Adam: First off let me tell you that I’ve missed
seeing you at shows, James. No one has dared trying to fill
your shoes here in NJ. As for me, I’ve been watching
a lot of Japanese horror movies, debating whether or not
I should get rid of all social media and practicing a fair
amount of Zazen meditation. Also, I ride my bike a whole
lot now, it’s a really fantastic activity to take
part in. I often pretend I’m Luke Skywalker flying
an X-Wing while I’m on my bike, going down hills and
such. No joke.
Adam: We just collectively felt that it had run its course
and if we continued pushing it, we were going to run the
risk of diluting what we had accomplished in our own eyes.
It wasn’t a big dramatic ending or a great story,
just us saying “yea, let’s call it... check
Adam: There was an unfortunate falling out with a producer/friend
near the end, which was based on a misunderstanding... I
thought about that for a while and wished for a mulligan
on that one many times. I would have approached the entire
existence of the band with a whole lot less anxiety if I
could, but that’s one of those things you learn as
you get older.
Q: How long after the breakup did you start thinking
about or start writing music again?
Adam: Days.... if not before Those Mockingbirds officially
ended. There wasn’t a time where I considered otherwise.
Q: The music on Hard Times In New Dimensions is quite
a departure from what we were hearing on "Penny the Dreadful"
or "A Ballad from Hell." How did you arrive at or
what inspired the change?
Adam: I started to get into more electronic based music
during Those Mockingbirds and began to realize that synths
were capable of way viler and fucked up sounds than guitars
were. Bands like Massive Attack, Air & LCD Soundsystem
were all pivotal in opening my eyes and I quickly got over
that old artifact left to us from the classic rock generations,
still upset about disco, that rock and electronic music
were supposed to be segregated in some form or another.
The final Those Mockingbirds single “How The Story
Goes” was a step in that direction, and once the band
ended I decided to just run full force into it because I
knew I would be opening up a MUCH bigger color palette to
work with for what became aBIRD.
Q: Everything from the record's title "Hard Times
In Two Dimensions" to the opener "Fuck You (and
you and you)” to "If I Had A Gun" show that
you might have struggled and even faced some hard times during
the stretch in which these songs were written. Would I be
correct in that assumption?
Adam: Yes, you would be correct.
Q: Would you be open to sharing your experiences?
Adam: Around 12 years old I was diagnosed with OCD, specifically
obsessive thinking as opposed to compulsive physical actions,
and I was even medicated for a while too. So, my brain sorts
the information coming to it into weird clumps sometimes
and my wires can become very tangled. I would guess this
happens to everyone to some degree; however, when you add
obsessive thinking to to the mix, it’s a nightmare,
because as you begin to sort concepts into “negative
bins” in your head, those concepts become tainted
and you latch onto them. For example, I didn’t allow
myself to release a song that faded out at the end for a
long time, because - and this is the insane part - I truly
FELT it would somehow hex me. I could logically know that
it wouldn’t, but I would be INCREDIBLY uncomfortable
about it internally. I have lots of other hang ups that
are just as ridiculous too, and my brain operates as if
life is a pre-written story that I’m just watching
like a movie, while I logically know that isn’t the
So, with that explained, I’m sort of always going
thru some degree of these mental obstacle courses. I can
reign it in to benefit me, often in songwriting... but it’s
truly a work out and at times I am incredibly overwhelmed.
Especially during times of extreme change, like I experienced
in the last few years.
However, this is what aBIRD is about for me. Doing an entirely
new style of music was absolutely terrifying but I had to
stare it down to make the ghost go away. I can’t let
the invisible gatekeepers in my head win anymore, because
when they do, it cripples me across all the aspects of my
life. I’m honestly scared to even tell you this, because
every awful thing I can imagine people thinking of me is
currently brewing in my mind as I answer, but it’s
who I am and it’s why this album is called ‘Hard
Times In Two Dimensions’, because it sums up this
experience for me.
Q: I remember goofing on you when I first saw the
name Adam Bird under the band’s umbrella. How much of
that name being established in the music industry plays into
your decision to move forward as aBird?
Adam: I just wasn’t sure if it was truly a solo project
or if it was a band, so I decided to kind of ride the fence
a bit. It comes from my dad referring to both my brother
and I as if we are authors, using our first two initials
instead of our names sometimes. And then when we put the
first single out, Spotify or Google thought we were trying
to park on a common search term of “a bird”
and kept taking the page down. So, I said fuck it, make
it one word, and there ya go...aBIRD.
Q: How did you come to know the label Mint 400? Was
there anything particular that made you want to work with
Adam: I’ve known Neil (Sabatino) from just floating
around the same scene for years and he approached me about
contributing to the Tribute to Nirvana’s In Utero
compilation he was putting together. We ended up recording
the song “Very Ape” at his studio and I showed
him some of the aBIRD tracks in early form. Neil offered
me his help if I wanted it in the future and as we kept
talking I realized he would be a really great partner to
have as I launched this thing.
On what platforms, will the record be available?
Adam: It’s out now on Spotify, Apple Music and everywhere
else you can possibly imagine downloading or streaming music.
Just search for aBIRD like that. No spaces!
Q: Has performing the songs live been somewhat cathartic
Adam: Intensely cathartic. I will say that figuring out
how to translate electronic music to a live situation is
like learning a whole new language, so there was a lot of
trial and error at our early shows. But, I think we’re
starting to get the hang of it.
Q: Being that this is a solo effort, have you managed
to get a regular cast of musicians to work with on stage?
Or is it a revolving door policy?
Adam: My main collaborator is Nick Ivory, who performs
live with me and plays on the record. Kevin Walters from
Those Mockingbirds did a little drumming on the record,
and my friend Steve Carter helped me find the vibe for one
of the songs in the studio. Other than those guys I’ve
had an “open borders policy” where anyone who
can find something to do is welcome to come join us for
a bit if they want and go as they please. I’m purposefully
keeping it in an ambiguous grey area between “band”
and “solo artist,” as reflected by the name.
Q: What's next for aBIRD? Are you continuing to write
and record new song?
Adam: We’re going to push this record as long as
it will let us, while working on the next one. I’ve
got a batch of songs and an idea for the approach of the
next record already, and it’ll be a continued experiment
in trying new things.
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