Q&A with Katharine McPhee

Katharine McPhee is finally getting back in the music game. We spoke to Katharine about the album, her projects, American Idol, and more!

--Adam Downer

GGM: Hysteria is coming out soon. Is the musical style mostly in the vein of "Lick My Lips," kinda funky and sexy, or are there some other flavors you can tell me about?

KM: I think “Lick My Lips” has a retro vibe, but there are other songs that have a retro vibe as well. They’re all from the same “era,” I guess you could say. It’s hard to say “is one like this, one like that?” But I think it all works together. Nothing feels out of place.

GGM: Can you tell me about what was influencing the record as you were writing it?

KM: Yeah, just life experiences! I don’t really go into talking about specific themes or subjects I was going through. I think people can listen to the music and draw their own opinions about, you know, what was this or that about. I always say it’s about different life experiences and being inspired by other people’s stories or my own stuff I was going through. I think that’s what’s always people tend to write about—love, heartbreak, frustration, all that kinda stuff. It’s nice to actually have an inspiration.

GGM: I was reading about about how this project marks a “new phase” in your career. Does that mean a musical one? What does that phrase mean to you?

KM: Gosh, I haven’t really been doing as much music stuff. There’s music on Smash, obviously, and a little bit of touring around, but as I’m on a TV show, Scorpion, I’m on such a specific schedule, going in every day and knowing how long I'm gonna be working for. What I like about music is that you can always be in a new place, new location. I just want to be able to perform more, go to different places, sing for new people with music I feel connected to. I think it would be great if it turns out to be true. I’d love it for me to have more possibilities and opportunities.

GGM: How was the Bombshell concert? Why do you think people really connected with it?

KM: It was last night! And it was such a thrill. I wish we could’ve done it for a 5,000 seat house so more people could’ve seen it, but it was a total love fest and it was great to have the cast that was there. For me and Megyn to share the stage and do all the numbers—you know, I have such fond memories of the show, so to pay tribute to it and the fans that supported us, and see it supported after the show went off the air is so fun. Those shows, when they go away, they go away, so to see it missed so much, that very rarely happens. It’s been a nice experience, and it was amazing!

GGM: American Idol is ending—do you have any thoughts on that? Any nostalgia?

KM: I’m less nostalgic about Idol because while I know it does amazing things for people’s career, it’s such a short period of your life. It was three months of your life and it was so long ago, I don’t get as nostalgic about it. I think it’s been an incredible show that’s launched people, I’ll pay attention a little bit to the last season

GGM: What is your favorite Broadway show?          

KM: I do! My dear friend Christian Borle just won the Tony for Best Featured Actor in Something Rotten, and that show is so funny, clever, and just, like, you really smile the entire two hours you’re watching the show. It’s something new and different, and that’s also really great. And the cast from top to bottom is amazing.

GGM: Favorite TV shows?

KM: I don’t watch any TV, not even my own show! 60 Minutes on Sunday night is it! I learn all about what’s going on in the world and cures for cancer, so I love that.

GGM: Have you seen any good movies recently?

KM: You know, I just caught Cinderella, which I wanted to see when it was in theaters, but couldn’t. It was the sweetest! If anybody has kids—I was thinking, when I have kids, that’s a film I want my children to watch because it teaches you how to be a good human in the world. Such a beautiful movie. That’s my obsession right now.

GGM: Favorite NY restaurant?

KM: Right now, my favorite is the Polo Lounge at the Polo Bar. Just opened, and it’s Ralph Lauren’s new restaurant.

GGM: Last thing you splurged on?

KM: My house! I just bought my first house in LA.

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