As the crowd eagerly anticipates tonight’s concert at the Lakeview Amphitheater for the Counting Crows and Rob Thomas, lead singer, Adam Duritz took a few moments while getting ready for the tour this spring to speak with NYS Music on fame, music, his band, and Woodstock 99.
Kathy Stockbridge: Hi Adam, how are you?
Adam Duritz: Hi Kathy, I’m great, it’s a beautiful day today.
KS: Yes, it absolutely is. I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with our readers today, I know you are a very busy man. Most know that you are a musician, but you are also a film and music producer as well. You wear a lot of hats. Is there any one particular hat you prefer over the others?
AD: I just really like playing with the band. I’ve done a lot of different things, and mostly because it was necessary at that moment. Honestly I don’t think I would ever do another movie again, that was exhausting. I just did it because my friends had written a script and I wanted to help them get it made. Mostly, I just play in a band, that’s what I like.
KS: Well that’s good because you are good at it, and we enjoy it so it’s a win/win for everyone here. In past interviews I’ve seen and heard, many people think that “Mr. Jones” was your breakout song as it it went up the charts so fast. But it actually was your performance on Saturday Night Live of “Round Here” that actually catapulted you into the limelight. Talk to us a little about that take off, and was it everything you expected when it happened?
AD: No, but it never is. Because there is no way for you to ever conceive what that’s going to be like. Whatever picture you might have or imagination about fame or fortune of that sort of thing, where guys are suddenly listening to your music and you are the center of culture for that second, yeah there’s no way. In fact whatever ideas you ever have about what’s that’s like, are nothing like what it’s actually like. It’s so weird.
KS: It’s almost like the first time you ever hear your song on the radio, you never forget where you were. I’m sure it really a cool experience though.
AD: Yah, that’s a really cool experience. I very vividly remember that. It was just very clean, very simple, and FUN. Like the first time I heard us on the radio I was like “that’s just really cool”. But becoming famous all of a sudden having a sudden wash of success is nothing like anything you’ve ever experienced before in life. Like hearing your song on the radio is like really cool, but it’s like feeling appreciation from someone in some other way. And that’s happened before (feeling appreciation), people have told you something was good and you’ve gotten a compliment so it’s like a bigger.. better version of something you’ve experienced before. Getting famous and having that mass cultural thing is like nothing else in life. There is no way to understand before you hit that, how weird that is. It’s just really strange and bizarre. We had been touring for awhile at that point. People had made a mistake thinking that “Mr. Jones” was new, but it had been out for awhile. “Mr. Jones” had been on the radio, the record wasn’t even in the top 200. The video came out and we were touring, and we had not been doing our first headline shows yet. We had been opening for Kracker. We really hadn’t toured as a headliner at all. Then we played Saturday Night Live, and played “Round Here” and the whole world changed. Our record jumped forty spots a week for five weeks. We were at like 213, then we were at 170 something, 130, 90 something, 50 something, 12, 6, 2, and then stayed at 2 for like the next two years. It was just weird. It happened so suddenly, and it was such a weird surprise.