Wednesday, August 12, 2009
INTERVIEW: Adam from Babyshambles about his Roses Kings & Castles project!
While you wouldn't know it, as he tends to behind the scenes (as opposed to on the front of the tabloid), without Adam Ficek Babyshambles probably wouldn't exist today. After replacing Gemma Clarke on drums (after a shambolic but destructive Babyshambles Christmas tour) Adam Ficek took his place behind the drum kit... but also helped keep the band from falling apart.
Were it not for him stepping in, along with Drew McConnell, there are many times that shows would not have happened, tensions would not have been soothed, and over all the band may not have made it. If you want to get a better feel for just how important Adam (and Drew) has been pick up Beg, Steal, or Borrow: The Official Babyshambles Story... After reading it I personally went from thinking "he seems like a cool guy" to "thank the Lord for Adam Ficek because otherwise my favourite band would be long gone"...
As I recently mentioned in a post, Babyshambles, The Libertines, and all their side projects are the reasons I started this blog. So, to get to interview Adam Ficek about his Roses Kings & Castles album is a serious delight.
Not only is the Roses Kings & Castles album a refreshing slice of fried gold but it's also an honest and personal journey through melody; it's not pretentious in the slightest, it's never over produced or trying too hard, it's an album that's so well crafted you feel like you know the songwriter on an almost personal level (something Adam's bandmate Mr. Doherty is also well known for). After trying to go through the normal media channels, and waiting 6 months, I was just about ready to give up on this interview when Adam actually contacted me about something unrelated?!?! Thanks to random chatter about "Gang Of Gin", Twitter, and Mr. Ficek's gentlemanly demeanor I now have this interview for you guys... enjoy! Please check out the info below for a couple free downloads and info about how to get RKC's debut album!
INTERVIEW WITH ADAM FICEK OF Roses Kings & Castles and Babyshambles
ISoA: How's it feel to perform/record material that's all yours? I imagine it's a different feeling than a group project as your wrote it all yourself...
it's quite an honest and sincere performance, there's nowhere to hide. It's all laid very bare, no one to look at if it's all going wrong..
ISoA: You have to have creativity pouring out of your ears to do the output you've been doing! Obviously Babyshambles had some downtime, was Roses Kings Castles something that came from that, or had you been writing songs for quite some time before?
Yeah, we have lots of time in babyshambles, and more so recently as peter has been doing his solo thing. I really enjoy writing so it's a pleasure to be able to have the chance to release my musical ideas. I've always written so releasing music was just an extension of that, I have co written with Babyshambles but people forget that.
ISoA: No doubt with your range of musical capabilities this album could have been a million different things. Was there anything that lead you in this direction for Roses Kings Castles (i.e. influences, albums, artists, life experience)?
Adam Ficek: I'm a hug fan of melody so I wanted to make an album with unashamed melodic content, it's odd how once I recorded and released I quickly moved on stylistically, it's as if that's one thing acomplished now I want this! the new stuff is darker and heavier. Althought the ep (released today) is a bridge between the two. The new album out in Oct has progressed even more. I'm no in the head space of RKCIII and it's getting more heavy still. The influences are drawn form people I know and meet and personal views. Musically I suppose like every starting artisst I initially looked to try and remake my favourite albums, but I'm not giving the game away.
ISoA: Unlike Babyshambles (with the exception of the Mains Ignition "Blinding" remix) your projects have been subject to remixing and electronics we wouldn't expect in your other band. What was the initial spark that made your love for electronic sounds blossom?
Adam Ficek: I enjoy music of every genre and ilk. There was actually a synth on the blinding but it got lost somewhere between the studio and the mixing desk! I used to do lots of djing of dance music and still listen to the more electronic side of things. I see music as being good or bad nothing else.
ISoA: Your DJing career has flourished... For those of us who are an ocean away what does a DJ set from you sound like? Any particular releases you've been into recently?
Adam Ficek: It depends entirely on the crowd, I'm paid to entertain the majority so it depends on the majority. I do occasionally do special sets of my personal loves, so loads of 60's soul and other obscurities.
ISoA: You've probably been asked a variation of this question a million times but... do you feel that people will be able one day to judge Babyshambles based on the music and not Pete's actions? Because as a member of a band I'd think that would be something that would be hard to come to terms with...
Adam Ficek: Probably not, most people are not able to see through the media haze.
The media needs to create and invent that's why it's there, it's not bad or good just...is
ISoA: This is a pretty standard question but what bands are you listening to/keeping your eye on?
Adam Ficek: fake blood. Deadmaus. Golden Silvers perhaps. to be honest there's not that many bands who are exciting me at the moment. please send me some, I really want to know some exciting bands.
ISoA: Lastly... the music industry has changed a lot in the last two years. Both you and Babyshambles have kept access to your music very close to the fans (SASE for singles, free downloads, announcing shows via forums and Myspace) as opposed to the typical monolithic industry disconnect that's standard for most big bands... do you think music will become more DIY with the recording industry tanking?
Adam Ficek: I think the majors will always have a grasp on the industry as they are very powerful, it would be very naive to think the whole DIY thing will change that but now we can create our own niches for the right reasons.
the majors have already taped into the DIY thing by swallowing small 'Indie' labels and essentially using them as extended A & R depts. I don't blame the small indies as it's hard making money from a small niche market but it gets me when they pretend to be indie. At least have the balls to say your floated by a major. Why not stand up and be counted.
Here are some remixes that from when the album first came out. They are both so good I frankly would like to hear the whole album remixed! But that's just the DJ geek in me... the first remix would fit in along with that IMISSMYJUNO remix of Franz I like so much, while the second remix is more in the vein of Hot Chip.
Roses Kings and Castles- "Entroubled (Boy+Girl Troubling Remix)"
Roses Kings and Castles- "Entroubled (Boy+Girl Troubling Remix)" Rapidshare
Roses Kings and Castles- "Entroubled (Geek Chics Spot of Bother Remix)" YSI
Roses Kings and Castles- "Entroubled (Geek Chics Spot of Bother Remix)" Rapidshare
And here's an approved Babyshambles track for ya... oldie but a goodie!
Babyshambles- "The Lost Art Of Murder" Rapidshare
Babyshambles- "The Lost Art Of Murder" YSI
You can buy RKC songs and merch right here. And you can keep tabs on what is happening here!
Check out the man in action...
Here's a little press from Adam's website about his most recent release...
"As you're all aware the ep 'Apples and Engines' is finished and ready to go. I'll be releasing it on August 10th on 7" vinyl and CD, initially to my mailing list so get signed up to the monthly RKC newsletter.
The past few months have been manic as usual, loads of gigs, loads of writing free songs for you lot, and my second album is underway.
The follow up to 'Roses Kings Castles' is going to be slightly bigger sounding and a little less twee in places, I've also persuaded a few of my mates to come and have a tinkle so watch this space.
As always a big thanks to all you followers and supporters. "
Here's some upcoming dates:
Wed 16th Sep 2009 - Portsmouth - UK @ The Cellers - Portsmouth
Thu 17th Sep 2009 - Brighton - UK @ Prince Albert.
Sun 20th Sep 2009 - Birmingham - UK @ The Victoria
Thu 8th Oct 2009 - Dublin @ Whelans
Well that's that for now. I again would like to thank Adam for being such a great musician... sharing such a great album with us... helping steer the good ship Albion... and for doing this interview. Check this space for future info about Adam and Roses Kings & Castles, because, as of today I'm going to add him to Arcadian Family. I'm down for life! Be back soon, hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!
P.s. You gotta get one of these! That is when they're in stock again here lol...