Nearly two years after releasing his J Records debut album, "Chariot," Gavin DeGraw is looking ahead to his next release, which he hopes to have out sometime in 2006.
"I?ve written several records worth of material," the artist tells Billboard.com. "Stylistically, I think it?s going to have a lot of energy and lyrical grit, and here and there a little sense of humor is important. I?m not making an Adam Sandler record but once you get the first album out, I think the second album allows you to be a little bit more personal and honest just because you got a lot of stuff out of the way; broke down a lot of walls."
There?s also talk of releasing a live DVD before the next album but no details have been finalized.
Currently road-testing new material such as "Cop Stop" and "Sometimes You Need a Few Drinks To Fall in Love," the 28-year-old feels there is still life in "Chariot," which was released in July 2003 and re-released a year later with the acoustic disc "Chariot Stripped." The album has sold more than 836,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"I think, especially with the pop artist career length, it was better we didn?t explode out of the box," DeGraw says. "Building it slow seems to add a little bit more of legitimacy in the public eye."
Such legitimacy has begotten diversity among a wide array of audiences, which explains how this upstate New York native?s summer plans include dates with Michael Tolcher and Howie Day, as well as opening nods for the Allman Brothers Band and Avril Lavigne.
"I?m very, very curious because I know [Lavigne] has a younger audience, a true pop audience, so I?m very interested to see how it goes over in a room like that," DeGraw says. "I think it will work in a lot of those different types of concerts because the collection of music that I have been writing is pretty eclectic.
"I?m also curious to open up for a country artist, like Alan Jackson or Tim McGraw or Faith Hill, to see exactly how diverse of an audience I can develop from a collection of songs," he continues. "I don?t really consider myself a pop artist. I?m in the pop world but I?m a songwriter."