Wednesday, July 1, 2009

David Cook talks acting, Michael Jackson, and the music scene today

June 29, 2:10 PM

I had the good fortune of pulling some old strings from my days, and I was able to speak with David Cook on the phone this weekend. I couldn't wait to ask him about his surprising stage presence that I noticed when I caught his recent show in Del Mar, CA. It's not that I was shocked that it was such a great show (as I explained to him), but was more intrigued by how much the seemingly subdued singer really came out of his shell and engaged the audience. As David explained, he has a bit of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde stage persona, and it's something that has evolved further over the last few years. As he so eloquently put it, the "on stage David" is a bit "more of a pain in the ass!" I also had to ask him about the cover song that he did, as it's been bugging me that I couldn't remember, and was holding my one-year-old, which presents some challenges when you're trying to take notes. He said that it was the one-hit-wonder "Shattered Dreams" by a band called Johnny Hates Jazz. David said that has some other covers up his sleeve, but his band hasn't pulled them out yet, like a hard rock version of "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight" and Nine Inch Nails' "Every Day Is Exactly The Same".

David explained to me the reasoning behind his recent decision to extend his tour, as he said that there were a lot of places that they felt like they didn't hit, and they also feel that they are not the same band now as they were when they started. He's enjoyed seeing them evolve, as he admits they were fairly green at the onset. As he put it, "The record still has a lot of legs left," so he wants people to have the full experience. He's played in a lot of different venues as well, with the inital part of his tour being mainly in college towns. As far as a dream venue from David, he basically asks "Where do I start?" He loves the big arenas, and would love to play Madison Square Garden, Red Rocks, The Forum, Arrowhead, Stonehenge, Wembley, and many more.

As does tend to occur when someone acquires a lot of fame, such as David, he hits the media circuit. I couldn't help but ask him about his experience(s) with the iconic Larry King, who makes me laugh, whether he's trying to or not. David said he's been on the show three times now, and he has an absolutely blast, as Larry tells him lots of "cool stories" during the commercial breaks. I asked him about his comment during the last interview that he's been surprised by how much people ask him about his love life or what he likes to eat, etc., over his music. He went to say that he's saddened that it used to be "music first, pop culture second," but now it's the other way around.

Because I see David as being a pretty profound guy, I asked him for his take on the music scene today, and he said that he is a bit disheartened by some of it. As he explained, so many artists today just go for the singles, where as his band really wanted to release an actual album, complete with a cohesive sound to it. He "didn't want to make a collection of singles," and he thinks that this "concise idea from start to finish" is the reason they have seen the numbers they have. As he put it, "We pride ourselves on being a rock band, and you don't see as much of that anymore." I asked him if anyone had contacted him about the passing of Michael Jackson due to his memorable rendition of "Billie Jean" on Idol, and he said that they had. David does admit, however, that his success with that performance was a bit of "dumb luck!" As far as Michael Jackson goes, David said that he thinks that Quincy Jones put it best when he said that a great musician comes along once in a lifetime, but an artist like Michael Jackson only comes along once.

I've heard David mention in a few interviews that he wants to pursue acting at some point as well, so I asked him to talk a bit more about what kind of acting he's referring to, and he said that he'd like to do whatever comes his way, and that he even read for something recently that he hopes he gets. He did joke that we're probably not going to see him in High School Musical any time soon, but didn't rule out the possiblity of a role in that either! David got a bit of acting experience in his video for "Come Back To Me," in which his love interest is played by Disturbia's Sarah Roemer. He was up front with Sarah about this kind of thing being new to him, and said that she was great to work with. David also touched on how honored he was to be the only former Idol winner to be featured in a promo for the upcoming season, and he said that the commercial was "shot amazingly." He joked that nothing beats acting when you don't having any lines, and called the whole thing a "cool experience." David also said he doesn't plan on distancing himself from the popular show any time soon, as it's plain and simply biting the hand that feeds you.

David was lucky enough to get a two week break from his hectic tour schedule recently, and during his time off he took his younger brother, Andrew, to a Bryan Adams acoustic show, and was able to hang out with the veteran singer after the show. He said he got a great bit of advice from Bryan, who told him to make sure he records the music he want to make, and not to stop until he wants to stop. David plans on doing just that, and will most likely follow up his debut effort with a sophomore album shortly after his current tour wraps. As David explained, he wants to "take the ideals on this record and expand them." As far as writing a song about the extremely devastating recent passing of his brother, Adam, David said he's not sure about that. Only time will tell.

For more info: Visit David Cook's official web site.

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