Livestream capture of the beginning of the interview (not included in official IICD release):
Straight from the horse’s mouth, here are some answers to questions people have been asking, and highlights from the interview, transcribed:
Regarding what actually happened during the Sony meeting (besides writing “Never Waking Up” with David Glass and Jordan Lawhead): The person that signs everyone for Sony Publishing…she sat down and she talked about maybe getting a publishing deal, but I’m really not 100% on that so I’m not going to say anything I don’t know.
Regarding why they haven’t released the demo for “Butterflies” (while talking about the new “Never Waking Up” demo): It just depends on how they produce it [the new demo]…hopefully not like Butterflies [mock-horrified look]… no offense Kevin [Griffin, of Better Than Ezra]!
Regarding pop music: So many times, people are like, you’re selling out if you do pop music. For me it’s like, the Beatles? That’s pop music, you know? And people are like, “oh I love the Beatles, but I don’t like pop music”. What do you think the Beatles were doing in the 60s? That’s pop music. Pop music means popular music, the most popular kind of music, because it’s the best – I don’t know if it’s the best, because people have different tastes, but it’s like, the most current type of music and what most of the people in the world want to listen to. And I feel like I can’t really go wrong because it’s pop music, but it’s my voice on it, you know? The type of music that I’m doing, that I’ve always done, is pop music. I didn’t know how to do anything else than that, but it’s just with my voice on it, so it doesn’t sound the same as every other R&B singer out there.
Regarding his album: I’ve been trying to put together an album as soon as possible. But at the same time, I want to have at least 10 or 12 great tracks on that album. I’m not going to be, like, “the first ten songs I make are gonna be on my album”. I’m going to try my hardest to make that album perfect… For me, it’s all about consistency. If I come out with one great song and all the rest of the songs on my album are kinda weak, there’s no point for me to be doing this. Right now what I’m doing is writing as much as possible, I want to play at the Mint as much as possible – every Wednesday at the Mint on Pico – and in other venues, if that’s possible. I really want to stay focused because I don’t have enough songs to really be satisfied. I really want to be writing every day. All my songs on my album, I want to co-write them…when you write it and you sing it, you feel it more than you would if someone else wrote it for you. I feel like that’s what music’s all about. When I’m singing a song, I want to forget what’s going on and just be in the song, in the moment at that time.
Regarding when Alex’s songs will be available for download from iTunes: [Michael] The short answer is, when we start producing some of the tracks. We’re not going to release the demos. Yes they sound great, Alex sounds great, Justin sounds great, the music videos are cool, but we don’t want to rush things and put things out prematurely. [Alex] It’s like this. We put the demo out, and you like the demo? Wait till the real song comes out! We don’t want to put anything out there that’s not complete and not going to show our songwriting and our singing capabilities to their full potential…I’ve been talking with Iain [Pirie, of 19E] about possibly producing “Dream With My Eyes Open”. Hopefully that goes down, ’cause that would be awesome.
Regarding why Alex does some of the (controversial) things he does: I didn’t really have anybody to raise me…’cause my mom would drop us off at school, go to work, and we wouldn’t see her till 1 o’clock in the morning, just ’cause she worked such long hours…so my whole life, pretty much, me and my brothers just raised ourselves. My mom usually worked 7 days a week…and we usually didn’t have that much – I don’t know…I’m not telling a sob story. I’m just saying, that’s why I do some of the things that I do, ’cause no one ever taught me that it was wrong. You know what I’m saying? It’s like, no one was like, “Hey, don’t do that cause that’s not accepted”!
Regarding being called cocky: I think it’s important to know what the viewers are thinking, because you want to know where the viewers stand. Because right now I’m in the Dream House, and people are like, you know, “you’re cocky”, and I guess sometimes maybe I do get a little bit cocky, but I’m just doing what I have to do to make great songs, and get on stage and not really worry about being nervous. ‘Cause being nervous is not fun. It’s part of it, but if you’re not fully confident in yourself, then you’re going to be nervous.
Regarding the importance of being yourself: This goes out to all the people that are trying to act like they’re somebody else, or think “maybe I should try to act a little more like this, because people will like me better”. When you start thinking about that, it’s going to distract you from the big picture and from your main goal. When you’re yourself, everything is so much easier. I feel like, life is so much easier. I don’t have to worry about people liking me, because I don’t give a s*** if people like me or not. And I feel like everyone should have that attitude. I want people to like my music, but if they don’t like who I am as a person, then that’s their problem.
Regarding what he’s going to miss about Simon Cowell: Just his bluntness. That he’s not scared to say anything to anyone. It doesn’t matter who they are, how big of a person they are, he doesn’t give a s***… ’cause Simon’s small! He’s smaller than Ryan Seacrest! And I’m like, dude, this guy’s got so much courage, he’s like a modern-day Napoleon!