Home / Music / Artist Interviews / INTERVIEW: John Adams


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

Hi, thank you for helping me spread the word. I’m actually a little under the weather at the moment. I’m heading out on tour this week so I’m hoping, praying and living on Manuka honey so that I’m able to do the shows. Apart from that I’m in good spirits and enjoying the release of some new music.

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

I would love to. “Flames” is a thought about those bad relationships that I’m sure we’ve all been in. Imagine two people standing in an out of control house fire and instead of escaping they are arguing who was responsible for starting the fire. It’s a bit idiotic when you picture it like that but I come across so many people that are doing just that in their relationships. They’re too busy trying to get one up on each other and clear their own name to see that the relationship is over and it really doesn’t matter who’s responsible.

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

Sometimes a song takes a few months to write, with attention to each lyric and chord progression but this song was written in a morning. The music, lyric and melody just fell out of me simultaneously as if I was just simply feeling out loud. I wish they were all that easy. I think it was fortunate timing. The week it was written there was a serious house fire just outside my studio window and I also found myself in one of the relationships that I just explained. My brain must have linked the 2 together and voila. The therapy definitely helped and I took my own advice and “Got out” the very next day.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video? 

I love anything creative and adding the visuals is just an extension to the original idea. We had two incredible dancers and tried to mirror the song concept with the use of wool. In the beginning the couple proudly exchange thread to connect each other and enjoy the unity it brings, but over time the tangled web becomes frustrating and controlling just like a bad partnership. I think the idea works really well and we are all a little guilty of not wanting to go life alone but don’t want the restrictions a relationship can bring. The penny and the bun!

The single comes off your new album No White Lies – what’s the story behind the title? 

Well first off you should know. I absolutely hate liars!!! but of course if we all went around telling the truth about everything there would be lots of upset. I understand the need for “white lies’ but where do we draw the line? I guess if you say “You look lovely” to fill someone with confidence then great but if you start lying about loving someone and missing someone while they fall for you to avoid an awkward moment or cure your loneliness temporarily then you’ve gone too far. I wrote a song about this and thought it would be a fitting title for the EP because lyrically it’s very honest.

How was the recording and writing process? 

This time I took it slow. I wrote songs and produced them to a demo standard until I had a catalogue of about 40 ideas. I listened to them on my journeys and then decided to move forward with a handful. Over the years I have built up a team of wonderful musicians and studios I trust so the process was really simple. It normally takes so long to get a finished product that the tracks feel out of date and not a true reflection of your ability but I’m really proud that this EP is my best work at the moment.

With the success you have gained throughout the years – do you feel any pressure while working on this new material? 

No not really. I never really sit down and force myself to write a hit song. Maybe I should lol. Writing is my therapy, a way to spend a few hours thinking of my emotions, putting words to paper and moving on. It’s an incredible feeling to know there are people waiting for new music so it makes me more excited than anything else.

How Sam Smith and James Blunt World has influence your writing? 

I love both artists. I get lots of comparisons vocally so I guess they have both demonstrated different ways that a voice like mine can be used. I love how Sam Smith uses an electronic production to make the organic sound feel more current and James blunt’s lyricism is incredible. I’ve been to see him live a few times and his conviction is incredible. He has some whacky ideas but does them with such passion that you have no choice but to embrace it. I’m definitely taking that forward into my music.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

The people around me are my biggest source of happiness and unfortunately most of my frustrations and that’s pretty much what I write about. I’m also a big movie fan and regularly write a song immediately after being moved by a good film. I think we can often forget to feel in our busy lives and a movie or a good song can just press pause and allow us to feel for a short while.

What else is happening next in John Adams’ world? Any plans to hit the road?

I’m really looking forward to seeing what people think of the new songs and I’m hoping it will result in me being a millionaire. lol. I’m also heading out on tour with the band tomorrow. We have 15 dates spread across the south of the UK. Lots are in places I haven’t been to before so I’m excited to put some faces to the names I continually see supporting me on social media. Of course I’m continually writing and I’ve started to give my songs to other artists. It’s been refreshing and challenging to write in different genres and it’s definitely something I’d like to do a little more of this year. 

New album is out now!

Check out the music video for ‘Flames’: https://youtu.be/LrWseVYT6V8

Stream and download flames here: https://smarturl.it/janwl

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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