Monday, July 2, 2007

Taylor Hicks: Gotta Have Sense of Humor

The Herald-Mail printed the transcript of a podcast with Taylor Hicks. Here it is:

Taylor, welcome and thanks for joining us today.
Thanks for having me.

Other than the popularity, what is the main difference between being on tour pre-"American Idol" versus post-"American Idol"?
The budget's different.

And how does that affect ... ?
It's allowing me the label. ... It's a different type of level that you can be able to have more utensils to get your art across.

People who watched American Idol know you were a working musician before the show. How did your interest in music begin?
I was about, I don't know, 7 or 8, and started listening to Otis Redding and Ray Charles, and a lot of AM stuff. ... The '70s were great for AM singer-songwriters. I followed the path and luckily, you know, picked up an instrument, a guitar ... and started working my way through learning my craft - and still learning my craft.

Have you had a chance to write some new songs?
You know, I've started on some ideas, and you know, going right back out for the summer tour, it's been ... tough, you know, to get in the writing process. I'm taking some time off in the fall and gonna really try to get some good songs going.

I wanted to ask, what's on your iPod right now?
Leo Sayer, from the '80s. Some Ronnie Milsap, some Derek Trucks ... just, you know, all kinds of different people.

Going back to "American Idol," how does it feel to be a part of a cultural phenomenon like "American Idol"?
It's very interesting. I'm very blessed that I was able to get through and, you know, expose my singing ability and have it be received in the way that it has. ... It's been great. I've enjoyed it. I've enjoyed it. I've enjoyed the ride, and I'm out here trying to make the best of the music."

Do you watch the show?
I do watch it. I watched a little bit last season. I was very happy to see Jordin [Sparks] and Blake [Lewis] be in the finals, and I was happy for Jordin, who won it.

What did you think about Sanjaya [Malakar] making it to the finals for season six, despite his not being well-received by the judges?
I think. definitely. Sanjaya was a visual performer.

Did you vote for anyone from season six?
We did a few - we did some voting here and there. We voted for Blake one night and Jordin the next. We just, we kind of just, we had fun with it, just like everybody else has fun with it.

Would you say there's a camaraderie or a competition between the "Idol" winners?
I think there's a camaraderie, and a little bit of a competition, but it just depends on if you're in the same genre.

Do you keep in touch with anybody?
Yeah, I keep in touch with Elliott [Yamin] and Bucky [Covington] and Ace [Young] and Chris [Daughtry] every now and then. You know, you spend a year like that with somebody like that, and you really get to know them.

Did you actually keep track of how other "Idol" winners or other Idol performers are doing with their tours or their CDs?
You know, it was brought to my attention, but ... I'm into their person and their being friends, and not so much into their careers. They were really good friends on the show, and I'm glad to see all of them doing well.

Your book, "Heart Full of Soul," is coming out July 10.
Yes, July 10.

Can you tell me a little bit about the experience of creating the book?
It was great. I co-wrote it with David Wild, who was a Rolling Stone writer for a while. He really helped me get the thoughts across that I wanted to, about, you know, finding your own voice and staying true to who you are, and the odds, and beating the odds and having an opportunity to beat the odds.

Do you have any sort of sneak peek, a little tidbit from the book that you can share with us?
Well, somebody in the book liked to start fires.

Was that you?

I saw a little promotional material for the book, and I thought I saw something there about you stealing an Otis Redding album when you were about 9?

What was the story behind that?
I guess I just - once I heard Otis, I guess I didn't want Otis to leave my side, so I kind of, you know, in a roundabout way, sideswiped the album from my friend's parents' house. I still have that album, and I think I'm gonna be able - I might return it, ... have a party and return it - Indian giver.

How did you come to listen to him to begin with?
I don't know, you know, something was going on with me, you know, around that time, and I guess ... it just clicked, you know. The Otis Redding and the Ray Charles and the Sam Cookes of the world, they just clicked with me.

What was it about them that clicked with you?
It just ... made sense. The whole, the idea of soul music just made sense.

You've been parodied on "Saturday Night Live" and by Weird Al Yankovic. Have you seen or heard these parodies, and what do you think of them?
I have, and I think they're great. They're spot on, which just makes them even ... funnier.

I heard that you've sung Weird Al's "Do I Creep You Out?" - a parody of your "Do I Make You Proud?" during sound checks. Is that true?
Yes, it was, yes, yes, yes. Well ... you gotta have fun with it.

How important is it to have a sense of humor in your business?
Oh, it's very important.

Why's that?
It just is. You know, you gotta roll with the punches.

What can the audience at The Maryland Theatre expect during your performance July 6?
I like to call it high-impact soul aerobics.

Can you give me more of a description for that? What do you mean by that?
... James Brown meets Richard Simmons.

Are you just going to be performing songs from your album "Taylor Hicks," are you going to be doing some covers of your own childhood idols, are you going to try out some new stuff?
I've got two albums independently released before "American Idol." One of them's "In Your Time" and "Under the Radar," and some of those songs will go into my performance, a couple of covers and some songs off of "Taylor Hicks."

How important is the relationship with the audience during a live performance?
The synergy has to be there. The synergy has to be there from performer and audience. So with that being said, it makes sense to have all of those things in place, with everything, the music and the audience. It definitely makes sense.

When you're looking out on the audience, what do you want to see while you're singing?

And dancing?
Dancing and smiles. Smiles and dancing.

So what's next for you?
Probably going to do the summer tour ... get the book going, and then probably do some creative hibernation.

Great. Taylor, thanks very much for taking the time to talk to us today. I appreciate that.
Thank you so much. Talk to you soon.

Watch video of Weird Al's Taylor Hicks' parody, "Do I Creep You Out?":


KimInMusic: blaaaaaaaake!
BlakeInaBox: hello
KimInMusic: what's happening bshorty?
BlakeInaBox: let's get it on
KimInMusic: so you're known as "shorty from bothell" back home ... how'd you get that nickname?
BlakeInaBox: Bshorty? my friend Jesse and I came up with the names for each other back in 7th grade
KimInMusic: sorta like Eminem's character "b-rabbit" in 8 mile, then?
BlakeInaBox: run rabbit run
KimInMusic: ha...ever barf in the bathroom from nerves before you perform like he did?
BlakeInaBox: no barfing
KimInMusic: good to hear
KimInMusic: so are you down with your aim name? i thought beat-boxing ... you've had some Justin Timberlake comparisons ... perfect!

BlakeInaBox: hahaha, nice
KimInMusic: a fan of Justin's? the "d in a b" video was amazing
BlakeInaBox: I'm a fan as well...laughed when i saw it
BlakeInaBox: I have done many videos on You Tube like that
BlakeInaBox: I love SNL
KimInMusic: yeah i read that one of your goals is to be on SNL ... who would be your dream host-pairing?
BlakeInaBox: Jim Carrey or Robin Williams, def. Jim though
KimInMusic: favorite jim carrey movie?
KimInMusic: (this is an important question for me as i love him too)
BlakeInaBox: The Cable Guy and Eternal Sunshine
BlakeInaBox: more cult
KimInMusic: LOVE IT ... Judd Apatow's 'Cable Guy' went under-appreciated for sure ... gonna see his new one, 'Knocked Up'?
BlakeInaBox: No time lately for movies, which is a bummer, cause I'm a big movie buff.
KimInMusic: cool ... so congratulations on getting to the finale on 'Idol' -- huge, dude!
BlakeInaBox: Thank you so much!!! Very exciting
KimInMusic: how does it feel now that it's over to ... well, what's the bright side of coming in second?
BlakeInaBox: I'm excited. Then end was bittersweet, but now it's time to move on to tour and recording my album.
KimInMusic: i'm with you've said you want to make a dance/electro cd, who are some of your hereos in that genre?
BlakeInaBox: BT, DJ Dan, Hybrid, Crytal Method, Deepsky. BT is my favorite
BlakeInaBox: more breakbeat or big beat style, with elctro
KimInMusic: beatboxing is really your thing ... but you're from Seattle! ever thought about going grunge and grow your hair Kurt Cobain-style?
BlakeInaBox: Been there, done that. new and original is my direction
KimInMusic: fair enough!
KimInMusic: so some questions about the show ...Cowell ? spill. i want all the dirt.
BlakeInaBox: love him. honest. shameless, tactless. my style.
KimInMusic: love that answer
KimInMusic: who was your favorite person you met during Idol?

BlakeInaBox: Chris Rich and Gina
KimInMusic: why do you think your relationship with Chris got so much attention? there's a 'Brokeback Mountain' parody of you guys on Youtube ... bother you?
BlakeInaBox: Don't bother to feed into the BS. We're friends. Don't care for made up ish
KimInMusic: and i have to ask you about Antonella ... were there sparks, fireworks, and explosions between the two of you during the show?
BlakeInaBox: there wasn't any...she's a beautiful woman though
KimInMusic: so do you like girls like her? that just put their ... uh, sexuality out there?
BlakeInaBox: I really doubt those pics were supposed to come out. and she was really torn about it. I like her because she speaks her mind.
KimInMusic: i should tell you that you're on our list of music's 25 sexiest singles... when your name came up, there was some definite swoonage
KimInMusic: <----- guiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilty

BlakeInaBox: wow I'm honored!! don't know if I deserve that. but thank you. KimInMusic: you do! fa show.
KimInMusic: do you have a celeb crush?
BlakeInaBox: Natalie Portman
BlakeInaBox: heheh
BlakeInaBox: funny, sexy, smart
KimInMusic: Natalie Portman Vendetta or Natalie Portman Garden State?
BlakeInaBox: I'm not picky. I would be quite satisfied with either.
KimInMusic: ha ...ok serious question and then we'll move on
KimInMusic: if you HAD to date Lindsay Lohan, Paris, or Britney, who would you date?
BlakeInaBox: ouch ...
KimInMusic: lol, i can't wait for this answer.
BlakeInaBox: Britney, because at one point in time, she was passionate about something.
BlakeInaBox: never Paris
KimInMusic: and La Lohan gets second place i guess?
BlakeinaBox: yeah. needs to grow up first.
KimInMusic: preach on!
KimInMusic: any interest in creating your own mens clothing line? your geek sheik style is so hot.
BlakeInaBox: why thank you...I would love to jump on that, if I ever get to that road. I'm game for anything on the creative side of the spectrum
KimInMusic: tell us about your tattoos ... you have a cherry blossom on your arm.
BlakeInaBox: 6 different tats. all symbolic to me.
KimInMusic: favorite one?
BlakeInaBox: all of them. but for now the cherry blossom, because it's the newest.
KimInMusic: cool ... what's on heavy rotation on your ipod?
BlakeInaBox: new Maroon 5, the Mob Law, Jamie Lidell, Common Market, Blue Scholars KimInMusic: are you hitting up any concerts this summer?
BlakeInaBox: just saw Keane in central park last night. Amazing!!!!!
KimInMusic: no way?! nice!
KimInMusic: i loved that you mixed it up a bit on idol with that keane song
KimInMusic: what was the first concert you ever saw?
BlakeInaBox: Superdeluxe in Seattle
KimInMusic: super awesome
BlakeInaBox: :)
KimInMusic: so your 'You Give Love' is #5 on itunes today!
BlakeInaBox: that's so sweet
BlakeInaBox: I'm so Happy about Itunes.
BlakeInaBox: All our songs are up there, and I'm glad that one is doin good
KimInMusic: Bon Jovi said he was skeptical of your version on the show ...heard from him since its success?
BlakeInaBox: the next day. The band told me they loved it.
KimInMusic: if you had won Idol, would you have tried to go with another song? or are you sprung on it too?
KimInMusic: was that the one you wanted?
BlakeInaBox: i like 'love song'
BlakeInaBox: we didn't get much time to record them, and they were recorded before we performed them live so...
KimInMusic: so you would have gone with that one? (i was psyched that you did a cure song, btw)
BlakeInaBox: I didn't get to record them exactly like i wanted, because I never know what I'm going to do to a song until game time
BlakeInaBox: thanks. Love the Cure.
KimInMusic: :) you rock...thanks for the chat! KimInMusic: any last words for your fans?
BlakeInaBox: Thank you so much for the continuous support and can't wait to see you on tour!!! KimInMusic: i'll be in the plaid pants and white glow sticks!
BlakeInaBox: Love and Happiness to you all...bye!!!


Watch video of Katharine McPhee pushing product at the Victoria's Secret Beauty Candy Store in Manhattan:


She may be getting dissed in the U.S., but UK rockers know a good album when it hears one. reports that although she was beat out for the No. 1 spot by the Birmingham alt-rock group Editors' debut studio release, Kelly Clarkson scored the No. 2 album slot when "My December" dropped in England.

Top five UK albums

1 An End Has a Start –Editors (new entry)
2 My December – Kelly Clarkson (new entry)
3 Collection – Traveling Wilburys (2)
4 Icky Thump – The White Stripes (1)
5 Back to Black – Amy Winehouse (6)

And The West Australian says Kelly Clarkson's third album looks to be another big hit, debuting at number four on the charts Down Under.


The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Fantasia Barrino, the "American Idol" winner now starring in "The Color Purple" on Broadway apparently wears some rather intimate jewelry. She used some down time Thursday at New York's Unimax, a tattoo- and piercing-supply company where she had the jewelry in her clitoral piercing changed. She tipped $10 for the free service and was very friendly to staff, our spy reports.

BEING BOBBY BROWN BETTER THAN BEING PAULA Variety reports that Paula Abdul couldn't parlay her fame as one of the "American Idol" judges into big ratings for Bravo reality series "Hey Paula." Its first two original half-hours kicked off with only 607,000 total viewers. That number was well off the pace for the opening episodes of such Bravo shows as "Top Design" (1.76 million), "Top Chef" (1.28 million) and "Being Bobby Brown" (1.1 million).


Watch video of Bo Bice performing "I'm Gone" in Bessemer, Ala., with new band members Philip Shouse, Luis Espaillat and Miles McPherson. Thomas Lee still plays keyboards:

Click here to watch more videos of Bo Bice at Bessemer.

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