Take Aim: Amy Sciarretto vs. Counting Crows' Adam Duritz
Thu, 27 Jun 2013 16:39:24
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Right now, there's a '90s resurgence and wave of nostalgia for that era, but Counting Crows' singer Adam Duritz is blissfully unaware of that fact because he doesn't care about nostalgia. He cares about performing for his fans and that's how it should be. Although his band's heyday was during that decade, the Crows continue to perform and release music as prolifically as ever. They look ahead, not in the rearview.
The band was one of the first to embrace the digital age, and to use the Internet as a tool, as opposed to resisting it. On their summer tour with The Wallflowers, they are giving away a download of their live album Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow with every ticket. They continue to embrace new ways of connecting with fans.
We invited Adam Duritz into the Take Aim ring and he had a lot to say -- all of it worth listening to.
Do you feel or sense the '90s nostalgia that I am sensing right now, with tours and fans who were born in that period discovering its music?
I don't know. We have never stopped. We've been playing the whole time.
What's your perspective on the new music business, where downloading kills record sales?
When downloading started, it took away half the music business. So you had to embrace other ways to get music out there. I started blogging, since I realized AOL had message boards for Counting Crows fans. You could communicate with fans directly. That was the beginning of social media. You don't have to go through the press or MTV. For us, we embraced it like 20 years ago and then social media caught up. Labels didn't want you to take part in it, since they were protecting digital rights. They were missing opportunities. To me, there is no difference between giving away a download and giving a song radio. Take advantage of the Internet if it's taking advantage of you. We [and the label] had different ideas with what we wanted to do with the Internet. Downloads are downloads. But whatever. It's reality. Find other ways to do things. We were online years ago talking to bloggers besides mainstream press. We were being written about more on Absolute Punk than Rolling Stone.
What are the crowds like at your shows nowadays?
There are lot of kids in the crowds. It's bizarrely young. Bands like Panic! At the Disco and Dashboard Confessional were vocal and fearless about being fans of our band. They were the bands that came up listening to us, and so did their fans. There are 18-year-old kids in our audience. It's not just 40-year-olds.
Do you have songs you HAVE to play or do you just go with whatever you feel?
It changes every night. There is no song that has to be played. I send out a text to everyone. We finish soundcheck and between soundcheck and dinner, I send a text to the road crew, to the opening band, asking if there is anything [they] want to play or hear. Then I get stuff back, and I make a note, and I make a note about what I want to play. What better song to play than something someone else is dying to play? No setlist is sacred. You owe your crowd the best show. Playing songs we don't feel like playing isn't a good way of putting on a show. But if I don't want to play something on a given night, I don't. I don't want to phone it in.
It's almost a custom show every single night!
Not almost...it is.
Have you seen Counting Crows live? If so, how was it?