Exclusive Interview: Michael Johns on New Album, Tour and Kris Allen

June 16, 2009 10:14:36 GMT

Michael Johns talks about his new album 'Hold Back My Heart' and a promotional tour to support the record in addition to commenting on this season's 'American Idol' winner Kris Allen.

Exclusive Interview: Michael Johns on New Album, Tour and Kris Allen
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With his new album "Hold Back My Heart" to arrive in U.S. on June 23, Michael Johns shares to AceShowbiz about what fans can expect from the forthcoming record. In this exclusive interview, he spills the bean on his upcoming headlining tour as well.

Besides, Michael who once competed on "American Idol" season seven also makes comments on this season's winner of the FOX's reality singing competition, Kris Allen, and its runner-up, Adam Lambert. Greater than that, the singer, who has a new single "Heart on My Sleeve" available for digital purchase on iTunes, gives tips to those auditioning for the next season of Idol.

ASB: Does the title of 'American Idol' finalist still follow you around these days?

Michael Johns: It does but I'm not one to shy away from it. I mean it was such a great platform and really got me a new fan base. I would never bite the hand that fed me.

ASB: You were touted to be a good band vocalist. Why did you choose to go solo eventually?

Michael Johns: Was I? I can't remember that. I loved being in a band and getting in a room and 5 guys writing. There's an energy that can't be described. However, after years and years of doing that and 3 record deals all went south, it was time for a change. I got together with a great friend who just happens to love the same music I wanted to do and was an amazing Producer. It's so hard as you get older to keep a band together other things to priority Kids, Marriage etc. This time round I wanted to do it my way.

ASB: You have been offered numerous record deals since your elimination in Idol. What made you decide to join Downtown Records?

Michael Johns: I never entertained even signing a deal with anyone till my record was complete. I had an absolute vision of what I wanted this record to sound like and I didn't want anyone looking over my shoulder AnR'n it. I took a risk and backed what we were doing and trusted that if we made a great record then we could find a great label to partner with. There were a few that came to the table but Downtown had everything I wanted. A great roster an amazing President who has a passion for music like no one else and a young hungry staff who loved the album. It was a perfect match.

ASB: About your new album "Hold Back My Heart", any collaboration with other singers that we should know?

Michael Johns: Yeah there was. I got a call from producer/songwriter John Shanks and he said he had a song he had co written with James Morrison. I am a big fan of James, and he said it was a song that would absolutely suit my soulful voice. I heard the tune and it really spoke to me. I had to cut it.

ASB: When will you shoot a music video for the first single from the album,"Heart on My Sleeve"? How will it fit to the song?

Michael Johns: We are in talks about that right now. It looks like it will be in NYC in the coming weeks. I have a storyline for it that I think will totally fit the songs lyrics. I'm not one of those guys that needs to be an actor in a video so the story just kind of happens around me.

ASB: We heard that you got Dolly Parton for song-writing assistance, is that true? Is she also involved in the making of your new album?

Michael Johns: (Laughing) I wish! No that's not true. Dolly is a legend no other way to say it. She had said on the show and after that she wanted to work with me. I couldn't believe it and I hope our schedules match up one day to collaborate.

ASB: What do you want to achieve with this album?

Michael Johns: I really want it to bring the joy of soul music to as many people as it can. There hasn't really been anything that's sounded like this in a while so I hope a whole new audience may fall in love with rock/soul music like I did. Go and discover the amazing Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Sam Cooke and Joe Cocker if they have never heard them before. Hopefully if people like the record I'll get to keep touring and keep making records for a longtime.

ASB: When will you hit the road for promotional effort for your album?

Michael Johns: I have already, every week I seem to be somewhere. I believe however, we go on the road after July 4th and then a full tour starting August 1st.

ASB: Which side are you in about this season's Idol winner Kris Allen whose victory was argued?

Michael Johns: I think Kris is great and I thought Adam was good too. I picked Kris in the finale I just thought America would relate to him more. I think he'll make a good record and have a career for sure. I hope America voted for talent and not what they did or didn't think of Adam's sexuality. I mean come on people it's 2009!

ASB: Making it to the top 8 yourself, do you have message for those who want to try their lucks on the next season of Idol?

Michael Johns: I would say if you're in it for the right reasons and not the fame game then go ahead. Look Idol has proven itself over the years as a real career builder. It is the biggest platform right now and if you stay true to yourself it can really change your life.

ASB: Which fellow Idol season 7 contestant are you still in close contact with?

Michael Johns: Really we all stay in touch. It may have been a rare season I don't know but we were all friends. Brooke White and I have worked together since. We sang a duet I wrote with her in mind called 'Life is Okay'. I also co-wrote a song on her record called 'Little Bird', which she sounds amazing on. David Cook and I speak weekly and [Jason] Castro, Carly [Smithson], Chikezie and Archie [David Archuleta] see each other a bunch.

ASB: You are still rooting for Australia. Say you are to collaborate with one of its artists, who do you think it will be?

Michael Johns: Oh man there is bunch I would love to sing with Bernard Fanning from Powderfinger. Mark Lazotte is a great singer songwriter too. Even though he's not a true Aussie but Neil Finn is one of if not my favorite songwriters of all time so that would be cool.

Look forward to Michael Johns being picked up as AceShowbiz's Artist of the Week on June 22.


Post Your Comments

posted by aleli on Jun 17, 2009
Michael's interviews are always exciting! I'm a Kris fan as well. Two of my favorites coz I find their taste of music suits mine. So happy for MJ and I'm so excited for the June 23rd release of his album. OT: I read from Daughtry's twitter messages that Kris is also his favorite! Daughtry cannot judge good music as well, I don't think so. PEACE.
posted by To Kerry Kolsch on Jun 17, 2009
Hey Kerry, people are allowed to have their own opinion. Like Adam Lambert said he hates "tacky sore losers" and complainers. Listen to your Adam and show some class for a change. Michael is a great musician and singer. Adam also said he loves listening to Kris, so there you go. Now back to Michael. He left to soon. I wanted Michael to place higher. He was my favorite besides Cook and Archie. Will be checking out his cd.
posted by Deb on Jun 17, 2009
Great interview! I cant wait to get Michaels album!!!!
posted by Judy on Jun 16, 2009
Nice Interview!! I can't wait for Michael's CD! Love that soulful voice. June 23rd..YAY!!
posted by heart2 on Jun 16, 2009
Thanks for the Michael Johns always have always will. I have listened to the snippets of his CD and am loving every bit of it. Thank You Michael!
posted by lavender1960 on Jun 16, 2009
Mr. Johns has good taste - good point on the word rooting there though, bwah. Us NOrth Americans don't always pick up on that one. The duet with Brooke is fabulous and I am looking forward to the album and the tour. The scene has been missing some good blue eyed soul, especially since Robert Palmer died far too soon. Now while Neil Finn is a Kiwi he has lived in Melbourne long enough hasn't he to qualify for Aussie status? He is one of the best songwriters of our times.
posted by Jane on Jun 16, 2009
Thanks for the fabulous interview!!! He is definitely going to win fans with that album!! He is an amazing talent and is outstanding live..I have been privileged to have seen him sing live and believe me you can see the passion and energy he brings!! I am looking forward to him being the Artist of the week! Thanks again!
posted by border49er on Jun 16, 2009
Re - editorially - you might not want to use "rooting" and "Australia" in the same sentence - gave me a hard early morning laugh! Check with any of your Aussie friends. It has a whole other connotation to them! RE - above: "ASB: You are still <b> rooting for Australia.</b> Say you are to collaborate with one of its artists, who do you think it will be? "
posted by Gill on Jun 16, 2009
Great interview! Michael Johns is a great singer. Kerry, just another bitter Adam fan. Maybe a therapist would be able to snap you back into reality.
posted by mari on Jun 16, 2009
Michael Johns....hmmm, is just a so so talent. He picks Kris coz thats in line with his style. But let me tell you the money is with Adam - that's why he gets the media and the better deal. It is all about the money!
posted by Dee on Jun 16, 2009
Thanks for the great interview! I can't wait to get Michael's cD when it comes out next Tuesday and hope to see him on his tour! Oh, and I DO look forward to him being your Artist of the Week on June 22! :)
posted by Pamela on Jun 16, 2009
Great interview; thanks so much! Michael Johns is amazingly talented and I can't wait to buy his album and see him on tour. He's an incredible live performer, so go see him if you get the chance. You won't regret it!
posted by kbr on Jun 16, 2009
Ok, back to Michael! Thanks for the great interview. I can not wait for Michael's album to drop next week. The clips I have heard so far are amazing, and I'm so excited to hear the full thing! Album, video, and tour in one summer sounds like Michael is going to be pretty busy this summer which is great news for his fans!
posted by Judes on Jun 16, 2009
Sorry Kerry , I have to totally disagree with you!! have you actually heard Michael Johns lately? Do yourself a favour & listen to the snippets from his album. He is soulful & brilliant! Forget Google trends- actually look at i-Tunes & Kris's singles - they have outsold Adams !!Kris 's voice is pure Heaven to me!! Get over your bitterness & go & support Adam rather than using your energy on all this negativity!!
posted by me on Jun 16, 2009
Oh, get over it, Kerry. Kris did not cheat. He won in a landslide. Adam loves Kris and his music, and vice versa. IMO, you're not an Adam fan if you hate on Kris, because Adam clearly does not want that. To the editors, I really doubt Michael was referring to Carly Simon, as you have indicated in parentheses, but rather Carly Smithson. Just FYI, you might want to fix that.
posted by Kerry Kolsch on Jun 16, 2009
This man obviously can not judge music. Adam should have won because of his amazing talent. Kris is ordinary and boring like Johns.They will not become musical icons as Adam will. Kris did not win because of appeal, he won by cheating in Arkansas. Check Google Trends and see who is more popular.Johns should have his ears checked!
posted by pichi on Jun 16, 2009
you suck....Kris is great and Adam is good??? You don't know what real talent is huh? You're probably insecure about Lambert...
posted by lulu on Jun 16, 2009
I met Michael and thought he was absolutely brilliant. i am a fellow aussie as well and we talked a little while. i was however really shocked to learn that he was a Kris Allen fan, i can't stand the little shrew. nevertheless i will continue to support my fellow aussie! can't wait for your album MJ
posted by Vada on Jun 16, 2009
Michael Johns is a class act, and this Kris Allen fan will be buying Michael's album.
posted by Carla/Bear on Jun 16, 2009
Amazing interview!!!! If we have anything to do with it, Michael Johns will be touring and making records for many years to come!!! That man is simply unbelievable!!!

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