Me By Michael Shinafelt
Friday, July 15, 2016
Welcome Back, Durbin!
James Durbin left a lasting
impression placing fourth on season ten of American Idol. Not only because
he was one of the few contestants who performed rock to perfection,
he was the only contestant ever on the show to have autism.
His debut album the rock
oriented Memories of a Beautiful Disaster was a hit, which was followed
up with the pop flavored album Celebrate, which was a departure from
what Durbinators were hungry to hear from their idol.
Well James is back and ready
to rock with his first new music in over two years Riot On Sunset.
In my opinion this is James
best work as an artist to date mainly because the music is 100% pure
Durbin. Durbinators rejoice, here's James!
JD: Hey Michael, how's it
MS: Fine, I love your latest
Riot On Sunset, after Celebrate it's great to hear you rocking out again!
JD: Not to take anything
away from Celebrate it's a great album. But it's more of a studio album
and it's not something that I like to play live too much. It still holds
up, it's just not a James Durbin album necessarily.
MS: I was going to ask how
you felt about it, and you beat me to it. (laughs) Are you still going
to experiment with different types of music in the future?
JD: Yes. I am influenced
by a wide array of music genres and artists. Everything from James Brown,
Maroon 5 to Judas Priest. You might even find a Bieber track on my iTunes.
(laughs) It's different songs for different reasons. The Bieber song
in question has incredible production. As far as the kind of music I
am making now, I am definitely back in my comfort zone.
MS: My favorite song off
of Riot On Sunset is the title track. Was that inspired by your performing
at the The Viper Room?
JD: You know I actually wrote
that song when I was twenty. Probably a good year and a half before
all the "Idol" stuff happened. I had started a band with some
friends called Hollywood Scars and I was looking up different things
about the Sunset Strip I wanted to embody that in a song. That ended
up being Riot On Sunset which was an actual event that happened in the
1960's basically it was about kids wanting to have freedom of expression,
to be yourself whether "the man" has anything to say about
it or not. I kept pushing for the song to be on my other two albums
and the label kept saying it's not good, we don't like it, it's not
going on your album. When I was in Nashville working on my second album
with James Michael, we had a talk about it, he said to me: "This
is one of those songs that you write once in your lifetime, it's on
of those songs that comes from somewhere else." That message spoke
to me to open myself up to letting songs pass through me.
MS: Seriously?! I can't believe
the label said those things to you about that song.
JD: There ended up being
a struggle with it actually, after I left the label. They were going
to keep it and not give it back to me. It fell in with my publishing
deal with them. The fact that somebody can say they own a song that
they don't think is good enough to go on a record is just stupid. We
fought really hard and that's the one thing I got out of my termination
deal with the label. This incident falls right in line with the story
and vibe of the song, standing up for what you believe in, regardless
of the fact that somebody tells you "No."
MS: Your single Smackdown
is doing really well, congratulations!
JD: Yeah, yeah it's doing
pretty good right now on the Loudwire Battle Royale. It's gone up to
number one, it's still in the top five on the liter board. That's all
thanks to my awesome adoring fans, they're truly something else.
MS: They sure are! Every
time I tweet about you, whoever runs J.D's Outcast Army is on it! They
re-tweet me within five minutes usually.
JD: When I was in Florida
on a layover I went to Walmart at one in the morning and tweeted something
about it. Immediately after I did it there were like four or five responses
to it. It's a blessing to have such devoted fans.
MS: Here's a somewhat off
the cuff thing that I've always wanted to ask you. Have you ever been
JD: I have not. They were
trying to get me to skydive to promote my single Parachute off of the
Celebrate album, yeah, that wasn't going to happen. Now I would have
totally done the indoor skydiving at Universal City Walk.
MS: Does skydiving scare
JD: It depends on what mood
I'm in. (laughs)
MS: Speaking of City Walk
the last time I saw you was there performing for the organization Autism
Rocks. It was a great show, you are always good live, how did you feel
about that night?
JD: It felt great! The idea
of the organization is to bring awareness to autism. That it is not
something to be feared. All we want is to be loved and accepted just
like everyone else.
MS: Personally, I accept
people as they are, things like that don't scare me.
JD: Good. People may look
at us and think we act funny, but we could be looking at you thinking
the same thing. (both laugh)
MS: Thanks Buddy!
JD: Thank You Michael!
Riot On Sunset is out...now!
Follow James at:
Official website: http://www.jamesdurbinofficial.com/
Get Riot On Sunset at:
Riot on Sunset by James Durbin