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Phillip Phillips interview for ‘Idols Live’ tour August 5: ‘I’m not trying to be a huge star.’

Phillip Phillips will perform Damian Rice's "Volcano," Usher's "Nice & Slow" and Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," along with his hit single "Home" at Gwinnett Arena August 5 on the "Idols Live" tour. CREDIT: AP

Phillip Phillips will perform Damien Rice's "Volcano," Usher's "Nice & Slow" and Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," along with his hit single "Home" at Gwinnett Arena August 5 on the "Idols Live" tour. CREDIT: AP

“American Idol” winner and Leesburg native Phillip Phillips is a man of few words.

But he’s not a brooding, Clint Eastwood type. He’s more of the aw-shucks, happy-go-lucky variety of star.

He’ll bring his humble charm and musical chops Sunday to the sold-out “Idols Live” tour stop at Gwinnett Arena in Duluth.

And since he’s still recuperating from intensive kidney stone removal surgery a few weeks ago, he’s also going to be a man of economy in terms of movement. You won’t be seeing him running around or busting out any fancy dance steps on stage – or off.

“I’m just getting as much rest as I can, taking it slow,” he said, in a phone interview last week from a tour date in Glendale, Ariz.

During the interview, he discussed his “Idol” experience, desire to be a working musician and his upcoming first album:

AJC: You have now done 15 cities out of 45. How’s it been going?

Phillips: It’s been a lot of fun. And tiring also. We’re all getting as much sleep as we can. It’s coming along very well.”

AJC: I know you get this question every day since you had your kidney surgery but how are you feeling?

Phillips: I’m doing good. I really don’t try to do much.

AJC: Are the other “Idol” contestants bugging you about it?

Phillips: They’ll hassle me over it a little bit but not too much. They’re there to take care of me. It’s all good.

AJC: How comfortable is the tour bus?

Phillips: It’s very comfortable. We all sleep like babies. The guys do, at least. The worst part is if we have only a two-hour drive to the next city and have to wake up to go into the hotel. I prefer when we have long drives.

AJC: You were an early favorite to win the show and you did. Did any of that cross your mind while you were competing?

Phillips: Man. I tried not to think of anything like that when I was on the show. I just went out there each week playing music. It’s just a TV show. We were all out doing our best. People would get upset over who was eliminated. We all support each other. I honestly blocked out everything.

AJC: How much time have you spent in Georgia since you won the show?

Phillips: Zero percent. None. I’m excited to come to Duluth, eat some Southern food somewhere.

AJC: I expect a lot of your friends and family are coming up from Leesburg?

Phillips: We get a day off so I’ll get to spend some time with friends and family. I’m really excited to see them.

AJC: Have you had much of a chance to see your girlfriend?

Phillips: We’ve seen each other a few times. She’s doing great, supporting me 100 percent.

AJC: How long did it take after your surgery before you could sing or play guitar?

Phillips: It was at least two to three weeks. I couldn’t even bend over or anything. It would hurt to sit up. I just sat and stared at the TV or the walls for hours. I got a little paranoid! It was horrible. I hope the rest paid off.

AJC: Are there any foods you can’t eat?

Phillips: Mostly anything with calcium. I can’t take too much caffeine. And I can’t drink too much sweet tea, which sucks. I love sweet tea- especially my mom’s sweet tea.

AJC: How likely will it be that you’ll have more kidney stones?

Phillips: We’re working on preventing it. I may have them my whole life. I just have to prevent them from getting too big so they can pass.

AJC: You don’t get on stage until 90 minutes into the show. What do you do until then?

Phillips: It depends on the day. I might write. Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie.

AJC: How far along are you on the album?

Phillips: We’ve recorded 15 songs I’ve written. I’m still writing, trying to get as many songs as possible.

AJC: What type of music should we expect?

Phillips: It’s going to be rock with jazz and funk. Some songs will be acoustic. We’re still messing around with the songs. I’m excited to get them out there.

AJC: You haven’t travelled much before this tour. What’s been your favorite food so far?

Phillips: I ate some Chicago-style pizza for the first time. It was pretty different, took me a few bites to get used to it. I actually liked it.

AJC: Do you enjoy being on the road?

Phillips: I am. I am getting to see so many different cities. I’m not trying to be a huge star. If it happens, it happens. I just want to play music for the rest of my life and make a living at it.

AJC: Are you looking forward to your own tour bus?

Phillips: If I can afford it? Else, I can see myself driving little vans!

AJC: What’s it like being fawned over like a rock star?

Phillips: It’s strange to have people wanting my picture or autograph. I’m still feeling weird about it. But I love meeting new people. It’s just fun to get to hear their stories. They inspire me to keep going and keep writing music and keep doing my thing. 


Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

79 comments Add your comment

Tito

July 30th, 2012
8:24 am

Don’t worry Phil, you will not be a huge star…. I do wish you luck with your ailment though.

Deirdre

July 30th, 2012
8:30 am

Repeating something from the last thread. Last night the theme music for the USA girls’ gymnastic team was Phil’s song Home. The song will definitely get an uptick in interest if they keep using it for one of the most popular sports in the Olympics.

Harriett

July 30th, 2012
8:32 am

Morning!

They played PP’s “Home” over and over during the Olympics; especially when highlighting the girl’s gymnasts.

Harriett

July 30th, 2012
8:33 am

LOL, Deirdre! Here we do it again!

Rickster

July 30th, 2012
9:01 am

RoHo: “He’s more of the aw-shucks, happy-go-lucky variety of star.”

Aw-shucks, happy-go-lucky I can agree with. If Phillip is a star… then we’ve cheapened the word so much that it has no meaning any more. He’s the winner of American Idol… but he’s no ’star.”

G

July 30th, 2012
9:03 am

Why am I not enthused?

Deirdre

July 30th, 2012
9:13 am

G Why am I not enthused?

I’ve got about 100 answers to that question! ;-)

Mercedes S.

July 30th, 2012
9:31 am

What I mostly disliked about NBC honchos “editing for American viewers” was that they cut the the Opening Ceremony’s most appreciated segment, a tribute to victims of war and violence. It incuded a stunning performance by Emeli Sandé, a Scottish girl, singing the Scottish hymn “Abide With Me”.

Rodney Ho

July 30th, 2012
9:54 am

I’m in jury duty right now. I hope I don’t get picked but you never know…

Deirdre

July 30th, 2012
9:57 am

One of the most interesting experiences I have ever had was during jury duty. Sometimes it’s a pain in the neck but the case I was a juror for was worth my time.

G

July 30th, 2012
10:15 am

Hey, D! Only one answer will do. :-)

GQ

July 30th, 2012
10:37 am

Phillip, you WILL become a HUGE STAR whether you like it or not. Just stay humble! God Loves You…..

Deirdre

July 30th, 2012
11:00 am

Sources are confirming that Brad Paisley is on his way to LA to meet with Idol producers.

Paula

July 30th, 2012
11:14 am

Great interview for an All American young man. He’s already on the way to stardom by winning American Idol, and now his Home is featured at the Olympics. Can’t get much better than this!!!

Harriett

July 30th, 2012
11:17 am

Oh, well. Guess it is inevitable. Seems kind of copy cat to me, though. Hope he will be better than ST.

jody

July 30th, 2012
11:59 am

Phillip is just cool! Love his voice, music skills, and attitude…hope he gets to do what he loves.

md

July 30th, 2012
12:06 pm

This kid has a lot of raw talent. Hope people outside the ‘idol bubble’ will get him. Not often someone like him comes along. Don’t use American Idol against him…he can stand on his own.

Ben

July 30th, 2012
12:11 pm

First time I heard him, I knew he had something special. Go get ‘em Phil!

music lover

July 30th, 2012
12:15 pm

better than a reality tv contestant. if he can write half-way decent songs, he’ll be known.

Deirdre

July 30th, 2012
12:17 pm

From mj:

Congrats to Phillip Phillips. His American Idol coronation song, “Home” has climbed to #7 on the iTunes songs chart after it was featured last night during NBC’s prime time Olympics coverage. The song was used to introduce a gymnastics segment.

Lurker

July 30th, 2012
12:24 pm

If I were an Olympian, the LAST song I would want to hear while away competing, is a song about home.

JTesla

July 30th, 2012
12:30 pm

I doubt they have time to watch the Olympics.

Mercedes S.

July 30th, 2012
12:55 pm

Good one, Lurker.

I have been called to jury duty 7 times and never get picked. Boo. I would LOVE to judge!!

DanJ

July 30th, 2012
1:11 pm

I have to admit I like the song Home and wish Philip the best of luck. I do think he’s much better that Lee was/is. Personally I think Kris Has a better voice. My guess is he’ll be pretty successful compared to other Idol Men who played guitar and won!

Deirdre

July 30th, 2012
1:28 pm

My cousin is currently volunteering at the Olympics. Her biggest complaint is missing most of the events.

Harriett

July 30th, 2012
2:20 pm

I don’t blame her, D!

Deirdre

July 30th, 2012
2:36 pm

Harriett, she has a day off tomorrow and plans to spend it in a pub with a tv so she can catch up on what’s been happening.

G

July 30th, 2012
2:37 pm

Lurker, good point.

Harriett

July 30th, 2012
2:48 pm

Good plan! I can’t imagine being that close!

Harriett

July 30th, 2012
2:50 pm

Am doing my quarterly wall calendar and cannot believe I just filled in Sept, Oct. and Nov.!! Around here, August heralds the end of summer and that makes me sad. :(

Deirdre

July 30th, 2012
2:52 pm

Lurker…the Olympians don’t hear the song…it’s for the viewers.

mable

July 30th, 2012
2:54 pm

The song ‘Home’ isn’t about being homesick, it’s about not letting fear overcome you and supporting each other, so it’s actually a great song for a team of athletes. I hope they play it often during the Olympics…plus it has a great beat!

JTesla

July 30th, 2012
3:02 pm

Of course if NBC plays it more, they won’t be hearing it there. I won’t mind, I kind of like the song, but it’s not like the Brits turn on the telly and hear the music we are listening to or are assaulted by banal conversations between Bob Costas and Ryan Seacrest.

Harriett

July 30th, 2012
3:58 pm

And, that song so isn’t Phil and what he purports to love and to be about. He has said he doesn’t care for it and it is not him. I was thinking about that when I heard it and can see what he means.

Harriett

July 30th, 2012
4:31 pm

Time to go. Slowing down here, anyway.

Mercedes S.

July 30th, 2012
5:00 pm

So, we’re headingto the Palin/Stupid Girls thread?

Jules

July 30th, 2012
5:16 pm

I love Phillip Phillips! So talented and humble.

SLY

July 30th, 2012
5:35 pm

PHILLIP YOU ARE SO AMAZING I AM SO PROUD OF YOU AND HAPPY FOR YOU!! LOOK HOW HUGE YOU ARE ALREADY!!! THE WORLD NEEDS YOU AND YOUR MUSIC!! <3

Taylor

July 30th, 2012
5:41 pm

Phillip has already had so much happen for him. It’s not like he really cares if he becomes a huge star or not himself, but it most likely is going to happen. It’s already happening. Congratulations, Phillip. You deserve every bit of this.

Deirdre

July 30th, 2012
6:18 pm

Here’s the latest on the judges from US magazine:

“Who I Am” singer Nick Jonas, 19, and N.E.R.D. rapper Pharrell Williams, 39, are the frontrunners to fill the two vacant seats at the judges’ table, multiple insiders tell Us Weekly. (Jackson, 56, is being moved into a “mentoring role,” according to a source.)

“Nick is pretty close to signing to be the Idol judge,” one insider says. “They flew him in to L.A. last week for final meetings.”

JTesla

July 30th, 2012
6:40 pm

Was it Nick or Joe whose sole contribution to American Idol judging was to say “yeah” about 30 times?

Deirdre

July 30th, 2012
7:41 pm

That was Joe. With any luck, Nick will have paid closer attention in English class.

Deirdre

July 30th, 2012
7:50 pm

Another very “odd” Mariah Carey picture. Is that a rib sticking out on the left side of the picture?

http://www.mjsbigblog.com/mariah-carey-triumphant-cover-and-release-date-photo.htm

Seth T

July 30th, 2012
11:54 pm

A housecleaning of the Judges panel is at least a good start. Randy & Nigel have both clung to the throwback status, looking for copies of the 70’s – 80’s crooners and diva’s. It became more and more obvious as the season wore-on, that a big change had to come,

If Paisley is signed, it will cause some viewers to quit watching, due to the Country affiliation, and the same for Nick Jonas due to the younger Pop-Rock affiliation. However, both would bring-in a new wing of viewers – so it may be a good gamble to try to keep on-top of the ratings, rather than slowly slipping down the mountain. Lose some, but try to win more than you lost.

It was Jimmy Iovine that got PP lined-up with the new song, “Home”, in the finale – that Jennifer and Randy would have vehemently advised him not to do —– as that’s exactly how they advised the contestants the past 2 seasons — “you have to pick a song everybody knows – you can’t do that here!!” ( you”ll never sell 700,000 downloads and get it played at the Olympics – it’s not an 80’s re-do.)

The press will give wide coverage a whole new panel at the start of next season. In the now crowded field of singing talent shows, I’m hoping they will also get more controls put on the crazy voting system, but they will probably want to continue to strive for the 150 million vote bragging rights.

Annlyn

July 31st, 2012
5:00 am

I don’t know how the term a ‘big star’ should be defined but it is really hard to imagine him with those Hollywood fakes at red carpet events.

patti freeman

July 31st, 2012
7:00 am

phillip phillips is going to be a star, i knew it from his first audition. he is sorta like dave matthews, and i love his style…you go phillip! i’ll be listening and looking forward to it.

Highlander

July 31st, 2012
7:18 am

The use of the term “Star” has lost most of it’s original ’shine’ ever since that other reality show, “Dancing With The Semi-Celebrities That Some OF You Have Heard Of’ Before” came on the air!

Good luck and continuing better health to PhilX2.

Deirdre

July 31st, 2012
7:53 am

Morning!

Seth, just a reminder. The song Home is Philx2’s coronation song. Picking “a song that everybody knows” was not an option. (although they tried it during Off-key Lee’s season)

NBC had a really stupid moment last night when they “spoiled” a swimming race by announcing, just before the race, that the Today Show would show us the moment the swimmer met her parents after winning the Gold. Are they morons or was advertising Today more important?

Tito

July 31st, 2012
8:40 am

I think Pharrell will make a great judge, he has produced and written songs for everyone from Brittany Spears to JayZ. He has a good ear for talent.

Sam-A

July 31st, 2012
8:48 am

Highlander: couldn’t agree more – so very few “stars”, so many “who’s that’s” on DWTS.

Nick is the youngest, the only “cute” one, and the one who actually has a bit of talent. However, he’s very young to be criticizing others, most probably with a few years on him – ala Demi Lavato (?sp?)

I hated the opening ceremonies, with the exception of the “QE2 & Bond + dogs” segment, the “Beautiful Minds” collage (glad John and Paul were there), and, while I worship Paul, as Deirdre stated, his emotions got the better of him and that first 30 secs was not good. Thankfully he took hold and finished well. Guess it was quite a moment for him. Several segments with Beatles clips or music, Stella designing the Brit uniforms, him closing – guess it’s ok to have an emotional moment!

I appreciate all they were conveying, but just wish they could have done it in a less boring way.