Going deep into his memory banks, Chris Daughtry remembers that when he was a kid he always sang along to the radio, but never really considered himself to be a singer.
Oh, how times have changed.
“I was just always drawn to hooking melodies and at the time I had no idea what they were saying, but I just remember always singing along to the radio,” said Daughtry. “Then in my teenage years I kind of took it a little more seriously and started to emulate a lot of the groups that I loved and a lot of the bands that I was into. I picked up a guitar and started writing and fell in love with it from there.”
Chris Daughtry, who is the lead singer of the band Daughtry, along his with his band members, has managed to score four number one hits, sell more than eight million albums and 16 million singles, and earned four number one radio singles. Last year, the band dropped its fifth studio album Cage to Rattle and are now hitting the road on their brand new tour. One of their stops is on Long Island at the NYCB Theater at Westbury on Sunday, Aug. 25.
“We’re definitely playing a lot of the new songs off Cage to Rattle,” explained Daughtry. “We’re trying to give the fans what they want. It’s definitely a juggling act when you have five albums to pull from. There’s going to be some songs inevitably left on the floor that don’t get played and we hear that from the crowd. Sometimes I feel that songs some fans want to hear don’t necessarily go over as well live. Everyone has their favorites and trust me I get it. I remember going to see bands as a kid and I was like, ‘Dammit. You didn’t play this song.’ At the end of the day, we try to give them their money’s worth, give them an experience and we want them to feel like we were a part of something special. For that hour and a half, I want them to forget about all their problems and just feel like they’re a part of a bigger community that love and respect each other.”
Fans of Daughtry’s will get to hear the band’s newest single “As You Are,” which is a song that has a sentimental meaning for Daughtry, when they come out to see the show.
“That song to me was the heart and soul of the record,” Daughtry said. “That song was one of the first songs that I had written for this album. Actually my wife and I wrote the song in 2015. I believed in this song from the very beginning and I wanted it to see the light of day. The fact that we were able to get a [music] video made and get it released to radio was a huge feat. It was the song that means a lot to us and we’re so glad to be getting the response that we’re getting from so many people who saw the video and so many people who connected to it early on when the record came out. It definitely means a lot to us.”
Interestingly enough, the band’s first single “Deep End” off the new album wasn’t a favorite of Daughtry’s.
“That song if I’m being 100 percent honest wasn’t my favorite song on the record,” Daughtry said. “It was a song that came in much later in the process. The label basically said, ‘Hey. We have this song that we think you should record.’ At the state [the album] was in I was like, “No, I’m good. That’s not my bag, but thanks anyway.” They kept harping on it and eventually I was like ‘Alright. Let me at least have my way with it and make it my own.’ Then of course I ultimately gave in and recorded the song. It didn’t do what they had hoped and obviously it didn’t do what I hoped. It’s just one of those classic scenarios that you hear from a lot of artists.”
According to Daughtry, the making of Cage To Rattle was a trying process since the band had to deal with schedule conflicts while also facing the ups and downs of touring.
Artists That Daughtry Digs Today
Those who know music know that it’s a constantly evolving medium. So who does Daughtry currently like listening to?
“I love this band called Nothing But Thieves,” he said. “I’m obsessed with them. Obviously The Black Keys, which their new album I’m digging [too]. I’m all over the place. I’m a sucker for some good pop music, but I love Charlie Puth and the stuff he puts out. Irish artist Lewis Capaldi, I dig his voice and he’s doing well. I’m always on the hunt for something good to listen to. I just got excited and saw that Tool is releasing a new album.”
“It’s hard being in creating mode and touring mode at the same time,” Daughtry explained. “They don’t really go hand-in-hand at least for me. Once I’m in the creative mode, the last thing I want to do is get on the road and vice versa. There was a lot of that going on and I think it slowed the process down a little bit. Creatively, I think there was some head butting going on just because we got a clash of personalities with working with different people. We never worked with [producer] Jacquire before. It was a learning curve as well. Any record where you’re creating something that means that much to you, there’s always going to be some conflict of opinions and different takes on how things should be done. In the end of it, you hope that you both are going for the same goal and I think we were. We were very happy with how it all turned out, but it definitely was not the most harmonious of processes.”
Currently, out of all the songs that are within the band’s vast catalog, the song “Backbone” from the band’s latest album is Daughtry’s favorite song to perform.
“I think it changes every album,” Daughtry said. “I think for whatever reason ‘Backbone’ is one of my favorite songs to perform live. It’s got all the elements. It’s got that groove that makes you want to move and the bluesy vibe to it. It sits right there on the sweet spot on my voice where it’s not killing me yet and I get to have fun with it. ‘As You Are’ [also] has a completely different vibe. It’s something that’s very unifying when you play it and you can just feel it.”
If you’re a fan of Daughtry’s you might have also taken a peep at some of his sketches on his social medias of various superheroes that he has drawn in his spare time.
“I started to pick up a pencil when I was a little kid similar to how I approached music and I would emulate the people that I loved and the artists that I was into,” Daughtry explained. “Obviously in high school I took a lot of art classes. I think I just ended up getting better as an adult because I was around the likes of Jim Lee who became a bit of a mentor to me and would kind of correct my work. I would send him something that I was working on just for fun and he would send it back with a bunch of red marks and little notes like remember your perspective here and little stuff like that. I was like ‘Man, my teenage self would be in complete disbelief right now. His hero is teaching him these things’ and I’ve been very fortunate to be friends with much more accomplished artists than I’ll ever be and I try to learn as much as I can.”
So what does the rest of 2019 look like for the band?
“We’re going to be doing some spot dates on and off for the rest of the year,” said Daughtry. “I think next year it’s going to be pretty busy for us road wise. So we’re kind of taking it easy for the rest of the year. We have a few dates and weekend shows and then we want to plan something a little more spectacular for next year.”
For tickets to see Daughtry live at the NYCB Theater at Westbury on Sunday, Aug. 25, at 8 p.m. visit livenation.com.