An Interview With Rising Musician ADAM MASTERSON On His Newest Music and Much More!
All year long, Adam Masterson, one of the most promising young rock ‘n’ roll artists to come out of the UK in recent years, has been putting out singles that will be featured on his forthcoming EP, Delayed Fuse. These songs highlight the rising artist’s effusive charisma, dynamic range, and lyrical prowess.
“Bad Luck Baby” is one of the newer songs released and it was produced by Sean Genockey (The Who, Suede, The Futureheads) and inspired by a bout of insomnia and half sleep hallucination. It premiered on Billboard and that can be seen HERE.
The West London-born and New York-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist ushers musical alchemy into a new age on this upcoming series of releases. The new EP brings Adam back to the recording fore for the first time since his influential 2003 release, One Tale Too Many. For the project, he teamed up with industry icons and a who’s who of British studio musicians including Charlie Jones (Goldfrapp) and Omar Hakim. Adam has toured with everyone from The Stereophonics and Tori Amos to Mick Jones and Patti Smith.
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Learn more about Adam Masterson in the following All Access interview-
Thank you for your time! So what does a typical day look like for you lately?
Every day looks different. If I get a chance to procrastinate and daydream a little with the guitar in my hand I’m happy, that’s when I write songs.
Now that the year is about over, how has 2019 treated you? What are some goals that you have had for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them or did you already? What are you already looking forward to in 2020?
I had the album finished at the start of this year and I wanted to put it out myself and find a team who could help promote it and I found exactly that. We have put out one single and are putting out another single and video before Christmas then an EP and album early next year. We haven’t found the right link yet for a record company but keeping options open for that.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make? How do you think having such a musical family influenced your love for music?
Music was always there and became more and more important. But it didn’t become serious until I was 16 and started writing songs, I thought I’d find someone else to sing them, but people reacted to my voice and liked it, so that made me think about singing my own songs. I very quickly started taking it seriously and decided this is what I would do. It just took over me like a certainty, so it wasn’t like a choice thing. My parents weren’t musicians but they were both art teachers and dreamers who loved listening to music and so they certainly encouraged and supported my music all the way
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
For a moment when I was a kid but once I got into writing songs I never thought about being anything else. I got a little record deal when I was 17 which helped persuade my parents to let me go my own way. I never applied to university and if I’m honest I’ve never been able to see myself doing anything else. I’ve tried other things of course but they fail to give me what music gives me and they don’t come as naturally. While you’ve got to have some talent to write a song, I find a lot of creativity comes out a nervous system in rebellion. Life very often just doesn’t add up and you feel unfulfilled. Songs help bring meaning when things feel meaningless. These moments come to us all and at these times I don’t know what I’d do without music and being able to put these feelings into songs.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all? What has been the best part about it all?
Well it can be a tough path to take. To keep going you gotta be a tough cookie. Sometimes the biggest surprise is finding out you ain’t actually a sissy. A sudden stroke of luck can be unexpected and everything else is certainly a challenge. The best part of it all is finding someone you’ve never met telling you they’ve been really moved by one of your songs.
Let’s talk about your newest track, “Bad Luck Baby.” What was the inspiration for this song? How creatively involved were you with the making of the music video? What was it like having your wife produce it?
The whole structure melody and title came in one… in a break during a recording session. I then went away for a week and worked on lyrics and tracked it the following weekend, so it was having some studio time that really motivated me finishing that one. I like to be involved in every step of my creative output if I can be, and it’s great to work with my wife because she’s my best friend, she always tells me the truth if she feels we’re going in the right direction with a video treatment or not. I trust her as an artist In her own right and she’s great to bounce ideas with. We are a good team and I’m lucky to get a chance to be a part of all aspects of making a music video, producing, filming and editing
How does this song prepare listeners for your forthcoming EP “Delayed Fuse”? What was it like making this EP? Did anything surprise you about the overall process?
The songs move in many places. Making this record was quite cathartic. So many great musicians were available at the spur of a moment so I found the recording had a synergy of its own that was powerful, something that i was witnessing rather than conducting, it took me along with it too and that was pleasantly surprising.
Where can people see you perform next? Do you have any upcoming tour dates scheduled yet?
Yes, I am playing on December 15th at Lola opening for Adam Turley. Then playing Dublin Castle in London on Dec 21st.
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started making music? What if anything has stayed the same about your music-making process?
I still write songs where I get a melody and write words then pick up a guitar or piano and put it together. I don’t get a drum machine or a laptop to start the process, although I would like to do that down the line, but for now I still write in that original template so when I record, I get a band together and record live. I guess you’re always growing as a musician if you just keep going, it’s hard for me to say, I’m just following my muse y’know? Sounds like a cliché but it’s so true. You just follow that and see where it takes you and hopefully you get a bit better along the way. I like different styles of music and have many different influences so maybe these different passions I have give me different places to go and places to grow and learn about myself too.
How do you feel about social media? What do you think social media has done for your career?
Well I think it’s obviously an extremely powerful marketing tool if you have the kind of mind to manipulate that. Being a songwriter and a musician or if you’re a producer as well takes up a huge amount of your attention particularly if you want to be any good at it. You have to tune out from the noise to find that something deeper down that’s got that little bit more power to it. Dedicating hours of your day to social media is tuning into the noise so its going in the opposite direction, so you gotta get the right balance. I was told once to post 80% lifestyle and 20% music and that you hook followers in with your lifestyle in the hope that they then connect with your music. For me music is always primary. To demote it as some kind of secondary accessory to my lifestyle just ain’t who I am. I just wanna post about my next gig, my songs, the musicians I’m hanging out with making music, and if that doesn’t make people on Instagram connect with my music my attitude is to go back and write a better song, not start a podcast series about something else. Songs are what I want to share, performances are what I want to share and that’s where I put all my love
What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Duet with Paul McCartney? Write a song with Keith Richards? Even if me and Keith got nothing but writers block together we could just stop for lunch, and I bet every lunchtime with him is like the greatest song that’s never been written. I really like Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy, I’d like to try a song with him cos I just think he’s genius. I really love Steve Jordan and T-Bone Burnett as producers. But superstars aside I’m just really excited to meet all these amazing musicians who I’m yet to hear of who’s music will take me in different directions I’d have never thought of going and finding success together
If you could design your dream music video right now, what would it look like?
It would be very simple. A simple idea that comes to mind when you hear the song. The simpler the better just me doing what comes natural singing and performing
What has been the best thing a fan has told you? What comment from a fan has truly moved you?
I played a house concert in New Jersey and a gig in Philadelphia last year and a chap traveled all the way from Amsterdam to come and see these shows. I just thought it was so kind to travel all that way to see me play. He told me my song Avenue Walk helped him with his mother’s bereavement because he used to walk around at night and think about her. I was very moved to hear that the song helped
Where would you love to hear a song of yours played?
A super bowl commercial!
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope they can find their own lives in the songs something they can turn on that makes them feel positive. I hope what they take away they want to keep. Take away something that lasts and they can return to