He may be busy on the road with the touring company of the musical "Rock of Ages," but Constantine Maroulis is also hard at work on his next album.
"Sometime early next year, I'd like to start putting out some of the songs," the Season 4 "American Idol" finalist tells Billboard.com about his follow-up to 2007's "Constantine." Maroulis began working on the album at his studio in Brooklyn and plans to continue recording on the road, even having engineers fly out to the cities "Rock of Ages" is playing.
"I wanted to get back to just rock-and-roll," Maroulis says of the new material. "I love what people are doing on the radio with pop music now, all these sounds and cool stuff. But I want to get back to a straight rock 'n' roll record with some edge -- modern rock 'n' roll but not forgetting the stuff I grew up loving, which is 70s classic rock with kind of soulful vocals."
Maroulis, who's also working on a multi-media "rock-and-roll songbook show" called "A Night at the Rock," anticipates making the new album another independent release but notes there's also "a lot of interest with my success in ['Rock of Ages']. Being in front of a couple thousand people every night, in a climate where you can't sell records, that's definitely a positive."
Maroulis still considers his Tony Award-nominated role as "Rock of Ages"' Dean Bowie "one of those once-in-a-lifetime roles" and has committed a year to being part of the touring company. But he harbors no illusions about reprising it in the film version of the musical that director Adam Shankman plans to begin shooting in the spring of 2011.
"I know Adam," Maroulis says. "I think he's a great director, and he knows the work I've done. I think the process is to reach out to some big rock star/movie star types to fill in certain roles, and maybe something will be left for me. Obviously I'd love to be part of it; I'm capable of a great performance in whatever format they're doing the show in. But if they're gonna go with a 20-year-old Disney kind of guy, there's nothing I can do about it.
"I just try to focus on what I'm doing. I have enough doing eight shows a week and pimping the show all over the country. I'm proud to be a Tony-nominated actor in 'Rock of Ages.' I want to milk it out a little longer."