'Idol' Winner Caleb Johnson Talks Zombie Rock Opera and Why He Hates EDM

American Idol Season 13 champ Caleb Johnson may be best buddies with (and the future prom date of) runner-up Jena Irene, but there's at least one way the two do not see eye-to-eye. Retro rocker Caleb is no fan of electronic music, so don't expect any glowsticks to come out when he records his debut album for Interscope.

"A lot of the [pop] stuff out now is crap. I mean, a lot of the stuff is just processed, computerized," Caleb told Yahoo Music's Reality Rocks backstage Wednesday night after his win. "I'm not a huge fan of the EDM stuff, because a lot of it just lacks that soul and that mojo that bands have, guys in a room making music, writing. That's what I love."

As for whether music like Caleb's hard-charging debut single "As Long As You Love Me" (penned by Justin Hawkins of rock revivalists the Darkness) will fit into the current musical climate alongside, say, Zedd and Calvin Harris, Caleb said: "I hope so. I really would love it to get on the radio. It should have a place on the radio… What's kind of crazy is that [Idol] is a pop show, and I sing stuff like Rush, Led Zeppelin — and then I win it! So to me, I think that means people want to hear stuff like this. And I think that's so awesome."

When asked if he and Justin Hawkins might collaborate on his self-titled album, Caleb (who auditioned for Idol this season with own song, "Into the Void) said: "It would be cool, but I really would like to write my own stuff and just keep it focused on my vision and work, like, with a band, and be able to jam and vibe." He also clarified that his album will consist of all originals, despite judge Harry Connick Jr.'s subtle suggestion once that Caleb would (or should) do a covers collection.

Caleb Johnson

will be "a soulful, deep, heavy rock album" with "a lot of big riffs… just a really kickass, badass record," according to Caleb. But he has even more ambitious plans to create — get this — an original "zombie rock opera." The plot and title of such a project remains a mystery, but Caleb teased, "If I told you [about it now], it'd be so in-depth. Oh, I already have something written out."

Could Phantom of the Idol ever be a thing? Watch this space. In the meantime, Caleb's album comes out August 12.

Watch Caleb's entire post-Idol press conference below:


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