Adam Payne is one of those guys that has so many intricacies and quirks that you just can’t forget him. That aspect of his personality is reflected in his music, and it certainly leaves an impression. We’ve got the exclusive premiere stream of his entire album, entitled Famous Blondes.
Payne creates his art with a very unique advantage, wanting variety to be integral to his sound. This renders his lyrics “The elements of truth turn intention into stone” in the first track “Tell Me” as a staple thought when listening to the album. His approach with varietal intention becomes his key component in Famous Blondes. At times uptempo, at times a bit melancholy, the man has created a work of art that stands the test of time, drawing inspiration from what seems to be a very large array of influence. The hard-hitting garage rock feel of “One Man’s Trash” makes it a stand out track, while songs like “Nightmare” are much more low key, traditional rock sounds. (What’s that high-pitched accompaniment in that track, by the way? We’re strangely attracted to it.)
One thing is for sure. You’ve got your next summertime get together’s soundtrack set for you.
We caught up with Adam Payne recently. He spoke with us about his background, his influence, and that dance sequence from The Lobster. Immerse yourself in his genius!
Please, introduce yourself to our audience.
I was born in Los Angeles and live (t)here now.
In no particular order: 1/4 Latvian Jew, 1/4 Scotch-Irish-English, 1/4 Black American, 1/4 Cree Indian. = Quadroon.
but most people usually stop at Jewish.
In my 30s and can play most of the instruments needed to make a rock record.
How would you classify your sound?
Always a tough one….
I’ll usually say “Hippie New Wave” since they’re contradictory and can mean anything. I heard “Cloud Rap” the other day and loved that. “Trip Metal” is another.
Was there a moment when you realized you wanted to pursue music as a career?
Welp, my career right now is painting houses and refurbishing decks and patios. But I have always looked for a musical path. My dad made some records in the 70s and was always playing guitar or dobro in the house, so I followed suit. Then I saw the Peter Gabriel “Sledgehammer” video and said to myself, “I wanna do something like that!”
What’s the writing/recording process like for you? Any fun quirks or anecdotes?
I’m talking variety, making albums with different kinds of songs all over them. I’m just not trying to make anything that sounds like the same group for every song. The ultimate goal is to make records that are cohesive but completely varietal. Electric Landlady, Sign O’ The Times, Get Up With It, Hejira, Chocolate & Cheese, Taking Tiger Mountain, Mellowgold. All those albums are like that… Each song is its own genre but they all sound like they fit together. It’s like a mixtape made for you by a band/artist but with their own songs. That’s what I like about hip-hop mixtapes/cds, there’s less of a forced thematic element to them (which a lot of hip-hop albums seem to get bogged down in) and it’s more of an immediate rush for me as a listener. I’m enamored more with haphazard greatness than with studied perfection. Albeit, both are great. This is just the way I did this album. I didn’t ever set out to make a certain thing, it started to happen as I worked through it and I hung on to it all until I found some connection between the individual tracks.
What was some of the inspiration behind Famous Blondes?
Love. They’re love songs. Mind love, body love, word love, music love, self love. Everything a man does in his life is to gain, prolong, and subsequently reject or destroy a woman’s favor. Also, that John Stewart LP , Blondes. That has one of the greatest album cover/title/music contained within combos.
How do you imagine your fans enjoying the upcoming album?
Anyone listening should be on prescribed/unprescribed medication and wearing headphones, either alone or in groups. Dancing might happen at times, like that scene in The Lobster.
What’s up next?
Touring a little bit solo. Looking for a booking agent. my number’s in the book! I have another record almost ready to go. And continuing to playing bass for my favorite band, Gun Outfit.
Adam Payne’s Famous Blondes is out July 22nd via Selection Records. It is available for preorder.