Jammerzine has an interview with Australian musician and songwriter Garth Adam. Garth is an artist with a varied history. Having played and toured for over ten years as the bass player for with actor/musician Russell Crowe and his band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, Garth is now branching out with a more than promising solo career with his new EP titled ‘Say You’ll Come With Me’.
And, in this interview, we talk with Garth about that new EP and his career in music so far.
About Garth Adam
In the late 90s and the early 2000s, multi-talented Australian musician Garth Adams was enjoying a career most musicians would envy, playing guitar and mandolin in his own band and recording and touring internationally (England, Italy, New Zealand, U.S. and Canada) as bassist with a renowned celebrity led “pub band.” called TOFOG.
A visit to Austin, TX, which he calls “the ultimate singer-songwriter town,” to record at Willie Nelson’s studio around the time of that ensemble’s demise shifted his perspective on the more fulfilling future that was possible for him. Inspired to completely change creative direction, he began writing his own music, dropped his debut EP Kiss the World Away in 2005 and launched a career as an indie DIY artist – which now culminates in the release of his engaging latest EP Say You’ll Come with Me.
“It was an absolute thrill to discover that I had enough confidence in myself and my songwriting to pursue my musical dreams this way,” he says. “I’ve come to believe that the best part of this business is that whether a song starts with a great idea or a crummy one, over time you can work it out and record it and it can be amazing.”
Over the years, Garth’s style has evolved into a folk-influenced pop style he calls “somewhere between Neil Finn and the Lumineers, with a little Coldplay and James Blunt.”
Having recorded most of his music over the years with Melvin Tree, a top independent producer in Australia, at Linear Studios in Sydney, Adam faced some unique geographic and pandemic-related challenges before recording Say You’ll Come With Me.
The owner of Linear Studios sold the facility and moved to France and Tree had moved 2,000 miles west to Perth for family reasons. Adam had written a bunch of tunes for his next project in 2021, but due to very restrictive lockdown policies couldn’t venture across country. While waiting for the rules to change, he penned new songs, some of which ended up on the new EP. He wound up ditching the earlier tunes because they seemed a little too sad – and he felt he needed to share a bit of optimism coming out of that difficult, anxiety filled era. When things finally opened up, he hightailed it across Australia to work with Tree.
While influenced by the Beach Boys’ intricate vocal arrangements in creating his own, his writing thematically often speaks of traveling and journeys, both physical and personal. The up-tempo title track is a high spirited, aspirational driving tune about breaking free and traveling along Australia’s beautiful Eastern coastline after the pandemic. Though “Forever and a Day” has a similar, rhythmically uplifting vibe, it was inspired by a personal tragic loss of my partner’s father and the heartfelt desire to “keep you forever and a day/To hold you so you never slip away.” The punchy, percussive pop/rocker “Tell Me One Thing” takes a whimsical yet pointed look at a struggling up and down relationship between two people who stick with it even if they never seem to get it together (“round and round we go/I find. . .I never know”).
“It was a happy session in Perth recording the EP and that’s reflected in the way it turned out,” he says. “Melvin, my longtime friend Dave Kelly and I play all the instruments. We work through the songs in a circle in the studio and once they are right, we record them on an old Studer analog desk. I was lucky to have Lisa and Keely O’Brien to add the wonderful backing vocals. This EP comes from a particularly fruitful creative period for me, during which I’ve spent more time writing and recording than ever before.”