INTERVIEW: Adam Cleaver

Hi Adam, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been doing great thanks!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Narrow Spines”?

‘Narrow Spines’ is quite an important song for me. It’s about weakness and how the decisions we make influence others. As well as it being important lyrically, the track sort of took on a life of it own sonically. It’s far broader, there is much more meat on it’s bones than previous songs i’ve released. It was crucial for me to let the track grow organically and become what is wanted to be.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

I was working with a few lines for a little while before the song itself materialised, around a time where there was a lot of change going on around me. I was making steps to pull myself out of a fairly negative situation. I think Narrow Spines has a definite connection to some of the frustration that came out of that. So the song is more of a result of my state of mind around that time than a particular event.

Any plans to release a video for the song?

There is a video on its way! I’m very excited about it. James Byrne who directed my last two videos also worked on this one with me and he’s really outdone himself. I won’t give too much away but I did a fair bit of research into Haitian Vodou for it.

How was the recording and writing process?

Recording was quite physically challenging. I’d really stretched myself vocally and I could feel it. But coming out of it I realise that it was important for me to exert myself to get this song done. There is is a sort of alignment there I think. I came out of recording feeling pretty clear about a few important choices.

What was it like to work with Matt Harris and how did that relationship develop?

Matt and I have been working together for a good while now and I feel like there is still a huge amount of unchartered territory. Narrow Spines marked an important growth for us and I genuinely feel like it’s our strongest work to date as a unit. It’s been a process of regularly throwing new ideas into the mix and finding what we’re happy with, always in flux and never boring (especially playing Narrow Spines in the practise room…that’s too much fun).

How much did he get to influence the track?

There was a lot of input from Matt on this song. Once I had the arrangement I was uncertain of where to take it. The version that I had was quite delicate, and hinged on more of a swung beat. I wanted the instrumentation to reflect the frustration that was running through the track and Matt’s input in the practise room really found a space for it to command.

What weaknesses inspired the lyrics on this record?

Probably my own to begin with. I was with someone, living in a situation that was hostile but felt unable to pull myself from it. My partner at the time was dealing with the loss of someone important and their grief became a grain that ran through our time together, so in another way the weakness i’m referring to is of someone who has experienced loss and is struggling to see outside of it. It’s hard to say what really gave life to the lyrics in the song, emotions were high and I would be hard pressed to say it was just one train of thought that brought it out of me.

Does the new single mean we can expect an album – how’s that coming along?

I’d love to look at an album soon. This single is an animal of its own and doesn’t really have any companions. I’m working on a lot of new material at the moment so bigger projects are definitely on the horizon!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

It’s out on April 22nd! And it’s free!

Any plans to hit the road?

I’m just about to head to Germany for a few dates there which i’m totally buzzing about. I’ll be announcing some UK dates in late April pretty soon as well so i’ll be on the road a fair bit.

What else is happening next in Adam Cleaver’s world?

This is looking to be an exciting year, there’s a lot of new material to share and perhaps a few pleasant surprises. Was that too vague? In any case there is plenty more to come!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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