Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Apr 18th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Durbin Legend

ae DurbinJames Durbin talks life post-‘Idol’ and his sophomore album, ‘Celebrate’

In the bitter winter of New York, James Durbin reminisces about his hometown of Santa Cruz, and the whirlwind that was set in motion the day he took fourth place on season 10 of FOX’s American Idol.

“It was really crazy,” he says, remembering May 14, 2011, or “Durbin Day,” when he went from being an ordinary local resident to a celebrity overnight. “I have to pinch myself whenever I think about it.”

He may not have won the singing competition, but local support for Durbin earned him a grand homecoming celebration, something usually reserved for the show’s top three contestants.

“It was absolutely complete pandemonium,” he recalls of the scene at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk that day. “You look out and you can’t even see the sand at all. It’s shoulder to shoulder. It’s madness, It’s absolute madness … there’s over 30,000 people lining all over the Boardwalk. They’re on the rides. They’re on the Hurricane roller coaster … And there’s people on the skyline ride. And it was just absolute insanity.”

Since then, Durbin released his debut album, 2011’s Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, and is now touring in support of his sophomore effort, Celebrate, due for release in April. “I’m ready for people to see what I’ve been up to,” he says. “It’s been what I’ve been working on for the past two years.”

Durbin describes his new album as upbeat pop/rock/alternative, a slight departure from his more aggressive debut. “There were a lot of songs on there that were a lot of screaming and yelling,” he says of his first album. “I just kind of got bored with screaming and yelling and I wanted to sing. I wanted to write songs that I wanted to sing. I’m probably not gonna be able to sing a lot of those songs on the first record when I’m 40 or 50, you know, just because of how intense they are. So, it’s nice to make a record of songs that I know I’m gonna be able to sing for a long time.”

Celebrate features a diverse collection of songs, including the slick pop single “Parachute,” a mellow ballad called “Real Love,” and the heavy rock track “You Can’t Believe.” Durbin attributes that variety to his more hands-on involvement on this album. “On the first record, I got to really [write only] one song … The other ones were songs that I got sent to me and I changed the lyrics. It’s hard to really have a real connection with [those] songs.

“But yeah, this time around I was a part of every session,” he goes on. “On the record I co-wrote 10 of the 11 [songs].”

Durbin says that he wanted to be more involved in the songwriting process this time, so that he could connect more personally with his audience. “I mean, your fans are there to see you, to feel your presence, to feel the love in your voice,” he explains. “[These songs] came from my brain, went down my sleeve, out of my pen and onto the paper. How much more personal can you get? I can fit myself in these songs because they came from me.”

One of Durbin’s favorite tracks on the album is the opener, “Children Under The Sun,” which evokes images of his childhood visits to the sun-soaked Boardwalk. Backed by crisp guitar and upbeat drums, Durbin’s vocals soar to incredible heights in the chorus, as he sings, “Raise your hands, let the roller coaster take us over the edge/while we’re young, children under the sun.”

“It’s just about an experience I had at the Boardwalk when I was a kid, difficult to go into it, as it’s very personal,” he divulges. “But yeah, the song kinda stands as my ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.’”

Now married and living the kind of life he could only dream of a few years ago, Durbin says that the high energy that defines Celebrate perfectly expresses his excitement about how far he’s come and where he’s headed.

“That’s been the big theme of this record … and with the album title. I’ve just been in a state of celebration,” he explains. “I’m celebrating my life. I’m 25, I get to do what I love for a living. I have a family, I have everything I could quite possibly need. You gotta feel positive about [life]. It’s all positivity. Good thoughts, good feelings, good energy. It’s a Santa Cruz kind of state of mind.” 


James Durbin will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 at The Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $16/adv, $20/door. For more info, call 423-1338.

Comments (7)Add Comment
...
written by RCL ~ SC Local, February 14, 2014
Love you and wish you well. I see great things coming you way......

Stay true to yourself and don't get caught up in the hype!
from a person with a dream that you had
written by rod gandy, February 12, 2014
I am nobody that you know but I met your dreams and you had them. I have for a life time had those dreams too but will not ever have them again because you had them already. We Santa Cruzers are not ready for another dream come true yet so I`ll just leave it that its only a dream and listen to your music and dream dream dream. Love, and dreams be all you.You Rock James.
Durbin Fan!
written by Vickie Banks, February 11, 2014
It was during the airing of James's audition on Season 10 of American Idol that so many of us became instantly smitten with this awesome young singer/songwriter! James is the real deal and is so humble and compassionate towards everyone he meets! Everyone, jump, jump, jump jump at the chance to attend one of these acoustic concerts James is currently doing, and see for yourself how his music transforms you!!
James Durbin/Catalyst/Feb15th!!
written by Frances Hamilton, February 11, 2014
Thank you for featuring the upcoming Legend, James Durbin!! Make sure to see him live at a show near you!!! You will be in for the night of your life!!!
a hard fan of James Durbin and all of my Durbinators
written by By Marissa Ann Erickson , February 11, 2014
By Marissa Ann Erickson to this Article about James Durbin and his hometown and he is comeing back on the 15 of Saturday he will go on at 9:00 PM and come join us for a good show. and I was this Article I like from the the Durbin Legend.
webmistress outcastarmyfans.com
written by Nancy Revelle, February 11, 2014
Thanks for a great interview with James! I loved reading it, and it's made even more special coming from his hometown.
...
written by Chris Maddox, February 11, 2014
Great Article. Thank You for letting everyone know how lucky we are here in 831.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.