SixX Strings: James Durbin “The Way You Are, Is The Way You’re Supposed To Be”

Being an idol is not easy for some people.  The pressures can be relentless and for some, it can destroy them.  How do they manage the internal and external demons?  Well, the saying “Music has charms to soothe the savage breast…” has more truth to it than most ever realized.  Music for one artist though, has been a savior, a driving force, and life itself.


James Durbin needs music.  Yes, I know that was a loaded statement but it is more accurate than you think.  This American Idol finalist not only uses music as a way to handle his Tourette and Asperger’s symptoms but he uses it as an outlet for his being and his artistic soul.  Now yes James was on a TV music competition show and wowed the fans and judges with his vocal prowess singing Judas Priest classics amongst the pop star wannabes, but he was hardly defined by it.  He had a passion driving him from within well before any TV series.

“Music has gotten me out of pretty much any bad point in my life…”

-James Durbin

After making it to the final rounds and touring with the post season Idol group, James went on to further his career within the rock realm.  He has put out three albums, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster (’11), Celebrate (’14), Riot on Sunset (’16), and performed and worked with artists such as Buckcherry, Steel Panther, and Evanescence to name a few.  It seems that this Pop competition survivor is all rock!  He recently collaborated with Quiet Riot guitarist Alex Grossi to form  Maps to the Hollywood Scars which just released their first album, Volume 1 last month.  James was not done chasing that metallic dream just yet though.  Quiet Riot just announced that he would be the new lead singer of the iconic Metal Health group.  It seems like the music that raised this artist will now be backing him on stage.  If that is not full circle, then I do not know what is.

“The first metal song I ever remember hearing was Rainbow In The Dark on the radio, and then the second metal song I remember being inspired by was Metal Health/Bang Your Head by Quiet Riot…”

-James Durbin

I recently had the chance to talk with James about his history with rock, music helping his afflictions, American Idol,  and his new musical journey.  Take a listen to our chat and think about how music soothes those demons we all feel.

Check it,



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