Quiet Riot guitarist Alex Grossi and American Idol finalist James Durbin recently announced a new collaboration, Maps to the Hollywood Scars.
Volume One, the duo’s debut five-song EP, which was released today (February 17), sheds light on the darker side of Hollywood and the music industry—at least from the perspective of two of rock’s hardest-working artists.
Songs like “Roads” and “The Lost Boys” showcase the stinging one-two punch of Grossi’s ace guitar playing and Durbin’s powerful voice, while “Never Ending Ride” is a window to a post-apocalyptic world of ruin.
I recently spoke with Grossi and Durbin about Maps to the Hollywood Scars, Volume One—which is available now via Amazon and iTunes—and more in this exclusive interview.
How did this collaboration come about? How did you guys meet?
GROSSI: I met James in 2011 via a mutual acquaintance. I remember being taken back, not only by his obvious vocal prowess but by his knowledge and love for real rock n’ roll. Then, last year I went to a Vegas show he was doing, and we ended up jamming together at the after-party.
DURBIN: After the Vegas show I was involved in ended, I unexpectedly received an email from Alex sending me some instrumentals. I took a listen and was immediately inspired. We started sending ideas back and forth and before long decided, hell, why not make an album or two?
How would you describe the EP in terms of its sound—and maybe how it relates to some of your past projects?
DURBIN: We both have our own influences, and there’s an age gap between us, but I think that works to our advantage as far as the writing and crafting goes. It’s all loosely based around rock n’ roll, so it’s not hard for us.
GROSSI: It’s honestly like nothing I have done to date. We’ve both been involved in many different projects, but this happened so quickly and organically, it really stands on its own.
You’ve mentioned that this project was meant to showcase the darker side of Hollywood and the music biz. Can you elaborate on that?
GROSSI: It’s not really about selling the industry—or Hollywood—down the river. It’s more of a reflection of where the record industry was, is and where it’s going. What once gave artists and record labels a medium to actually sell music has now become a place where the general consensus is that music is free. Where some people will gladly spend $4 on a cup of coffee without batting an eyelash but feel totally fine about illegally downloading a song or record that cost thousands of dollars and countless hours to create, produce and market.
You can read the rest of my
Interview with Grossi and Durbin by Clicking Here!