Mike Ruocco reteams with Daughtry for inaugural solo outing
As the singer of Cinder Road, Mike Ruocco found it to be a "dream come true" to tour with Daughtry as part of the "American Idol" contestant's first U.S. jaunt. Now, Ruocco is touring with Daughtry again, this time with his solo band. The feeling is even sweeter.
"It was [Cinder Road's] first national tour but we had done regional stuff throughout the years," Ruocco told SoundSpike. "This was the first time we got on the bus and did a full cross-country tour. I don't know if we knew what to expect.
"I know Chris had just come off 'American Idol' so it was definitely the hottest thing going within the rock and pop world. Everywhere we went, the shows were totally sold out. People lined up from nine in the morning until the doors opened up. These people were TV fans, but not necessarily music fans. They found Daughtry through TV and 'American Idol.' This was a lot of [those people's] first concerts."
Many times, Cinder Road was the first act the TV fans had seen live, which was a "great experience" for Ruocco and his bandmates.
"It was crazy," said Ruocco, who's also a former member of SR-71. "As soon as the lights went down and it was time for the first band to hit the stage, the people went nuts and it was awesome. It was great. It really was."
Now, Ruocco is pushing his debut solo effort, "The Rise. The Ride. The Risk." It's an album that came together sort of by accident, he said.
"At the time, I was doing a lot of writing for other artists, through the other part of my career, which is writing for different groups for BMG Music," he said.
"As I was writing, I would come up with these songs. You get these lists as a songwriter about who's looking for songs, what artists are going to be putting albums together and whatnot. The idea is we could pitch to this artist or that artist. As the songs came together, I kept thinking, 'I think I want to hold on to this song.' Next thing I know, I had this group of demos together. I said, 'I think I've got myself a few songs away from having a brand new record.'"
When writing songs, Ruocco--who has penned tunes for Candlebox, The Gracious Few and Halestorm--said it all starts with a melody.
"That's honed by an event that might be going on," he said. "I might experience something, see something. I could be driving in the car with the radio turned down low and a melody pops into my head. [I go home], I grab a guitar and go from there. I start working out lyrics and chord structures. I don't have any particular formula each and every time that I write. I try to let the songs dictate the direction."
As for the direction of his live show--which fans will see tonight in Hampton Beach, NH--it's always been up-tempo and visual.
"We like to put tons of energy into the show," he said. "It's a very audience-interactive thing. I like to do a lot of crowd-interaction things. With Cinder Road and SR-71, fans have always enjoyed a really good live show. That's certainly what I want to bring with this new project--and even better."
23 - Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom (with Daughtry)
26 - Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavilion (with Daughtry)
28 - Charlottesville, VA - Ntelos Wireless Pavilion (with Daughtry)
29 - Fredericksburg, VA - Job.com Pavilion (with Daughtry/Celebrate Virginia Live)
1 - Baltimore, MD - Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric (with Daughtry)
3 - Rama, Ontario - Casino Rama Entertainment Centre (with Daughtry)
4 - Windsor, Ontario - Caesars Windsor, The Colosseum (with Daughtry)
6 - Milwaukee, WI - Henry Maier Festival Park (with Daughtry)
8 - Charleston, WV - Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences (with Daughtry)
9 - Kettering, OH - Fraze Pavilion for the Performing Arts (with Daughtry)
14 - Danbury, CT - Ives Concert Park (with Daughtry)
15 - West Point, NY - Eisenhower Hall Theatre (with Daughtry)