For the best part of the last six years, Phillip Phillips has been on the road. And for the best part of those years, Phillip has toured with his wife Hannah Blackwell by his side. This year, his small touring family was expanded, when Phillip and Hannah decided to bring their beautiful boxer Izzy to join them on the 43-stop Magnetic Tour.
Grand Canyon University student Ashley Romantic sat down with Phillip Phillips before his concert at GCU Arena Saturday night to talk about his music, faith, advice for college students and, of course, how to get your Lopes Up.
Q: Tell us about your album “Behind the Light.”
A: I think it’s got a little bit of everything to it. It’s got some funk, a little bit of soul, rock, a little jazz and pop. I think it’s good. It’s honest. I only have two albums out so it’s definitely my best work so far. I am starting to work on my third one right now and am really excited. It has some cool, kind of weird stuff happening, but I like it like that.
Q: I am sure everyone out there will think it’s really good.
A: Not everyone, there’s always somebody who thinks it’s not good, but that’s just people you know. As long as my mom and fiancé like it, that’s what counts.
Q: I understand it’s geared more toward a concert setting. Is this the most fun you’ve ever had on tour?
A: Yes. I was touring last year. This year I am writing a lot more, doing shows here and there kind of like this one, more like one-off shows. But every time I get to play the songs, especially when I was debuting and doing the tour, it was a lot of fun. It’s easy to get them live. As my band played on, we just changed up stuff, added some jam in and other musical parts. It’s always fun and it’s always evolving. I definitely wanted to represent that live setting, live show and that is what I am working toward on the third one. You always want to keep them different, and when making a song for the album you want to make a song and not just a jam. And when you play it live, that’s when you have fun and get crazy.
Q: Do you play university settings often? What are your impressions of GCU and GCU Arena?
A: It’s very beautiful. It’s definitely one of the cleaner arenas I have ever seen. This campus is great. My first headlining tour, all I did was college dates and it was a lot of fun. You build those fans with people similar to your age.
Q: You get the crazy college kids.A: Yeah, are they crazy here?
Q: Well, we go to Chapel so we are mellow, but we do get crazy.
A: We’ll go to church tonight, then!
A: Ah no, I always hated school since I was kid. When I was going to college, too… What I was studying, it was something I didn’t want to do for the rest of my life, so that made it miserable. If you are going for something you enjoy, I am sure it is a lot more fun. It’s still hard work.
Q: What role does faith play in your life?
A: It plays a big part. I grew up in church. Ever since I was a kid, my mom played the piano and sang. My Poppa, my grandfather, he led worship when I was a kid. He has a deep voice, and now he sings a little quieter. My dad would sing sometimes, and both my sisters sang in church at a young age. I didn’t get into music until I was about 14. I was into my music, but I didn’t pick up the guitar until I was 14. I grew up on the hymns. I was writing this week with my band — a few of those guys play in church sometimes when they are home — and I started signing some hymns, and they were like, “Oh yeah, Phil, we didn’t know you knew that.” And I was like, “Oh yeah, I grew up learning all those.” All my friends went to a more contemporary churches, singing more David Crowder type of stuff. I love David Crowder, it’s an incredible band. I was singing “Old Rugged Cross” or “Victory in Jesus” type stuff. Faith plays a role every day. Anyone who grew up religious, even if you get away from it, it always comes back to you in some way or form. I try to keep living right every day. Sometimes you don’t do it right, but that is what learning and life is all about.
Q: The audience tonight is filled with young people chasing their dreams. What words of advice can you give them?
A: Don’t mess up (laughing).
Q: That’s good advice.
A: Aim to do something you love and enjoy – that’s really the biggest thing that counts. Money doesn’t buy happiness. It can buy you fun things sometimes, but in the end, if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing… I’ve met a lot of miserable people that don’t like doing what they are doing and that is not a fun place to be. Like I said, I was going to college for something I didn’t want to do and I was miserable. Do something you love. If it’s music, if it’s technology, if it’s being a teacher, whatever it is, do it to the best of your capability. That is how I was brought up.
Q: Now, “Lopes Up” is a thing we do here at GCU.
A: Is this like a hand signal thing? I saw a billboard about it. I didn’t know if it was a dog or what.
Q: It’s an antelope. If you do this (showing Lopes Up), you’ll connect with the audience right away. That’s my best piece of advice.
A: OK, I get nervous doing interviews — I am nervous right now — but I will try and remember it. My mind starts racing once I get up on stage. I’ll either do it right when I go out, or sometime during the show, when I’m like – “I need to do that.”
Q: I am sure you will see lots of people who will join in. If there are 7,000 people out there, and you do Lopes Up, you’ll get 14,000 hands up in the air. It’s what they teach you Day 1.
A: Sweet… If they are not into the show, I’ll do this (Lopes Up) after every song.
Source/Thanks: GCU Today
Fox News talked to Phillip Phillips before his performance last Sunday at the Super Bowl. In the interview, Phillip talks about his pre-performance nerves and reveals more details about his new album.
Before his big show at the Super Bowl, Phillip was in New York for a few weeks working on his much anticipated second album. He has shared few details, but we know through recent interviews that it will likely be out in May and that it will have a “heavier, darker” sound. It’s not much, but we certainly like the sound of that!
Check out Phillip’s interview with Fox below!
Phillip Phillips recently participated in a special Q&A session hosted by American Idol. The “Idol Blitz” Q&A series took place last week in preparation for the launch of Season 13 of the show and helped to celebrate past Idol winners. Phillip answered questions and chatted with fans via the American Idol Facebook page.
Take a look at the entire Q&A session below!
Erika Houser Hey Phillip! I was fortunate to be in Baltimore when you & John Mayer performed Old Love together? Did you guy rehearse that? Or was it spur of the moment?
Phillip Phillips spur of the moment
Aimee Nicole Hi, Phillip! What music do You enjoy listening to in your freetime? Also, If given the chance to do your own rendition of any song from any artist, What would you choose? I only ark because I love your style of music. You can definitely hear your passion and emotion in it. I really think it would be more personal for your fans to hear too.
Phillip Phillips I like Fink, Eric Clapton and so much more.
With 2013 winding down, Phillip Phillips visited the Billboard studios and sat down with Billboard.com editor Tye Comer (@MTye) to discuss the huge year he’s had, to listen to some of his music, and to share five songs that have been part of the soundtrack to his life in 2013, from John Mayer and Lorde to Eminem and Katy Perry.
The 2012 “American Idol” winner has been anything but idle in the past 12 months. He’s been on the road supporting his Nov. 2012 debut, “The World From the Side of the Moon,” which hit the top five of the Billboard 200, and opened for Matchbox Twenty and John Mayer.
The 23-year-old Georgia native says that Mayer was a welcome influence this year — not only was one of Mayer’s tunes among the five tracks that Phillips loved most this year, Mayer also actively encouraged the younger musician.
Phillips picked out “Waitin’ On The Day,” from Mayer’s new album “Paradise Valley,” as one of the five 2013 favorites he included in his Billboard Artist Jukebox listening session. It’s a “great song to me and very emotional,” he says.
“He’s given me a lot of great advice,” Phillips says of the time he’s spent with Mayer on tour. “Whether it’s business decisions or music decisions. He’s already a legend, an amazing guitarist and he loves songs too. We’ll soundcheck some new songs or something sometimes and he’ll come up to me [and say,] ‘That’s tight. Keep at it.’ It just makes you feel good for somebody in that position to say those types of things to me.”
In addition to Mayer’s music, Phillips’ favorite songs of 2013 also include tunes from an array of genres and both newcomers and longtime hitmakers. Lorde’s “Royals” easily made his key listening list. “I can’t believe she’s only 16. That song’s great,” he says. “I definitely see it on the radio. It’s just so catchy and the beat is sexy.” On the rock side of things, Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” caught his ear this year because, “it’s massive, it’s got huge arms to it.” And veteran rapper Eminem’s recent single, “Berzerk,” is on his playlist because “it gets you hyped up.” In the pop realm, he singles out Katy Perry’s “Roar” for the way that, “It makes you feel like you’re just invincible.”
But rocking the road and listening to 2013’s best isn’t all that Phillips has been up to this year. Not only has he just released both an expanded edition of “Moon” and “Phillip Phillips Live EP,” he’s been readying music for a new album. “I’m always writing some music,” he shares. “I’ve got some things I’m pretty excited for. I’m going to try to have an album out by spring or summer, to be able to tour next summer.”
In a show of thanks apropos for this time of year, Phillip Phillips is re-releasing his debut album, “The World from the Side of the Moon,” with three additional live tracks on November 19. The past year has given the 11th-season winner of “American Idol” a lot to be thankful for. Not only did “The World from the Side of the Moon” go platinum, but Phillips has been globetrotting with John Mayer on the Born and Raised Tour. A stop in Palmer, Alaska provided the Georgia native an opportunity to shoot the “Where We Came From” song video. “We were freezing our tails off,” he told FMU of the experience. “Between takes, we’d stop and take in the beauty and quiet of the landscape.” Does Phillips get to stop and smell the roses often? Nope. Apparently, even his zip-line tours occur during concerts.
What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase?
I always bring regular t-shirts, nothing fancy, just good ole worn out t-shirts.
Carry-on or check-in?
I’d rather carry on, but usually have to check in.
Window or aisle?
Aisle. I like spreading out, letting loose and not worrying about too much, like having to ask when I need to get up.
What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
It depends on the time of year. During the summer, I like being on an island or a beach, just relaxing with no phone calls or emails coming in. When I was growing up, my family always traveled to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge (both in Tennessee) in the winter, so I always like going up to the mountains and staying in a cabin with family and friends that time of year.
Tell us about a vacation you’ve taken that’s come close thus far.
About a month ago, I was in Brazil touring with John Mayer. It wasn’t really a vacation, but we treated it like one. It was so beautiful there, and the atmosphere was awesome.
Where’s your favorite destination for performing?
Rio. It was just amazing.
What’s the worst annoyance you’ve experienced while traveling?
We were in the Philippines and had to play one show during my birthday week. I was good all the way up to my birthday and then got sick.
What’s the silliest souvenir you’ve ever brought back from a trip?
T-shirts from the places I travel. I wear them for years, even when they get holes in them and people tell me I need to stop wearing them.
Ever try a food you wished you hadn’t?
I was raised up “don’t knock it until you try it,” so I’ll try anything. There have been a lot of times where I wish I hadn’t. Like in France or the Philippines. There’s a lot of amazing food there, but it’s so different from what I’m used to in U.S. In the Philippines, there was this creamy yogurt-looking dessert that looked good, but when you bit into it, it was chewy and didn’t have the greatest texture.
Favorite hotel you’ve ever stayed in.
The Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis. I had a huge room. I don’t really ever want a big room — as long as I’ve got a bed and a bathroom, I’m good. This room was massive, and the bed was so huge you could play tennis on it.
Favorite restaurant you’ve discovered while traveling.
I’m a big foodie. I like eating at local places when I’m traveling; local food is usually fresher tasting. When I was doing my album, we had a burger shootout in New York around Times Square. We got burgers from Five Guys, 5 Napkin and the Shake Shack. I loved Shake Shack’s burgers the best; they’re kind of creamy.
Biggest regret you’ve ever had while on vacation.
When I went to Brazil, I wanted to go zip-lining in the jungle or over a waterfall, but didn’t have time. I did get to zip-line over the crowd at the Rocking Rio concert, though.
The one thing you’re willing to splurge on when traveling above all else.
Three artists on your travel playlist.
When I need inspiration, I listen to the Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix and AC/DC.
What songs off your debut album would be good for others’ playlists?
“Man On The Moon” and “Get Up Get Down.”
Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for the first time?
In my hometown of Leesburg, Georgia, I’d take them to Flint River and Kinchifoonee Creek to go boating, tubing, jumping off ropes and swimming.
You only get one more trip in your lifetime. Where will it be?
Ireland. After seeing photos and films, I’ve always wanted to go. It looks so beautiful and relaxing, and I love listening to the accents of people from there.