This interview was originally published on March 31, 2014. See Kris Allen live at Mill Town Music Hall in Bremen, GA on Friday, January 30, 2015.
Most of the world recognizes the name Kris Allen from his rise to stardom on the 8th season of American Idol when he beat out Adam Lambert, and before I had the opportunity to chat with him last week I was guilty of falling into that category as well. But Kris is so much more than just another Idol season winner. I was overwhelmed by the amount of love and support from his fans who sent us questions to incorporate in AMG’s interview and impressed by how down to earth and easy it was to talk to Kris on the phone as he was driving somewhere across the central time zone. Out of all the artist interviews that AMG has told our twitter followers about, our chat with Kris Allen by far received the most interactions ever. We hope you guys enjoy the interview, and be sure to catch Kris at Eddie’s Attic this Wednesday, April 2nd, in one of his last shows on tour before his third album is released!
AMG: I have to say Kris, you may have the most dedicated fan base I have ever encountered. I have to ask what’s the craziest interaction you’ve ever had with a fan?
Kris: I was walking out of a restaurant after having dinner with some people, and there was a group of ladies who asked to take a photo. As the photo was being taken the lady tried to stick her tongue in my mouth.
AMG: Wow that’s awkward? So some questions about the new album- have you picked out a name or a single yet?
Kris: I feel like in my head I know all those things. The record is pretty much finished we just have to figure out when and how we’re going to release it. I’m really excited about the record, those details just aren’t 100% yet. We’ve been playing a lot of new stuff on the road that the audience will definitely get a chance to hear in Atlanta.
AMG: Can you tell us about your inspiration for some of the newer songs you’ve been playing? For example- Beautiful and Wild, In Time, & It’s Always You
Kris: Inspiration always comes from real life experiences, whether it be mine or someone else. I just try to capture that into a song. There are a couple of things that happened last year that I was able to write about. I had a son, and I also got into a really bad car wreck. I’m also always writing about love and relationships, the good times and the bad.
AMG: Has it been difficult adjusting to playing instruments after your accident? I know you had some wrist injuries.
Kris: You know it took a long time. I’ve had three surgeries, and I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to play like I used to. I’ve worked really hard though, and it’s the same, but it’s also different. I can hold my own now, and as long as I can sit down and write a song that’s all that really matters. I have managed to develop a different style of playing and that’s working so far.
AMG: How do you balance family life with a newborn son and your busy career?
Kris: You just try to take it all in strides. I spend a lot of time in Nashville right now working on the new record and writing songs. I really love the city. You may be the first person I’m telling this, but we’re actually moving to Nashville so that’s really exciting. It will be a great way to stay close to my family as much as possible. That way when I’m not out on the road I can do all my other work there. When we had our son we decided that this move would be the best way to spend more time together.
AMG: What would your dream collaboration be?
Kris: My dream collaboration has always been Paul McCartney. I mean he’s the best.
AMG: I was also told to ask about your love of Springsteen.
Kris: Yeah I wasn’t a huge fan of his music until I went to a show of his. That’s how you fall in love with Springsteen. He’s so good live and the band is amazing. It’s almost like a religious experience. It really inspired me and got me into his music more which has been so eye opening. He’s one of the best for a reason. He’s incredible.
AMG: What’s the most memorable show you’ve ever played?
Kris: There are two that come to mind. I played a show at home in Arkansas, there were a ton of people there, and it was just a celebration. It was really great. People were so stoked to come out and watch me play, and it was like we were all doing it together. Also we got to play Madison Square Garden. There’s not too many people who can say they’ve played there. It wasn’t just my show, it was a big radio thing, but it was still really cool.
AMG: What are the pros and cons of playing a Madison Square Garden arena vs a smaller club like Eddie’s Attic?
Kris: We’ve been at Eddie’s Attic before, there’s a lot of history there, and it’s a really cool place. The great thing about smaller venues and the places I’ve been playing is that you can have a personal relationship and even conversations with certain people in the audience. You can let them in a little more. You can tell them what’s going on and tell stories about the songs. We always try though to put on shows in these smaller venues as if we were playing a big arena. I don’t let anyone just sit there and enjoy the music, I always encourage crowd participation no matter if I’m playing to five people or five thousand.
AMG: If you could do it all over again what would be one thing you would change about your experience on American Idol?
Kris: Probably song choice. Overall I did a pretty decent job, but some of them not so much. I did a song on “the year that you were born” episode, Don Henley’s All She Wants To Do Is Dance, and it just wasn’t a great performance, wasn’t a great song choice, and I would definitely change that.
AMG: I have to ask just because I was an AI fan back when Kelly Clarkson won, how was that experience?
Kris: It’s like a crash course in performing and learning to have a career in music. There’s a lot of taking photos and interviews. It really prepared me for my career later on. It also gave me an appreciation for everyone in the industry. No matter what you do or what genre of music you sing a lot of work, not just getting out there and playing for people. There’s so much more that people don’t see, but in the end it’s a lot of fun. I’m getting to do what I’ve always wanted to do.
AMG: What’s the most memorable set you’ve ever seen?
Kris: Either Springsteen or I did get to see Paul McCartney a few years back. That was just so cool. There were 50,000 people there, and we were sitting 5th row. His guitar player knows me so when he saw me he kind of pointed at me, and I was like this is crazy!
AMG: Who’s your greatest musical inspiration?
Kris: For this record it was probably James Taylor, but for my whole life it would be Michael Jackson. I’ve listened to his music consistently throughout my whole career. I love him. His music is timeless. He could put that music out today and people would freak out about it. His voice is amazing, songs are great, no one can touch him.
Don’t miss Kris Allen live at Mill Town Music Hall Friday, Jan. 30. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Show is at 8pm.