with American Idol’s James Durbin
December 31, 2011 By Adam Lawton
James Durbin was a contestant on season 10 of “American Idol”.
James recently released his debut full length album titled “Memories
of a Beautiful Disaster”. Media Mikes had a chance recently
to talk with James about his experience on the show and what it was
like singing with Judas Priest.
Adam Lawton: What was the “American Idol” process like
James Durbin: I originally auditioned for season 8 of the show however
I was not in the right spot mentally at that time. I just wasn’t
there what so ever in my life. During my time between the two auditions
I started a family and really got my life and my priorities together.
I was working at a Domino’s pizza and had put in for the day
off so I could go an audition. No one knew that I wanted to be a singer.
Everyone figured I was just going to be one of the joke contestants
so my boss said I couldn’t have the day off. Two days before
the audition the owners sat all the employees down and told us they
would be closing due to not having any more money. Everyone was laid
off and we weren’t doing very well financially at the time.
My fiancé and I went to San Francisco and waited and waited
to audition. I just ended up going for it and never looked back. I
had no idea what things were going to be like once I finally got on
the show. You do a lot of waiting in between rounds for your chance
to sing and then it’s over. The show is almost like a marathon.
AL: Did you start off auditioning for the main judges?
JD: You actually have 3 pre-auditions before you are in front of the
cameras. All that they really show on TV is the final round of auditions
and tons of people in the stadium. They never show the first round
where upwards of 20,000 show up to sing for 5 seconds in hopes of
getting their opportunity.
AL: What was your initial reaction when you were told you would be
singing with Judas Priest?
JD: I was told right after I sang “You’ve Got Another
Thing Coming” during the Top 24 guy’s week. Judas Priest
had contacted the show stating they really enjoyed my performance
and if I made it to the finale would I be interested in signing with
them. I thought holy crap! It’s Judas Fucking Priest and they
want to play with me. I was in complete shock. I still am.
AL: What can you tell us about your album “Memories of a Beautiful
JD: The album is being released via Wind-Up Records and was produced
by Howard Benson. The title comes from me looking back on moments
in my life that I thought were disasters. However after meeting my
fiancé and having a child those things that bothered me from
the past I can now look back on them and see the beauty and the pain.
Those events made me who I am today.
AL: What was the recording process like for you?
JD: Everything on the album is entirely new material. I enlisted the
help of some writers who wrote songs specifically for me. They call
it personalized song writing. All in all I finished the vocals in
two and a half weeks as we were working with a deadline in place.
I finished way ahead of time. The process of recording was really
fun and learning about everything related to recording was great.
I had never done anything of this magnitude before.
AL: Can you tell us about your involvement in the film “Different
is the New Normal”?
JD: I was asked by a production team if I would be interested in talking
to a young man by the name of Ariel Small. Ariel has tourettes syndrome
and was in the process of making a documentary about himself. I immediately
jumped on the opportunity. The film isn’t just about tourettes
but it brings life to tourrettes and makes it well known. Ariel was
inspired by me to make this film. I really respect that and am very
honored. Meeting Ariel and seeing how much insight he has for such
a young man was great. The title of the film actually came from one
of my quotes.
AL: What are your plans for 2012?
JD: Surviving the Apocalypse. (Laughs) I am going to just keep living
my dream of being able to sing and make a living by doing so. This
really is a dream come true. Huge thanks goes to everyone who has
helped me in the process especially my family and fans. I owe everything
to my fans. I am working on securing the right tour for 2012 as album
sales have been going well so knock on wood things will keep going