Country artist Adam Hood talks music, Tuscaloosa before Jupiter Bar show (Q&A)
By Coti Howell | firstname.lastname@example.org
on April 11, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — There aren’t many southern musicians who choose to stay in the state they grew up in lieu of moving to Nashville to record their music, but Adam Hood is an Alabama native that doesn’t plan on leaving the place he calls home.
Born in Opelika, Hood married a University of Alabama graduate, and they moved their family to Northport last August. Hood credits the move to the good school systems in the area, he has a 14-year-old daughter, but he also says this area really inspires his music.
Hood will perform before The Josh Abbott Band Friday night at the Jupiter Bar on the Strip in Tuscaloosa. Doors open at 9 p.m., and tickets cost $10-$12. For more information on this show, check out the Jupiter Bar website.
We talked to Hood about all things Tuscaloosa, his music and songwriting and what you can expect from his live show.
Coti Howell: Let’s talk about your album “The Shape of Things,” which is currently available. Tell me about recording that album.
Adam Hood: We put the record out last October, and this was a little bit of a different process because I did it with Carnival Music, my publisher, the people I write my songs for. Instead of taking the time to sit down and come up with 10, 15, 20 songs to write for a record, this was just kind of a pile of demos. Usually about every three months we’ll go in and record the best of the songs that I’ve written in that three-month time period. It came time to make a record and the one that I had made before I had made out in Los Angeles, and I wasn’t going to be able to get out there. To travel just wasn’t realistic, and I couldn’t afford it. So we said, why don’t we take these demos, polish them up a little and make a record out of that. So again instead of having 10, 12 songs I had probably 40 songs to choose from. It was really nice. It was tough, but it was already done so that was the process with that.
CH: Do you have a favorite song on the album?
AH: That’s tough. Actually, I’m pretty proud of this record. I think just because I had a lot of time, and I had a lot of songs to choose from, a lot of these songs mean a lot to me. “The Shape of Things” is probably one of the most personal songs on there, so that’s a favorite. “The Tennessee Wheel,” I think that turned out really well. That’s a favorite. “Moving Mountains” is another favorite of mine.
CH: You’re a double threat. You’re not just a talented singer, but also a songwriter. What can you tell us about your songwriting process?
AH: It kind of varies. For me, it’s a work in progress. I’m still trying to figure out how to do it well and do it consistently. It’s just all about finding ideas. That’s really the hard part, to tell you the truth. They can be musical ideas, and for a long time, I was a lot more productive when I sat down and came up with musical ideas and just tried to figure out lyrical content aside from that. I’m sort of in a different space now, I’m coming up with lyrical ideas now, and it just depends. Sometimes I’ll come up with the second line of the third verse first, and I’ll write around that instead of writing around the hook. It all depends. It’s just a matter of having an idea. It doesn’t even have to be a specific idea. It can be anything you can see or hear in a day’s time, and say, “Hey that comment or that picture in my head is worthy of a song.” Then you sit down and try to paint the picture of it lyrically.
CH: What are your biggest inspirations as far as songwriting is concerned?
AH: That’s a good question. Honestly, and I know I’m going to sound like a cheater when I say this, but other music. I draw from the things that I hear, to be honest with you. It’ s a tricky kind of thing because usually when you hear someone say, “Well I pull from other music,” you think to yourself well they’re ripping somebody else off. It’s not really the case. There’s a lot of songs that I hear that will kind of create sort of a mood for me. I try to take that mood and make my own music out of it. So other music is pretty inspiring to me and just everyday conversation. I have family and friends, and I travel a lot, there’s all kinds of stuff that goes on in a days time that is well-worthy of writing now.
CH: You said you’re inspired by other musicians. Are there certain musicians that really inspire you the most?
AH: John Hyatt was a big influence of mine and still is one of my biggest influences. I’m a huge Rolling Stones fan. I love the Rolling Stones. That Stones stuff and Eric Clapton stuff around that era is kind of just neat southern music. I always kind of go back to that a lot. I think Jason Isbell does some of the best music I’ve ever heard to be honest with you. I listen to his stuff a lot.
CH: You’ve opened for Taylor Hicks. You’ve toured with Pat Green, Miranda Lambert and you were on the Willie Nelson Throwdown Tour in 2011. Is there a favorite tour you’ve been on?
AH: That Throwdown Tour was one of the best ones. That was the first experience I’ve had being a part of a tour in its entirety. Usually what I’ll do, like in the case of Miranda or Pat, is I’ll kind of find shows that work for me out. I don’t really do the entire tour. I just do the southeastern area of the tour or the Texas area of the tour. That’s just how it’s always worked out as a support act for me. The Throwdown Tour was the first time I’ve ever said from start to finish that we’re all going to do this together, Adam is a part of the posters and all that. I got to see Willie Nelson every night, and not only that, Jamey Johnson was on the tour, Lee Brice, Randy Houser. I was part of the Bluebird Songwriter’s thing. I got to know the people I was in the brunch with. A few of them were friends of mine, and a few were people I didn’t know so we developed a lot of friendships. I learned a lot about kind of what I wanted to do and what kind of scale I wanted to travel. That was a big touring circuit and there were a lot of things I loved about it, but I don’t know if I could do it on that level constantly.
CH: How would you describe your live show?
AH: It’s a pretty stripped-down version of what the album is. We’re really never more than a four-piece band. It’s a pretty kind of grass-rootsy rock and roll show, to be honest with you. I consider my music more southern music than I do country music, so that’s kind of where we’re at with that. We’re pretty spontaneous on stage. I don’t give myself a whole lot of rehearsal time. It’s pretty much about what you’ll hear is what you’ll see when you come see us.
CH: To anyone who’s on the fence about going to the show tomorrow, how might you convince them to come see you and The Josh Abbott Band?
AH: Coming from someone that was born and raised in Alabama and someone who travels a lot and goes all over the place to play my music, I would say this is an area I would really love to see support live music. Not just for myself, I’m coming as a support act for Josh Abbott. This is home for me and I want this place to feel like home, and I’d love to see support not just for myself but for the guys I’m opening for. For the sake of supporting live music in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, come out and see the show even if you’ve never heard these guys before, take a chance on somebody. I know in this instance, you won’t be disappointed.
CH: Now let’s talk Tuscaloosa. What are some of your favorite things to do in the area when you’re not touring, writing or recording?
AH: There’s good food here. I always like to go eat good food. I’m a dad, so there’s plenty of stuff we can do here. My daughter is pretty active in church and stuff that like so we just do stuff and we hang out with our families.
CH: Favorite food here?
AH: Northport Diner.
CH: Last question: Where do you think 2013 will take Adam Hood?
AH: This is the time to get started on a new record. I’ve been talking about it with management and myself and with my wife and the different guys in the band. I’m ready to make a new record, I’ve been writing a lot. We’re two months into the year, and I’ve probably got half a dozen songs now. I’ve really been busy writing. I’m ready to make a new record. I’m on the fence with how we’re going to do with that with how things are with the digital age. I wrote with a guy named Matthew Mayfield recently. He lives in Birmingham. He had said that there was a time where he released an EP a month. So instead of having to wait a year to put out a 12-song album because of the digital age now, you can put out a single every week if you want to. We’re kind of just exploring that. I’d like to do something as far as a live record goes, I think sooner or later I need to do something like that. That’s what my plans are this year just trying to figure out what to do as far as getting my music out there to people.
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