Phillip Phillips recently wrapped up a stint opening for Matchbox Twenty, whose song he covered on American Idol last season.  He's now gearing up for his own headlining tour of colleges, which starts later this month, but he says his experience on the road with Rob Thomas and the guys was a blast, and earned him many new fans.

"It's been awesome.  It's been such a blessing, I've gotten to know Rob and the rest of the guys, as well, and they're just such nice guys."  He added, "Rob and I had dinner a couple of weeks ago, which is really cool that he wanted to get to know me.  And so, you know, I think we're friends now!  It's been an honor to share the stage with him."

The singer is also proud of the fact that by the end of tour, some Matchbox Twenty fans became his fans as well even those who had no idea that he was on American Idol.  "People that didn't know us, I would see them tweet me, like, 'Didn't know who you were until tonight.  I really liked your music' or whatever," says Phillip.  "It's cool to have that happen and expand the fan base."

So now that Phillip and Rob Thomas are buddies, and Rob often writes songs with other artists outside of Matchbox Twenty, is there a possibility that he and Phillip will collaborate at some point?  "You never know.  Maybe so, maybe one day!" says Phillip. "We'll see what happens."

On his new tour, Phillip will be playing his new single, "Gone Gone Gone," and he'll also perform it on American Idol on March 14.  It's this year's "send-off" song, which will be played every time a contestant goes home.  He says so far, he's had good feedback on the song.

"It's been going really well.  People seem to really connect with the song, and the video just came out, as well.  So, it's been, I think, getting good reviews," says Phillip.

The video for "Gone Gone Gone" intercuts footage of Phillip performing the song with home movie footage of various people throughout the decades both couples and kids smiling, playing and goofing around.  There are also brief flashes of a woman throughout, and it closes with Phillip and his band performing the song at a beach bonfire party.

"It was more of a lake," corrects Phillip, laughing, "and it was so cold, but it was a good time!"  He adds, "It was just a very, very cold two days but it was fun filming it...I wanted it to be a little bit different than 'Home.'  You know, 'Home' was just basically all me on the road, and I wanted this one to be more about life and love."

More From Power 95.9