Idol James Durbin: On His Debut Album, American Idol, and Dream Collaborations
By Ali Lerman Mon., Nov.
21 2011 at 8:00 AM
James Durbin is a fighter
with the heart of a lover. He has managed to not let personal struggles
hold him back and has had success with the theater group Kids On Broadway
and with American Idol. It doesn't even matter that he was voted off
in the top 4 because he releases his debut Memories Of A Beautiful
Disaster today, so the sky is the limit for Durbin. We spoke with
the man behind the music about recording his album, American Idol,
and his dream collaborations.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman):
America wants to know: Ryan Seacrest--shoe lifts or no lifts?
James Durbin: No, he definitely doesn't have lifts. He's shorter than
Just checking. So you tried
out for American Idol before but you weren't selected. What did you
do differently the second time around?
I had someone who was coaching me and they only prepared me to sing
one song. I sang "Faithfully" by Journey and they asked
to hear another song and I didn't have one prepared. So, that was
my demise. It's a damn good thing that I knew that because at the
next audition I was asked to sing six songs. I had to pull a couple
out of my ass on that one--that's almost a whole album!
After you got voted off,
the general reaction on the Internet was that you were robbed. Did
that help ease the pain?
I guess so. I think the main thing that helped was the love and support
of my family and my friends. My fiancé Heidi and my son Hunter--they're
always going to be there for me. It was definitely not going to be
the end; it was just the beginning.
Did any of the American
Idol judges give you advice that you took into consideration when
recording your new album?
One of the main things that Steven Tyler said was to stay crazy and
stay who you are. I tried to keep as much of that as possible in the
Who would you love to collaborate
I'd say Steven Tyler or Jared Leto. I think I'd learn so much with
working with either one of them. I'm a big fan.
Did you get to talk to
Steven Tyler about doing something with him in the future?
I did not, but one of the songs on my album barely made it. Actually,
it's a bonus track called "Crawling Home." We weren't going
to use it but then Steven heard it and really liked it so we ended
up putting it on there.
Nice! How would you describe
your sound in three words?
Real, raw, and unpredictable. I don't like all of the flashy drum
machines and that sort of thing. It's just real music. It's something
you can actually listen to and feel something, like true emotion.
You don't get that by listening to some stuff.
Do you write your own music?
Yeah, some of it. I co-wrote four tracks on the record and then one
bonus track. I'm always working on new stuff. I have a handful of
new ideas on the backburner right now.
Which song are you going
to release next?
I don't know, I think I'm going to leave it up to the fans. They know
what they want!
Speaking of your fans,
what can they look forward to next?
I have my band together so we're practicing and getting ready to plan
a tour. Hopefully late January or February. We're actually in talks
for something super huge that is a million times huger than us, and
they haven't said no yet. So there's hope!
How do you plan on celebrating
the release of your first album, Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster?
I'm doing a signing in downtown Santa Cruz at Streetlight Records
and will be selling t-shirts that I designed. I'll be down there for
like, three or four hours, signing, saying hello to my fans, and taking
pictures. I hope this can be dubbed as "Durbin Day Part Two."
It'll be cool.
James Durbin's Memories
Of A Beautiful Disaster is out now on Wind-Up Records.