Friday, November 2, 2012

Steve Adamyk Band

Interview by Ed Stuart

Who’s answering the questions?
Steve Adamyk!

Where is the band from?
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
Steve – Guitar, Lead Vox
Davey – Guitar, Vox, Keys
Dave Forcier – Drums, Percussion
Seb – Bass, Vox
Dave Williams – Guitar, Vox and more (studio only)

I had read in previous interviews that the band was primarily a vehicle for solo songs you were writing while in the Sedatives? What was the decision to start the band with two other members from the Sedatives especially after that band broke up? Why not move on to find new members?
Sedatives were not my band, by any means. The group wouldn’t have been complete without all four members participating. Plus, Sedatives had a specific sound in mind, and the songs I was writing didn’t really fit into the spectrum of what we were going for anyway.

When Sedatives and my other band, Million Dollar Marxists broke up, I didn’t really have a place to call home for a while. I never really talked about it, but it was a weird time. I’m the type of person that always needs to be focusing on some form of musical outlet. Once my bands ended, the rest of the guys I was familiar with moved on to other projects. I was homeless, so to speak. So, I started writing on my own. It ended up with me asking a few people to help out in the studio with some songs I had, which is much easier to get someone to commit to, rather than starting a whole new band. My intention was never to turn it into a full-fledged deal; I always assumed this would be short lived and I’d start something else up with new musicians. But, this now band, kind of took over.

It’s a big deal to have your name somewhere in the band name. Can you give a little background info on how you came to this decision?  Do you feel there is more pressure on you because your name is the band name?
As I touched on above, I never really expected the first batch of songs to go anywhere. I didn’t think anyone would care, and I wasn’t planning on expanding on it. So, I called it my own name, because, well… that’s all it was. It was never supposed to be a real band. But, the feedback we began to receive was great. Plus, it turned out that everyone involved was interested in playing some shows and taking it seriously. In the end, that resulted in the Steve Adamyk “Band” name change. None of us ever expected to get the attention we’ve received thus far, and had we known, we might have reconsidered and used an actual band name. But, hindsight’s an asshole, and ultimately I don’t really care. The only thing that concerns me is that some people might take it as some sort of egotistical thing, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I really don’t think I’m that important. On top of that, we’re really a band in every respect. I mean, I write the songs, but otherwise I only have 25% of a say in what happens (other than veto power, of course!). So, I don’t exactly feel any sort of pressure, but I think that the name can have both positive and negative effect, depending on the listener. Either way, a good song is a good song, and a good song will get heard. And, if they’re not good songs, then fuck it. We’ll still be playing and recording tunes, regardless of the reception. 

One thing about this band is that you are very prolific songwriter. 4 singles and an LP in 2010, an LP last year and another are already slated for later this year. A lot of bands choose to release an LP or so every couple of years. Why does this band do the opposite?
Just hitting my earlier thirties, none of us are getting any younger. I like to strike while the irons hot. It’s about making the most of it while we still can. I’d actually like to be putting out even more than we have been, in theory. We don’t tour THAT much (that’s going to change soon though, hopefully), so it’s not terribly difficult to write and record punk songs in our hometown. Also, some of these songs I’ve recorded are actually quite old.

List some bands that you feel have a direct influence on your songwriting?
Our influences are a lot of the same old, same old. Mostly, nothing out the ordinary. Only difference being, I try and bridge a few genres of punk together, specifically 70’s power-pop, modern garage and classic punk. It’s funny to me that a lot of people think we’re a pop-punk band. I suppose we are; but it was never really my intention to sound like that. Yeah, I listened to a lot of Screeching Weasel growing up and maybe that’s why it shows? But, for the most part, I’m trying to write power-pop songs with some attitude. I can’t really help how it comes out. A few obscure influences I could reference are a band called The Dogmatics from the eighties, Metal Mike from Angry Samoans’ solo material, Stiv Bators (solo material) and The Carbonas.
With the exception of Dirtnap, European labels put all of the band’s releases out. Are the European labels offering to put out releases before any US labels or is the band better known in Europe?
Oddly enough, it’s one of first questions we typically get. The answer’s simple: they were the first people offering to put out our songs. I’d just recently dealt with Ptrash, Red Lounge and Taken by Surprise Records with Sedatives, so when I had new recordings of my solo material, it was mainly just me showing friends of mine “Hey, check out these songs I did for fun” with the response being really positive. The first two singles came out before we had even played our first show (opening for OWTH). When Ptrash told me he wanted to do the “Speed it Up” single, he also asked if we’d be into doing an LP after that. Which, actually, was a real game changer. It went from being a side project to having something that we had to get done. Without that LP we agreed to release, we might not have taken the time to get anything out for a while. That LP ended up paving the road for where we are today.

The band toured Europe in April. How did that go?
If it’s not obvious, touring Europe is amazing. It was our second time over in two years, which ended up better way better than the year prior, which was also incredible. It just made sense to go over and help promote some of our releases that came out in those countries. Some of the best people we know.

How was playing SXSW?
I’ve been to SXSW five times. It’s always a blast. But, I think bands have a skewed perspective of what the festival is. It’s important to have it on paper, I guess. But no one’s getting rich and famous, or “discovered” there. You’ll go, play a show or two, party a whole lot and go home. If anything, it’s just a really great party.

How did you get on MTV’s Ridiculousness? Is Rob Drydek a fan of the band?
To be honest, I’m not sure how it came about, other than someone approaching Dirtnap to use a few of our songs at one point. I’ve never really been given an explanation. My old band had a song on Fantasy Factory years back, so maybe there’s a connection? Likely just a fluke.

50 years ago people use buy music and get their water for free, now people pay for water and get their music for free. How do you think this affects music in any way?
The world’s a pretty twisted place; and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that nothing stays the same. I was just telling my wife that I have a hard time watching those doomsday style movies/shows like “The Road”, because I’m freaked out that something like that will actually happen in our lifetime. Point being, I think artists across the board are hurting, and people are generally looking to cut costs wherever they can. Then there’s the over-saturated market of bands, to the point where people just expect you to play and release music for free. I don’t think there’s really a right or wrong answer to that, and frankly I’m a little undecided myself at times. But, just like anything else, it’s about learning to adapt. I don’t think anyone should feel bad for major labels losing money on the CD industry. If they can’t become creative enough to make their shitty products more appealing, they deserve to be run out of town. But, on the flipside, people often take advantage of an artists will to create “for the love of it”. There’s a happy medium in there, somewhere, is my point.

Where can people hear the band?
You can check us out at

What’s next?
We’ve got a new album coming out in February 2013, our 3rd LP, 2nd for Dirtnap, and we think it’s our best yet. More North American dates to follow in 2013, and Europe this time around as well. Other than that, we may kill each other, but who knows.



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