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long interview with robbie

  • Mar. 31st, 2008 at 8:26 PM
Q. Congratulations on making it so far into the competition. I have two quick questions. What is your reaction to the emphasison your lack of authenticity, the judges’ comments?

A. It’s kind of a little strong point me for me. I have spent the past six years working my tail off in grungy bars and pulling our own trailer with our equipment, loading it in and out and living out of a van sometimes, doing all the grunt work that they didn’t see me doing. Because of what I did before with pop music, that was a job to me. If you ever turn my CD player on while I was out on the road,you’d be hearing rock the whole. Like I said before, this is me. You get what you see.

Q. And I wanted to ask, too, the Web has been going nuts about your hair.

A. Oh, God.

Q. What do you want to say about that?

A. I’ve been growing this hair for a very long time and I think it’s ridiculous that they have to come up with something like that.

Q. And no wigs, right?

A. No.

Q. Now song choice is, of course, extremely important. Can you describe your song choice preface for this week’s performance?

A. Going into the ‘70’s, there are plenty of great bands to choose from. I picked Foreigner because I really like Foreigner. They’ve been one of my favorite bands to listen to. I like the song Hot Blooded, and I figured it would be more of an upbeat kind of a song, kind of a party song. I went with that one because I thought it would be a lot of fun to do.

Q. What’s the most difficult aspect of being an Idol contestant?

A. Finding the time to sleep. Obviously, it’s a lot of work, but it’s well worth it.

Q. I firstly just wanted to say congratulations for making it this far. I also wanted ask you, I know that you were friends with Britney Spears. I wanted to know whether she had been in touch to say congratulations or anything like that.

A. No, I haven’t spoken to her in many years.

Q. Okay. How do you feel about that fact that Vehicle has been commenting on that? There’s been a lot of talk on the Web about it. How do you feel about that?

A. Honestly, it was a long time ago. We were friends on tour. That’s was pretty much the gist of it. It wasn’t really that big of a deal.

Q. So there is nothing behind all of this gossip at all.

A. We went on a couple of dates, but that was pretty much it.

Q. Okay. I just wanted to find out also, what your plans for the future were after Idol.

A. I plan on getting my hands into everything I possibly can. I want to create a new record and shopping around and look for record deals and see what I can come up with and see if there are any offers put on the table. So far, there’s been a couple and I’m going to exhaust every option that I can.

Q. I was curious. Next week was going to be ‘80’s. I was curious. Did you have a song in mind already next week if you had made it past this week?

A. Yes, I was really looking forward to that one, too. Yes, I wanted to do a Billy Idol, Rebel Yell.

Q. That would have been fun. I don’t think they’ve ever done Billy Idol before.

A. I don’t think so. That’s kind of why I wanted to try it.

Q. How about if you had gone to the Beatles. They talked about doing Beatles for the final 12. Did you have a Beatles song in mind yet or thinking about?

A. I don’t know. There’s a few to choose from and there are so many great ones. I honestly, I hadn’t narrowed it down to anything yet.

Q. Had you ever sung any, like in a cover band situation, any Beatles songs before?

A. Yes, I’ve sung Blackbird before.

Q. Tell me, the fact that you sort of had this career before this career, how did you approach this competition differently from, say, how the younger kids were approaching it?

A. Well, I guess, having performed before on stage and had a little bit of time working with press and interviews like this, I thought I kind of had a little bit more experience doing stuff like that. So I thought that coming into it, that I might be able to have a leg up on the competition, so to speak.

Q. Was there difference with the older contestants, you, Michael, Jason Yeager, etc., who had been working at the business for a while, versus the teenagers?

A. I’m sorry, what do you mean?

Q. Did you guys sort of bond together because you’d been in the business before, because you’d made attempts to make it previously, as opposed to the younger kids, who were sort of just right out of high school, just trying to do this for the first time?

A. We didn’t really bond because we’d all done this before. We had a little bit in common between us, music-wise. I guess you could say that because we’d done some of this stuff before and we kind of exchanged stories or whatnot of what we used to do. They’re all a bunch of really cool guys. We all got to know each other and hopefully, we’ll be staying in touch through the rest of this and I hope they do very well.

Q. So I’m wondering, especially having had some experience in the business before, did competing in Idol change you at all? Do you feel like you came out having evolved a little bit, either musically or mentally, emotionally?

A. Considering that it’s been a while since I’ve done a lot of this, including interviews, I think coming out of this, I’m going to bring back, obviously, an incredible experience. I worked with some incredible vocal coaches and the musicians were just top-of-the-line. I learned a lot from them. I came in to this like a sponge, trying to absorb everything that I could with all these people, who have had years and years of experience. I’ll be taking all the
knowledge that I got from them back with me and applying it whatever I do here in the future.

Q. Who are you going to miss? Who was kind of your crew while you were there; who are you going to miss?

A. Oh, man, there’s quite a few people. All of them, really, but I became good friends with Dave Cook and Michael Johns. My roommate was Luke. Kristy Lee Cook, we kind of got to know each other and she’s really cool. Amanda, we all kind of hung out together. I wish them the best. I hate that I had to leave so soon, but hopefully, they’ll be seeing more of me in the
future and I wish them the best of luck.

Q. Being a rocker, who are some of the rockers are you inspired by and will continue in that vein?

A. Oh, definitely. I’ll definitely continue with everything that I’ve taken so far and apply it to the future. I’ll definitely stay in rock. I guess some of my inspiration that I draw from would be, gosh, that’s a wide variety, all the way from Lynyrd Skynyrd from classic rock, Aerosmith, Rob Thomas, Korn, those are a lot of my influences. Those guys I look up to, especially with their career and the success that they’ve had.

Q. Sorry to see you go so soon. I just wondering, I have another Britney question for you. When you guys were together back in 1999, did you notice any bizarre behavior from her that might have made you think that she was bipolar?

A. Who says she’s bipolar?

Q. These days, we’re just seeing a little manic behavior from her, so I was just wondering if you noticed any erratic behavior from her when you were hanging out with her back in the day.

A. No, not at all. She was always a real down-to-earth girl. She’s incredible. She’s a really good girl and a lot of people are saying stuff about her. I kind of wish that everybody would just leave her alone and let her be. I wish her the best in the future. I think everything will work out fine.

Q. That’s good, so do you have any advice for her in terms of her life or even on to her career?

A. Didn’t she just release an album?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes, I thought so. I think that so far, that one is doing pretty good. I congratulate her on that and I wish her the best of luck with everything and just tell her don’t listen to everybody else.

Q. Robbie, the Foreigner song was upbeat and up-tempo, but you established yourself as maybe you could’ve really gone somewhere as a really hard rocker. Do you think in retrospect, that maybe you could’ve chosen something that rocked even harder than that?

A. I don’t really see myself as a heavy hard rocker. With my band back home, I do stuff like Shine Down with Simple Man and Fly From the Inside. Fly From the Inside would probably be one of the hardest, their 45. We even do stuff from Rob Thomas and Three Doors Down, kind of mellow stuff. I didn’t come into this trying to come out as a real heavy rocker, so it kind of makes me wonder their opinion thinking that I wasn’t a rocker because I didn’t come out so hard core and edgy. I have many different styles that I draw my influence from. I chose that song because I really liked it.

Q. Just real briefly because it’s the last question, name a couple of people that just kind of impress you. You don’t have to pick the best, but who are a couple of people that just impressed you and you think that maybe they can do real well in this competition?

A. Oh my gosh.

Q. Just throw a couple names out there.

A. How I can even put that into words. Everybody is incredible. The competition this year is amazing. All the talent is amazing. I think that it would be unfair for me to say who I think would be doing better. Especially as many friends as I’ve made out here, I don’t think it would be quite fair. Honestly, I wish everybody the best of luck. I really can’t say.

Q. Let me ask a variation of that real briefly. The fact that two of the most experienced guys got voted out this week, in some ways might there be an advantage to being inexperienced? Somehow the viewers latch on to that, particularly the young voters, that it might even be a slight disadvantage to being a really experienced singer?

A. You know, I’ve tossed that around both ways. I’m not really sure how everybody is voting on that. I thought with experience, I might come out looking a little bit more as a polished musician or singer. I’m not so sure if they’re looking at that thinking, “Okay, this person has had experience. Let’s give somebody else the chance.” I was hoping that it wouldn’t come down to anything like that, which I really, honestly, I don’t think it did. Like I said, there are some extremely great and talented people this year. It’s going to end up coming down to song choice. Somebody is definitely going to have to drop the ball bad to get voted off because, like I said, they’re so good this year.


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