American Idol favorite Taylor Hicks is bringing his acoustic tour to a city near you. Prior to taking the stage here in New Hope, PA, he chatted with Explore NJ about everything from his thoughts on American Idol’s farewell season, to what he likes doing in his spare time. Our interview is posted below. Enjoy!
WHITNEY: Tell us about the New Hope, Pennsylvania on April 24th?
HICKS: Well, I’m kind of doing an acoustic tour. I’m playing really small venues. I wanted to create kind of a story-teller vibe in some of these shows… I just feel like for right now I’m just breaking in new music and wanted to go out and do an intimate acoustic tour.
Why do you think people want to see an acoustic tour? Have you received that specific feedback?
HICKS : I have. I think a lot of people have seen me on bigger stages. Not to mention, the Vegas show was a long run in Vegas. It’s almost like a “Getting to Know Taylor Again” kind of tour, but from a musically more organic spot, so to speak.
I like that. I think the fans would love that as well. When you came back for American Idol, what was that like for you? How did you feel?
HICKS : It was kind of endearing. I thought American Idol, the way that they did their farewell season, was really a great send off for an iconic television show. It wasn’t just pulled off the air. I think everybody celebrated the fact that American Idol was a part of our lives for a long time. To a certain degree, taught us how to text message, in a way. (laugh) I think the way they did the farewell season was really just beneficial to the whole idea of what American Idol stood for and for the people that were able to display their talents on that show, and ultimately go on to succeed in show business.
That’s true. Do you keep in touch with a lot of the people?
HICKS : I do! When we all came back for the finale that night, it was really great to see each other. I think once your on the show there’s a competitive nature, but once you’re off the show you truly want everyone to do well.
Who do you really get along with the most?
HICKS : I would say, there’s so many. A lot of people from my season. Kelly, Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry … we all talk. When you go through a season of television, and especially season five, you really do go through notoriety together. I think that’s a bond that kind of keeps you close.
At the end of the last show, when Ryan Seacrest gave his farewell, they cut to B-roll and he says, “For now!” What do you think that meant? Do you think it will come back in another form?
HICKS : I think it will in another form. I think that one of the most iconic TV programs in history is … it’s the old saying: You always want to leave them wanting more. I think we shouldn’t abandon that idea.
Yeah. I agree. Would you want to be a judge?
HICKS : I would love to be a judge! I would rather be a host than a judge.
Okay! Watch out Ryan, right? (laughs)
HICKS: (laughs) We’ll see.
Now, talk to us about the show that you have. You’re a foodie. You have a restaurant. Tell us about this new TV show.
HICKS : The TV show is a food and travel show called State Plate. Which is kind of a play off of State license plate.
Basically it’s going to be airing in the fall on the INSP network. It will be kind of a micro dirty jobs version of kind of a farm to table concept with foods being specific to a particular state. In layman’s terms, filling up a state plate full of state foods.
Are you planning on going to every state for this, or do you have select states?
HICKS : Well, first we’re shooting … we have select states, but yes, I think the idea, just from an educational standpoint is to visit all fifty states.
What else would you like to tell your fans that haven’t really heard from you in awhile?
HICKS : I’m really excited about putting out new music and obviously putting new television together. I think this year has really kind of started off with a bang which is great. Not to mention touring extensively. I guess the idea is that I’ll be seeing each of you at some point some time soon with as much touring as I’m doing.
One last question. What’s something that we don’t know about you? Is there anything fun, like a hidden talent, or something really cool that we don’t know?
HICKS : I’m a pretty avid scuba diver.
Really! Okay, where’s your favorite place to scuba dive?
HICKS : It’s funny, I really don’t have a particular place. I love to dive the Caribbean. I’m just a really big proponent of scuba diving just for the mind and the body. I think it lets all of us know how small we are in the grand scheme of things and how much more we have to explore the ocean floor.