Having grown up around Christian music, it didn't take Adam Clark long to realise that he too wanted to bring happiness and enjoyment to others through song. As a result, influenced by his favourite artists including Fleetwood Mac, he set out to make the music he'd always dreamed of, and he hasn't looked back since. Having just released an acoustic version of his track "With You", he kindly agreed to this interview with our staff writer Rebecca.
PW: Please sum yourself up in five words.
Adam Clark: Sincere, honest, imaginative, genuine, funny.
PW: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a musician?
AC: I knew I wanted to be a musician since before I can remember. It was something that has always called to me.
PW: How did growing up around Christian music impact your career choice, if at all?
AC: I think it gave me insight of how music works without being led down any hindering paths and also let me explore and create, for the most part, without judgement.
PW: Was there any one band/artist or song that made you go 'Yeah, I want to do that - to write stuff like that?'
AC: I think that happens to me even now. I hear a subject line of a song and sometimes I’m so thrown by it. I’m always studying artists, whether they be from the 1940’s era or the present day. I’m always trying to remain like a sponge and take everything in.
PW: Can you remember the first concert you attended and record you bought? What impact did they have on you musically, artistically and personally?
AC: I think the first concert I attended was Newsboys, a Christian act. I really liked the melodies. I still today don’t like the words in Christian songs. I think they are extremely cheesy, but the arrangement and the melodies that were in those songs caught my ear right away. I think the first “record” I bought was Hanson, I don’t think they impacted me much, except learning a little bit about pop sensibility. I think I just wanted that cassette because I wanted to be “cool”.
PW: Is there a story behind your latest track "With You"?
AC: The story behind “With You” is about a girl I used to know when I went to college. This girl I met at a party right around the same time I got cheated on by a long term girlfriend. I was all the way out in Boston going to school and was basically flunking out of college because I couldn’t wrap my head around it all. The girl and I began talking. We only hung out a number of times, but kept in contact for a few years after I moved out of the city. When I began writing in LA for this single, I wanted to write her something. I always had a crush on her, mostly because she kind of made it her duty to keep me together long enough for me to push to the next thing in my career. So this was that, it was me saying how I felt and the things I’ve learned while getting the pleasure of knowing her. She, at the time, was someone who helped me through a lot of hard times in my life and will always be a special person though we’ve grown apart. I’m glad I have this song to remember her and those experiences by.
PW: Do you prefer your songs to be acoustic or was releasing such a version of "With You" just something you wanted to do?
AC: I’ve wanted to do an acoustic version of one of my songs ever since I was 15 years old watching Fuse after high school. I’ve always been a big Dashboard Confessional fan, so during the recording process of this song, I began working on a way to do an acoustic version.
PW: The song was produced by David Schuler, the man behind tracks by artists including Pink and Daughtry. What did he bring to the process of creating the song?
AC: Dave showed me how to make a great song. I’ve always been able to write songs, but he showed me how to push through to get the product I actually wanted to hear.
PW: Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
AC: I’m someone who takes everything in and lets it process. I kind of just live and let life hit me. And when it hits me, I write. That’s my inspiration.
PW: Is there any one song you wish you'd written? If so, which is it and why?
AC: I wish I was there for when “Hotel California” by the Eagles was written. That song has been one of my favorites for a few years now.
PW: What to you makes a perfect song?
AC: I don’t think there is a thing called a “perfect song”. I’ve heard too many at this point in my career. I just know that a great song is one that carries through and can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. And is also one that builds and remains heartfelt.
PW: I'd like you to put together your dream show line up - yourself and three others bands or artists who can be living or dead. Who would you choose and why?
AC: A dream show would be myself, Billy Joel, The Doors and/or Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. I can’t choose between The Doors and Fleetwood Mac but they are all some of my favorite artists. They all have affected me tremendously, both personally and musically.
PW: How important are critics' opinions to you? Do you honestly care what publications and the like think of your music or do you care more about what your fans think?
AC: I honestly don’t care about anyone’s opinion of what I do. I mean I love when people love what I do, but, if someone doesn’t like it, that’s fine too. I didn’t start music to please anyone else, and I think that’s the way it should be. I don’t do this for anyone else besides myself. I love music and I’m lucky enough to do it. I’ve seen guys a little older than me have to stop playing because they have 60 hour work weeks and not enough time in the day to pick up their instruments. I don’t have to do that yet and how my life is looking as of lately, I won’t have to. That to me means a lot more than if someone’s opinion of what I do or don’t do. And I must be doing something right if I haven’t had to quit.
PW: How has social media helped you in terms of getting your name and music out to an audience?
AC: I think social media has become a platform in which an audience is already there and I can depend on that when releasing new music. That makes it a lot easier and makes me feel confident during the process of releasing new songs.
PW: Would you agree that bands and artists need to be socially interactive in order to get ahead?
AC: Unfortunately yes, which is a pain because I don’t think anyone wants to be handcuffed to their phone 24/7. That’s why I have started to take a couple weeks where I disappear from the online world so I can detox from all the garbage on there.
PW: Could you choose the best show you've played in your career so far?
AC: I think my favorite show so far was one where I played at a local club in Rochester called Water Street. I was playing on the club side for maybe 100 people. It was an acoustic gig and it was going really nicely. I learned a cover of Ed Sheeran “Thinking Out Loud” for the show that I wanted to play last. Every single person in that room that night was singing along. Every. Single. Person. It was absolutely amazing.
PW: What are your future tour plans?
AC: As of right now, I don’t have any plans to hit the road. I have been playing small regional shows here and there. But I want to work on getting my full band up to speed with the material and creating the best show we can possibly do before hitting the road. I have been working on releasing the rest of my material and also some remixes from some of EDM friends from all over the country. And I’ve also began writing for some other artists as well. So I’m keeping busy while getting the band up to speed.
PW: You get to play in one venue for the rest of your career, anywhere in the world. Which do you choose and why?
AC: Red Rocks, CO. That venue is a legendary masterpiece. I would give my left toe for that to be a possibility.
PW: Finally then, Where would you like to see yourself five years from now? What's your ultimate ambition?
AC: My ultimate ambition, which has changed as I’ve gotten older, is to remain happy. I want to be a songwriter who writes for a ton of people all the time and also gets the opportunity to become a touring artist.
For more information on Adam and to keep up to date with him and his music, check out his Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Soundcloud pages. You can listen to and download his latest track, an acoustic version of "With You", below.https://soundcloud.com/adam-music-clark/with-you-acoustic