Artist Spotlight: Adam Masterson talks new EP, checking in during quarantine and lofty future plans
British rock artist Adam Masterson has returned to releasing music with a pair of singles in anticipation of his first new EP in six years. Atlas spoke with Masterson via email about coming back to music, touring with friends and big plans for the future. Check out our interview and stream Masterson’s new songs below!
How did you get started in music and how did you go about finding your sound?
I started taking it seriously when I started writing songs as a teenager. Once that happened I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. The secret to my sound is writing the best songs I can then surrounding myself with people who are far more talented than I am. If the songwriting is strong and the players are the best then everything should meet in the middle and sound pretty mighty.
You’d been away from music for quite some time before these latest releases. What brought you back and what inspirations are you drawing on now in your creative process?
Well I’ve always been involved and playing music the whole time, putting together gigs and writing songs. I’ve been away from releasing music because I haven’t seen the best way of doing that. It was the level of musicianship and the level of commitment to my songs from the producers I’ve worked with from James Hallawell, Sean Genocky and recently Craig Dryer in Brooklyn last month that has inspired me to make sure this music is released and I make every effort I can to get it some attention.
What was the process of recording Delayed Fuse like?
Extremely enjoyable. Exceptional musicians. Beautiful human beings coming together and bringing their talents to this and I’m truly grateful to them all. It was a happening. A great spirit to the whole thing, and that’s something I’m very proud of.
What topics or themes (if any) do you find yourself gravitating towards when you’re writing?
I don’t know if I work that way to be honest. I feel like it’s always a bit of a voyage. I’ve got my map and compass but I can’t say for certain what’s up ahead. So in the end you give yourself up in the mystery till the songs begin to sing themselves and you become their vessel and they give you the topics and the themes like unexpected gifts. I think I’m someone who’s intrigued by what might be up ahead or around the corner and if the surfs up I go after it.
So many events, tours and shows have been canceled or postponed because of COVID-19. With the quarantine in place right now, do you have any advice for musicians trying to be creative in isolation and find hope?
Try and keep mentally active, mental passivity can get you depressed. It’s really hard when all your rhythms and plans get thrown upside down. Especially if you’re living with people who are also having to adjust and come to terms with this. Also the news of all these poor people dying is extremely upsetting to all of us. It’s a time to reach out to your friends and family and check in with them and become aware of how precious all our connections are. In the coming weeks this will become our new way of life and there will be time to find a new discipline and routine and it’s very important you get down to that as soon as you can, as the mental work is the important work in building ideas and we will have time for that once we have made sure we’re keeping others safe by keeping ourselves safe.
Who would be on your dream tour lineup? Dream collaboration for the future?
I’d love to tour with some of my friends… Chris Stills, James Maddock, Scott Sharrard come to mind. If I had a big hit and money to burn I’d put me and all my mates on a world tour because we all deserve to be playing the big stages. I’d love to write a song with James Maddock. I just think he’s one of the greatest voices and songwriting talents to come out of the UK in the last 25 years. I catch his performances in Brooklyn or the city whenever I can. It would be great to collaborate with James on a song.
What’s coming up for you this year? More music after this or perhaps a later year tour?
I’ve just cut three more tracks in Brooklyn before the lockdown. I’ve headed to the UK to be near family and I’m hoping I can mix and overdub here when it’s safe to do so. So that depends on how long this lasts. Maybe there are ways I can work remotely with people but I will have to see. I may consider releasing the album without a tour if this lockdown goes on a lot longer than we all envision and tour when everything’s passed. It would be good to let people have some music to check out while they’re stuck in doors. Also it may be cool to let people get familiar with the tracks before a tour when all this passes
Do you ever envision a master plan for your music career? What would you hope your life looked like in 5, 10 years and beyond?
Yeah in the next five years I’m gonna sell out two nights at Madison Square Garden in New York and two nights at the 02 in London and I know that’s gonna happen because the musicians on my records are so good that to put them onstage with me you have to be selling tickets like that to pay everyone properly. Anything less is just pissing about. All the people I work with are amazing and the best at what they do and I have a responsibility to them to make sure this happens.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you or anything you wish you got to speak about more that you may not get asked?
You’ve asked me some really great questions! Thank you so much Atlas Artist Group! Stay safe during these difficult times and look forward to speaking again.
Story by Olivia Khiel
Photos courtesy Adam Masterson