By Jhoni Jackson
Matt Adams’ musical yield is exceptional, like a less eccentric, younger R. Stevie Moore, who he actually shared bills with in Europe a few years ago. Still, the output is freakish. Since first releasing tunes as The Blank Tapes in 2005, he’s amassed hundreds of recordings. (Many collections are available via Bandcamp.)
How does he do it? None of these are throwaways, either. Each number is as well-crafted as the next, all of them written with Ray Davies’ pre-‘70s catalog in mind and glazed with California sunshine and, occasionally, a dash of swirly psych. He’s got a few smooth folk-based tunes, too.
We tapped Adams to help debut our new Tour Talk series, and it turns out he’s not a robot or a mutant or anything else but absolutely human. He seems kind of fun actually, and easygoing. But maybe that’s what he wants us to think…?
Read his answers below, then check out the video for “Coast to Coast,” a cut from Blank Tapes’ latest LP Vacation.
Where are you now while you’re answering this?
I’m answering this from a cafe/bar in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
What are you driving during tour and how full is your gas tank?
Ha! We’re driving a Sprinter van with a bed in the back. We have about 20 miles left to go in our tank. I’ve learned how to calculate how far we can push it til we need to refuel.
What are you listening to on the road? Do you listen as a group or individually?
Pearl handles most of the DJing duties so we’re usually either listening to obscure psychedelic “world” music or podcasts like This American Life, Risk, Snap Judgment, Savage Love and things like that. We listen as a group although one of us is usually sleeping.
What’s the most interesting/fun/noteworthy thing that’s happened on this tour?
Other than tripping out a bit, I had a pretty priceless photo op happen to me while we were on a NXNE “bruise cruise” boat party last weekend. In the course of five minutes, while my girlfriend [and Blank Tapes drummer] Pearl was in the restroom, I was surrounded by almost a dozen girls who wanted to take a picture of me at the ship’s bow. Luckily there were half a dozen people snapping pictures of the whole thing. Must’ve been the Cap’n's hat!
So far, which show has been your favorite? Why?
Hmm, Austin and NY so far have been our favorites. Probably because we know the most people in those places and tend to party the hardest.
The Blank Tapes play the Earl on Tuesday, June 25, with Beach Day, An English Place and Song Preservation Society.