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November 14, 2011 | 04:39 pm PT

James Durbin Talks About his Album, Band, and Wedding

As James Durbin’s newly selected band caught some sun outside, the Season 10 fourth place finalist hopped on the phone with the AI-Insider to talk about his bandmates, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, wedding planning, and more!

Have you heard about the members of James’ band? The Northern California native describes the dynamic of his band, “It’s absolutely unbelievable. It’s so much fun. We get along so well, it’s like we’ve been together for a lot longer than we have. We’ve only been together for like a month. My lead guitarist is Dylan Rose, bass player Tyler Molinaro, rhythm guitarist Blake Bunzel, and drummer Jeff Fabb. Dylan and Tyler are buddies from here in Santa Cruz. It’s pretty funny—the last home gig I did before auditioning for Idol was with my then band Hollywood Scars, Dylan’s band Archer, and Tyler’s band Dirty Penny and we all played on the same card at the same venue on the same night.” And now they’ll be on the same stage as one untied band!

The big day is a week away! How is James feeling about the release of his debut album on November 21st? “A bit nervous,” James admitted. “You never know with these kinds of things. The music industry is very up and down. Sometimes things work out and sometimes things don’t, but regardless, I’m excited. We just shot two music videos, one for ‘Love Me Bad’ and one for ‘Stand Up’ and we’re tired of having the time in between. We just want to get a flip cam and make our own videos. We shot the video for ‘Love Me Bad’ in Barstow. I found out about the location because it was where we shot one of the Ford music videos on Idol. While we were out there we actually tweeted out a map and challenged fans to come out. If they came out, they could watch us shoot the video and hear five songs of their choice from off the record. We got a really good turnout and we were surprised! We had to bring in more chairs for people to sit at. It was a lot of fun to make a video, and it’s a cool video, so we decided to challenge fans to create their own videos. I’ve always seen bands that I like do contests like that. So I was like, ‘Alright, c’mon fans and show me what you've got.’ I’m a little bit worried. Don’t try the pyro at home or anywhere else!”

James got to collaborate with artists like Mötley Crüe’s Mick Mars and American Idol’s 7th winner, David Cook. “It was crazy because it was kind of my chance to reach out to people and have people reach out to me,” James explained. “It’s not like on Idol where people are brought to you. That was cool, but this is exciting. And I got to reach out to my favorite band, Hardcore Superstar—they’re from Sweden. They sent over an idea for ‘Outcast.’ Mick Mars and I finished it in the studio. It was just so much fun and so cool. I was in Manhattan, NY in Time’s Square at the Rewind Wind-up studios and David Cook was there. I was like, ‘Hey man, what are you doing in town?’ He’s like, ‘Apparently I was brought in to work with you.’ The song we wrote together is called ‘Screaming’ and it’s one of my favorite songs off Memories of a Beautiful Disaster. I plan on eventually doing a two-part music video with ‘Outcast’ and ‘Screaming’ because they both focus on being bullied. I can definitely pull from my life; I was bullied all throughout school. I’ve got a lot of stories and hopefully it will translate to kids.”

Now back from the Season 10 American Idols LIVE! Tour, what has James’ life been like? “My life has pretty much been back to normal. There are a lot more interviews and flying places at random times. The recording process was a lot of fun and my family got to be out in L.A. with me. We ended the U.S. leg of the tour and had a week off, so I recorded three songs that week. Then we went to the Philippines for a week. Every time we weren’t singing or doing press in the Philippines, I was at the pool. I was swimming all day but forgot to put sunscreen on, and I got the worst sunburn I’ve ever had in my entire life. I got back to L.A. still sunburned, and with a handlebar mustache I had grown on the tour. Heidi didn’t like the mustache one bit, so off it went, and in I went into the studio to work with Mick Mars. We finished all the recording of the vocals and then the record was ready to be mixed and mastered. It took two and a half weeks, which is the shortest time I ever heard of anything like that being done. It surprised me and everyone on my team.”

Which track off Memories of a Beautiful Disaster is James’ favorite? “I have too many favorites to choose from. Some days my favorite will be ‘Love In Ruins.’ Other days it will be ‘Right Behind You.’ Other days it’s ‘Deeper’ or ‘Higher Than Heaven’ or ‘Screaming’ or ‘All I Want.’ One of my favorite songs is actually a bonus track on iTunes called ‘Crawling Home.’ It’s a co-write I did with DJ Ashba right after the Idol season ended. We were in Burbank rehearsing for the tour and I was going to his house and we started writing the song, which was an idea I had thought of a month before. He starts playing and suddenly the idea just pops in my head to what he was playing. We actually just finished our set in rehearsal just now and that was the last song in the set. It was the big finish.”

You may be wondering how James and fiancé Heidi’s wedding planning is coming along. James said, “We’re pretty much done planning, so now we’re just waiting for it to happen and get here already. We’re picking up our rings this weekend. I can’t wait to just get it done, and go on our honeymoon. We’re going to the middle of nowhere and we won’t have cell phone reception and there probably won’t be internet. If I can get a good solid week off without my phone buzzing every ten minutes, it’ll be great. I loved her from the first moment I saw her.” Will he sing at the wedding (the wedding party includes Season 10’s Stefano Langone as Best Man and Paul McDonald as Groomsmen)? “I’ll probably sing at the wedding. I’m not sure what yet. I’ll probably sing ‘Faithfully’ by Journey; that’s our song. We have lyrics tattooed on the same spot on our left forearm. Mine says ‘Forever Yours’ and hers says ‘Faithfully.’

The Durbinators have been an amazing fan group on the forums, and James, an forum frequenter, stated, “Fear not that the forums have closed. They’ll be back up in no time. When they are, please, please, please continue to post pictures, or post them on in the community section, because I love seeing the pictures people take or find. Most of the pictures that are put up there I’ve never seen. It is nice to see them and we save them to our computer. We had so many different photo shoots on Idol and some really cool photos that I wish that I had, and I had never seen them anywhere but on the Idol forums, so kudos to everyone out there that’s taken their time to find everything that they can. And thanks for all the letters. I just got four boxes of letters from when I was on the show, so I have a lot of work to do!”

Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, drops on November 21st. Preorder the album on iTunes.

Posted by AI Insider