Adam Wright interviews Adam Wright about the two new Adam Wright releases.
Interview with Adam Wright by Adam Wright about the two new Adam Wright releases.
Friday, March 29th, 2019, 11am.
I sat down with two time Grammy and Americana Music Award nominee, singer-songwriter Adam Wright at his home just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. He was disheveled, at times irritable, and seemed uninterested in anything other than himself.
Remarkably, we were dressed identically.
Me: Multiple Grammy nominations, an Americana Music Awards nomination, an IBMA nomination, bluegrass #1’s, critical acclaim, a long and growing list of impressive song cuts - how does it all feel?
Adam: Pretty good. I’ve got it all except the money. (laughs)
Me: Can’t have it all, right?
Adam: (stares silently)
Me: Do you ever think that maybe you’re just not making music that people like to listen to?
Adam: All the time. I’m thinking it at this moment as a matter of fact.
Me: I bet.
Me: Well, let’s talk about these new releases.
Me: First of all, why two EPs? Why not one full length album?
Adam: Well, certain songs hung together the right way in terms of personality and subject matter, and they didn’t seem to want to have to live with the other songs. They’d end up fussing with each other. Like bad neighbors. They just didn’t get along.
Me: Huh. Okay. Well, tell me about Big Ideas From A Small Office Overlooking Legendary RCA Studio B (Or Rodeo).
Adam: What would you like to know?
Me: The songs on here are quirky and sardonic. Quite a departure from the depth and seriousness of your last album Dust.
Adam: Yeah, I’d say so. Some of the songs on Big Ideas preceded Dust and were meant to be recorded then, but Dust started to materialize and felt like the right album to make at the time. It was fun to get back to these and realize them again. They are more lighthearted. It was a fun album to make.
Me: You mean EP.
Adam: Sure, whatever. EP.
Me: The production is a bit different as well. Can you describe the recording process?
Me: Would you?
Adam: Well, I wanted it to be fairly quick and not have to fuss over it. I hate sitting at a computer. What I love is to play and sing songs. I’ve come to accept what I sound like when I play and sing and that’s what I wanted to record. Unedited. Much the way Shannon and I did our covers album ‘In The ‘Summertime’. So the rules were that I had to play and sing live, a whole take, and then whatever I wanted to add to it, another guitar, bass, percussion, etc., had to also be a whole take. It really keeps the process moving and won’t let you overproduce. The process was the same for Queen Of The Meadow. All live takes. I did it all in my little writing office across from the old RCA Studio B. Hence the name of the one album.
Me: You mean EP.
Adam: (sighs) Yes. EP.
Me: Are there things you wish you could change?
Adam: Not really. There are mistakes and things that are wrong with them, but I kind of grow attached to the flaws. They become the interest for me. It’s like seeing a beautiful person who is very symmetrical with perfect teeth and perfect skin and hair. At first they are strikingly attractive, but the more you look at them they can only become less attractive and less interesting. Even if they are lovely people, it’s just the way it works for me. On the other hand, seemingly plain or odd looking people start to become more beautiful and interesting. Perfection doesn’t offer nooks and crannies. I like texture.
Me: Is that your approach the writing also?
Adam: Not so much. I put most of the time and effort into the writing. I try not to get things too nice and neat, but it is all intentional. After doing this for this long, the tidiness/looseness compensation just happens naturally. I know where my sensibilities lie and those adjustments are made without a lot of thought. I just focus on the character of the song, keeping that consistent and hopefully making it entertaining. And staying on point.
Me: The songs on Big Ideas are satirical and clever; reminiscent of writers like Roger Miller, Randy Newman or Tom. T. Hall. Have they influenced your writing?
Adam: Sure. They ought to be influencing everyone’s writing.
Me: The songs on Queen Of The Meadow are much darker. Ninety Nine Years, Morning, Stan, and Murder for instance.
Adam: Yes. Is there a question?
Me: Well, would you like to talk about why they are darker?
Adam: Light makes shadows.
Me: Light makes shadows?
Me: So your last album was released through Carnival Music. These are on De Casa. Are you with another label?
Adam: Well, I still write for Carnival Music Publishing. They’re great. And were helpful in the making and releasing of Dust, and are very helpful in my work as a professional songwriter, but I wanted the album making process this time to be smaller, less expensive and fast. The only way I know how to do that is to do it myself.
Me: And release it yourself?
Me: And why the hurry?
Adam: I have discovered that the only part of any of this I really enjoy is the making of it. The creation. Whether it be the songs, the recordings, the arrangements, a show - I like to make things. It’s why I paint also. I have to be making things. The marketing and promotion and selling and all of that, the business, I’m just not interested in. The faster and easier I can make all of that part of it, the sooner I can get back to making things.
Me: That makes sense. What else have you discovered about yourself?
Adam: That I don’t like doing interviews.
Me: Even when being interviewed by yourself?
Adam: Especially then.
Me: Do you have other projects in the works?
Adam: I do have an album of cowboy songs recorded. They were meant to come out before these, but these hopped in the front seat and took the wheel.
Me: Seems unnecessary to use personification there.
Adam: Does it?
Me: Kind of. Like you might have some writing to do, but you haven’t done it so those muscles are just flexing for no reason and over-doing your normal responses.
Me: Are you performing anywhere soon?
Adam: Yeah, I have a few things around Nashville and a few things elsewhere. My dates are usually on my website. adamwrightsongs.com.
Me: Okay, well, thank you for your time and congratulations on your new releases.