Photo Credit: Sam Brancato
Gearing up for the release of his debut LP, ‘Slightly Off Kilter,’ Adam Spry spent the earlier part of March out on the road in the Pacific Northwest before making his way home to San Francisco. Good times were had with his backing band BigRig, but now he’s focused on the new album dropping this week, planning more shows throughout the year, and more. We talked about all of that, including the inspired creativity of yesteryear, the idea of whether one can or can’t write too much, and more in this back-and-forth exchange.
Kendra: Was there an instance you can pinpoint in your life where you remember thinking, yup – music is what I need to be doing?
Adam Spry: My mom had The Beatles and Elvis’s #1 hit compilation albums in the six-CD changer in our family minivan, and I was obsessed with them. I sang along to every song and loved all the different instruments. I didn’t play anything yet but it made me happy. When I was in 7th grade I started learning guitar and my buddy and I would listen to Bob Dylan albums. I was obsessed and wanted to write my own songs. Never really stopped since then.
Kendra: Anyone that knows me knows I’m not the hugest fan of San Francisco (all those hills make my stomach insanely upset) but there is always one spot I tell everyone to see there, and that’s Haight-Ashbury. I feel like your style goes very well with the history of that area. Is that still a place in the city that you feel represents that creative, artsy spirit?
Adam Spry: The Haight will always be a classic landmark of San Francisco and a treasured part of its rich musical history. I live by Ocean Beach and have an infant at home, so I don’t really leave this part of the city all that often to be honest.
Kendra: So let’s talk about ‘Slightly Off Kilter,’ your debut LP. As someone who writes way too much, I often have pieces just left on the back burner. So I can imagine you had some songs that you may’ve intended to be on this record but perhaps didn’t make the final cut. Did you, and if so – do you think we’ll hear them one day down the line?
Adam Spry: I don’t know if you can write too much, but I know what you mean and yes, there are tons of songs that didn’t appear on this record. I’ll be releasing them for sure. Either as singles or on another album, EP, or something.
Kendra: The lead single off ‘Slightly Off Kilter’ is “Rotten Mausoleum.’ Another thing about me, I’m a huge fan of the ‘70s so anything that reminds me of the music of that era – I dig. This definitely hit the mark on that. With that, what do you think the 70’s greatest lesson in songwriting was?
Adam Spry: I think a lot of the bands in the ‘70s took what the bands of the ‘60s were doing creatively and implemented all the new recording technology to reach new heights. Not saying one is better than the other but it was just wide open in the ‘70s and that freedom mixed with huge financial contributions from major labels led to some incredible records being made.
Kendra: In the video for “Rotten Mausoleum,” you rock a lot of looks, including a glitter beard. I’ve heard this isn’t something one does lightly. It can take quite some time for the glitter to leave…how long were you finding glitter in your facial hair after the video was said and done?
Adam Spry: I told my wife, Sarah, my idea for the video and she was very excited to doll me up. She knocked all the looks out of the park and having glitter around the house is just the price of doing business.
Kendra: Another song on the new record is “Creatures of Habit” and it made me think of how humans are obviously all individuals but at the same time, so much of our day-to-day mirror one another. Do you feel like typical daily routines can cause a person to lose their creative drive and in turn force them to become just another cog in the machine?
Adam Spry: Yes. Definitely. The “follow the rabbit” Alice In Wonderland homage in this song is a reminder to myself to try and break out of the norm.
Kendra: Time for a side note – We’d love to know when you perform, do you have any sort of lucky charms you take with you on stage, or do you have any sort of pre-show traditions you do to ensure you have a great show?
Adam Spry: I don’t really have any superstitions or lucky charms about performing but maybe I ought to! I’m usually stressed before shows and can’t eat anything. My post-show tradition is finding the nearest place that is open and eating.
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘Slightly Off Kilter’ out on March 24th, what else can the world expect as we focus on spring and soon enough, summer?
Adam Spry: The album release show at The Balboa Theater on March 25th in San Francisco is going to be epic. Booking more shows and tours for 2023 and already working on tons of new music to be released soon enough. Other than that I am just excited to spend some time with my family.