Daughtry out to 'Break The Spell'
'Idol' alum, bandmates explore fresh territory on new CD
Friday, June 1, 2012
If you go:
• What: Daughtry, in concert.
• When: 7:30 p.m. June 2.
• Where: Keller Auditorium, 222 S.W. Clay, Portland.
• Cost: $40.90-$62.90 through Ticketmaster, 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com.
• Information: http://pcpa.com.
The first two Daughtry CDs earned the group (fronted by former "American Idol" finalist Chris Daughtry) plenty of comparisons to bands such as 3 Doors Down, Nickelback and Shinedown for their melodic mainstream rock sound.
But the songs fans hear on the albums don't represent the full range of music that Daughtry (as the group's main songwriter) and his bandmates (bassist Josh Paul, guitarists Josh Steely and Brian Craddock and drummer Robin Diaz) will come up with over the course of making a CD. That was particularly true of the group's recently released third CD, "Break The Spell," in which Daughtry and the band tried to create without any thought about trying to sound like any previous song by the band or by any other act on today's music scene.
"There are certainly songs that people don't hear that were written that were so far out there that people would be very confused," Daughtry said in a recent phone interview. "They'd go 'That's Daughtry? I don't know about that.' So there's all kinds of experimentation going on when we're writing, and then there are songs that we know, 'OK, that's us. That's like the quintessential Daughtry song. That's obviously going to work.'"
The songs that made "Break The Spell," obviously, were the ones that stayed in the ballpark of the stylistic blueprint established with the first two Daughtry CDs -- a 2006 self-titled album and 2008's "Leave This Town."
Like those albums, "Break The Spell" is defined by its mix of hearty rockers ("Crawling Back To You" and "Louder Than Ever") and full-bodied ballads ("Gone Too Soon" and "Rescue Me").
But as Daughtry explained, that doesn't mean there aren't new wrinkles to the band's sound on "Break The Spell."
The songs "Renegade" and "Outta My Way," in particular, strike Daughtry as something new for his band.
"'Outta My Head' was very much the song I wanted, or the kind of record I wanted to make," he said. "I was listening to a lot of old Aerosmith, and I just wanted something with that four on the floor, kind of riff rock (feel) that we didn't have, and it kind of reminded me a little bit of 'Rag Doll' or something like that when we wrote it. To me, we've never had any songs like that where it kind of has a dance feel to it without being a dance song. That was something I felt like we needed on this record. And 'Renegade' is just something that I think, once again, is something like we've never done before and kind of has a Foo Fighters-meets-Tom Petty vibe."
A more subtle new twist is using loops and other synthetic sonics on the songs "Break The Spell," "Crazy" and "Start Of Something Good."
A nonmusical factor that Daughtry said also contributed to the more adventurous music on "Break The Spell" was becoming father of twins.
"I took a bunch of time off when the twins were born (in November 2010), and completely removed myself from writing music," Daughtry said. "So by the time we got around to it, it was all very fresh and new again. It didn't feel like we were recycling anything we had done."
Becoming the parent of twins, not surprisingly, has been a life-changing, very positive experience for Daughtry. But it also adds a new difficulty to touring.
"Well, they're amazing. They're a lot of work," Daughtry said of twins Adalynn Rose and Noah James. "They're completely different. They're their own people, and it's weird because all the things that frustrate you about them, you start to see it in you and realize they got it honest and maybe they're trying to teach you something. But it's a lot of fun … They're at that stage where they change every day practically. So there's going to be a lot of face time, a lot of iChat going on. I've just got to try to stay connected every way possible."
Connecting is something Daughtry has done well since he got his break by making the 2006 season of "American Idol." He finished fourth, but was signed to RCA Records, which quickly found the connection with fans had carried over after the show.
His self-titled debut and "Leave This Town" both debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard magazine album chart and went on to go platinum. "Break The Spell" failed to match that, opening at No. 7, but it went gold in four weeks, topping 500,000 copies sold, and is now on its third single, "Outta My Head."
Daughtry is hoping to build momentum for the latest CD as he tours behind "Break The Spell."
"We're trying to have a nice balance of the songs that people kind of expect to hear and want to hear and know and love and we'll incorporate a lot of new songs," Daughtry said. "If we had our way, we'd play the whole new album live. That's not going to happen, but we're going to try to do the majority of it, give them the new record in a live setting."