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Interview:
Lee DeWyze at 20 Front Street, 3 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

» See more SOUND CHECK

Lee DeWyze had a musical life before “American Idol,” and he’s maintained it since.

The singer-songwriter from suburban Chicago had already released two albums before winning “Idol’s” ninth season in 2010, and since then he’s released four more, returning to the independent world for his most recent releases. He’s also enjoyed myriad placements for his songs in ads, TV shows and sporting events, and he wrote “Blackbird Song” for “The Walking Dead.”

DeWyze’s latest, “Paranoia,” came out Feb. 16 and displays a quieter, more ambient sound than we’ve heard before. And, he tells us, that was completely by design...

• DeWyze, 31, says by phone that on “Paranoia”, “I tried not to say ‘I’m gonna make a Lee DeWyze record right now.’ That my mean different things to different people; For me what it means was I’m gonna go in there without a preconceived notion of what this record is supposed to sound like. I’m going to make the record I want to make. I was really in the moment with it all. I just ran with it. Every time I ran across something where I’d think, ‘Would I do this here?,’ if the answer was no I was like, ‘Then let’s push it all the way!’ It was really fun to explore those different things on this record.”

• Lyrically DeWyze says that his writing on “Paranoia” was “very open and honest and kind of therapeutic in a lot of ways. I didn’t want to disguise the emotion behind the music. I wanted the lyrics to be in the forefront.” A good case in point is the song “Closer,” which he says is “kind of about my career path, from the beginning to where it is now. It’s very much about seven years ago, eight years ago, whenever (‘American Idol’) was, to now. It’s about the emotional roller coaster of all that.”

• Despite his history with the show, DeWyze doesn’t plan on watching much of the new “American Idol” when it returns on March 11. “I’m going to be on tour and promoting my record, so it’s not on top of my priority list,” he says. “I know a lot of people who work behind the scenes, and I’m happy for them. I’m sure the show will be successful. If I can catch it I’ll catch it; If not, that’s OK, too. I’ve experienced it, so watching it is a little funny for me. Right now it’s all about the record and what I’m doing now, getting on the road and seeing the fans.”



• If You Go: Lee DeWyze performs at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at 20 Front Street, Lake Orion. Tickets are $25-$60. Call 248-783-7105 or visit 20frontstreet.com.

Web Site: www.20frontstreet.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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