An Interview With American Idol Finalist JAMES DURBIN About His Latest Band, MAPS TO THE HOLLYWOOD SCARS!
Posted On 06 Apr 2017
American Idol ﬁnalist James Durbin and Quiet Riot guitarist Alex Grossi have announced a collaboration entitled “Maps To THE HOLLYWOOD SCARS” – The ﬁrst 5 song EP was released worldwide via New Ocean Media on February 17th. The band is currently putting the ﬁnishing touches on “Maps To The Hollywood Scars – Volume 2” – Set for a spring release, as well as their ﬁrst video, which will be released in the coming weeks.
Recorded at Desert Moon Productions in Las Vegas , (a state of the art studio owned by Danny “The Count” Koker, star and creator of the History Channel‘s hit show “Counting Cars”), Maps To The Hollywood Scars showcases the darker side of Hollywood and the music industry – as experienced by 2 people that have taken 2 different paths, yet ultimately found many common themes throughout their respective journeys. The ﬁrst of the two EPs features a guest appearances by longtime GUNS N’ ROSES keyboardist Dizzy Reed, as well as programming and engineering by A.J. St. James (The Big 4, MTV).
In 2011, James Durbin released the album, titled “Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster”. The album debuted at number 36 on the Billboard 200, at number eight on the Billboard Rock Chart, number 25 on the Digital Album Chart, and sold 28,000 the ﬁrst week, The album went on to sell over 123,000 copies in the U.S. alone. Most recently, Durbin released “Riot On Sunset” in the summer of 2016 available via iTunes & www.jamesdurbinofﬁcial.com.
Alex Grossi has been a member of Quiet Riot for over a decade, having been chosen by the late Kevin DuBrow and Frankie Banali to ﬁll the guitar slot in 2004. The award winning Quiet Riot documentary “Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back” has been airing on Showtime since January 2015, and appeared at multiple high proﬁle ﬁlm festivals including the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The movie is currently available via iTunes and on DVD at www.quietriotmovie.com.
Learn more about Maps To The Hollywood Scars in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time once again for another All Access interview! What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for you and your music? What were some of the highlights? What are you most excited about for 2017?
JD: Well, 2016 was the year it all started for Maps To The Hollywood Scars. We started collaborating in October 2016 and decided we’d record and release it. So far 2017 has led to the release of ‘Volume 1’ and our collaboration has led to me joining Quiet Riot as lead singer 🙂
Growing up, did all of you always want to be musicians? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else today?
JD: I’ve always been around music and performance. I know the same rings true for Alex. My Dad grew up in a musical family, my mothers father was a marching tuba player (his last march he had his oxygen tank with him!) I knew I wanted to perform no matter what. I started in musical theater and one of my last plays I joined a metal band with the orchestra drummer ha! If I wasn’t doing music as a career, I’d like to get into wood working, building furniture, still creating and making things that make people happy.
How is the music of Maps To The Hollywood Scars different or similar to the music that you two put out separately?
JD: I think it’s just the fact that we’ve written together. Whenever you write with someone else, it’s automatically a hybrid of your own style.
How did you come up with your name? Was it hard to narrow down one name that described this group?
JD: I had a band pre ‘Idol’ called ‘Hollywood Scars’ that was so short lived that I knew I wanted to use the name for a future project. This just happened to be that project. Alex added ‘Maps To The..’ and that was it 🙂
Last month you released your first 5 song EP via New Ocean Media. What did that feel like? How long had you been working on these songs? How is your forthcoming album set for release this Spring be any going to compare with the first EP?
JD: We started working together in October 2016 and had everything together by the end of January. It felt great to know that we did that all INDEPENDENTLY. Volume 2 is going to be similar to Volume 1. The songs were written at the same time, but I think Volume 2 is on the heavier side. Songs about Zombies and the Pharmaceutical Drug Industry and how they’re practically one in the same. Maps To The Hollywood Scars is an outlet for me to just write in a non-judgmental way.
What was it like having Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed appear on a few songs on the EPs?
JD: Alex is in a cover band with Dizzy called “Hookers N’ Blow”, so they’ve known each other a long time. I haven’t met him yet, but he sure does a good job ticklin’ the ivories. (Laughter)
How have your appearances on FOX and ABC morning shows been like lately?
JD: They went great. Got to promote the project, play a snippet of tunes too. I’m indebted to Fox – ‘Idol’ and all. (Laughter) It’s always great when we can get on the local stations and promote. Any promoting is good promotion.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? What musicians would you love to work with in the future?
JD: So much inspiration. Can’t list just one, can’t list em all. All for many different reasons, but off the top a few are: The Beatles, Zeppelin, Jim Morrison, Steven Tyler, Drew Sarich, Steve Marriott, Kevin Dubrow, Myles Kennedy, Ronnie James Dio, etc…
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs?
JD: It’s nice to know that people are enjoying this music. We wrote it just because we enjoyed the process of writing and recording it. Not for any other reason. It reminded us why we love playing and creating music. So if it inspires anyone, in any way, then we’ve done our jobs right 🙂
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
JD: Thanks for being along for the ride!!