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Phillip Phillips Talks New Album, American Idol, and Tour

Back in 2012 a person with the same first name as last name won the 11th season of American Idol. That person is Phillip Phillips who went on to make hit songs such as “Home,” and “Raging Fire.” Recently he released his third album, Collateral  and will embark on a tour starting February 9th in Cherokee, NC.  Voice writer, Will Heffernan, had the chance to chat with Phillip Phillips to talk about his music and his tour.  

Q: What’s your favorite song on Collateral? 

A:  I do love all of them, they’re all so different. “My Name” is one that always a fun one to play live, because it’s such a guitar driven song. “Magnetic” is really fun, “Don’t Tell Me” is awesome, I mean I could just say all of them but those are some tops for sure.  

Q: What has it been like working with Interscope Records? 

A: I’ve been with Interscope since the beginning, but it was also partly with 19 but I moved on from that. I’m still with Interscope and they’re awesome, everyone there is just great, all the cities I go to and all the radio stations that they help push the songs to get on the radio, everyone there is just awesome.  

Q: What are you looking forward to most about this tour? 

A: It’s my first headlining tour in a few years so there’s a little nervousness and also some excitement but it’s just going to be five guys on stage playing the best music that we can. It’s going to be a great time, seeing everyone singing and dancing and just having a good time. It’s going to be fun.  

Q: What are your thoughts on American Idol coming back so soon? 

A: Yeah, they didn’t really go away but I think it will be good. Luke Bryan and I are from the same town, he’s going to be great, Lionel Richie is just, I mean, Lionel Richie, he’s just one of the greatest ever, Katy Perry, she’s amazing. We’ll see how it goes, I’m sure it will be great.  

Q: Talk about “Dance With Me” which was used as your dance song at your wedding and will we see a music video for it? 

A: I wrote before we got married obviously, I wanted to write our first dance song for her. You hear a lot of wedding songs that are amazing that are about “will you marry me?” and all this stuff. I wanted to write one about that first dance, and you know that’s a special moment because it’s your first moment as a married couple but also, I wanted it to be about the rest of our lives as well. It really captured that moment because the chorus is “So will you dance with me? I will lead you, give every moment that I have just to be near you. When the song ends and everyone else leaves, will you dance one more with me?” I thought that was so romantic and just an awesome little turn around at the end in that chorus, that’s one of my favorite lines ever. I don’t know about the music video, we haven’t really done anything with music videos, I kind of tossed around some ideas about that because I think that could be a really cool video for that. Maybe just me and my wife in the video you know and there are so many different ways we can film it, but I don’t know. We’ll see, it would be cool for sure. 

Q: What are some stand out experiences that inspired this album? 

A: This album, for me, the title Collateral; that word is just something that comes alongside something else. All these songs came along with a lot of heartache, waiting, and just confusion. Also, a lot of love because I got married. The waiting came from the lawsuit that I was in for three years, so it talks about that and about love and getting married to my wife, just kind of those past three years.  

Q: How have you musically changed since winning American Idol? 

A: I definitely feel like I’ve gotten better as a musician because ever the greatest of the greats, there’s always something to learn, no matter how good you are. If you’re an athlete or whatever it is, there’s always something to learn and make yourself better at. I really try to keep doing that and to keep learning as much as possible on the guitar, keys or whatever instrument it is or even producing. The last three or four years I’ve had a lot of time to learn about myself and what I wanted out of this album. Lyrically ,I think this is some of the best that I have ever written. I’m really super proud of that and I’m really proud of the music too.

Q: Your album artwork gives off a James Bond vibe, whose idea was that? 

A: The guy that took the picture Jesse DeFlorio, who is an amazing photographer. I get so uncomfortable during photo shoots, so I was like, ‘You just tell me what to do.’ He kept it very simple. There are so many other photos that he would take that were just so natural. He used a piece of prism or something for it and so I had a different idea what the cover was going to be. He sent me several different ideas that he had from what I told him and we just thought that one. We all thought it was very Bond-like and it was cool, it stuck out. There are so many albums out there now that are just the face of the person, which is great, that’s what I really was going to do, and he just sent that over and I thought it was really cool. 

Q: In honor of one of your songs, “I Dare You,” what is one thing you dare yourself to do to better yourself this year? 

A: To work even harder, to not give up on myself and the fans. It’s been a while and things aren’t going to be like they used to be. I definitely know it’s going to be harder to push forward and to get that confidence back in myself, so I think to get more confidence and to keep pushing harder. 

Q: Finally, what can we expect from this tour?  

A: I’ll be playing songs from the first couple albums and definitely from this newest album as well. I play a different set every night, I always just kind of think of it probably an hour before we play the show. First two albums, definitely new stuff out there, and there’s going to be some covers. It’s going to be a good time, it’s going to be fun.  

Phillips will be coming to The Sinclair in Cambridge MA on February 14th and 15th and you can get tickets at this link:

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Comments (1)

  • Laura Jones

    The new album cover, to me, is like a transition from The Other Side of the Moon. Or if transition isn’t the word, moon phrases. We just had a red moon during the last full moon February 5th 2018. We just saw him in Cherokee and his Lyrics give so much value to his music! He has people all ages liking his songs including my Mother, my boyfriend, who was a lead singer in his day and who has a critical eye for talent, my grandchildren and myself!


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