Music & Nightlife

Phillip Phillips promises 'a lot of jammin'' in Charlotte

Phillips says he changes the set list for each concert, and he works in a couple songs from his upcoming third album.
Phillips says he changes the set list for each concert, and he works in a couple songs from his upcoming third album.

“American Idol” Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips is bringing his soulful vocals and pop-rock style to the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday, taking a break from recording his third album.

His coronation song, “Home,” became the best-selling of all coronation songs from the show, and his debut album “The World From the Side of the Moon” debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 in 2012.

Phillips, 25, recently talked by phone about his tour, his co-headliner Matt Nathanson, his forthcoming album, and life since “Idol.” (Answers have been modified for clarity and brevity.)

Q. What are you looking forward to most about this tour?

A. I love being on the road, honestly, and playing music for the fans that want to hear it. I love trying new food in each city. I’m in Kansas City right now and I went to Joe’s BBQ – it’s in a gas station, and boy it was so good.

Q. How did you and Matt Nathanson come to tour together?

A. My agent came to me and asked if I would want to do a co-headliner tour with him. I said, ‘Oh yeah, of course.’ We have a lot of mutual friends and I’ve heard so many great things about him. It just seemed like it made sense. ... He’s a funny guy. Every time I see him, he’s cracking me up, telling some kind of joke or a true story that sounds like a joke. He’s a great performer and just an all-around good guy.

Q. Have you finished any songs from your third album? Will any be featured in your concert this summer?

A. I’ve started playing a few songs. I’ve got three or four in rotation right now. The songs are great. I’ve finished about maybe six or seven. But after the tour I have to go back in the studio and finish the rest of them. It’s mostly just vocals, because I finished the music before tour. I’ve been playing a few songs lately, so hopefully y’all will hear one or two of them at least.

Q. What’s it been like since winning “American Idol”?

A. It’s been awesome. I’ve stayed so busy. You’ve got to work hard for what you want and you’ve got to have the right people around you to help you do that. I’ve had my wife – she’s been with me every step of the way. I stay busy doing something I love: playing music for people that want to hear it. Hopefully I’m gaining new fans and keeping my old ones. I love what I’m doing.

Q. Can you talk about your change from writing music in New York and moving to Nashville?

A. I wrote almost all the songs in Nashville for this next record. I got to make so many new and wonderful friendships writing there, and it’s just more my vibe. It’s a little slower-paced, but you’re concentrated on working and trying to write the best music you can. I want to keep writing there for years to come. It’s close enough to home, it’s in the South and it’s on the East Coast. I’m an East Coast guy, I’m a Southern dude. It’s just more my vibe and it’s far enough away that I can concentrate as well.

Q. Can you tease anything from your concert?

A. There’s a lot of jammin’, there’s some dancin’. I’m not a good dancer, but I just move around stage and dance in a way that might be uncomfortable. I like to get people singing and getting into it. It’s about the music, so we just have a good time. ... I change the set every night – a new show for every crowd. It keeps us on our toes.

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