By: James Wood for AXS
David Cook has never been afraid of changing things up. Nearly a decade after his “American Idol” win, the singer/songwriter continues to find new ways to combine his infectiously unique style and influences with elements of the here and now.
For his dramatic new single, “Gimme Heartbreak” Cook made a conscious decision to incorporate more cinematic pop elements into his music. His inspiration comes from such artists such as Halsey and Aurora while sticking to his rock foundation that includes influences like Nine Inch Nails and Massive Attack. The result is less of a reinvention and more of the next chapter in the career of one of rock’s most dynamic artists.
AXS recently spoke with Cook about the new single, his upcoming EP and touring.
AXS: “Gimme Heartbreak” represents a departure from some of your previous work. How did the song come about?
David Cook: I wrote “Gimme Heartbreak” with a guy named Steve Rusch. At the time, the demo was just lo-fi acoustic guitar and a programmed beat and not much else. As I was going though collecting songs for this new EP I had the idea where I really wanted to update the sound a little bit. I felt my last full-length record, Digital Vein was a nice, bookend to my career up to that point. For this one, I wanted it to have its own personality, so I leaned on old standbys. I’ve always been a big fan of rock music and bands like Our Lady Peace, Nine Inch Nails and Massive Attack. I had that bedrock to build on but I also wanted to tune it by adding some cinematic pop elements. I’m a big fan of Halsey’s first record, Badlands and a girl named Aurora, who has this great, really dark, pop record. I tried to lean on that a little bit while still maintaining the integrity of what my wheel house is.
AXS: “Gimme Heartbreak” is a preview of your upcoming EP. What can you tell me about it?
DC: We’ve got three songs tracked and I’ll be heading back in soon to record a few more. It’s very exciting. I’ve got a good rapport with my engineer, Andy Skib, who I worked with on the last record and has played guitar with me for a long time. We really know how to communicate with each other. It makes things fun and allows me to feel more comfortable in my own skin to try new things.