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.
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.