Alum James Durbin: 'Happy to Be Writing Kick-Ass Songs With Kick-Ass
The season 10 finalist talks to THR about his new single and album and looks forward to season 13 of "American Idol."
It's been two years since
American Idol season 10 alum James Durbin released new music. The
rocker's debut alum, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, was issued
on Nov. 21, 2011, and peaked at No. 8 on Billboard’s Top Rock
Albums chart. On Friday, the singer will follow it up with a new single,
“Parachute,” and offer a taste of his second album, Celebrate,
due on April 8, 2014 from Wind-up Records.
His appearance during
the 5 p.m. EST hour can be seen live on Durbinrock.com, AMAS.com,
ABC.com, Cocacola.com and Yahoo.com.
Let’s talk about the new single, “Parachute.” Did you write this song with someone else?
"Parachute" was a co-write. It was written by my genius producer Scott "the Ninja" Stevens, the incomparable stylings of Andy Stochansky and yours truly. After a few successful songwriting sessions with Scott, he showed me a new idea he and Andy came up with called "Parachute.” It was just the bones of the song. It gave us so much to work with and had a rad concept so I jumped for it. Literally! "Jump, jump, jump, jump – without my parachute!" With its driving upbeat tempo, huge chorus and unforgettable hook, in my eyes there's no better contender for first single than "Parachute!"
How is the forthcoming album different from the first? In what ways have you changed since recording that first album?
My first album is a chapter in my history and I have a lot of chapters yet to be filled. I had a great time making Memories, given I had two weeks to record it. I'm forever grateful for the chance to even get to record an album.
In a past interview, I described my first record as "anxious and pissed off.” Where I am now in my life and given everything I've learned about myself, hearing that quote makes me unsure of who I was when I said that. That's not me anymore. I'm not angry. I'm blessed, I'm thankful and I'm grateful. I'm just so happy to be writing kick-ass songs with kick-ass people.
Tell us about writing
the other songs on the new album -- who else you wrote with, how some
of the songs came about, what were your inspirations ...
In a session, Scott and I usually get straight to work, after some inside-joke craziness and weird voices. In a Ted Bruner session, we go through our "rituals" and proceed to "zombie" around Venice Beach finding inspirations in the oddest of places, one being a hat store where we got the idea for the song "Celebrate.”
What aspect of making and releasing an album do you like best -- the writing, the recording, the mixing, the promotion, the touring, or … ?
I love writing! Anybody wanna write? I'm there. [Laughs] The recording is great too, but I have too short of an attention span for mixing and mastering. Promotion and touring is the best. That's when I get to show all of my fans what I've been working on. This is my work I have to show for the past two years. This is another chapter of me.
Do you still watch Idol? What do you think of the new lineup of judges for season 13?