I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Jason Castro, former American Idol contestant, just before the release of his debut solo album in April 2010.
Bill: It seems like it's been a long wait for the debut album to come out. Have you been at all impatient?
Jason: Pretty patient. It has been a long time. I was on Idol a few years ago now, but the whole thing has taken about as long as it should I feel. You know I was on the tour and then I moved to L.A. as far as writing and meeting people. I lived there for about a year before I got my record deal. As soon as I signed my record deal I tried writing a little, and I sat down and recorded last fall.
Since then I've been just touring, promoting, going to radio stations and stuff getting ready to launch the album. All of it's pretty normal, and here we are. It does feel like a long time though.
Bill: Are there any surprises for Jason Castro fans on the album?
Jason: I think with what people saw on the show it's pretty much a continuation of that. I think there will be a lot of things that are familiar. Even songs like "Hallelujah" I recorded for this album. Lots of intimate songwriter kind of things like that, but there's also some more upbeat, rocking songs. I think those will probably surprise the fans more than anything else. I didn't do too much of that on the show.
I've grown a lot and worked a lot. I started playing with a band which is something I've never done before, and it shaped things a little bit.
Bill: Could you name three favorite songs of yours on the album?
Jason: Yeah. Three favorites, let's go, let's say "It Matters To Me" is probably my favorite. "This Heart of Mine" is another favorite. It kind of snuck up on me. "Love Uncompromised" is also a favorite. It's on there and also on my EP. I would say "Love Uncompromised" to round that out.
Bill: What other music are you listening to these days? Is there anything new that has caught your attention?
Jason: I haven't gotten into a lot of new music lately. I kind of dip into the past. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Tom Petty which is something I didn't really listen to growing up, so it's kind of things like that I'm just exploring and going backwards. Also, John Mayer is on constant rotation. He's amazing. What else? Lady Antebellum actually.
Bill: I was reading that you are a Crystal Bowersox fan when watching this year's Idol...
Jason: I am.
Bill: What about Crystal Bowersox do you like other than, obviously, the hair?
Jason: You know I was steering away from her because of the hair. I didn't wanna be typical, because I had actually met her during Hollywood week. I was like, "Oh cool...that's cool. Is she just saying hi to me just because we've got dreads? Is she any good?"
I saw her actually for the first time this last week when she sang the Janis Joplin song, and I thought she was amazing. I watched a couple of other performances that night which I thought were alright, but she was definitely like the shining star to me. I haven't seen too much. I can't say definitively that I think that she's the one who should win, but she's definitely my favorite that I've seen.
Bill: What do you think of Ellen (DeGeneres) as a new judge?
Jason: You know I think she's cool. I haven't gotten to watch too many episodes like I said, but I also got to catch a glimpse of her during Hollywood week, and I thought she just had a great personality that was really fun and interactive and really kept my attention. I enjoyed her.
Bill: Let's say you are going to be in town for a concert next week. What should I say to my friends to convince them to go to the show?
Jason: (laughs) That's a good one. Well, if I were you, I would probably like my music or something, so I would probably force them to listen to me as you were driving around in the car. I'd mention it and say, "C'mon, let's go. I need someone to go to the show. It will be a blast." Because it will be, and the shows are always fun. You know, if you really need something to push it over you can use the American Idol line. "Hey, it's that guy from American Idol." I think you might get some takers then. I don't know.
Bill: After the album comes out, what's up next? More touring?
Jason: More touring, yeah. I'm set to start my first headlining tour on April 17th after the album is released and that takes us through May. Then we'll see. We're hopin to hop on another tour, and that's kind of in the works right now. That's the plan. Tour, tour, tour. Spent the last year writing and recording. Spend the next year touring.