'American Idol' star Kris Allen to perform at Fairfield Theatre Company

Kris Allen won the eighth season of “American Idol” in 2009 and saw his post-Idol self-titled album rise quickly up the charts thanks to the mega-hit “Live Like We’re Dying.”

Still, even before finding fame on the show, Allen had some success as a singer, playing some small venues and releasing “Brand New Shoes” with some college friends. He was persuaded to try out for “American Idol” by his brother Daniel (who did not make it to Hollywood) and he had little screen time during the initial rounds. Still, as the competition went on, it was clear that he would be a force to be reckoned with.

Now, 10 years after his historic win, Allen has released “10,” a new recording that looks at his journey since his Idol win.

Allen will be playing songs from his new album as well as Idol favorites when he performs at Fairfield Theatre Company’s Stage One on Oct. 5.

Keith Loria: It’s been a few years since your last album. What have you been up to since then?

Kris Allen: Before this, my latest release was three years ago, and I had one single after that. I’ve been really spending my time writing for this new record and figuring out what I wanted to say and what I wanted to do.

KL: Tell me about “10” and what the genesis of the album was.

KA: Nov. 17 will be the official anniversary of my first record, so I ended up re-recording some songs from my first record mostly. I thought it would be fun to get together with fans and look back a little bit. On the tour, I’m going to play some of those songs I don’t play too often, and I wanted to record some of those as well, so I took some time and recorded some of those in my house.

KL: How did that turn into a tour?

KA: The idea to do some sort of celebration of the 10 years popped into my head one day, and I wanted to do more than just one show in Nashville, which I was originally going to do. But back then, I spent most of my time on the road so I wanted to get out there and do a complete solo show to invite fans to what I consider my living room each night and tell them stories and sing them songs. I hope in turn, they will feel my gratitude for the past 10 years and how their support and love has meant so much to me. None of this makes any sense without them.

KL: What sort of stories? Can you give me an example?

KA: Fun stories of things that happened on the road and maybe some Idol stories that they haven’t heard before. I’m trying to go back and wrack my brain about things that happened so I can come up with things to talk about, and I was going through some of the Idol songs I did and I remember I got to hang out for a day with Quentin Tarantino during movie week. That was shown on TV, but a lot of my conversations with him was not, and he’s just a fascinating being. He’s one of the best directors of all-time, and he’s really sweet and really thoughtful and I think he appreciated what I was doing.

KL: Last year you went back to Idol and hosted the summer tour. What advice did you give some of the youngsters about what they can expect in the years ahead?

KA: Our show was very different than their show. They are also all so much younger than we were too. It was really awesome to see their appreciation and experience everything they were doing again. I get to experience through their eyes what they are going through. I wanted them to know I was there for them and not coming in with this idea that I had it all figured out. They were all so talented and I just wanted to encourage them. I was on the road with them for three months on the same bus, singing songs with them every night and playing guitar for them, and I fell in love with them all.

KL: Now that Idol is a decade removed, looking back, what’s the biggest thing you learned from the experience?

KA: It feels like this weird dream that happened that I am just reaping the benefits of. I don’t feel removed from the show, but I do feel it was a lifetime ago because I am such a different person now. The biggest thing I learned was that is not going to be easy.