Thursday, January 26, 2012

James Durbin winning new fans, will perform in Libertyville

Michael Scott Slosa


California native James Durbin put his rock chops on full display in landing in fourth place on last season's "American Idol."

Durbin continues to gain new fans with the release of his debut album, "Memories of a Beautiful Disaster," which debuted last November at number 36 on the Billboard 200.

One of the songs off the album, "Stand Up," was prominently featured in NFL games this season. He will likely perform that hit along with other songs on Jan. 27 at Austin's Fuel Room, 481 Peterson Road, Libertyville.

New Medicine also is on the bill. The show starts at 9 p.m., and general admission tickets are $15, available at

Before you go to the show, read my interview with Durbin:

Q - I understand that you wanted "Memories of a Beautiful Disaster" to really represent you and the experiences you have gone through.

Some of the songs deal with being picked on and bullied. One of the songs, "Screaming," talks about just wanting to scream at the world. I was picked on and bullied from elementary school all the way through high school. I know fans of mine have gone through similar experiences.

Q - Howard Benson produced "Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster." Why did you want him to produce your album?

When I was getting bullied, one of my favorite bands I listened to for hope was My Chemical Romance. He produced their major label debut, "Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge," and he really helped them to find their sound.

I loved the sound he put to "Memories of a Beautiful Disaster." I am completely happy he produced it.

Q - You placed fourth on "American Idol." Were you happy with how you did?

I was thrilled. I didn't have any aspirations. My whole goal is doing what I love to do. I just wanted to be a working musician. I got a lot more than I bargained for.

Q - Simon Cowell left the show right before season 10. Are you glad you didn't have to face him?

I don't think he would have liked me. I auditioned for season 8, and didn't make it. I knew in my heart I had a better chance with someone like Steven Tyler.

It was a real eye-opener. The producers gave me a lot of time to shine, and let me go crazy on the stage.

Q - What was it like performing in the season 10 finale with Judas Priest?

I was way into Judas Priest, especially in high school. It was unbelievable. It was a dream come true.