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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Constantine Maroulis On Life After Idol
Wednesday, May 02, 2007

He had the stare that enraptured the hearts of millions of girls during his run on American Idol. His long hair and leather jacket had many thinking he was a bit of a bad boy, but the truth is Constantine Maroulis was, and is, a lot more Broadway than back alley. Maroulis’ Idol appearance actually came right after he had finished up a tour with the hit musical Rent, and after Idol he appeared in The Wedding Singer and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Now, however, he is ready to hit listeners with an album, a little piece of Constantine to get people excited again, and this week I sat down with him to talk about his music, the disparity between his image on Idol and the real him, and why he says he’ll never fully consider himself a success.

Adam Bernard: How was your American Idol experience? What do you feel you learned from it?
Constantine Maroulis: It was just tremendous for me, the entire experience. I was somebody that was out there, sort of in the field. I went to drama school, I went on the road with bands and Broadway productions and had been through the whole audition process for ten years really, so I went into the experience sort of like wow, this is a job interview so I’m going to do my best, I’m going to show em what I got, I’m going to try and milk it for everything I can, if you know what I mean. Looking back on it I feel like I’ve learned a great deal. I feel much more comfortable on stage, in front of the camera, I have a great fan base that are very loyal and so dedicated and an opportunity to work with the best people in the business, probably an opportunity that I would have never gotten before.

Adam Bernard: Are you back with the band you were with before Idol? What are you working on right now?
Constantine Maroulis: Oh no, Pray for the Soul of Betty… I guess I left them about a year ago. Cool guys, we did our thing, but we never really had the time or the, I dunno, the X factor, if you know what I mean. We started the band right before I went on Rent tour and then I took the band on Rent tour with me. We played all around the country and that was a great experience, but we didn’t even know how to play as a band. We had a few songs, and of course when Idol sort of made that part of my storyline on the show they became very popular and people were really responding to the music and the vibe and it was sort of angry and pissed off, but it really wasn’t me. I guess I can be angry and pissed off, but I’m really a singer and I tried to maintain that alt-rock persona with the band and then go and sing “My Funny Valentine” on the show and it just didn’t work and I think it confused people because I do like to do a lot of different things, I like to sing in a lot of different styles. I love acting, I love Shakespeare, I’m a writer, a director, I like to dance, so I think I confused people a little bit, but now in this last year I’ve put this tremendous new band together of very experienced professionals that can play anything and everything. They’ve toured with everybody, they’ve been solo artists, it’s like a hand-picked New York band that is just great. We’re coming out with a record on my own label, Sixth Place Records. I’ve started this company and plan on developing it, the record side and the theatrical side. I also want to produce some plays. I figure I have the background and I know what the artist wants, as well. I’m an actor of the stage and I think as a producer I can accommodate the actors and really put together a great show. There are so many young, talented, people out there that I would like to work with and develop, so I think that would be great.

Adam Bernard: So tell me your list, who would you like to work with that you haven’t worked with already?
Constantine Maroulis: Oh wow. Sure there’s your wish list that’s just untouchable. I grew up worshipping U2 and classic rock like Led Zeppelin. I love Norah Jones, I think she’s amazing and really gifted. I think that John Mayer is doing some really great things right now. He was at Berklee (College of Music) when I was at Boston Conservatory and I did my minor at Berklee. He ended up leaving kind of early, I think he left after a semester or two, but he’s doing OK now. And do you know what I love about John Mayer and what he’s doing? He’s been at it almost ten years now and he came out with the pop songs and he got people hooked in, but he’s really showing people what he’s made of these last few years. He came out with that cool Trio record where he was shredding the shit outta that guitar, and now his songwriting has gone to other places and it’s worldly and inspirational. He is really a very gifted musician and I think a lot of people didn’t realize that at first. I hope to have that sort of success and I’d also love to do movies and get into more acting.

Adam Bernard: You’ve spent a significant amount of time on the road. When you’re on tour what do you like to do when you hit a new city?
Constantine Maroulis: When I first get into a new little town I just go for a walk. I usually go grab a cup of coffee somewhere, talk to some of the locals, get a feel for the vibe of the town. I walk around, check out some coffee shops, go into some vintage stores because they have the best clothes and they’re cheap, unlike in New York and LA where they’re more expensive than when you walk into some boutique or some fancy store. I also like to go into old record stores, look through those. And I always ask what the best restaurants are and try to get to one of those.

Adam Bernard: What’s most important to you in this world?
Constantine Maroulis: I think it’s gotta be my family. I’ve put them through it in my life. I really have. They didn’t know what to think of me for a while there. I said I wanted to be a singer, I wanted to be an actor and they said how are you going to do this, how are you going to do that? They were so worried about me, but they always supported me in their way and I have a great brother and sister who are much older but they’ve always been very supportive. Sometimes I have a hard time saying it or showing it but they mean the world to me. I do it for them, I’m always seeking their approval, even still, even though now my father, who is sick, thinks I’m like a big star, he doesn’t know the real ins and outs of what I do, but it’s pretty awesome to have that approval. So yeah, I think family in general. Listen man, I’m sort of a role model. I’m not perfect, but I’ve stumbled into this situation where lots of little kids look up to me and what I do and they think I’m cool and all this stuff and I have a responsibility to them and to the rest of the fans, I feel. I’m not some street punk, but I have a bit of mileage on me, I’ve been around the block and I do have a responsibility to them to behave and to conduct myself in a way and not be afraid to say that family means a lot to me and they’re a huge inspiration and they’re a huge part of what I do.

Adam Bernard: Complete this sentence: I will consider myself a success when…
Constantine Maroulis: I don’t think I’ll ever just consider myself a success. I think when you do that you sort of sell yourself short and that hunger goes away. As long as I can stay hungry I feel I’ll be able to achieve everything that I want to do in this life. I try and surround myself with great people that create a positive environment for me and a great creative environment. I’m very excited about my professional teams that I’ve put together and I’ve taken the time and put enough space between myself and my time on the show where I feel like I’ve found my voice, I’ve found my songs, I’ve found my place in the recording industry and I’m excited about putting this album out and I think that people are really going to respond to it. I’m a pretty humble guy, I think people have the wrong impression of me sometimes and they feel I come across cocky but when I perform it’s different, you sort of take on a different animal and sometimes it’s a little sex, it’s a little confidence. I grew up with a good family around me, I’m a pretty humble guy, I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself too successful. I keep it kind of low. I live in a small apartment, I’m pretty frugal, I haven’t even had a vacation in the last five or six years. To spoil yourself and just go away on an island somewhere? I don’t even remember what that feels like.

For more Constantine, including some of his new music, check out myspace.com/constantinemaroulis.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:49 AM  
  • At 11:01 AM, Blogger Theresa said…

    Thanks for a terrific interview with Constantine. Your questions helped to bring out some really neat things about him.

  • At 8:04 PM, Blogger beebee said…

    Thank you for a great interview with Constantine. Loved your questions and his answers seemed honest and sincere. I am looking forward to hearing his music.

  • At 9:57 PM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    Love the interview. I am hoping Constantine has a very long and phenomenally successful career. He's pretty easy on the eyes, too.

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