Phillip Phillips has a serious case of the touring bug

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Phillip Phillips is going “a little crazy.” He’s been home on and off for the past few weeks, after touring with John Mayer and Matchbox Twenty. He can’t wait to hit the stage again.

“I’ve been itching to get on tour and everything,” a jovial Phillips says. “I haven’t been able to jam with my band.”
Phillips, who won the 11th season of “American Idol,” is taking to the road to support his latest album Behind the Light, which features the single “Raging Fire.”

“I really love it,” he explained about the song, which debuted at No. 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 after selling 74,000 digital copies. “It’s fun to play live. We wrote that song pretty quickly. We had the idea then we went and started something else. I says, ‘Let’s go back to that.’ We wrote it in four to five days, if that, probably less. We turned in a rough version of the song to the label and they says, ‘Well, this is awesome. We want to put this out next Tuesday. We had three to four days to finish it, master and mix it.’ It was crazy, so super fast. But it was good and I’m so proud of that song.”

For the collection, Phillips was able to experiment a bit more, after having rushed through his first post-“American Idol” release The World from the Side of the Moon. The album was nevertheless successful, having spawned the hits “Home” and “Gone, Gone, Gone.”

“It’s similar, but it’s different,” Phillips says of Behind the Light. “It’s more mature. You can tell there’s a lot of growth there. It’s a little bit deeper as well, lyrically. It takes you into a deeper side of things. Everyone goes through things in life, whether someone knows it or not. I think the lyrics really speak well on this album.

“From the first song ‘Searchlight’ to ‘Midnight Sun,’ it’s about life in general. I’m still young—only 23—but being out on the road for a couple years straight, every time you get to go home, you see the age in all your family and friends. Then, you look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I guess I’ve gotten older as well.’ That’s what this album is about.”

Phillips perform tracks from the album when he headlines Salt River Fields on Thursday, July 3. A native of Leesburg, Georgia, Phillips feels very blessed that he’s been able to spend so much time on the road. He’s created some strong friendships throughout the learning process.

“It’s hard to say who I learned the most from because John Mayer, he was so busy, but we got to hang out a little bit,” he says. “Rob Thomas was a great guy. They had a lot of great advice and they really respected how I played music. They were really nice to me and great with my whole crew. If I did ask them anything, they would say keep doing what you’re doing and keep making the right decisions.

Phillip Phillips w/Sara Robinson and the Midnight Special, The Senators, Matt Kahler, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, 800.745.3000, ticketmaster.com, Thursday, July 3, 5:30 p.m. $20-$40

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