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For Daughtry, it's all about the rock

WANT TO GO?

Daughtry

With Beta Wolf and Mike Ruocco

WHERE: Clay Center

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 8

TICKETS: $35, $45 and $50

INFO: 304-561-3570 or www.theclaycenter.org

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Pop music runs in cycles. Sometimes one style is hot and then in a season or two, it's out of fashion. The audience moves on, exchanges one set of instruments for another and picks new faces to turn into American idols.

Nobody knows this better than rock star Chris Daughtry.

The 32-year-old "American Idol" contestant-turned-platinum selling recording artist performs Wednesday, August 8 with his band at the Clay Center. He said he's very much aware of the current musical landscape. 

"When you turn on the radio, the last thing you're going to hear is a distorted guitar," he said. "You're going to hear mostly synths and drum beats. Everything is so pop oriented. I sometimes wonder where we fit in on the radio."

Chris Daughtry broke through on the charts after placing fourth on "American Idol" in 2006. Originally offered the chance to lead one of his favorite bands, Fuel, he turned it down to strike out with his own band, Daughtry.

It turned out to be a good bet. The singer/songwriter from North Carolina scored a number of hits and released two multi-platinum selling albums, but as he pointed out, a lot has changed since he first started out.

"It's very different than what it was a few years ago when bands like us, Shinedown and Nickelback kind of dominated Hot AC [adult contemporary charts]."

Now, he said, the Top 40 airwaves mostly belong to pop singers and electronic artists.

Despite the apparent change in the music scene, Daughtry is still doing pretty well. The band's latest record, "Break The Spell," hit stores in late November and was certified gold by the middle of December.

The singer said he and his band are very happy with the new record.

"It's a little more up tempo," he said. "There's a little more movement to it."

So far the record has performed admirably, selling around 450,000 copies, but that's still a long way from the nearly 5 million copies his debut album sold. Nevertheless, the singer hopes the cycle changes again and seems to be willing to wait it out.

He laughed, "I just don't see us doing dance music anytime soon."

He said he doubted the band would ever do a duet with Katy Perry.

At the very least, Daughtry is doing his part to encourage people to come back to his kind of rock. His band has toured heavily in the U.S. through the spring and summer, and he's found time to meet with fans outside of the music world.

In July, the self-avowed Batman fanatic got a chance to go to Comic-Con in San Diego.

"I was there because I'm working with [DC Comics'] 'We Can Be Heroes' campaign, but also for my own selfish reasons: to look at nerd stuff."

Daughtry serves as ambassador for the campaign, which raises funds and awareness to help end hunger in the horn of Africa. Earlier this year, his band released a version of its original song, "Rescue Me," as a special download on iTunes.

"A hundred percent of the profits went to help get them food, water and so forth," he said.

The singer said he's seen "The Dark Knight Rises" three times and is very proud that he got a song, "Drown In You" on the "Batman: Arkham City" video game soundtrack.

After his band finishes the current tour, it's off to Europe for two months with Nickelback.

"It's our third time out with Nickelback," Daughtry said. "Those guys are like family to us."

Reach Bill Lynch at lynch@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.


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