One of the hardest things to do while working in the industry is to have a level of contentment. So many get caught up in the machine and forget the reason they went into the music business in the first place. Passion. Former American Idol James Durbin reaches back to his past and recalls his metal roots to create his most ambitious release yet. It’s daring and heavy while being slightly tongue and cheek about the heyday of classic heavy metal in the realm of Dio, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Still, he never forgets where he came from and the inspiration he continues to be for so many aspiring children and musicians with disabilities.
James states "After I made my departure from Quiet Riot, The first email in my inbox was from Frontiers Records, the label QR is with and they were interested in continuing to make music
together. I had done 3 albums with my time in QR, “Road Rage”, “One Night in Milan” and
“Hollywood Cowboy.” They knew what I was capable of, which songs I wrote and which
songs I didn’t. They also knew the limitations I was under with those albums. I asked them
what kind of album do you want me to make? And instead they said we are interested in what
kind of album you want to make. I was like, this is my label right here. I told them I wanted to
do a classic power 80’s metal record, along the lines of Dio and Judas Priest with a little Iron
Maiden in there. There is a lot of Dio/Sabbath, Tony Martin/Sabbath in there as well. There is
a specific weight that this type of music has, the kind that Ronnie James Dio made and performed. That’s the specific sound that I equate with. It’s also something I don’t hear being continued or replicated in this day and age of metal. I just thought, why not try my hand at that and write it myself.
James talked about his time from "Idol" to his time in "Quiet Riot":
"After my album “Celebrate” I went to Nashville and started working with James Michael from SIXX AM. I got to pick his brain on songwriting and his note scale. Just when you think he issuing to sing one thing, he goes off in a completely different direction, sonically, from major to minor
notes and phonetics within the lyrics. I took those songs to the label and they wanted to go in a different direction and pitched a pop album. It’s like the story of rock of ages. They get the young rocker and they tell him all these things, dress him up and tell him we’re turning you pop.
Questions from the label were like, are you married to the bandana? (Laughs) I mean I was married wearing a bandana.(Laughs) THAT was an actual conversation with the record label. They didn’t like that. I took that as a challenge and its like I’m not, NOT going to take $60,000
to make and album. It’s all a game, so you play the game. You can’t gain wisdom, if you don’t interact. Wisdom comes from experience. Each of these bands and records is a difference experience and opportunity to gain wisdom. After that I got out of my record deal with Windup records and then I was independent. Being independent really opened my eyes to if I really wanted to continue to do this or not. What I’m doing, as long as I’m having fun, I’m going to keep on doing it. There has been instances and occasions and experiences where you stop having fun
and then you have to stop doing it at that point.
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