Hi Adam and welcome to Melodic.net . How are you?|
Hey! I'm good. Thanks! How are you?
2. Call you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in southern Virginia. Both of my parents were teachers, so education was a very big part of my life from an early age – as was music. My grandmother gave my mother a piano when I was 2 or 3, and very quickly I was playing it more than my mother was – making up my own little songs (I have to imagine they didn't make much sense at that age). I trained classically for 12 years, and then began making the shift towards contemporary songwriting. My parents saw Juilliard, I saw CBGB - we settled on cafes. So, I put together a band and we started playing coffee shops in Virginia. After a couple of years and six records, I became restless and felt the need to take my art north. I spent time in Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Boston – before finally settling in New York City. I've been playing the NYC scene for nearly 4 years now and consider this my home. "The Room is Spinning Faster" is the second record that I've released since moving here, and on November 23, I will be releasing my third EP – "I'd Let You Wear My Boots." It's a country western EP that I recorded in Nashville last year while making this new indie piano rock record.
3. What can you tell us about your album "The Room is Spinning Faster"
This record is essentially a collection of diary entries. They're in no particular order - and for the most part – there's no connection between the entries. They're just stories from my life. Most of the songs were written over the past couple of years, many of them while I was traveling or touring abroad. So, there's sense of isolation and restlessness in some of the songs that is very indicative of where I was when I wrote them. The title of the record specifically refers to a spinning restaurant I was in at the top of a tower in Reykjavik, Iceland. However, I think the title really encompasses the themes of this record. Sometimes, when you're gone from home for so long, you start to lose touch with pieces of yourself. Those roots that ground you start to fall away, and before you know it you're lost and just grabbing for something familiar, something that makes sense – you're spinning. The record begins with a reflection on the effects of having been alone and ends with a message that I am coming home. So, while there's no specific order or continuing narrative through the tracks - it's still a journey.
4. Who are you main influences?
My mom is a huge fan of Neil Diamond and The Righteous Brothers. So, as a child, I heard a lot of 60's/70's pop ballads - which I think informed my sense of melody in a way. Other artists that have influenced me over the years: Randy Newman, Joe Jackson, Ryan Adams, Jim Steinman, The Cure, Tom Waits.
5. What is the biggest challenge you have to face as an artist today?
I think the biggest challenges actually go hand in hand with the biggest opportunities. In this digital age, artists can do so much more for themselves. We can do our own recording and distribute our music across the world – all without the help of a label. That's amazing! It opens the door for a lot of new artists, and a lot of new music. The challenge comes in setting yourself apart in this new DIY industry. Listeners have so many options now, and that's a good thing. It sets the bar higher. However, it can be a big challenge to get people to hear your music, when they are already inundated with tons of new music and artists.
6. What is your opinion on piracy? All bad or good aspects to it?
This always seems like a trick question! The term "piracy" in and of itself insinuates something untoward. However, I remember being in high school and making mix tapes for girlfriends. I was sharing music with them. Was that piracy? Technically, yes. But was it bad? I think you have to identify intention when you're dealing with piracy. Pirates (think Captain Blackbeard or such) robbed with no intention of returning or repaying what they stole. And many people download music with no intention of compensating or supporting the artist. I do think that's wrong, especially if you have the means with which to support the artist.
That said, I think it's a lot to ask people to pay $10 for a record they haven't heard yet (and no, 0:30 clips don't count). When we buy a car, we get to test drive. We can go into Best Buy and view a variety of entertainment sources on the televisions before deciding which one to purchase. Yet, consumers are asked to take home a record they haven't experienced, with no possibility for return if they are unsatisfied. It doesn't seem fair.
Of course, I'm not saying that this justifies piracy. But if one's intention is to "pirate" a record to preview it, and then purchase it if he or she intends to listen to it – I have less of a problem with that. I have absolutely no problem with people sharing music with friends in an effort to promote an artist. That's what it's all about – people hearing the music and discovering a new artist. If piracy – in a well-intentioned form – can help build an artist, is it still piracy?
7. Who is a dream artist/band to share a stage with?
I'd love to share a stage with the Counting Crows. They're one of my favorite live bands, and every show I see is a revelation to me. I'd probably blow through my own set just to stand off-stage and watch theirs.
8. Is there a song out there you wish you had written?
Kate Bush – This Woman's Work. This might be the most beautiful song ever written. When I write, I try to communicate emotion as much through the music as through the lyrics. This song is perfect in that way. She could be singing about the weather and it would still speak to me.
Runner-up: Antony and the Johnsons – Hope There's Someone. This is another absolutely beautiful tune.
9. Name one album that everyone should own.
Can I name two?
1.) R.E.M. – Automatic For The People. It's not my favorite record of all time, but it's good – start to finish. You don't skip tracks – you don't have to. Each one is right. "Nightswimming" is just perfection.
2.) Joni Mitchell – Blue. I love this record. And I love Joni. She tells stories that you just get lost in. "River" is just such a great song – one of my favorites.
10. What does the nearest future hold for you?
I have a few more U.S. shows in October, then I'm headed to Europe in November to promote the new record in Ireland, the UK, and France. After the holidays, I'll be back out on the road in the US/Canada for a spring tour. In between shows/tours, I'll be in the studio working on a set of 4 EPs that will come out next year – one in each season.
11. Thanks for answering the questions, any final words for our readers?
Thank you all very much for taking the time to read this interview. And thanks for checking out my new record. If you like what you hear, please stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. I hope to meet a lot of you at future shows!