From EW’s Hollywood Insider:
“I dig David Cook,” says singer Austin Winkler, a native of Oklahoma, where Cook has lived for the past few years. “He shows that the world is starving for a little bit of rock-n-roll. Hopefully we can write some tunes for him.”
According to Hinder, who were in the audience for this year’s Idol finale and met the winner briefly that night, the admiration is mutual. “I heard he’s a fan,” Winkler tells EW.com. “I’m sure we’ll cross paths.”
And at least one member is hopelessly setting his sights on another Oklahoman Idol:
Meanwhile another Hinder member is holding out for a chance at some face time with a female Idol champ: Carrie Underwood. “I love her,” says drummer Cody Hanson (no relation to Tulsa’s Hanson brothers). “She’s my favorite of everything, and probably the hottest chick on the planet.”
Cook is currently on tour with American Idol and working with Ed Roland (Collective Soul), Zac Maloy (The Nixons), Jason Wade (Lifehouse) and Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace) on his upcoming album, which is set to be released in November.
Hinder’s upcoming album, Take it to the Limit, is set to be released on November 4. Their first single “Use Me” is going for radio adds today.
After the jump, an interview Cook did with The Seattle Times.
“Idol” moments with winner David Cook
By Misha Berson
Seattle Times arts critic
First he handily beat out legions of other hopefuls for the “American Idol” crown. Now the champ of TV’s top-rated sing-a-thon is on tour with the top 2008 “Idol” contenders, which began last Tuesday in Arizona, and comes to Tacoma on Saturday.
The 25-year old Tulsa musician David Cook — he of the soaring voice, mercurial hair and indie attitude — might be the first rocker champ to please “Idol” fans and critics alike.
By phone from a limo in L.A., a busy but open and amiable Cook seemed eager to talk about matters musical and creative, revealing passions for grunge rock, books by a hot Vancouver, Wash., novelist, and a Broadway role he’s dying to play.
Q: You’ll be performing in our area for the first time, when the “Idols” tour hits Tacoma. Growing up near Kansas City in the ’90s, did the Seattle rock scene ever excite you?
A: I was kinda late on the curve with the Seattle sound. I had to backtrack to get into bands like Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone. But Pearl Jam’s “Ten” was one of the first rock records I really embraced.
I absolutely think the Seattle grunge sound was instrumental to my music education. Songs like Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage” … You listen to the lyrics and think, where in the world did that come from?
Q: Speaking of Seattle musicians, on “Idol” you sang Chris Cornell’s version of “Billie Jean.” And we hear you planned to do a Jimi Hendrix classic — Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”?
A: Yeah … but I never wanted to plateau, y’know? I didn’t want to do two songs in a row with the same vibe. The week I sang the Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” and we slowed it down, I couldn’t also do “Watchtower” the way I wanted — with a slow, acoustic, Dave Matthews vibe. I’ll get to it down the road.
Q: Vocal versatility helped you win “Idol.” Did you always have such a big vocal range?
A: I was a real midrange singer, out of fear or discomfort I wouldn’t stray too far from that. It took me doing a solo record (“Analog Heart,” released in 2006) and having to sing backup vocals to realize, hey! There are some high notes there I can actually hit.
The hardest part for me is to find a new (vocal) trick and not beat it into the ground — which I’m very capable of doing.
Q: You’ve had theater training, and your approach to songs on “Idol” seemed very theatrical.
A: Right. Some of the best rock shows I ever saw were those appealing to all your senses. There’s definitely a visual aspect and an emotional aspect to a song. And that harks back, for me, to theater. I think every good song tells a story, as ambiguous and vague as it may be. And if you know what a song is talking about, it can only help your performance.
Q: You had different looks, “costumes” for each number.
A: I had to nudge the wardrobe people a little. They didn’t want us to dress for the song, just wear street clothes. I said, why can’t we do both? To me, there’s a very abrupt disconnect if I go on stage in bicycle shorts and a tank top to sing “One” by U2.
Q: Would you like to act, along with making music?
A: To get back into theater would be a lot of fun. I got very excited when (rocker) Sebastian Bach took over the lead in “Phantom of the Opera.” I find that role so intriguing and mysterious. When Andrew Lloyd Webber week came along on “Idol,” I couldn’t imagine myself singing anything but “Music of the Night.” I’d love, love to play the phantom.
Q: “Idol” turned you into an instant media celebrity. Was that weird or intrusive for you?
A: It was like three years of PR wrapped into three months! It’s nuts! To have people I’ve never met come up and congratulate me, say they feel they know me … it’s very powerful.
Q: It probably helped that you looked so relaxed on camera.
A: Well, things changed when I sang (Lionel Richie’s) “Hello.” I couldn’t tell any other difference performance-wise from earlier weeks. I just began to engage the camera more. I learned a trick of not looking at the lens, but through it.
There’s an odd disconnect with TV sometimes, and if you can do anything to break down that fourth wall between you and the person 10,000 miles away, it can only help.
Q: You’re writing new songs for your album. What are they like?
A: I want the album to be eclectic, but still rock. I’ve tried to incorporate fresh ideas, and actually I’ve tried not to listen to rock music while I’m doing this.
Q: So what do you listen to?
A: (Singer-songwriter) Imogen Heap. Some Keith Urban. Trying not to stray too far, but get a bit of a fresh perspective.
I’d like this record to be palatable for sure, because I want to sustain a long career. But I don’t feel I have to glue myself to the usual 1-4-5 (pop chord structure). I’m trying to write songs you may hear on the radio, but with interesting quirks that make them stand out.
Q: Isn’t it the post-album era, where the big thing is single tracks?
A: Yeah, depressing, isn’t it? I came from a time when records were records. I’ll let the label worry about the singles, I’m into making a record.
Q: What songs will you perform on tour? The same each time?
A: We have a set list, but I want to make it a bit different every night, get as much audience interaction as possible, make it about us … as opposed to me! I tried to put some duets in with others and I kept hearing, “David, your set’s about you.”
But y’know, I’m over that. You can have my ego! I want people to walk away from the show feeling like they’ve seen something completely unique they won’t get anywhere else.
Q: Do you feel pressure to sing the big download hits from “Idol” — like “Billie Jean” and “Hello”?
A: I’m feelin’ like, whatever’s going to make the audience happy. … I put a lot of work into this, and I’m completely OK to take the credit that entails. But if a lot of people didn’t invest themselves, and their phone bills, in what I was trying to do each week, I’d still be in Tulsa bartending. And telling my roommate I can’t pay my rent again this month.
Q: Will you play after-hours gigs at clubs during this tour?
A: I’ve talked to old bandmates about throwing in an under-the-radar acoustic gig here and there. For me, at the end of the day, all the interviews and attention are nice. But I’d rather be playing music.
Q: You’re called “word nerd” because you like word puzzles. Do you read much?
A: As much as I can. I read a lot of poetry. (“Fight Club” author) Chuck Palahniuk — I’m really into his work. Autobiographies. “The Road to Dallas,” about the JFK assassination, I’m thumbing through that.
Q: Amazing you can read at all, given how much PR stuff you’ve doing. Weren’t you on a talk show with Barack Obama?
A: He was on “Jimmy Kimmel” with me, but by satellite feed so I didn’t get to meet him. But hey, I was on a TV show with Barack Obama! At the end of the day, that’s all I have to say.