Scotland’s Adam Ross Greene has only just released his debut EP, but we already think that he’s going to be pretty big. We caught up with Adam to chat about recording his EP, covering Foo Fighters, and secretly wanting to be a drummer…
How would you describe your music for people who don’t know you?
‘I’d describe my music as singer/songwriter-meets-indie-pop. I write in a wide variety of styles, so I’ve always found it hard to describe exactly what my style is, but I’d say if you were to draw a Venn diagram of it all it’d meet between those two.
Who are your main musical influences?
‘When I was growing up, my main influences were Queen, Elvis, Abba and The Who. I’d say they’ve all had a significant impact on what my musical tastes are from an early age, and are probably the reason I’ve got such an eclectic taste! When I began writing and performing, my influences changed, and now they’re constantly changing. If I had to pinpoint one in particular I’d have to say Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, because I was obsessed with them when I was a teenager! I remember watching their Live at Wembley DVD and thinking ‘I want that to be me!’. After that, I started a band – funnily enough we did a lot of Foo Fighters covers!
You released your debut EP – the Crazy EP – in May. Was it easy to write and record?
‘The EP was something I’d wanted to do for a while, because I’d been writing songs since I was 16 and had never properly recorded anything beyond a few live demos in bands I used to be in. So, in terms of writing, the material was already there – it was just a matter of choosing what I wanted to put down. I recorded it with Gordy Goudie of Echo and the Bunnymen – we met through a mutual friend – and he was so down to earth and knew exactly what he was doing from the first demos, so he really helped build my confidence and made the whole thing easy for me! The only real difficulty was my confidence, since this was the first time I was putting my voice to a project.
How would you describe each track on the EP?
‘Each track on the EP was chosen because I’m really interested in narratives throughout songs and concept albums. This EP is almost a concept, and it opens with Crazy. The track introduces a young couple who are really passionately in love with each other, but that passion sometimes takes them over and ends in these big arguments.
‘Open Your Eyes follows up, and it marks the turning point in the relationship where the guy realises things have to change and promises that he’ll do everything in his power to give her the best life he can if she just ‘opens her eyes’ and sees they can’t go on the way they have been.
‘Bottom of Love is the third track on the EP…
‘…and it’s basically a phrase I coined that means the point in a relationship where you’re at your absolute worst and you don’t see a way out. I felt it would work in the context of a turbulent relationship; one where the guy’s feeling like they can’t go on, but he’s going to fight to make things work because he’s so madly in love with her.
‘Closing the EP out, Without Saying is the big finale of both the record and this conceptual relationship. It’s all about this couple finally reaching the end of their relationship and him still wanting to be with her, but her not feeling the same way. I think it’s a really powerful and relatable notion, to think about a relationship between two people who have been through so much together coming to the end, and both of them knowing without either one having to say a word.
Which song on the EP means the most to you?
‘Without Saying is my favourite track on the EP, and that’s because it means a lot to me personally. It comes from a place of honesty, and was written about a relationship I was in – it was one of those will they/won’t they kind of affairs that was always going to be better in the imagination, and we both knew but it was always unspoken. I think the song really reflects how it feels to accept something like that, and writing it was my way of bringing that chapter to a close.
What’s the hardest thing about being a young and emerging artist?
‘That’s a tough question. I’d say the hardest thing is trying to find the balance in your life. There are only so many hours in a day, and you have to find time to work, study, write, hang out with friends, see your family, book shows, play shows, shoot music videos, attend shows, and just keep yourself organised and on top of everything.
‘I think being in a band would make these things easier because there’s that sense of camaraderie and you can all share the load, but I don’t have that luxury at the minute.
‘I’d love to play with a band, and I’m starting to piece one together, but for now what I find hardest is juggling all my responsibilities. I don’t always see my friends and family enough – my mum makes it pretty clear when she’s not happy about it! It’s all worth it when you’re up on stage or you hear the final recording of a new song, though.
Out of every song ever recorded, which do you wish you’d written?
‘For a while now it’s been Heavenly Father by Bon Iver. The recording itself is incredibly moving, but there’s a video on YouTube of the band performing it A capella at the Sydney Opera House, and it’s honestly the most breathtaking performance I’ve ever seen or heard in my life. I’d definitely want to write a song like that.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
‘It would have to be a few years ago when I went to see Little Comets in Edinburgh. I think it was 2013, and in the Voodoo Rooms. I remember getting there, and the support act came on and absolutely blew me and my friends away. It turned out they were a breaking band called Catfish and the Bottlemen. After that, Little Comets came out, and they beat my expectations as well. I’ll never forget that gig.
If you could be in any band, which would it be and which instrument would you want to play?
‘The 1975. Drums. I’m a massive fan and I started out as a drummer so it’s got a special place in my heart!
Describe yourself in three words?