May 8, 2012 on kaosradioaustin.org
Adrian Conner - I played the piccolo and I hated it, played the harmonica hated it, I played the saxophone in 6th grade hated it. I wanted to play the snare drum but my Mom wouldn’t let me so that is probably why I’m not a drummer even though I’d probably have more job security if I was a drummer. Picked up the guitar like at 14 because I saw this movie “Satisfaction” with Justin Bateman and I liked that movie a whole lot. I was like “I wanna play guitar” but I didn’t listen to any guitar music and my parents didn’t listen to any Classic Rock. So, pretty much I liked Cindy Lauper and Madonna, you know top 40 which back then was way more tolerable but maybe just because I was younger (laughs). My sister listened to Duran Duran and all those kind of bands. I really didn’t like guitar at first. My guitar teacher would have me play chord progressions like Eagles songs. I used to do it just to do it but then I started to hear guitar more in Madonna songs. I got into the B-52’s which isn’t really a guitar band ‘cause I was really into girl voices so that’s what drew me to them. I learned Planet Claire on the guitar…
STT – This is all when you were playing with yourself?
AC – Yeah, I’m really good at playing with myself. I didn’t really get into a band until I was 15 and it was the boys up the street, neighborhood boys and they went to public school. I didn’t get to hear Rock music until I went to public school, which was 10th grade or whatever, like 16 years old. Then I started hearing Rock which was the time Sub Pop was a really big deal in Seattle and the music scene was all…it was starting to be all Nirvana. The jocks were starting to like Nirvana and all the alternative kids were like “fuck you, hate you”, you know, I don’t know, you know what I mean.
STT - Who are your musical influences? With your musical influences I remember when it was College Rock, then it became the Grunge Rock or the Alternative Rock but it all was a progression. Who would you consider your musical influences for what you are playing now?
AC – Ohhh, well now definitely AC/DC because that is what I do for my job, pretending to be Angus. I’ve always loved Jimmy Page and that’s what motivated me to play guitar but now everything. I’m really into finding new music and new bands. I like all kinds of music. I’m interested in the evolution of song writing and I think it’s very important, if you are going be writing songs, that as an artist that you should be out there looking for new bands. Looking for the next song that touches you, it shouldn’t be limited to style it should be about does it excite me, does it catch my attention, does it pull me out of whatever weird thought process I’m in. All of a sudden I’m listening to those great songs, that is what it is for me.
STT - How long has this band been together?
STT - There are elements of Rock, Metal, Pop and Punk in your sound, do you strive to find a balance between styles or genres of music or do you just let it flow?
AC – I let it flow and I think it really backfires, you know when you are trying to get shows with other bands. I think that it is better to have one sound and be really good at that sound but you know what, I do what I do. Like I said I listen to all kinds of music and my goal is to write really good songs that are interesting, not too long, not boring, something to sing along to. Have some intricate guitar idea or technique so whatever, I don’t know.
STT - Locally I noticed you have been playing quite a bit, what bands do you enjoy playing with? Who are some of your favorite local bands?
AC – Well, we have a lot. I guess we did a show with them one time, it was a weird show but White Ghost Shivers did an electric show. Of course Honky, Dixie Witch, Amplified Heat and I really love Cruiser Weight, we got to play with them one time.
STT - What are the Venues that you generally play around town and where should people be looking for you?
AC - I wish I could help you out on that one. We used to play Headhunters a lot now I’m into The Continental Club, I love playing over there. I like Red 7 and we played the Dirty Dog the other day and it wasn’t too bad. It sounded great and a lot of traffic off 6th street is good.
STT - What is the deal with drummers? I understand you don’t have a permanent drummer at this point or someone is filling in. Are you looking for a permanent drummer and how many drummers have you had, what is the deal with drummers?
AC – I’m a real DIVA (laughs). No, right now we have A.J. playing drums and he is from Thunderosa, we are going play one of his songs later. So he’s my Austin drummer at this point and I also have a drummer in Seattle that I work with. He is my original drummer and I’ll be playing with him in August. So it’s all about who is available. Everybody’s got bands and other things they do and I don’t want to be held back by anybody’s schedule, I don’t want to hold anyone else back. That’s just how it is. I’d love to have A.J. come up for the Rockin’ Rivers Fest in August, he is awesome and he is kicking ass and we’ve done so much progression in terms of our live show. We’ve been doing a lot of jamming and free-flow. A.J. is the only drummer that has really taken it upon himself to play the music and just play and relax and let it go somewhere and know what sections it’s going work in. That’s really important. All the other drummers we’ve had it’s been more like song, song, song, song and that’s okay if you are gonna do a 45 minute set. How we survive and pay the bills is we’ve got to play a couple hours in a night. It’s really fun when we can all relax with an arrangement and take it somewhere that we have not gone before or maybe know that this section is coming up and we can really mess around with it. So A.J. will start doing something crazy and I’ll start trying to play along with him.
STT - Improvisation?
AC - Yes, improvisation. We’ve been able to do that with A.J. and it’s really exciting. It also brings me back to another Austin performer that I really like, David Garza. He had one of the best shows during South By San Jose and the entire sound system went out on him for about 10-15 minutes, didn’t stop playing. Him and Michael Hale and Brad Houser they just made it through. They played like three songs without a sound system and it was amazing. Jamming! They are doing this one song, it ends and start Stir It Up and get the crowd to sing Stir It Up and they go into Cotton Eye Joe then the P.A. kicks back on. It’s been like 15 minutes and nobody left, it was amazing the musicianship the knowledge the ability to handle the stress was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.
STT - I have heard you play a rockin’ cover of Iron Maiden live, what other cover songs do you play? We should also mention your other (cover) band.
AC - The Iron Maiden thing that you saw was a band that I do with Amber Saxon and Spence from BugGiRL and of course Heather because she is in both of our bands. We do a band called Cock and Balls and it brings you the best in 70’s & 80’s Metal and cover songs. Like Iron Maiden’s Run to the Hills, Van Halen’s Hot for Teacher, AC/DC and all kinds of stuff.
STT - You’d mentioned Hell’s Belles, what is that?
AC - Hell’s Belles is the band I play with in Seattle and they are an all female AC/DC tribute band and we’ve been doing that since 2000. It’s a really fun thing to do and Amber Saxon is singing in it is a fricken blast, I play Angus.
STT - That’s funny because I’ve heard of Hell’s Belles but did not realize that you were a part of that which makes it that much greater. Here is one for you…are your dreadlocks a product of headbanging?
AC - Ha, no. They would be real nasty if that were the case.
Adrian and the Sickness have an upcoming tour planned in June and the Rockin The River fest in Three Forks, MT in August opening for Cinderella & Kix. Sounds like it is going to be a busy summer.
Criminal / Dog Days 7” 2011
B.F.D. CD 2009
Get Up! Get Out! CD & DVD 2007
Adrian For President CD 2006