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Interview: Tour Talk With Kris Allen

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As his tour with Lifehouse comes to a close this week, Kris Allen took some time to talk with me about being on tour the past year supporting different artists, the “Alright With Me” video he did for his fans, and what he thinks is the biggest misconception about his music.

I caught your show the other night in San Francisco, it was great.

Thanks, that was a really fun show.

My friend mentioned after the show that her favorite part about your set was that you’re converting Lifehouse fans in about eight songs or less.

Tell her thanks. That’s kind of what we’re trying to do.

Can you tell while you’re performing that you are drawing people into your music?

I feel like we can tell. It takes about three or four songs. You know they’re like, “Oh, this is fun,” and by the end they’re like “Wow, that was a lot of fun!” And it’s always cool when you can win over the dudes. Girls are probably the best fans that you can have, but when you can win over the guys at a show, especially the older guys, it’s awesome.

Very cool. You’ve supported different bands this year on tour. Is it a feeling of “same thing, different band” or is the vibe different on each tour?

I think it’s a different vibe, you know? We were out with totally different kinds of artists. We went out with Maroon 5, and Keith Urban, and now Lifehouse. Also, I think the vibe really depends on the venue. With Keith, we were playing those monster fairs with like 10,000 people there. With Maroon 5, it was like smaller outdoors stuff, but still pretty big. And with Lifehouse we’re doing theatres. It’s been a blast, it really has been for every one of them. Kris Allen

Is it more intimidating to play a small intimate show or a large venue?

The most intimidating crowd to play for is about five people. When it’s super small and you’re just sitting in a room with friends and they’ll go “Hey Kris, sing us a song,” you’re like, “Oh no, I can’t do that.” It’s really weird.

In the beginning of the tour you had “Man In The Mirror” on the set list, and then switched it out for Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” what was behind that decision?

I think that it was a conscious decision to say you know what, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” is a little more upbeat of a song. And we’ve been playing “Man In The Mirror” forever. It was just nice to play something new, and I think when we introduce new stuff into the set everyone gets excited about it. It may not be perfect at first, and it may not even be that great, but we get excited about playing new stuff.

You added in a little Michael Jackson the other night. Was that an off the wall decision?

Aw nice little pun there with the “off the wall.” Anyways, in Vegas, or LA, I can’t remember which one it was, we had talked about doing that forever, and one of the nights I just kind of did it. I was like, you know what, the rest of the band is having a good time, I’m gonna throw this in there, and it worked out really good. Like I said, I don’t know if it was perfect or anything, but it was one of those things that it was a lot of fun to do.

With the tour wrapping up in a couple of days, do you and the band have any pranks planned for Lifehouse?

We don’t know yet. We’re going to wait to see if they prank us. We don’t want to prank them and them not prank us, you know?

Well, they did get Daughtry.

They did? Okay, gotcha.

A little over a year ago your self-titled major label debut album came out. What were you feeling about everything going on?

I was probably happy that it was over with, because it was a really stressful time. Probably one of the most stressful times of my life. I was happy with how everything turned out, so I was ready to get [the album] out. But, I was glad to get it over with. We had a deadline, and there was just a lot going on. A lot of stress. I hope I never have to go through that again.

You’re latest single is “Alright With Me,” and last week you surprised the fans with a video. Were you happy to be able to shoot the video without anyone really catching wind of what was going on?

Yeah, it’s always nice to do stuff [like that]. I’ll introduce people to something and they will already know about it. They’re like, “Kris, we already know about this, thanks anyways.” And it’s like oh my gosh, they know everything before I know everything. It was nice to do something and have it be completely new to them. And just be something that they were really excited about.

The guys in the band (Cale Mills, Andrew DeRoberts, Chris Torres and Ryland Steen) seem to get a lot of attention from the fans. How do they feel about the adoration?

I think that they love it. I don’t really know exactly. What I told them at the very beginning was that this isn’t just me getting up there and singing. This is us playing together and having a good time. I think that they took that on and took it as a really good thing. They’ve all added their own stuff to the songs, and they all put their two cents in. People, just like I did, everyone falls in love with those guys. They’re great guys, and they deserve the praise that they get.

What was your most embarrassing moment on stage while on tour this year?

On stage? I fell once, and I almost fell another time. That’s pretty embarrassing. I fell off the ledge, and my leg was bleeding.

Ouch! Have there been any interesting fan stories from this past tour?

Other than just a lot of fans coming out for a lot of the shows, which there’s nothing wrong with that, no, nothing crazy. I feel like my fans are really respectful, I really do.

Since you’ve been on tour for awhile, are there things from everyday life that you miss, like driving?

Yeah, I love driving. I love cooking. I love sitting at my house and eating like a regular meal that’s not peanut butter and honey. I mean, I love being at home, but it’s like half and half, I love being on the road too.

If you had to, which song from your pre- Idol album Brand New Shoes would you add to your current set list?

Probably “Wipe It Away.” It’s always been my favorite from that album.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about you or your music?

Either that it’s boring or that it’s super pop. Not like Katy Perry-pop, but like little kid pop, you know? And I get it, I totally understand it. People have these misconceived ideas from Idol that this person’s going to sound like this, this person’s not really going to be cool or anything like that.

I remember I read something, and I try not to read a whole lot of stuff on Twitter, but I do read some stuff. And I read something on Twitter that said, “I didn’t know Idols could be this cool.” I feel like a lot of people aren’t given a chance. Coming from the show, I feel like I love the music that I make and I try to have a good time at shows for sure.

For information on Kris Allen’s upcoming shows, check out his official website.

Watch the music video for “Alright With Me” (A Thank You To The Fans) below.

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an Entertainment Writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has interviewed a variety of people from across the entertainment spectrum, including singer-songwriter/Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, Andrew Dost from the Grammy Award-winning band fun., singer-songwriter Christina Perri, and acclaimed writer-director Derek Cianfrance.
  • lolo

    Wow, great interview! Kris has really opened up lately. He is so talented and I look forward to his music for years to come.

  • Sherrie Richey

    Thank you for a respectful, insightful, and on point interview. These seem to be a rarity these days. Well done. Kris Allen is a very talented young rock star who needs more good press like this!

  • Julie

    Great interview! Interesting and thoughtful stuff from Kris. He seems to be in a really good place right now, I can’t wait to hear the music that comes out next!

  • Anna L

    What a kickawesome interview!! Great questions. And Wipe It Away!! Flailing so much right now :D

  • Chris

    Great interview. Nice to see new questions and new answers. I’m really looking forward to the next album and hope to eventually see Kris and the Kris Allen Band in concert … hopefully headlining so I get more songs :)

  • Rana

    This was such a great interview! Awesome job. Love Kris!

  • renee

    Thanks for a great interview. So nice to hear Kris talk about his music.

  • Nekola

    Thanks for a great interview! I like the different questions you asked. I can’t wait to hear more music from Kris.

  • Altrus01

    Awesome interview. Great job! It really seemed to flow well.

  • Jaycee

    Oh wow What a great interview! Nice to know more about Kris and how well he treats his KAB. He is really a very simple guy but with a great big heart to others!

  • kickyfeet

    Thank you for this! I love that you got to get some new stuff out of him, that’s always exciting.

    I especially love to read the part about the AWM video and how much he wanted it to be a surprise considering we fans always know things before him. Haha! He’s such a dork. :)

    Good job!

  • Aimee

    Great interview!

  • Diane

    Great interview! Thank you so much. I loved all of your questions, and I especially love it when Kris opens up, so huge kudos to you!

  • Akemi

    Fantastic interview! Your questions were so great!! You should interview Kris every time he is in SF. :)

  • Orihara Kaoru

    Awesome interview! I flew to Milwaukee to see him, and it was so amazing. Got to meet him and the band after the show, and I just love them all so, so much. One small nitpick: this can’t possibly be right, lol. I think the album’s like 50 mins. :) –> “Running time: 2869 minutes”

  • kate

    I’m glad this underrated young musician is starting to get the accolades he deserves. He’s very talented!

  • Pips

    Thank you for this awesome interview! Kris is really talented. I’m eagerly waiting for new music from him!

  • Madeleine

    Kris is very talented. I’m looking forward to his 2nd album

  • RC

    Thanks for the interview! I have heard some of the songs from Kris’s first album, and really love that sound from him — including Wipe It Away. Would love for him to perform some songs from that album, and his fans are looking forward to new music!

  • Leslie

    Thank you for a great interview. I love Kris and his music, and the video is awesome. Kris is so talented. I am a fan for life.

  • Ali

    Fantastic interview!!

  • Mike Olsen

    You’re living your dream Kirsten!

  • Tribiola

    Thanks for this fantastic interview! Kris is so talented and interviews like these really let his passion for his craft shine through. Great job!!

  • Oats

    I love Kris’s music and everthing about him. Enjoyed your interview with him. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Stephanie

    I feel this guy has such potential, and in todays market that is saying a lot. He is slowly building a career and his fan base and doing in such a way that it will continue to grow. His love of music and the fun that it was meant to give shine in his performances. Good interview. I am a fan for life.

  • Jackie

    Great interview!

  • sahsouha1

    That was one incredible interview, I enjoyed it to the full, fresh questions, great-funny insights, & very heartly answers from Kris, it was a delicious meal that we miss so often from media with Kris Allen. And I loved the “I didn’t know American Idols can be so cool” .. I read that very interview & tweeted it with that quote..coz it was special. Kirsten Coachman, we can’t thank you enough :)

  • Paris Savvy

    This was such a good interview. I love how you made the questions specific to this tour, forcing him to give new answers. I also really like that you stuck to music and touring. I haven’t enjoyed an interview on Kris this much in a while. Awesome! Thanks :)

  • John

    Coachman great job with the interview. I liked that you spiced up the q and a. Keep up the fabulous work!

  • Sahsouha1

    Amazing amazing interview..kris Allen is incredible..live him & highly believe in his talent :)

  • http://kimcrawley.blogspot.com Kim Crawley

    Kirsten, congratulations on being named BC of the day!

  • http://iheardemsay.wordpress.com Kirsten Coachman

    Thank you, Kim!