Don’t let his rock’n’roll style throw you off, Canadian rocker Adam Baldwin is more than a good guitar riff or vintage jacket. The rocker who hails from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia cares about the world and isn’t afraid to write about it in a song. He released his self-titled EP in 2013 and in the summer of 2016 released his highly anticipated debut full length album No Telling When (Precisely Nineteen Eighty-Five).
Your self-titled EP was very successful for an independent artist. Your EP and your new album have two different tones. No Telling When (Precisely Nineteen Eighty-Five) tackles heavy social and political issues. Were you nervous putting out the new material that had a different message?
Adam Baldwin (AB): I did a lot of growing and matured mentally since the EP was released. I had kids since the EP was released and I just started to care about the world around me a little more. I was a little more cognizant of things around me that were not going correctly. I was trying to find a place artistically for that and I wanted to be able to be able to express the things I know and care about. It was a bit of a challenge to do but it was something I wanted to. It wasn’t easier or harder than the EP it was just a little different. I think people listen to music to get away from all the awful stuff I write about. I don’t know how much of that goes on these days, I don’t want to say I am the only artists writing like that but it’s hard to find.
Your song ‘Rehtaeh’ is a song most artists would shy away from writing. It is a song that can either help bring change to a system that some think is flawed or bring backlash to the artists writing the song. Did you have anyone try to stop you from putting it on the album?
AB: I’m fortunate enough to work with a record label, management and with an agent that are understanding of art. They have to commoditize it somehow but they don’t make their artists do that. I make my art and I get to make it the way I want to and their job is try to get it out there for people to buy it. I have a great deal of respect for them because there are not a lot of people that would want to touch songs like that. It’s not “commercial” to talk about politics or rape culture on a record. But I think it is very important to talk about it, to write about it because it’s something we don’t talk about enough. I think it is important if there is one more thing whether it be a record or a movie that those issues are talked about so that our conscience is at least somewhere near those issues.
You wrote about the past election in Canada on your record and the circus surrounding it, with that being said the election in the United States must be inspiring your like crazy right now.
AB: It doesn’t inspire me at all actually, it makes me want to pull my hair out! At least in Canada I understood what was going on. In the States I have no idea what is happening, they are talking about taco trucks and issues that don’t matter. It seems that they don’t have a chance to talk about what is really wrong in the States. There is a racial divide and this idea of separation between Church and States. There is this idea of there is American and there is nowhere else. I can’t watch what is going on in the election in the States because it will drive me insane.