THE STAR SCOOP

Return to James Durbin

 

 

 

 

 

James Durbin on Debut album, Fans, Touring

Posted by The Star Scoop on December 19th, 2011

THE STAR SCOOP:
Your album is called “Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster.” You’ve previously talked about how this title relates to your life. As a whole, how personal do you feel the album is?

JAMES DURBIN:
I think upon more recent discovery listening back to it and really getting there, figuring out my own descriptions for each song, it’s extremely personal. Pretty much every [song], with the exception of two or three songs, is all about my life. I think the exceptions would be “May,” “Stand Up,” and “Everything Burns.” Other than that, everything is pretty personal.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Were there any challenges you faced in making it so personal?

JAMES DURBIN:
Not so much. I’m generally a very open person and I wear my heart on my sleeve most of the time, so it was pretty easy, letting myself go in the recording studio, and really letting the emotion out when I was writing songs.

THE STAR SCOOP:
You mentioned the song, “May.” It’s a beautiful track. You previously said it was more of a storytelling song, with you telling a story as if it happened to you and that you were really emotional when you were recording it. What was it that made you so emotional recording that song?

JAMES DURBIN:
I think listening to the song, just listening to it period, I got very emotional. You really listen to the lyrics and you really take those words to heart. You gotta know in your heart that this has happened to people.

And then having to get into the studio, we actually had to record the song in excess of like 15 times. Sometimes it was too emotional, and other times you just couldn’t tell one word from the other and just hear the crying and hear the sobbing.

I was able to take emotions from other points in my life just being a young dad and losing my own dad at such a young age. Things that were weighing on my heart for a long time, I was able to put those feelings of loss and of love into the song, into the recording of it, and I think it turned out great.

THE STAR SCOOP:
What can you tell us about the lead singles “Love Me Bad” and “Stand Up”?

JAMES DURBIN:
“Love Me Bad” was written by an amazing writer named Marti Frederiksen. Marti is one of the biggest, most-recognized songwriters there is today in rock and pop and has written a lot of Aerosmith, as well as Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, the list goes on and on.

He was one of the only songwriters I’ve really, really known about. He presented that song to me and I really like it. It’s a love song, a classic Marti Frederiksen, classic power-rock ballad. I really love the music of the 80s and I thought it brings a little bit of that essence into it.

The other single is “Stand Up.” I was approached by the NFL to sing the song for their game day volume 2 soundtrack, which is kind of like music, from the NFL for the NFL, by the NFL. I got the song out there and put it out independently on that and it got such good reactions by my fans and so many new fans that they decided to put it on “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster.” It is continuing to get so much support.

I shot a bunch of videos for every one of the 32 football teams. The video plays in all the stadiums. It’s really cool that I was fortunate and still am very fortunate to be a part of [it]. It’s definitely a super fun song to pump your fist to, get your fist in the air and on your feet. It’s a song that says, you know what, stand up, trying to have a good time.

THE STAR SCOOP:
What message do you want fans and listeners to take away from your album?

JAMES DURBIN:
I think for the album, I want people to take away basically what the album’s title is, “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster.” It’s about appreciating times and moments of your life that maybe, at this point or time that they happen, they really get you down, they really get you in a bad place mentally…but you have to have hope and know that it’s happening for a reason. You may not know that reason now.

Everything that’s happened in my life makes me who I am today and I would never want to change that because I’m different. I’m special. I’m one of a kind and each and every one of my fans out there are one of a kind in their own right, respectfully. They all have their own things, their own characteristics that make them stand out and make them special. I don’t want them to change, so they shouldn’t want to change either.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Can we expect you to go on tour in support of this album, and is there a venue you’ve always wanted to play?

JAMES DURBIN:
We are currently figuring out the logistics and plans for the tour. We’re trying to get something early 2012, hopefully mid-February. Let’s see…I think the places I’ve always dreamed about playing the most have been in Europe, actually. And those are Download Fest and The Rock am Ring Festival.

I watched videos from artists that are performing at those festivals and those venues. It’s just a huge outdoor festival with a sea of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people. You look out in the crowd and you can’t see where the people end. I just love that.

I watch videos of Thirty Seconds to Mars and Jared Leto tells the crowd to jump up and down and it literally looks like a sea of people. You watch the ocean and it just waves, it just moves and the people are moving like waves and it’s a beautiful sight, and I would love to see that firsthand.

THE STAR SCOOP:
The fans want to know if they will be able to do any meet and greets with you during the tour.

JAMES DURBIN:
Absolutely. I owe everything to my fans. It if wasn’t for my fans, I wouldn’t be here. “American Idol” is this huge opportunity for you as an artist to grow as an artist, but if you don’t embrace your fans, all you have then is music and music doesn’t go anywhere if not for fans.

You can have the greatest record in the world and no one will ever know it if you don’t care for your fans. There will definitely be meet and greets at every single show if we’re fortunate enough to have them. You know, it’s all for the fans.

THE STAR SCOOP:
We can tell how important your fans are to you and how much they mean to you. What would you like to say directly to those fans who are reading this?

JAMES DURBIN:
I’d have to say first and foremost, thank you. I’m nothing but a singer without my fans. My fans have given me the opportunity to be a rockstar, to live my dream of being a performer and being a working musician, and be able to support myself and support my family doing what I love.

It’s all thanks to the fans that “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster” debuted in the top ten on the Billboard rock charts and it’s been steady on the iTunes rock chart. It’s unbelievable to look at that and then to go out on the road and do meet and greets and do these little shows and meet the fans and meet who is buying this record and who voted for me on “American Idol,” shake their hand and thank them for everything. It’s all for the fans.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Do you have any charities or causes that are close to your heart?

JAMES DURBIN:
I think one would be TSA, Tourette Syndrome Association. They really do what needs to be done for Tourette’s.

I’m really thankful and really grateful for my mom and for everything that she did to bring awareness of it in my school, with my teachers. That’s what the Tourette Syndrome Association is doing. They be the bigger man or woman, so to speak in letting the schools know and getting the information out there that needs to be out there so that more and more people know what Tourette’s is and that they’re aware of it. I think it’s just great what they’re doing.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Obviously as an artist you’ve been inspired by other musicians. How does it feel to know that now, with this release, you’re potentially inspiring a new young listener to embark on a musical career path?

JAMES DURBIN:
I’m really happy. I had so many inspirations growing up to be a singer and to sing rock and to do what I love and sing the kind of music that gets my heart pounding. And I know that I’m inspiring kids and young adults and people of all ages, really to go for it.

I heard a great story from a friend who met a woman that was playing guitar outside of a store and they were going to give her some money. She was playing for money somewhere, and they asked her who is your inspiration musically. And I’ll never forget what they said before they gave her the money. She said that “my inspiration musically would have to be James Durbin.”

This older woman, probably in her 60s or so and I guess she just had this great voice. [It] turns out she was a musician back in the day and sang all over San Francisco in the Bay area and such, and she gave up on music. And it wasn’t until seeing me on TV that she went for it.

It doesn’t matter how young or how old you are, if you have a dream, you can take that dream and you can follow it and you can take it to amazing places that you never thought were possible. All you have to do is believe in yourself and believe in the chance and believe in the opportunity that it could happen. I think that’s the greatest thing that you can do is believe, and put that energy out there, and have faith in it.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Lastly, we have to ask, as a rock singer, what song do you think is the greatest rock song of all time?

JAMES DURBIN:
Oh man. I don’t know! That’s too hard to answer. I can never pick what’s the greatest or what’s my favorite of all time. I can’t listen to one song too many times. I gotta put other great songs in between. I’d have to say front-runners: “Stairway to Heaven,” “Back In Black,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Dream On.” I think those are my four front-runners. Zeppelin, AC/DC, Queen and Aerosmith. I’m just gonna leave it at that.

Well, maybe some Beatles, I don’t know. This is where it gets complicating…I think the Beatles were the greatest ever, but I don’t know what song of theirs, if any would be the greatest rock song ever.