Interview with David Cook

We’ve been David Cook fans since his American Idol days (season 7 winner, 2008), so we were stoked to chat with him about the amazingness that’s been his life this year! Let’s just sum it up for you. He released his new EP Chromance, made his Broadway debut in Kinky Boots, and is now getting ready for an acoustic tour starting this month. Phew! So, grab your tickets to see him at The Ridgefield Playhouse on November 7th and Infinity Hall Norfolk on November 11th. Now, on to the interview!

Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

Can we talk about your incredible year so far? You released your new EP Chromance earlier this year, made your Broadway debut in Kinky Boots, and now you’re about to kick off an acoustic tour this month. What the heck do you do on your downtime?

(Laughs) There hasn’t been a lot of that, but my downtime is hanging out in Nashville with my wife and our dogs. I’m a homebody when I’m home. I don’t do much. I sit and write songs, watch movies and eat a bunch of food I’m not supposed to!

Why did you decide to do an acoustic tour this time?

It’s something I’ve never had the opportunity to do before. I strip these songs down to their bones. To really kind of reformulate them, especially ones I’ve been playing for a long time. And just to stand the songs on their heads a little bit and make them fresh, not just for the audience, but for us as performers. And then really just to break down that fourth wall a little more between the performer and the audience and ultimately walk away having had a more of a communal experience with the audience every night.

Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

What do you like to do post-show?

Post-show is where I get in trouble…post-show is usually when the pizzas show up, and that’s a problem. Or more when the drinks show up, and that’s a problem. Sometimes I just want a burger and a beer. But typically, we load out, head to the next city, fall asleep, and wake up in a different place the next day. That’s kind of how it goes!

We’re great friends with Kimberley Locke and she wanted to pass along a hello to you! So that leads us into your American Idol days…what do you wish you knew then (when you first auditioned) that you know now?

Oh, tell her I said hello back! First off, let me commend you for the segue. Well done (we blush).

You know, the biggest thing for me, in all honesty, bit me a couple of times. I wish I’d been better about getting up earlier and taking more advantage of the day. Before Idol, I bartended and worked until 3 or 4 in the morning and then went home and slept until like noon or 1 in the afternoon. So then to go on Idol, you sleep about 4 to 6 hours a night, get up and be on camera all day, do videos, and somewhere in there, you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to work on your song. So I kind of had to learn a lot of time management on that show.

Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

What music are you listening to right now?

The new Thrice record Palms, the new Meg Myers record, Take me to the Disco, and the new Panic! at the Disco record.

What were you like in high school?

How much time do you have?! I had lunch with my guitar player today and we were talking about this…high school was interesting for me. I was like simultaneously the nerdiest cool kid, and the coolest nerd. I lived in that grey area. I played sports, baseball, football and all that, but I also did theater, debate, and choir. I rode the fence!

Would you ever have imagined being on Broadway especially in a production like Kinky Boots?

No, not at all. I hadn’t seen the show when I auditioned. All I really had as far as knowledge of the show was the “sides” they gave me to audition with. It wasn’t until after I signed the contract that I went and saw the show. I was like, ok, alright. Honestly, it was certainly out of my comfort zone, but just so exhilarating. I loved going to work every day and getting to tell this story, and the cast and the crew are some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. There’s a reason I wanted to go back for a second time. But yes, I was certainly apprehensive.

Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Rapid fire questions…

Something you bring on tour that you can’t live without

  • Big Red gum

Favorite part of touring

  • The constant tour rhythm

Childhood nickname

  • Cookie

What’s next on your bucket list

  • I want to backpack Europe

Name a skill or a talent you wish you had?

  • I wish I was better at the piano

Favorite meal

  • Pizza

Dream car

  • 1969 Pontiac TransAm in racer orange

What are you watching on Netflix?

Your pet’s names?

  • Tulsa and London

Ever been star struck?

  • Yes

Who?

  • I’ve become friends with Stevie Van Zandt and his wife Marie. Stevie plays guitar for Bruce Springsteen. I got a chance to meet Bruce Springsteen and that was pretty incredible!


Interview by Lora + Bev/photos credited above