TAP Interview: Bad Weather California’s Chris Adolf (Playing Tonight in LA with The Lumineers)

We recently told you about the indie band Bad Weather California. Tonight, they play their second sold out show at the Henry Fonda Theatre with The Lumineers. Our writer Ace Ubas recently had a chance to check in with the band’s frontman Chris Adolf. Check it out below and catch the band live this fall.

What was the band listening to during the recording of Sunkissed?

Oh man. Probably the same kind of stuff we listen to now. I’m not the kind of person who is always seeking out new stuff. I mean… I love when my friends turn me on to new stuff. But when I choose something to listen to I am usually looking for familiarity. Beatles, Stones, Marley, Paul Simon, velvet underground etc… classic rock greats like that are always in heavy rotation in my realm. As are great 80s-90s punk groups like black flag, dino jr. etc. I like the outsiders too. Roky Ericson, Recless Eric etc. But I can’t really give you a sexy list of super ‘cool’ obscure and aesoteric groups.

Were there any differences in the writing or recording process between Young Punks and Sunkissed?

Sure. I’m sure there were. My mind was in a different place. I can’t pinpoint exactly WHAT was different but I mean, my life has to move forward or it gets boring. So I’m sure I was in a different place for those two records.

Could you describe the ‘sunshine’ aesthetic or aspect in your music?

Well. I saw a trend in music through the early 2000s that still has some hang over now. Very serious music. Very somber music. Very chin rugby stuff. I just wanted to take rock and roll back to where it was from. Before it was over intellectualized and taken so seriously. Sunshine was just my way of saying, “lighten up dudes! It’s just life. Lets LIVE!”

By having a DIY work ethic, do you feel that at one point or another, you’ll be stretched thin and you’ll have to hire a manager, publicist, etc.?

I feel that way right now. I am spread VERY thin. But that’s just how life is. What ever you do you have to work hard at it. Single moms who work two jobs are spread thin. Underpaid school teachers who have to work all day and then make lesson plans at home at night are spread thin. I’m just a dude who plays rock and roll. It’s gonna be work. But we all gotta work. I’m not special. You can’t be a baby about work.

What is it about the DIY approach that you prefer? Does it have an effect on how you write music?

It’s not a preference. It’s just what most people have to do. No it doesn’t effect how I make music. The art and the logistics of making art should be separate.

Having worked with Akron/Family rather closely in terms of the release/production of your music, what are some things that you have learned from a band like that?

WORK! Those guys work their asses off. It’s inspiring.

Has growing up on an urban ‘island’ (as you have described Denver) impacted on how your write songs?

Well I didn’t grow up in denver. A few of the members were based out of there. But I grew up out in the desert near the Colorado and Utah border and still call it home. The desert is amazing and beautiful and at the same time very unforgiving and extreme. I’m sure it has effected the way I do things. I couldn’t tell you how but you know, everybody is effected by their environment.

After reading that a song typically just ‘comes to you,’ has there ever been a ‘weird’ or unconventional setting where a song just popped into your head?

This is a question I CAN answer. You know that window when you first wake up and you can still remember you dreams? Just before you forget what you were dreaming about? I write all of my lyrics in that window and then run to my computer to get them down before I forget. I e-mail them to myself. They just all come together and my mind doesn’t get in the way.

You mentioned in a previous interview that you like ‘old’ things, specifically architecture. What is it about the past that appeals to you as opposed to the ‘new’?

I think Jonathan Richman put it best. Just check out this song! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCb2aArq9HM&feature=related

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  1. The Lumineers and Bad Weather California 10/2 Henry Fonda Theater LA Review | The Audio Perv

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