Catching up with Phillip Phillips, opening for Goo Goo Dolls 9/4 Chastain

This was posted on Friday, September 1, 2017 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Phillip Phillips is the most unassuming guy to ever get caught up in a lawsuit with his management company.

The season 11 "American Idol" winner, the only one from Georgia to date and the last "Idol" to generate actual hits, finally settled his case with 19 Entertainment over what he felt was unfair treatment after three years of legal wrangling.

While Phillips toured consistently during that time, he hadn't been able to release new music. His latest "Miles" just came out and he is playing four or five new songs while opening for the Goo Goo Dolls. His stop in Atlanta this year is at Chastain Park on Labor Day. (He has in past years opened for Matchbox 20 and John Mayer as well as co-headline with O.A.R. and Matt Nathanson.)

Buy tickets here.

"Miles," he said in an interview today, "really explains the last three years in its own way without being too specific."

Sample lyrics: "Cause we're works of art/ We're falling stars/ We're fire waiting for a spark/ Yeah, we're gonna be miles up, up, up/ No, we're never gonna come down."

"I try to make songs universal," Phillips said. "People who know what I've been through knows what the song means to me. It's been good to get that out and be done with everything in the past."

Phillips said writing music at first during the middle of the legal battle was difficult. "It was tough, man," he said. "I had time to think and be inside my head. That's good and not so good. I wasn't inspired at first when I tried to write. I then talked it out with some friends and that helped. I eventually found that place to be creative. It turned into something amazing."

Externally, he comes across as a mellow dude but the uncertainty ate at him. "I don't really get mad," he said. "But friends could tell it was draining me emotionally."

He said his third studio album will likely be out in early 2018. He said he feels sort of silly explaining his music, well aware that artists frequently say their next album is the best yet, is their most mature work, etc. "The best I can say is it's an honest record," he said.

There was good stuff that happened in that time period as well. He got married to his long-time girlfriend in 2015 and she has been a great support for him through the legal ordeal. "I'm just glad to be over that and be married without that stress," he said.

Phillips, who has battled kidney stones in the past, said he's healthy. "I need to put on a few pounds of muscle," he said. "But I love to eat. I love chocolate. I'll work out. Then at night, I'll eat a freakin' hot brownie or skillet cookie. It all evens out. Right?"

He is aware "Idol" is coming back and made the same joke Diana DeGarmo did with me a couple weeks ago: "Did it ever go away?" In reality, he hardly pays attention to TV reality shows. He'll catch stuff on Amazon Prime or Netflix and is currently watching original episodes of "Twin Peaks" - not the Showtime revival but the early '90s version. "It's so cheesy," he said. He also likes psychological thrillers and plans to catch "It" when it comes out September 8.

Phillips said he wouldn't mind doing a cameo in a horror movie but acting isn't his thing. He did play himself on CBS's short-lived series "Pure Genius" last year. "That was easy," he said.


Phillip Phillips opening for the Goo Goo Dolls

7:30 p.m. Labor Day, September 4


Chastain Park Amphitheatre

Buy tickets here

About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.