AN INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE ADAMSON
Maryland based artist George Adamson has hit us with his debut release, Being Grown. The 6 track EP, full of thematic elements revolving around growing up, embodies that constant flux we feel of having nothing and everything figured out. We enter this so called adulthood, and this supposed reality, yet don’t we all feel like we’re still 10 years old?? Melted speaks to George about confronting this, as well as the destruction of dreams and the rural Maryland music scene. Make sure to take a listen and pretend you’re a wee little one again roaming around the cornfield on a sticky summer night...
WHO IS GEORGE ADAMSON?? TELL US EVERYTHING!
I’m 23, living in good ol’ Southern Maryland, and I spend most of my time doing music and graphic design. This summer has been my first experience really playing shows on my own, and it feels really good. I kind of stumbled into the whole solo thing. My first experience with writing and performing was in a band with my best friends when I was 19. It was a very fast and funky jam band, which is funny thinking about my music now. I thought that was going to be my way of doing it. I actually remember thinking that I could never be a singer/songwriter because I didn’t think that I was good enough or interesting enough to do it. I got really into pop and 70s songwriting about two years ago and that really changed things for me. That whole time in my life inspired me to make this record and I’m very thankful for that. Now I am hoping I can get people to hear it.
BEING GROWN IS YOUR FIRST RELEASE, CORRECT? HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?
I put out a single last year under a different name, but yeah, this is my first full release! I started writing these songs after the band I was in split up. It was a difficult time for me. I was taking college classes, but I wasn’t feeling good about school at all. The only thing I was really putting my energy into was this band, and it suddenly kind of just fell apart. I remember feeling so heartbroken. For a few months I was just too bummed out to do anything, but when I finally did pick up writing again it ended up feeling really good. I felt like I could express myself in a very new way, without having to worry about doing it for anybody but myself. I kind of just followed that feeling until I got about six songs together, and then I got the idea of doing an EP so I started demoing them out in my room with a bunch of gear that was left over from the band. My first recordings were awful but I had some great friends giving me feedback through the whole process. I was also consuming a ton of new music, on top of watching hours of Youtube videos on recording. It definitely was a huge learning curve, but it was great. I got to spend a lot of time crafting these songs and getting them where I wanted them. My buddy, who was finishing up a book he was writing, gave me the idea that we should do a split-release show. It was perfect. I was like, “ok now I have a reason, I have to finish this.” So when the bulk of the recording was finished, I went and stayed with another buddy of mine in Baltimore for about two weeks and he helped me through all the mixing and mastering. Then I just put it out. I think it all worked out pretty well.
BEING GROWN SEEMS TO REVOLVE AROUND THE THEMES OF GROWING UP AND NO LONGER BEING A “YOUNG BOY.” DO YOU FEEL LIKE AN ADULT? what even is YOUTH?? (i know i equate youth with happiness and infinite possibilities)!! HAVE THESE BEEN EPIPHANIES OF YOURS OR SERVED AS INSPIRATION FOR THE ALBUM?
The whole idea of being an adult right now is funny to me because I don’t think anyone really knows what they’re doing at this age. We’re all just trying to figure out what we want and how we feel. It’s hard not to compare ourselves to others, so when we see people making progress, it’s easy to convince ourselves that we need to do certain things in a certain way to make our own progress. When I think about youth, I think about the innocence and being naive, before all of this pressure. Somewhere it seems to get lost. This was all definitely on my mind when I was writing these songs. It’s very tongue-and-cheek though, writing about being grown. I still feel like I don’t have anything figured out.
PART OF SO CALLED ‘GROWING UP’ IS GETTING HIT IN THE FACE WITH REALITY. WAS THERE A PIVOTAL POINT IN YOUR LIFE WHERE YOU REALIZED NOT ALL DREAMS COME TRUE? HAVING YOUR “DREAMS RUN DOWN THE DRAIN…..”
There was this moment after the band split where my friends came to me and basically told me that they were letting go of this dream and moving on. That’s where that song came from. This was something that we all really believed in, so it was not easy for them to come to me and tell me that. It wasn’t a bitter thing though. It was more like, “this is what we need to do in order for us to figure out our lives.” It ended up being the right thing. So you could say that was my reality check. I think sometimes you have to experience that kind of loss in order to gain some perspective.
HAS LIVING IN MARYLAND CONTRIBUTED AT ALL TO YOUR SOUND OR CREATIVE PROCESS? HOW HAS THE ENVIRONMENT AFFECTED YOU? LOCAL MUSIC SCENE?
Living in Maryland is pretty cool. I’m in a rural area, but I’m also close to some major cities. Even at a young age I got to experience a little bit of everything. My friends and I could drive an hour and a half to DC to see our favorite bands, while here in our hometown we could go fishing or walk through cornfields. I’ve spent a lot of time outside around here. Even when I write I’m thinking about being outside, so I think it’s definitely affected me. As far as the music scene, ours (Southern Maryland) has really developed over the past couple years. For the longest time the only places to play or see music were bars, but now there are some cool venues that support music. There are a lot of people making really good music here too.
DO YOU VALUE ANALOG, TANGIBLE WAYS OF LISTENING TO MUSIC LIKE VINYL AND CASSETTES? PREFERRED OVER DIGITAL STREAMING?
I’m pretty new to collecting vinyl, but I love the records that I have. Vinyl sounds better for sure, but I think it’s mostly special to me because of how personal it is. Digital streaming is great and I do it every day, but there’s nothing like the feeling of buying a new record, putting it on, and looking through all of the artwork. Cassettes are great too.
ANY NEW TUNES OR SHOWS OR ANYTHING YOU WANT OUR AUDIENCE TO KNOW?
I’m doing a split with my buddy JR Rhine which should be coming out later this year!