was glad to have me here and walked away,” Cook said. “Was I supposed to get more? I was told that was the Cyndi Lauper seal of approval. I felt great!” 
During his first run, he got to be on stage with the incomparable Wayne Brady. “The guy blows his nose and the Kleenex is covered in talent,” Cook joked. “He never does the same show twice. It made it extra fun. Add Kirstin Maldonado from Pentatonix and I really loved it.” (By the way, Cook said he would be terrible on Pentatonix. “I don’t do five-part harmonies,” he said. “I just let my guitar sing with me.”)

He also said Broadway singing vs. rock concert singing are two completely different things: “I don’t know if my songs would have the same resonance if I attacked them with my Broadway timbre, and vice versa.”

Cook has been an independent artist for a few years since leaving RCA and he has no regrets. “It’s been really all positive,” he said. “I think as much as I appreciate the time I spent at RCA and the relationships I made there, I think the artistic freedom is something I’ve really enjoyed. Just being able to chase whatever creative endeavors gets me excited any given moment. I love wearing different hats. It allows me to maintain a freshness across all platforms.”

He had a recent hand injury after one of his dogs got away from him and he tripped. “I didn’t stick the landing,” he said. This prevents him from playing guitar on tour. “I’m 35 years old,” he said. “This is the first major break I’ve ever had. I’m kind of flying blind.”

He actually talked to season 8 winner Kris Allenwho had a much nastier wrist injury after a car accident a few years ago and had to re-learn how to play guitar form scratch. “I picked his brain a little,” Cook said. “I was lucky. His was more severe than mine. I avoided surgery.”

The downside of not playing his guitar: “I have no idea what to do with my hands. I don’t know what looks natural. Hopefully, I’m getting a little bit more in the pocket with every show. By the time we get to Atlanta, everything will be well oiled.”