James Durbin

American Idol Finalist Releases "Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster"

"American Idol" finalist James Durbin is gearing up for the release of his album, "Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster," on November 21st, and is giving fans a taste of what's to come as he reveals his first two singles from the highly-anticipated debut. The anthemic lead single "Stand Up" will go to rock radio and the power-charged "Love Me Bad" will hit the Top 40.

James is living out his musical dreams. I caught him in the midst of his hectic schedule recently to chat with him about them and other things that rock his world!

JD: Miiiichael, Miiiichael...

MS: Hey, James, can you hear me now?

JD: I can hear you now. Miiiichael... that is from "The Lost Boys." (laughs)

MS: How do you know that? That was from my era, dude, I was a teenager.

JD: They filmed it in Santa Cruz, CA. That's where I live. (laughs) We were just saying we were going to have a "Lost Boys" viewing night, when you called.

MS: Yeah, that works. (laughs)

JD: I'm kind of lazily in the process of writing a music video inspired by "The Lost Boys."

MS: That would be awesome! It's a perfect visual for your music. You're great, I'm a fan!

JD: Well, thank you. I really appreciate that.

MS: You have a killer-assed falsetto, by the way. Let's talk about your album, "Memories of a Beautiful Disaster." A lot of the themes on it seem to be about love and bullying.

JD: Yeah, the first half of my life was mostly filled with me being bullied. It wasn't until I met my fiancée my clock stopped working and it didn't matter anymore. I wasn't counting the seconds, minutes and the hours until the day ended. My pocket watch broke and it just didn't matter anymore.

MS: Great metaphor. So how did you meet your fiancée?

JD: I met her at karaoke. She was there for a co-worker's going away party. It turned out after talking to her that our moms were friends at church when I was four and she was 13.

MS: Nice. So what made you call your album "Memories of a Beautiful Disaster"?

JD: Looking back on the moments of my life that I thought were disastrous, thinking at that point, why did this happen? I wished that they never happened, but now I am able to look back at those moments and use them as inspiration. I now see the beauty in all the pain that makes me what I am today.

MS: I remember when Jennifer Lopez said on "American Idol" you were a total inspiration. How did that feel at the time?

JD: That was pretty cool, really cool, actually.

MS: Chat about some on the shooting of your video for "Love Me Bad."

JD: We shot it out in Barstow, CA in a dry lake bed. It's a place I knew about from being on "Idol". We shot one of the Ford music videos there. It's an amazing location. Roman White directed it. He is unbelievable.

MS: Tell me what was it like meeting Nikki Sixx?

JD: It was great! I was on his radio show the other day. It was so much fun!

MS: Is Motley Crue one of your favorite bands?

JD: Yes. Mick Mars played on my record, too. It was really cool since we went on Nikki's radio show together.

MS: Name some of your favorite rock bands.

JD: Mine! I like my band a lot.

MS: Of course, you should! And...

JD: Oh, man. Aerosmith, The Beatles, Dio, Black Sabbath... Guns 'N' Roses...

MS: Aren't they great? What's your favorite G'N'R song?

JD: "Don't Cry". My favorite band in the world is Hardcore Superstar. I co-wrote with them on the album. Actually, it was the same song that Mick Mars played on. It's called "Outcast." Hardcore Superstar is my favorite, favorite band.

MS: Are they off the periphery or is it that I am older than you and out of touch? (laughs)

JD: No, no one I know has ever heard of them. Well, except my bass player, he knows who they are. (laughs) They're really big in Europe and Japan. They're a mixture of hair metal and thrash. It's fun music, very tongue-in-cheek. It's exciting to listen to. I play it before a show to get myself amped and excited, so I will jump up and down on stage and act like an idiot. (laughs)

MS: Hey, you don't come off like an idiot and that's what's important. (laughs)

So what was it like working with Mick Mars?

JD: Un-believable! Ya know, Mick is Mick, there is no one else like him. People may try and imitate him, but they never can. He's such an un-believable guy. The first thing he did when he came into the studio was he said hi to my son and, by the end of the day, my son Hunter was basically calling him Grandpa Mick. (laughs) Mick handed Hunter a guitar and a pick and he started strumming on it. My son is two-and-a-half years old and will not strum on a guitar without a pick! (laughs)

MS: That's hilarious. It's obviously in the genes.

JD: Yes, it is.

MS: Congratulations on your upcoming marriage, by the way.

JD: Thanks, we are getting married by the end of the year. We are doing low-key and local. Santa Cruz, CA is where I am from. It's where I was born and where I am always going to live.

MS: If you are in the media spotlight it's the best way to do it.

Get your "Memories of a Beautiful Disaster" on November 21st and follow James at:




Michael Shinafelt

Michael Shinafelt has covered pop & dance music since he first burst on to the writing scene, interviewing everyone from pop icon Olivia Newton-John to pop artist E.G. Daily. Not to mention the many dance divas (male and female) who he has crossed paths with. Other interviews of note are Pamela Anderson, Heidi Fleiss, as well as cover stories on Margaret Cho and Kathy Griffin. Peace.