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Exclusive Interview with aBIRD

// Artists, Interview // February 11, 2017 // Adam

Adam Bird was previously the frontman for the band Those Mockingbirds, however his last release was the single How the Story Goes in 2015.  Recently, Bird has began work on a new project under the moniker of “a BIRD” and is looking to begin releasing new music in the coming months for the first time in years.  N.J. Racket had the chance to catch up with Bird over the past few weeks and we discussed the new a BIRD project as well as where he’s been since we last heard from him with Those Mockingbirds.  Check out what he had to say below.

N.J. Racket (NJR):  You were previously in the band Those Mockingbirds which had a lot of success.  Tell us a little about some of your accomplishments with that band.

BIRD:  It’s a very thin line between listing accomplishments and sounding like a douchebag braggart…a douchebrag perhaps…so forgive me while I attempt to walk that tightrope at your request. I make no promises though, I’ve certainly been called the latter more times than 10 year old Adam would have ever expected.

Those Mockingbirds released 3 EPs, 1 LP and a few standalone singles. We were extremely lucky that one of our videos made it into main rotation on mtvU. We got to travel,  The Aquarian let us be on their cover, we appeared on an episode of Fearless Music and most sinister, we kidnapped the Numa Numa guy and held him for ransom. 

NJR:  Those Mockingbirds final full-length release was Penny Dreadful in 2014 and the single How the Story Goes in 2015.  How hard was it to walk away from a project like that, especially having started to break through with it?

BIRD:  When the time came to actually pull the plug we were all quietly aware it was coming, so we went ahead and got it over with. I knew that it would be sad on a personal level because we experienced so many things under that banner that previously, we had only dreamed of. However, I was equally certain that I was prepared to move on. I’m proud of the band as a whole, and our final single “How The Story Goes” in Nov 2015 is probably my favorite song we released. At the same time, we basically spent 2015 artistically drifting apart and it was time to put down the family dog.

NJR:  What was your mindset towards continuing your music career after Those Mockingbirds had finished?

BIRD:  I knew I would continue but I needed to clear my head first. I had to address my motivations and, at the risk of sounding like a hippy, I needed to find my path again. I felt I had strayed pretty far from it. I became pretty obsessed with what everyone else wanted, what people thought of me, comparing myself to others and completely neglected my own needs. That shit fucks a person up! It’s damn near impossible to be truly creating from your heart when that’s where your head is at all the time. So, I regained some clear-headedness and started up again.

NJR:  Its 2017 and you’re preparing for your first release in a couple of years.  What was the process like creating this album?  How long into writing it did you think you really had a grip on something or did you go into the project with the intention of writing a complete album?

BIRD:  Over the course of about three months I had demoed around 10-15 songs at home. This was without any intentions for them other than enjoying doing it and experimenting with a bunch of new ideas I had never tried before. I was laying down a drum beat, then running back to the piano where I would work out most of the rest of the song, and then while still riding high on whatever idea I was working on, I would try to finish a lyric without overthinking it. Then the fine tuning and making changes came later. So I ended up really jazzed up about what these songs could sound like if I spent real time in a studio on them. So I sent a few to my friend Dean and he invited me up to New Hampshire, where we turned these things into fully realized tracks. 

NJR:  Last I had seen you perform, you were playing a solo set.  Since then, you’ve played your first show with a full band at Stosh’s on January 20.  Is this still a solo project, as in the “a BIRD” project, or is it taking shape as a band?

BIRD:  It’s both. This project is sort of like a borderless country, and people are welcome to come and go as they please.  I’ve been inviting my friends to come play when they can, contribute when they can, and we will see what happens.

NJR:  You were recently included on the Mint 400 In Utero Tribute compilation, playing a cover of “Very Ape.”  Tell us alittle bit about that album and why you choose that song.

 BIRD:  Neil (from Mint 400) is a person I respect quite a bit, and I’ve known him for a couple years. If my memory serves me correctly, he knew that I am a big Nirvana fan, and asked if I wanted to contribute to the compilation, which I was thrilled to accept. In Utero is one of my 5 favorite albums ever, and I literally taught myself guitar by playing along with that record. So, I drove home from recording in New Hampshire, and asked Dave Leto (drummer of Rye Coalition) to meet me at Neil’s studio; where we did a quick arrangement of the song and recorded it in two takes. I then overdubbed a few lead guitars and we were done.  

NJR:  What can we expect from the new album?  In what ways will it be different from and the same as previous music you’ve released?

BIRD:  I think its likely that I will release a string of singles in 2017 to get people familiar with what I’m doing. People’s attention spans seem to be collapsing faster than our country, so I’ll have to build up everyone’s trust before I can ask them to take in 10-13 songs at once. Secondly, there’s almost no similarities to past music I have released. Maybe one or two, but that’s it. I guess the only core similarity is that I’m still the person writing the songs as before… but I’m certain there will be people who are going to be surprised by my new stuff if they’ve heard Those Mockingbirds in the past. 

NJR:  What’s the next step for you after the album release?  What are your goals for 2017?

BIRD:  I am truly as close to goalless as I have been in my life. I think its a good thing for right now as its affording me a lot of freedom in my writing. So, I’m going to write songs, put them out, play shows, and try to be a positive force in the world. That’s all I’ve got for ya.

NJR:  What are the next few shows you have lined up?

BIRD:  I’ll be booking shows starting at the end of February!

Photo by: Eric Schnare

Written by Adam

Adam gave man-birth to N.J. Racket and is as close to an "editor-in-chief" the site has. He's a god awful photographer.