He might be sharing the stage with zombies right now, but Josh Scholl feels more alive than ever with a new single on the radio and plans to put out an album by the end of the year.
The Lake in the Hills native and last year's winner of the ABC reality show, Karaoke Battle USA, performs every weekend this month in "Dead Man's Party," a zombie rock show at Six Flags Great America's Fright Fest.
"Basically, I'm kind of an evil doctor who controls zombies and sings and dances to Alice Cooper," said Scholl, a 2001 graduate of Jacobs High School."It's about fun and rock 'n roll. I'm definitely a character on stage, and that's where I can shine the most."
It's his 10th season at Fright Fest, where he also helps design attractions.
Meanwhile, his single, "City Lights," has recieved airplay on Star 105.5 since its release in June, while the song's video on YouTube has reached more than 320,000 views.
"It's getting a lot of exposure and getting a lot of buzz," Scholl said.
Hollywood Records released the single, available on iTunes and Amazon.com.
Now back in Lake in the Hills, Scholl spent several months in Los Angeles recording "City Lights," and working with producers. Grateful for the experience, he said he's learned a lot about the music business along the way. Backed by a newly formed, yet-to-be-named band, now's the time for him to regroup and forge ahead.
"They wait and see if you can create a fan base and following on your own before they fully invest a lot of time and money in you," Scholl said. "I'm just trying to get my name out there and come up with a full stage show...
"It's going to be something extremely different than what you're used to. I'm trying to bring the magnitude of David Lee Roth, that era, back to the forefront."
Singing songs, such as "Drops of Jupiter" by Train and "Somebody to Love" by Queen, on Karaoke Battle USA, Scholl was praised by judges for his passion on stage. Immersing himself in the theatrics of the performance, his vocal stylings have been compared to Steve Perry and Freddie Mercury.
Before Karaoke Battle USA, Scholl fronted the 80s tribute act, "The Breakfast Club," which performed througout the Chicago area.
Upon winning the show, he competed in the 2011 Karaoke World Championships in Killarney, Ireland, where he placed among the top ten male vocalists in the world.
Along with "opening doors," the entire experience left Scholl inspired. He had auditioned and advanced on other reality television shows, including American Idol and X Factor, but never reached the level of excess he found on Karaoke Battle USA.
"The judge or producer would always say, 'You're not what we're looking for. I was confused because I don't think they knew what they were looking for. I went into (Karaoke Battle USA) thinking it was the same show.
"I might as well try it. It's karaoke so I just had fun and rocked out to the music. I was just trying not even to keep my eyes on the finish line and go out there and have fun. That turned out pretty well."
Scholl said he hopes in the future to show fans more of what he showcased on the show. "City Lights" represents only one side of him, he said, and there's more to come as he vows to create a show "worthy of rock 'n roll."
"It's going to be fantastic," he said.By JAMI KUNZER – firstname.lastname@example.org