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IntExclusive Q&A with rocker James Durbin

July 9, 2016

Unrated Magazine’s Exclusive Q&A with rocker James Durbin
by Anita Lande-Brodersen

James Durbin is hitting the road to promote his newest album. Unrated Magazine received an exclusive Q&A with James!

UR: Hi James – your fan base is buzzing about your new song “Smackdown” and your new album (due out July 15) “Riot On Sunset”. It has been a few years since any new music. What have you been up to these last two years?

JD: I’ve kept pretty busy over the last 2 years both on stage and off stage. My wife and I welcomed into the world our beautiful daughter Kinzee who is now 19 months old. I’ve co-produced 2 sold out concerts of a 3 show I front titled “Destroy The Night: A Tribute To The Doors & Led Zeppelin”. I recorded and independently released a Christmas EP last season. I still tour and perform regularly both club dates and charity performances and I was invited back to the American Idol stage one last time for the series finale last April.


UR: Let’s circle back a few years when you were a contestant on Season 10 of the T.V. show “American Idol”. You made it to the top 4 on the show! When you think back during this time, can you share any thoughts (good or bad) that you will take with you from the experience?

JD: The whole experience was positive.I mean why would anyone anywhere pass up the opportunity to sing for your idols? I got to sing for Steven Tyler week after week!! I got to sing with Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, Zakk Wylde, Judas Priest & Tom Jones! I got to meet Rob Reiner, Gary Oldman, JJ Abrams & Jack Black! And that’s not everybody or everything either. There were so many outstanding moments throughout the experience that it’s impossible to list them all, let alone list one or two.

UR: As we move to 2011 your first album “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster” was released which really was a strong and impressive debut album with some hard rocking songs like “Higher Than Heaven”, “Stand Up”, and “Outcast” What are some memories on recording this album?

JD: I’d have to say the greatest memories (pun intended) were working with everyone one on one. Getting to write with one of my heroes James Michael (Sixx AM), Marti Frederiksen, DJ Ashba (Sixx AM), Mick Mars (Motley Crue), etc.

UR: You hooked up with some big names like Mick Mars from Motley Crue and also James Michael and DJ Ashba from Sixx:A.M. How did this happen and did they give you any pointers or advice?

JD: I got no direct advice..I guess maybe if I’d asked they would’ve let me know something haha. I was just so much in the moment of working on the same level as these guys. That was the biggest thrill. That and just getting to practice songwriting with my favorite songwriters. That has traveled with me to this day.

UR: In 2014 your sophomore album was “Celebrate” which was a slight change of direction showcasing different musical styles and slanted more to the pop oriented songs Why the change?

JD: That was the label’s call. I had just finished up writing for 2 1/2 months in Nashville at James Michael’s home studio. We wrote almost 30 songs with different writers and demoed them. But when it came time to play all these amazing rock songs for A&R, they hated it all & someone came up with the genius idea of forcing me to make a pop album. It was either that or be shelved. So I took it as a challenge and forced myself to write the best songs that I could. I don’t hate it at all. Its a great great album, if that’s what you’re into. But I found that I couldn’t play those songs live with the same enthusiasm as my 1st album.

UR: On your new album you are back to your signature hard rocking songs which I am sure your fans are excited for with your powerful voice. Give us details on your new album “Riot of Sunset”. Where did the title of the album come from?


JD: I’m thrilled for people to finally hear the new album. One of the songs “Keeps Me Alive”, was written over the course of 5 years! The title track “Riot On Sunset” I wrote in my childhood bedroom. It was inspired by the youth curfew riots on the Sunset Strip in the 1960’s. I love the message. Kids just wanted to stay out late and sing, let their freedom ring, with a Riot On Sunset! I’m immensely proud of the songwriting on the album. I wrote 7 songs myself and its mixed with a few co-writes & 2 songs that I wasn’t involved in but I love them all the same. I feel like this album is a huge step for me coming into my own as a songwriter capable of connecting with my fans & I think there’s no better way for your fans to connect with you than when you write the songs yourself. Those are always my favorites.

UR: What are some of your favorite songs off the new album?

JD: Like I said, I love them all the same. BUT my current favorite ear worms are “Beautiful”, “Mustang Livin”, “N1N9TEEN” & “Keeps Me Alive”.

UR: Finally, as you launch your tour to promote the new album, what can your fans expect at your show?

JD: It’s been a little while since I’ve toured extensively so it’s going to be a lot of fun for me. I’ve got a new group of band mates who can shred so I’m looking forward to seeing them expand and evolve on stage. And these new songs were written specifically to be performed live on stage!!

Click here to view the video for “Smackdown”:

Check out James Durbin live as his tour kicks off.

2016 Tour Dates:


18 Portland, OR Dante’s

19 Seattle, WA El Corazon

21 Salt Lake City, UT Loading Dock

23 Denver, CO Global Hall

24 Kansas City, MO Riot Room

26 Chicago, IL Schubas

27 Pontiac, MI Pike Room at Crofoot

28 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom

29 Fort Thomas, KY Fort Thomas

31 Universal City, MO The Duck Room


1 Tulsa, OK The Vanguard

6 San Jose, CA Santa Clara County Fair

More dates to be announced soon!

Follow James on social media here:
Official website: http://www.jamesdurbinofficial.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/durbinrock
Facebook: http://facebook.com/durbinrock
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/durbinrock/-