Catching up with Josh Krajcik

Chris DeVille, Columbus Alive

In the weeks since Columbus rocker Josh Krajcik finished second on Fox's singing competition "The X Factor," the former "burrito slinger" has been lounging in Columbus writing songs, spending time with his girlfriend and logging hours on Xbox 360.

Now it's time to get down to business. Krajcik called Tuesday morning from Port Columbus on his way to business meetings in Los Angeles with Front Line Management.

Though he missed out on the $5 million record contract, second place affords him the freedom to move at his pace, on his terms. No deal is in place yet, but he's hoping to tour the country and release an album before the end of the year.

"I'm going to make a record, there's no question," Krajcik said. "It's just with who and when at this point."

How did you feel during that final episode?

I was elated. I was laughing as I was waiting for Steve Jones to announce who won because I knew that either way I was good to go. Part of me wanted to win. Part of me wanted to come in second. All of me wanted to be there. It was joy.

Why was second place appealing to you?

As far as the outcome goes, I couldn't be happier. Second place is a really good place to be, especially for a guy like me. I don't have to wave the flag… To come in second, obviously financially it's not as good, but $5 million was never the goal. My goal is to win a Grammy someday. I think I'm in a good position to do that. There's just a little bit more freedom.

Will there be an "X Factor" tour?

There was talk of it. It's been taken off the table. I'm glad, because I didn't want to do that. I'm ready to get to work on my career.

Who are you meeting with in LA?

Front Line was the group that made the deal with the show to manage some of us, so they're a great, great management team. I'm excited to get to know them. They're one of the biggest in the business. I'm going to let them know what I expect and hear what they expect.

What are some of your expectations?

I just want to get the right team together. For me that's the biggest one. It doesn't have to be a huge team; it has to be the right team. I want them to make those meetings happen and to let them know some of the things I'm capable of outside of music, like voice-over work or acting. I'm hoping to meet with a couple writers, set up some writing sessions with them. I might go to the UK to work with some people.

Have you ever collaborated on songwriting before?

I have to a little extent. I did some writing with Gran Bel Fisher when we were on tour. It's something that's kind of new to me, but it's also exciting. I'm not rigid in that every song needs to be 100 percent written by me on the record. What I want is great songs, and in order to do that you work with great songwriters. I tend to get a little dark, and maybe working with somebody else can balance that with some levity and just a different perspective.

Do you have a vision for what kind of album you want to make?

I have one word to describe the record I want to make, and it's just "honest." I want to make an honest record. I think that's what can be successful in this day and age. Because it's so much about singles these days. I say to hell with that. For me it's about an amazing record. I still sit down and listen to LPs all the way through. I guess I'm a little old-school in that regard.

Will you still be working with your bandmates from Josh Krajcik Band?

Absolutely. That's one of my goals, to get those guys involved, whether it's recording or touring. It's tricky because I'll likely be out in LA a lot and those guys have mortgages at home… I've been playing with Mitch (Pinkston) and Corey (Gillen) for eight years. There's no reason to not try to get those guys on the bill. The chemistry is there. They're my best friends. That's a big goal of mine.

I think whatever happens happens, but I have to at least try. There's no reason to not take a ready-to-go rhythm section. I want to add a horn section and singers and all that, but it would be nice to have that base where we know each other and work well together.