James Durbin Discusses His Debut Record, ‘Memories of a Beautiful Disaster’

On November 21, American Idol season 10 favorite James Durbin released his debut record, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, on Wind-Up Records.

The 11-track album, produced by the highly acclaimed Howard Benson, is a well-crafted mix of rock music. From the roaring “Higher Than Heaven” to the nod to Aerosmith on “Love in Ruins,” to the power anthem “Stand Up,” 22-year-old Durbin proves to be a real contender in the world of rock.

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with Durbin, where we discussed his debut record, which collaborator he’s learned the most from, and what’s coming up next for him.

How does it feel to have all your hard work out there for people to hear?

It feels great. That’s exactly what it was; it was a lot of hard work. I actually finished the vocals on the record in two and half weeks. It was basically singing three songs a day and getting them finished, having to sing each song 15 times or so to really get the right one. That was a lot of wear and tear on my voice, but it was well worth it.

On the release date, were you more anxious or more excited about your record coming out?

Definitely more excited. Before the release, all my fans were counting down the days, and I was counting along with them. It was very, very exciting. I think it’s more exciting to have it out there. I found out today that I sold 28,000 copies my first week. It’s like, wow, you know? This is like the moment of truth. This is what all the hard work paid off for. It wasn’t just having a record out there, it was really seeing the extent of my fan following. It’s so great to know that I sold that many. It’s unbelievable.

So you had a signing in your hometown of Santa Cruz the day your album was released; what was it like being home on your big day?

It was great. Not only that, but one of my favorite things to do is to see all my fans; just to see all my fans face to face, see who’s buying this record, getting to thank them and shake their hand. And be like, “You know what, thank you so much for your love and support. It means so much to me, it means so much to my family.” This has been my dream. And now my dream’s come true. I get to work in music and support myself and support my family in the process. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.

Continue reading James Durbin Discusses His Debut Record, ‘Memories of a Beautiful Disaster’

VIDEO: James Durbin Performing Live at Santana Row

Earlier today Windup Records recording artist and American Idol season 10 alum, James Durbin, made an appearance at Santana Row in San Jose, CA.

After doing a meet-n-greet with fans, James performed a stripped down set of songs from his debut album, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster for the crowd.

Set list: “Stand Up,” “Right Behind You,” “Love Me Bad,” “Screaming,” and “Love in Ruins.”

Check out video of James’ performance below!

“Stand Up”

Two more videos after the cut! Continue reading VIDEO: James Durbin Performing Live at Santana Row

Backstage with ‘American Idol’s’ James Durbin

Hours before the Top 11 from American Idol season 10 took the stage at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, I had the opportunity to talk with a certain Idol contestant that was extremely excited and happy to be back in his neck of the woods.

Santa Cruz native, James Durbin and I sat down backstage for a pre-show chat, where he discussed getting the crowd up and on their feet during the tour, writing and recording for his album, and the episode of Idol that neither of us will be forgetting anytime soon.

So how does it feel to be performing in the Bay Area?

It feels great. We did Oakland last night, and that was insane. I’m really excited for tonight.

It has to be a cool feeling to have tried out for the show in San Francisco, and have this full circle kind of moment.

This place, HP Pavilion, I came to my very first sporting event here. It was the Sharks versus the Avalanche. I was five-years-old, packed arena, and out of every single person, my one seat, I won a CD player. And then a hockey puck got hit over [the barrier] and landed right next to me. Unfortunately the Sharks lost, but two out of three things ain’t bad.

I’ve been here so many times. I’ve seen countless wrestling shows here. I once waited for three hours and climbed on top of that cement wall to catch a glimpse of Chris Jericho. Now I have him on speed dial. We were just texting and he’s in Europe with his band touring. We went and saw Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks, Poison, and Motley Crue, and hang out all the time. It’s so crazy, it’s a full swing.

Very cool. Have you been able to get back to Santa Cruz while you’re here, or does everyone kind of have to come to you?

Everyone’s had to come here. I’m dying to go to Socrates and get a sandwich, but unfortunately not, which really sucks. It’s a twenty minute cab ride. I could grab lunch and come back.

So, how has the tour been going so far with the handful of shows you’ve done so far?

This will only be our sixth show out of forty-seven. It already feels like it’s been awhile, but it’s only been a blink. But, it’s gone really good; every show’s been great. Everyone’s been really receptive, everyone’s there to have a good time. Sometimes they need to be reminded that they’re supposed to have a good time. A lot of people have been sitting down.

You know, I’ve gone to a handful of Idol tours, and sometimes people treat the live show like they’re at home watching y’all on TV, instead of embracing the vibe of being at a concert.

I know some people get agitated if people are standing up, Sit down! We’re trying to watch the show! It’s a concert; you’re supposed to stand up! We enjoy it when you stand. That’s why when I come out for my set, I come out through the crowd. I want people to stand up! Stand up! Try and find me!

Continue reading Backstage with ‘American Idol’s’ James Durbin

Concert Review >> American Idols Live! in San Jose, CA 07.13.2011

This week the American Idols Live! tour rolled through San Jose, CA to the delight of the masses who showed up to see one particular Santa Cruz native by the name of James Durbin. Just the mere mention of his name at the top of the show by season 10 runner-up, Lauren Alaina, resulted in an eruption of cheers from the crowd.

And I must say that Durbin didn’t disappoint. He appeared in a couple group numbers during the first half of the show, but it was his entrance for his two-song set that had the audience at the HP Pavilion on its feet.

Entering from the back of the building wearing a San Jose Sharks jersey, singing Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’Mine,” Durbin shook hands as he made his way up to the stage. Towards the end of the song he held his microphone out to the audience and, without any real prodding, they sang the chorus back to him. I have to hand it to Durbin. He’s charismatic, has great stage presence, and absolutely relished every moment of his solo performance, wherein he took the time to thank the fans for voting for him and for the overall support he received from the Bay Area.

But Durbin wasn’t the only Idol who amped up the crowd. Paul McDonald got the people on their feet in the first half of the show during his lively performance of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.” Naima Adedapo’s rousing rendition of Jennifer Lopez’s current hit, “On The Floor,” complete with an African dance break, was one of the most well-received performances of the night.

Continue reading Concert Review >> American Idols Live! in San Jose, CA 07.13.2011

Idol Wired >> And Then There Were Three

This week on American Idol, James Durbin was eliminated from the competition. Shocking? Eh, not really.

Personally, I never saw James getting past the Top 5. But, I figured Randy Jackson had probably pissed off every Haley Reinhart fan Wednesday night to the point where they probably voted until their thumbs were numb.

I figured when it came down to it, we were going to see either Lauren Alaina or James head home. Yesterday when Ryan Secrest tweeted, Tonight will be a VERY interesting #americanidol. Good luck @LAlainaAI10, @JDurbinAI10, @SMcCreeryAI10 & @HReinhartAI10,” I knew Haley had to be safe and that there was going to be a “shocking” elimination.

I felt for James, because as soon as Haley was declared safe last night and it was between him and Scotty McCreery going home, you could just tell that he knew his time was up. However, I do think it was time for him to head home.

The thing with James, and season 8 contestant Allison Iraheta kind of touched on in her guest blog on The Hollywood Reporter website yesterday was that we never truly saw a James Durbin performance. We saw a lot of knock off Adam Lambert performances.

“With James, as far as song choice is concerned, it was hard for me to hear it because we had to sing “Don’t Stop Believin’” on the season 8 tour so many times – it was a group number. And to hear Adam Lambert sing that same song night after night… well, it’s hard not to compare the two,” Iraheta said in her blog.

Continue reading Idol Wired >> And Then There Were Three

Video: Tim Halperin Covers “Love Potion No. 9”

Tim Halperin took on his latest “Idol Got It Wrong” challenge and took on “Love Potion No. 9,” which was the song James Durbin closed the show with on American Idol last night. 

Watch Tim perform his rendition of “Love Potion No. 9” below.

Not gonna front here, I was a tad skeptical when I found out this was the song Tim went with, but as soon as he started singing it became totally clear that this was a great decision. Tim really got to let that unique tone to his voice shine. I thought this was another great performance.

Download the MP3 of Tim’s performance here!

If haven’t downloaded Tim’s recently released Acoustic Sessions EP or “The Last Song” yet, what are waiting for? Go grab your FREE downloads at TimHalperin.com!

Don’t forget that “I Wanna Fall In Love” is also available on iTunes!

Check out my interview with Tim from earlier this year! Part one // Part two

Mercury News Reveals “Durbin Day” Plans

Tonight on American Idol, we’ll find out which three contestants will advance to the Top 3, and get to return to their hometowns.  If you are not aware of how big a deal an Idol hometown visit is, check out this video of Lee DeWyze’s homecoming from last year below.

If contestant James Durbin makes it through, he’ll be returning to Santa Cruz, CA  for “Durbin Day” on May 14.

Here is what “Durbin Day” will entail!

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM – AT& T Store at Capitola Mall

James will be there meeting fans and possibly will find out what song the judges have chosen for him to sing the following week.

2:00 PM — Downtown Santa Cruz Motorcade

According to the press release the Mercury News cited, “The motorcade will start at Cathcart and Pacific and travel north on Pacific to Water Street at the Clock Tower. The motorcade will continue down Center Street to the Louden Nelson Community Center at 301 Center Street.”

2:30 PM Louden Nelson Visit – Blast from James’ Past

James will be visiting with media and local community programs that “developed his legendary vocal and performance skills.” The Santa Cruz Teen Center, Kids on Broadway and All About Theatre will be hosting James to visit the kids in their current programs.

4:30 PM — Travel to Beach

“Led by the Santa Cruz High School Marching Band and a police escort, James will travel down Center Street to Santa Cruz’ Main Beach. James will be followed by participants from the Teen Center, All About Broadway and the Kids on Broadway. ”

5:00 PM – James on the Beach Bandstand

James will “give a short performance of 2-3 songs” while be backed by The White Album Ensemble. He will also be honored by Santa Cruz City Mayor Ryan Coonerty.

These are the basic details, check out the Mercury News article for more information.

EDIT: James Durbin did not advance to the Top 3 on American Idol this week.

Idol Wired >> One Last Growl

You know, I was all set to praise how wonderful this season’s American Idol Top 5 is, especially since for the first time since season seven, two girls are in the mix. I mean, it seemed like nothing could get in the way of the best possible Top 5 that we could have with the remaining contestants. And then this happened.

Are you kidding me? Casey Abrams goes home, instead of Jacob Lusk, who was predicted by most Idol fans to be heading home. I’m not going to hide the fact that I’m disappointed. Was Casey going to win? Probably not. But, I can tolerate his personality and his performances a lot more than Jacob’s.

Let’s face it, the ship sailed on me ever becoming a fan of Jacob a couple weeks ago when he boldly told America, “If I end up in the bottom three, it won’t be because I sang the song bad, it won’t be because I sang the song wrong, it will be because everybody in America wasn’t ready to look at themselves in the mirror.”

Sorry bro, I’m totally over you being on this show.

After last night’s Idol results, my Twitter feed was full of angry fans wondering who in the world is voting for Jacob? Personally I don’t care who you vote for, that’s your decision. My hope is that people are only voting for one contestant, instead of splitting their votes among several contestants, because that is how you take part in eliminating someone that had at the very least one more week left. Just sayin’.

I have to say that Casey definitely went out with class, and had put on quite the show during his final Idol performance of “I Put A Spell On You.” Plus, how adorable was he when finished the song off by singing directly to Haley Reinhart? I’m on board with Team Caley!

Moving on, next week the Top 5 will each sing two songs; one current song and one song from the 1960’s.

So Idol fans, what did you think of last nights results? Did the right person go home? And what would you like to hear the contestants sing next week?

Originally posted on Blogcritics.

Idol Wired >> Everyone’s In It to Win It

I never thought I would ever make the following statement this season, but I thought each of the remaining contestants actually did pretty good last night. Who knew that “Carole King Night” on American Idol would bring out the best in the contestants? I surely didn’t.

Let’s just go down the line and start with Jacob Lusk, who sang “Uh Oh Not My Baby” last night. Other than the last note getting kind of weird at the end, I thought this was the best Jacob has sounded all season. I don’t think singing first last night is going to do him any favors, in fact, it will probably send him packing tonight. And taking a nose-dive into Steve Urkel’s closet wasn’t help him out either. What in the world was that outfit? Definitely plaid gone wrong.

Following Jacob up was Lauren Alaina, who sang “Where You Lead,” which once upon a time served as the theme song to the show Gilmore Girls. What was it with the outfits last night? Lauren looked tragic. I thought her vocals were alright. I think this was a great song choice for Lauren, but I think she needs to let go and stop trying to please the judges. And if anyone else’s voice would have cracked trying to push for a high note, they would have been called out for it in a in a non-loving fashion…last season, anyways.

Continue reading Idol Wired >> Everyone’s In It to Win It

Idol Wired >> Stefano is LanGONE

I figured as soon as the first guy was eliminated from season 10 of American Idol that they would start falling like dominoes, and as it turns out, that’s the only prediction I’ve made this season that’s been on point.

Following Paul McDonald’s exit from Idol last week, Stefano Langone was
eliminated from the competition last night. I’m not too surprised that Stefano was eliminated this week, it’s just too bad that it had to happen the night after he had what I considered to be his best performance in weeks. It takes me back to when Carly Smithson had an amazing performance of “Jesus Christ Superstar” during season seven, then got knocked off the next night, except I definitely wasn’t as upset.

This may be a little surprising to most who read Idol Wired, but I would have preferred Stefano to stay one more week if it meant Jacob Lusk was going home. I cannot believe Jacob has made it as far as he has in the competition. And Jacob’s performance in comparison to Stefano’s was definitely the weaker of the two performances.

Alright, I have to say it; I was super disappointed to see Haley Reinhart in the bottom three. C’mon, America! Haley had the best performance the other night, she deserves your votes.

Also, did anyone else catch Stefano totally snubbing Scotty McCreery when giving out hugs last night? What in the world was that about?

Switching gears over to the return of David Cook to the Idol stage. David performed the first single, “The Last Goodbye” off his highly anticipated sophomore album, This Loud Morning.

I thought that once David shook off his initial nerves, his performance was excellent. It must be a trip to return to the show that made him “more than a name or a face in the crowd” to debut his new single. I love that he’s kicking off his album with something upbeat and lyrically catchy. I’m really hoping that you, yes you and everyone you know hopped on iTunes and downloaded his single. I am all in favor of supporting former Idol contestants, especially ones named David Cook.

If you didn’t get a chance to watch David’s performance of “The Last Goodbye,” or you just want to watch it again, check it out below!

What did you think of last night’s Idol results? Are you liking David Cook’s new single? Also, what do you think of the Idols singing Carole King songs next week?

Originally posted on Blogcritics.