AOL - NOISECREEP
James Durbin Overcame His 'Weirdo' Childhood Through Heavy Metal
Posted on Oct 26th 2011 10:00AM by Carlos Ramirez
It's not often that Noisecreep covers someone from 'American Idol,'
but then again, how many other 'Idol' finalists can say they performed
a duet with Rob Halford? But that's exactly what 22-year-old James
Durbin did during the 'American Idol' finale this past May, delivering
a show-stealing rendition of 'Breaking the Law' alongside Judas Priest.
Durbin suffers from both Aspberger's Syndrome and Tourette's Syndrome,
but while growing up in Santa Cruz, Calif., his mother encouraged
him to embrace his artistic inclinations. "I've always showed
an interest for music of all kinds, so they might have thought that
the metal thing was just a phase [laughs]. When I was a teenager I
even started a metal band called Leviathan. I've always wanted to
be a professional musician. Look, metal isn't the kind of music my
mom would listen to, but she's always been supportive nonetheless."
It turns out that a one-hit-wonder hard rock band from the early
'90s had a huge impact on Durbin's vocal styling. "I learned
so much from listening to Steelheart. They were a band that just missed
the hair scene of the '80s and merged the thrash look with a glam
sound. Steelheart's singer is a guy named Michael Matijevic and man,
can he f---ing wail! I would watch all of their videos on YouTube
and listen to their records and try and hit the notes he was nailing.
I always wanted to see how far I could take my voice and listening
to that band helped me out a lot. Michael actually did some of the
vocals for the Mark Wahlberg movie 'Rock Star.' That's how I first