Daughtry -- A Day in the Life
By Emily Tan Posted Aug 25th 2010 05:20PM
Being part of 'American Idol' will follow you wherever you go, but season five standout Chris Daughtry has managed to shake off the show's stigma and pave his own way toward rock star status.
After his stint on the hit show, he turned down a lead singer gig with Fuel and formed his own band, the aptly titled Daughtry, in 2006. With their multi-platinum and award-winning self-titled 2006 debut and 2009's 'Leave This Town' recently passing the million mark in sales, it's safe to say that Daughtry are doing pretty well on their own.
With an arena tour that wrapped last month, Daughtry and guitarist/co-songwriter Brian Craddock flew into New York City to promote the band's latest single, 'September,' and invited PopEater to experience what it's like rolling with the band.
Dressed in his signature V-neck T-shirt, jeans, boots and aviator shades, Daughtry strolled into SoHo restaurant Via Dei Mille to meet up with VH1. His demeanor cool throughout, Daughtry spent the next hour and a half answering questions and filming introductions. Clearly the perfectionist, he made sure his performance was flawless and even requested to do a number of takes before he got it right.
But Daughtry wasn't in work mode the whole time. After finishing up with VH1 and reuniting with Craddock to head to another interview at radio station Fresh 102.7, the bandmates broke out in impromptu country songs, which brought out the singer's country twang. While the band's next record may not feature sounds from the South, Craddock revealed that he would test out songs while Daughtry was asleep on the tour bus, which made the frontman wake up every morning and think he wrote a new song. "Generally, I wake up and then the next day think that really happened, that we were really onto something new there," Daughtry told PopEater.
While Daughtry had lots of fun on the road for the first half of 2010, he does admit that the touring life took a toll on his nutrition and eating habits. Now that he's back home, he'll be cutting back on the junk food and snacking on the healthy stuff. "It's going to be a little different than usual now that I'm on a diet," he said. "It won't be a bunch of McDonalds and Burger King bags laying around. That's a normal day in the life of this band. [I'm] giving up fast food, and it hurts."
Daughtry -- A Day in the Life
PopEater follows Daughtry around on a busy day in New York. See All Photos >>
Diana Levine for PopEater
Daughtry -- A Day in the Life
Daughtry will need all the healthy energy he can get -- he and his wife Deanna are expecting a set of fraternal twins. Although he was reticent to reveal details regarding the birth of the children, Daughtry did admit that the role of fatherhood has not only inspired him to compose lullabies for his children but also influenced the way he writes songs. "Certainly you feel that you don't want to put anything in your music that you wouldn't want your kids listening to," he said. "That's always in the back of my mind. Not only do we have a lot of kid fans, but more importantly, we want to be an example to our own kids."
After his time at the radio station, Daughtry had some time in his schedule to head back to the hotel and regroup before heading to his interview. Making their way from lower Manhattan to Times Square, Daughtry and his crew discussed Kings of Leon's run-in with defecating pigeons. As details of what happened to the Nashville rock band started to unfold in the conversation, Daughtry, a fan of the group, diplomatically said, "I hate saying what I'd do in a situation when I don't know the magnitude of what happened."
Although he didn't want to comment further on the pigeon incident, Daughtry confessed that he was in somewhat of a similar situation while on tour, only his involved bugs instead of birds. "We were in [California's] Koncti Harbor and when show time came, all the stage lights were up and you could see swarms of gnats," he said. "It's like they had their own clouds. You couldn't see through them and it was from the ground up. It was so bad, and I didn't really think about that until I started eating them. I'd be singing and breathing -- as you do as a human being -- and literally sucking gnats down my throat, choking, continuing to sing and rock the way we do."
The insects didn't stop him from performing, but he did tell the crowd about his little distraction. "I actually said, 'I think I ate a gnat' so they knew," he said. "I like to make those things known so they know what I'm up there choking on."
Like sharing his bug predicament, Daughtry makes sure he stays connected with his fans. After filming segments for MLB.com and NBC's 'Today Show,' he took some time out once we got to our final stop -- Sirius/XM -- to update his Twitter followers. "Got to check what's going on in the land of Twitterville," he said as he skimmed through the various tweets on his phone. "I usually tweet a few times a day, mostly to see what's going on. A lot of times, fans find out stuff before we do, so that's how I found out what we're doing half the time."
On his way to New York, Daughtry decided to show his 180,000 followers how he grooms himself, garnering well over 22,000 views for all three steps of his shaving process. That insight into his habits even led to a story on People.com. "I tweeted a picture from the airport just randomly, not to show off my beard or anything," he said. "You couldn't help but see it and everybody was dogging it. I was going to shave it off anyway because it was time to do interviews and stuff, but I felt they needed to see the process."
After a few minutes of tweeting, Daughtry and Craddock stepped into the radio company's studios to do an interview and record acoustic performances of 'It's Not Over' and 'September,' which seemed to catch the attention of everyone on the floor. No matter how hard Daughtry wants to rock, there's still a vulnerability and passion in his voice that seems to draw everyone in, especially on 'September,' a song he wrote about his childhood and living in a small town.
When asked about what advice he'd give his younger self when he was still a kid living in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., he declined to answer, saying he wouldn't want anything to be different. "I feel like it would change everything," he said. "It would change the way I pursued a career. I think it would make me lazy. Knowing the potential of a guaranteed thing would probably get in the way of or lessen my efforts."
With his current career, Daughtry can rest easy knowing those efforts have paid off -- in a big way.
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