Having previously been with the Daisygrinders and Big Heavy Stuff, Adam Young has embarked on his solo career and has just put out his latest album Elementry Carnival Blues. Tomatrax caught up with Adam to ask a few questions.
You’ve embarked on a solo career after playing with Big Heavy Stuff and Daisygrinders, how does performing solo compare with being in a band?
It’s cheaper, for one. The other thing is, you can’t hide, so you’re left alone with your songs. If the songs aren’t there, you’re not there for long, either. I love playing in a band. It’s what I grew up doing and I’m lucky enough to have some great players along for the ride.
You’ve just released your latest solo album, how does it feel to have it out?
This record took more than three years from the start of recording to the day of release, plus the years conceiving it. So, my prevailing feeling is relief. Also, it’s been interesting to get a perspective on it from people who a) aren’t me, or b) weren’t involved to some extent in its production.
Where did the title Elementary Carnival Blues come from?
Stream of consciousness, free associating. There’s no great story. As a phrase it popped into my head, fully-formed, one day, many, many years ago.
The album has a number of special guests on it, was it hard to round them all up?
I thought the tough part would be getting them to agree, but that was easier than expected. We were able to record most of them pretty quickly, but it took quite a while to get the horn players in the same room. Then we added a song to the lineup late in the process, so that messed with the time.
What made you pick ‘Queen of the plains’ as the first single?
The label … just kidding. As I said, it took a long time, and late last year I couldn’t face the thought of waiting another six months to put out the record, but to do so then would have been something like commercial and publicity suicide. The idea of putting out a single was a generous compromise on the part of Dave and Stanley Records.
‘Queen of the Plains’ was a bit of a consensus pick by the staff of Adam Young Inc.
You’re about to play shows around the country, what can fans expect from your show?
If it’s with the band it’s pretty much an old-school rock show. Like I said, I’ve been able to work with some great players. If I’m playing solo you can expect to see a grown man cry.
You’ve had your music covered by the likes of You Am I and the Lemonheads, what’s it like to hear other musicians perform your work?
It’s pretty gratifying. You Am I covered a Daisygrinders song, Green Silver, on a Half-a-Cow split seven inch single back in the ’90. At the time it felt like the greatest honour I could achieve. I’m still pretty proud of that.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
I’m going to lie and say no.
What music do you listen to?
The last few things I’ve listened to are Liz Stringer’s latest record, Warm in the Darkness, Skylar Gudasz’s Oleander and Mick Daley’s Tiny Violins. And I got drunk the other night and told a songwriting friend, who’s working on a new record, to listen to nothing but The Replacements’ Let It Be for a week.
What do you have planned after your upcoming shows?
The thought of recording has popped up again, in a way that is both promising and paralyzing.
Check out Adam Young’s Facebook page to find out more!