"I like this guy a lot more": Chris Daughtry on the band's new album and how he's grown since American Idol

"I like this guy a lot more": Chris Daughtry on the band's new album and how he's grown since American Idol

More than a decade has passed since Chris Daughtry’s rise to fame as a contestant on the fifth season of American Idol. We've witnessed the different fates of those that have battled it out in the reality TV singing competition, with a handful making it big in the music industry and others fading out shortly after their limelight on the show. 

Despite Daughtry’s elimination during the quarter finals of the fifth season, he’s one of the few contestants that has carved out an eminent career following the competition. He formed his band Daughtry just after his American Idol stint, making a breakthrough the same year with their self-titled debut album that spawned hits like 'It's Not Over', 'Feels Like Tonight' and 'Home'.

Daughtry made their first appearance in Singapore at the F1 Grand Prix eight years ago, and will be returning this weekend for the fourth time for their first-ever headlining concert here in support of their upcoming album Cage to Rattle.

Bandwagon caught up with frontman Chris Daughtry on the new album, how things have changed for him since his days on American Idol and the band’s upcoming Singapore concert. Check out the interview below:

You’ve said that your newest release, Cage to Rattle, is the most fun, yet most challenging album you’ve done. What was the most difficult part of the process?

There were so many variables. Finding our groove in the studio after being out of the game for so long, for one. We had a few scheduling conflicts... leaving in the middle of recording for a tour we had already booked, then after the tour there was a scheduling battle between us and Jacquire (our producer). I started to second guess everything... But it all came together nicely in the end.

The band had been working on material for Cage to Rattle for more than two years, and it has been five years since the release of your last album Baptized. What were you guys busy with during that five years?

Well... Me and my family moved a few times which isn’t very fun and certainly dominated a lot my time and took my head outta the game for a bit. Finally got back in the swing of writing sometime in 2016. Then we released the greatest hits while still writing for the new album. A few tours here and there... time flew by.

You have mentioned that you love writing songs that make people feel something, songs that are real and relatable. Where do you get your songwriting inspirations from, and what do you want people to take away from Cage to Rattle when they hear it?

I only tend to write what I know or about something close to me. I’ve written a lot of songs from past experiences... and now that I think of it, a lot of this record feels like it was birthed more in the present, in the moment, so to speak.

You recently ventured into musical theatre, playing the role of Judas in Fox TV musical The Passion where we saw a different side of you. How did you get into acting, and how was that for a change? Do you have plans to take musical theatre further or explore music in a different way?

Acting was something I’ve wanted to do since I was little kid running around in ripped up Lee jeans pretending to be Lou Ferrigno’s Incredible Hulk! Music came later for me. I would love to do more acting in the future! Preferably TV and film.

It’s been more than 10 years since you were on American Idol. Are you meeting people or fans who are young enough not to remember that, who came to know you as a fully fledged rock musician and not someone who came up through a talent contest?

Yeah, it always shocks me when younger fans, that are maybe too young to know me from AI, approach me for a photo or signature... I usually think their mom put 'em up to it, hahaha!

You have come a long way from emerging a fourth-place contestant on American Idol to becoming the frontman of a Grammy-nominated rock band that has scored four number one hits, and sold over eight million albums and 16 million singles. What’s the best change you see in yourself, whether as a musician or a person?

I feel like a totally different person now. I’ve grown so much over the past 10-12 years. Traveling the world has been such a gift and has shown me so many different cultures, walks of life, etc... It’s given me a broader world view and has made me a more compassionate and empathetic human being. And I like this guy a lot more.

Daughtry is set to perform at Zepp@BigBox in Singapore on 11 July from 8:30pm onwards. The show is presented by IMC Live Group. Tickets are available via SISTIC