TV Guide: You're up for four Grammy awards, including Best Rock Song and Best Rock Album. Which one would mean the most to you?
Rock Album. Because that's what we are, and I want people to realize that. Whether it be rock with pop sensibility, we are a rock band.
TV Guide: You covered Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" on Idol — and now you're competing against them for a Grammy. How does that feel?
[Laughs] It's an honor to be in a class of people that you couldn't get away from on the radio growing up. Those guys are still in the game and it's an encouragement to us, in that maybe we can be that act people are listening to 20 years from now.
TV Guide: You're opening for them on their American tour. Any chance you and Jon will perform "Dead or Alive" together?
[Laughs] Oh, you bet your ass we will!
TV Guide: Your album Daughtry hit No. 1 on the charts in 2007. How do you explain your success?
I can definitely say it had a lot to do with being blasted all over TV every week [on American Idol]. I think there's a huge group of people hoping to see us do well. Some artists explode no matter what, and some artists would probably do very well if people paid attention. I think, with us, people paid attention because they already had a vested interest.
TV Guide: Because of Idol?
Absolutely. And I'm not trying to discredit our music. I'm just trying to be truthful and look at the whole picture.
TV Guide: What do you think about the guy who won your season, Taylor Hicks, getting dropped by his label?
I think major labels are not for everybody. For some [artists], their vision of how they are creatively doesn't quite fit the commercial aspect of the music. Hopefully Taylor will get an independent deal where he's able to be who he is. Because the stuff I heard from his solo projects didn't quite sound like the stuff that he put out on the major label.
TV Guide: This season, Idol is allowing contestants to play instruments. Is that something you would have done on the show?
Absolutely. I think [contestants] should be forced to write a song on the show and perform it. That'd bring some new life to the show. Audiences would take it more seriously if it's not about finding people who suck and making fun of that. We've already seen all the people who can't sing. It's the same thing every year. They should be finding people who are artists and trying to develop that.
TV Guide: How is it going on the road with a wife and two kids at home?
It's tough. There's a lot of missing out. There's so much I don't know about my kids when I get home. "Oh, I didn't know you were that tall!" [Laughs] So you want to take advantage of the times you are home. I don't want to look back and think that I missed opportunities to make memories with my kids.
TV Guide: You live in North Carolina. Any plans to move to L.A.?
Nooo. I'm keeping it in the South. I love L.A., but I like raising my kids here. [Laughs] And I don't want to be on TMZ!
TV Guide: Do you think that being nominated for four Grammys legitimizes the Idol experience?
Absolutely. In our case, it definitely legitimizes what Idol is capable of doing. However, a TV show isn't going to do anything for you if you don't do something for yourself. I used Idol as an avenue to say to people, "This is who I am."
TV Guide: Who are you looking forward to meeting at the Grammys?
Justin Timberlake. When it comes to pop, I love his work!
Check out clips of Daughtry in our Online Video Guide.
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