met Jim Verraros at LA Pride and was not only impressed by his looks but
his talent. After his set I ran into him talking with a bunch of his
fans and we spoke. He possessed a few qualities I like in a guy- good
looks, talent, sincerity and most of all a wicked sense of humor. I hope
you enjoy this interview.
Punk Globe: Jim!
You are from a suburb of
Can you give the readers some background on yourself?
I am from
It's a northwest suburb about 45 minutes from downtown
I'm 22 years old, and came in 9th place on the first season of American
Idol back in 2002. Since the show, we went on a 30 city tour, I did an
independent film called, "Eating Out," and just released my debut album,
"Rollercoaster," on April 26th, 2005. My single, "You Turn It On," is
#27 on the Billboard Dance Club Play Chart.
I read that both your parents are hearing impaired?
Yes, both of
my parents are deaf. They weren't born deaf; both had contracted German
Measles at six weeks old. And their loss of hearing was a result of high
fevers. I grew up fluent in sign language and was given an enormous
amount of responsibility at a very young age. It allowed me to be very
close to adults, rather than children my own age.
Punk Globe: At what age did you learn Sign Language? My good friend
and a writer for Punk Globe, Kathy Peck was having problems with her
hearing after playing for years with her punk band The Contractions. She
was able to have surgery to recover a lot of her hearing. She formed a
Non Profit Organization called H.E.A.R. Hearing Education Awareness for
Her site hhttp://www.hearnet.com She did an article for Punk Globe about
hearing and it made quite an impact on the readers.
used sign language around the time I spoke. They went hand in hand.
You are of Greek heritage correct? My favorite contestant from this
year’s American Idol competition was Constantine and he was also Greek.
Did you enjoy the Queen song he did for American Idol?
My father was
born in Greece, so I am mostly Greek. My mother is German, Irish, French
and English. I thought Constantine did a great job on this year's
American Idol. Kudos to
Punk Globe: While going to college, I read you were involved with
Theater. Did you have a band
while attending College?
I did not
have any band whatsoever while I was in college. Although looking back,
I wish I had! It would've been great practice for me.
Globe: You auditioned for the very first American Idol. How old were you
then? Did you audition in Chicago?
How long was it before you were told you would be going to LA?
I was 19 at
the time of auditioning for the first season, in Chicago. I had to go
through one audition for the producers before I sang for the judges.
Punk Globe: I would like to congratulate you on getting into the Top
10 finalists. I can only imagine how much stress that you were feeling.
Who did you bond with during the competition?
mostly with EJay, who came in 10th place. But I loved everyone equally.
Since we were all from the first season, we didn't know what to expect
from the show, so we all enjoyed every minute of it.
Punk Globe: After Kelly Clarkson won that year, the Top 10 American
Idol Finalist all went out on a large tour. How many Cities did you
We did a 30
city tour in 40 days. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my
life. I was able to interact with the crowd in ways I couldn't on the
show. The crowd definitely saw a different side of us rather than what
just the cameras showed. The crowd was really responsive, and had a
Any show or shows that really stuck out as special?
personally, it was definitely performing at the All State Arena in
Chicago. Since it was my hometown, people seemed to really support me,
and seeing the posters that were made for me was just such an
overwhelming feeling. I definitely gave it my all, especially for
Punk Globe: I understand that you were keeping a journal on your
Website that Fox asked you to close down? Tell us about that.
I was keeping a Live
journal while attending college...I was very open about my sexuality on
it, but Fox had found it and asked me to remove it. They asked all of
the contestants who had their own websites to remove them, so I don't
think it had anything to do with my sexuality. At least, I hope it
There is an Actor Matthew Metzger on the ABC Soap “One Life To Live”
that also was on American Idol. Was he on the same year as you? Robin Strasser
who portrays Dorian Lord on OLTL has a hotline number that was pretty
forthright about her feelings about the politics at the show that got
her in hot water with ABC. She did not have to shut it down but was told
to “tone down” her messages. However when the show did not renew her
contract. When a new Producer came to helm, co-star Erika Slezak (Vikki)
came to bat to get Robin back on the show.
on the second or third season, I believe.
Punk Globe: You also have done a Movie Called “Eating Out”. Tell us
about the Movie?
Eating Out is
a college comedy, similar to that of American Pie. It's about a guy who
has to play gay to get the girl he wants. I play Kyle, who is a gay
musician who lusts after Marc, played by Desperate Housewives' Ryan
Carnes. He's the guy who isn't so attractive, kind of nerdy, but
Globe: Where are you currently living?
I currently reside
Lake with my sister and parents. It’s nice to be here and not have to
constantly question other people's motives. There’s a kind of comfort
here that I don't find in Los Angeles.
Globe: I read something regarding your co-star being the gardener on
“Desperate Housewives.” Jesse Metcalfe, who plays hunky John, (who has
sex with Gabrielle on Desperate Housewives) is my neighbor and really a
Yeah, Ryan Carnes
who played the gay gardener was my co-star in Eating Out. Very sweet,
very down to earth. It's so awesome to do a film with people and see
where they end up afterwards.
Globe: What label is your CD “Rollercoaster” on? You worked
with Producer Gabe Lopez. It seemed to be so right for you. Please tell
the readers about your working relationship with him.
I am signed to Koch
Records, home to The Cardigans, Beth Hart, Boyz II Men, and Carole King.
Gabe is an amazing producer, and is very much a true musician. He
believed in me from the start when no one else did, and took me towards
a path, musically of George Michael...or something similar to what he
does. After working together for a little over a year, we shopped the
entire record, and Koch Records picked it up, and truly believes in
the project. I knew that they were the label for me to go with. Gabe is
also a singer/songwriter and you can find his tunes at
Globe: Tell us how you came up with the title for the CD?
"Rollercoaster" is just a one-word description that encompasses my life
before Idol, after Idol, and present-time. It's been a time of ups and
downs, twists and turns...very unstable. It also describes the album as
well. There are high points, low points...and I felt as though
"Rollercoaster," was the word to truly define my life and music.
Globe: You have a Woman named Angela who was also on American Idol
singing on your CD right?
Yes, Angela Peel
co-wrote and sings backup on a few of the album’s tracks. She was in the
top thirty of the first season. She is also from Chicago,
and her talent is unreal. I had to have her on this record. (http://www.angelapeel.com)
Globe: How is it doing on the charts? Your reviews have been very
there isn't top 40 radio play, or a video to help the promotion, it's
doing okay. Right now, I've really leaned on my gay fan base, and word
of mouth. The gay press has been so incredibly supportive, so they've
really carried me. Hopefully in the near future things will pick up for
me. My fans are definitely digging the record, which makes me feel
Globe: I know that you have been compared to a younger version of George
Michael After seeing you perform at Pride I would agree.
Jim Verraros: I've
been a huge fan of George Michael for years. I think he's an incredible
artist and would love to achieve just HALF of what he has in his career.
I think the comparison is an amazing one, so thank you for that. I hope
to work with him on future collaborations.
Globe: I have also heard comparisons to Justin Timberlake.
Jim Verraros: I
think Justin Timberlake is amazing, too. His transition from boyband-er
to solo artist happened so smoothly. And the music he's doing now just
fits. He has an edge about him that I truly love. I'm curious to see
what he does next.
I think there's a
few Prince elements on the record, too. I'm influenced by so many people
that it's hard to do a record that's so one-sided. I love all types,
even Punk Rock...who knows. Maybe on my second record I'll go Punk. ;-)
Globe: Did you enjoy your performance at LA Pride this year? You had the
crowd eating out of your hand. I was so impressed how much attention you
gave to all your fans who approached you after the show. That says a lot
about a performer.
I'm so critical of
my performances that I always think I can do better. The crowd was
amazing, and so much more supportive than I'd ever thought they'd be. I
am so grateful for them supporting me that I'd take all night signing
whatever they wanted me to. I think a lot of artists forget that
fans are the ones who are putting money into YOUR pockets. They're the
ones spending their hard earned money on YOU because they love you. To
me, that's amazing, and will always do anything I can for a fan. It's
weird because I don't even think of them as fans, just friends who are
there for you.
Have you listened to
the White Trash Debutantes CD I gave you? Any favorite songs? I read you
enjoy Latin /Salsa Music. Did you enjoy our version of Livin' La Vida
Loca? I love my Love Hog Ricky..We also were in an Independent Film
called "Tweek City." The film used "Heartbreaker" and " Whipping Boy."
I haven't listened
to it yet, but trust me...I'm more than curious to find out what it's
all about. I
love all types of music, so I'm sure I love your album just as much as
Do you enjoy Punk
Rock? Who are your favorites?
I love Punk rock. I
love The Ramones, Fugazi, L7, Courtney Love, of course. Some people
think Punk Rock is all about bad singing and screaming...but if you pay
attention to lyrics, a lot of it is filled with passion and honesty. You
can't create better music than that.
Globe: I know I mentioned this when I met you, I saw your American Idol
co- finalist on MTV’s “Surreal Life”. Did you get to see it? She had
issues with Brigitte Nielson and Flavor Flav. If you were invited to
live at the Surreal House whom would you like to live with?
Yeah, I did watch
Ryan on The Surreal Life. It was pretty funny. She was so paranoid about
being this pop singer. But to move on from the past, you have to embrace
the past too. I think everyone forgets where they come from sometimes.
If I were invited to do the Surreal Life, I'd like to live with all hot
Abercrombie Male Models. That and George Michael. That would be a house
I'd never want to leave. lol...
Oh, I would
pick Johnny Depp, Bebe Buell, Anna Nicole Smith, Courtney Love, Kirstie
Alley, Jesse Metcalfe, Lois Dolan, Ricky Martin and Efren Ramirez (Pedro
from "Napoleon Dynamite'). I thought that for about 90% of the show
Ryan was really anal and just could not loosen up and have fun. I was
reading Ryan Starr's Website and she has some interesting thoughts about
music. I read growing up she admired Janis Joplin and Pat Benetar but
she feels there are now no real Women Rockers. Her goal is to fill that
she been under a rock and not heard of myself, Courtney Love, L7, Bebe
Buell, Debbie Harry, Brody Dalle from the Distillers and all the other
RAWKING Women.... I like her thoughts about ROCK not being a boy’s only
there are some strong Women working who have so much clit they don’t
need no balls!
Punk Globe: I noticed you have a My Space site. Please give the
readers your My Space address and also the URL for your Website.
I do have a
myspace site. I actually have two. My regular one is:
and my music myspace site is:
My website is http://www.jimverraros.com, and yes I do actually read my own fan
mail and respond. That's really important to me, so I make an effort to
respond back to anyone that writes me.
Globe: Any plans for a summer tour?
I'm doing a lot of gay prides right now, so hopefully a club tour will
be happening this
summer too. If you guys hear I'm performing, come out and see me!
What are the plans
for the future? Any Movies, Recording Projects?
I really loved doing
"Eating Out," so I'd love to do some more independent films. I hope
scripts come my way...and of course a second record will happen as well.
I think people will just have to stay tuned to see what happens. This
industry is so crazy that you never know what'll happen. I could get one
phone call tomorrow that may change my life, or not. All I know is that
I'm really excited to see what may be in the cards for me.
I would like to
thank Jim for taking time out of his busy schedule to do this interview
for Punk Globe... We all wish you continued success......