Adron, the coveted genre bending song bird, talked with BANG! about the inner workings of her creative process and where all that greatness comes from. Chipper from the success of her well received Organismo, Adron has radiated an honesty that is undeniable and fiercely recognized all at once. Slated for some conceptual works and a follow up to the aforementioned triumph, the visceral Miss McCann answered some questions about where it all comes from and where it all goes.
BANG! While your material is highly innovative in reference to chord structures and overall musicianship, there is also an equally impressive literary quality that goes hand in hand. Which aspect do you think more so defines your music?
Adron For the listener, I can't say... I leave that up to the person hearing the music. For me, both aspects are important, though I think I have a much easier time communicating exactly what I want musically, rather than lyrically. I can also get uncomfortable presenting a song if I don't feel like it has enough going on, with regard to chord structures and musicality, to not be ordinary. I feel strongly that the music I write ought to feel good to a listener and make sense, even to people with no musical background, but I also want it to have just enough unfamiliarity and weirdness to be interesting.
BANG! In reference to the above question, which aspect sprouts a song? Do you build off of a melody you’ve created or lyrics you’ve written?
Adron Almost always the music comes first. The chord progression, more specifically, and then the melody is just a stone's throw away from there. Lyrics can take me all year to finally decide on, though on very rare and magical occasions they just sort of tumble out. I wish that happened more often.
BANG! Because your music is indeed an amalgamation of typically dissimilar influences, in which market do you find your songs creating the most buzz?
Adron Good question. I honestly don't really know... I've been getting a lot of positive response from all kinds of different people, I can't even really see a trend there. I suspect I might do a little better playing to a slightly older audience, although that might just be the type of people who come to the kinds of venues I best like playing at.
BANG! How do you think deploying “non-musical objects” can elevate a song?
Adron I suspect you're referring to the instrument credits on the album liner notes, right? My percussionist Colin Agnew used a lot of instruments on "Organismo" that had perhaps never known themselves as instruments before, like cups, coffee cans, bamboo fronds, etc... Most of these sounds are so subtle you wouldn't even really think consciously about them when you hear the music, but I still think it creates an atmosphere of uncharted musical territory. I love to hear textures in my songs that I can't relate to anyone else's music. It really puts you into the specific world of that individual song.
BANG! What lessons did you learn from making Organismo, and its subsequent reception?
Adron I learned so much from making that record... I learned a lot about how to be a professional musician from my bandmates and our producer Marty Kearns, and I feel like I grew a lot of listening muscles that hadn't previously been developed before. I wish there was some kind of map of the wrinkles that grow in your brain during your first intensive studio mixing session. Since that experience I feel like I have a much more discerning ear for other recorded music... I can actually describe coherently what all is going on with a recording, which is something I thought I could do before but I really had no idea. As for the reception that "Organismo" got, I've been really happy with all the feedback so far but for the next one, I'd like to have more of a game plan for its release. I'd like to create some momentum behind it and hopefully ride it like a raft across some much more expansive tour routes in the future.
BANG! How does your music inform your visual art? Or do they both foster themselves?
Adron It's hard to articulate. I like to think that a lot of my music has a sort of landscape it inhabits, and each song's is different... and ideally my visual art is a continuation of those landscapes. But I don't know that that's the case 100% of the time... I just know that in my imagination there is a certain color palette and a certain musical attitude, and those are just aspects of me that come out when I make stuff up.
BANG! I understand that you are working on a concept album focused on death and mazes. Does this mean a darker twist in the upcoming project?
Adron One of the upcoming projects, yes, a bit darker. But still optimistic. The album you're talking about is going to be called "Thanatrópica" .
I'm trying to conceive it as a sort of musical journey through the Amazon, which is also a labyrinth, which is also death, and by death I really mean sublimation.
It's a long story but a lot of the inspiration for this comes from Werner Herzog's films Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre, Wrath Of God, especially the latter. This probably won't be extremely obvious from the songs on the album but it's sort of the road map I'm working with to create a mood.
BANG! Do you find that because your material has this intrinsic international harmony to it, that your demographic can’t really be defined or pinpointed?
Adron That could be true. But the way people hear music nowadays is so open-ended, and we have so much access to everything ever, that people's tastes are becoming much more broad and inclusive, I think. Maybe I can't pinpoint my demographic because demographics have become so fluid. My tastes have definitely become that way, I think. I'm interested in so many things and I can find out about it all and obsess about it in no time, with almost no effort. So it's hard to know who to direct this music towards, because it's not about any one generation or any one region.
BANG! What are you trying to offer through your music? What would you like it to embrace?
Adron Most of all I want my music to just lift people's spirits. Anyone could say that about anything, but I mean it, I just want my music to get inside people and make them feel something really good and warm and different. But I'm also trying to write songs that you never really get finished unpacking, too. There are always more layers of meaning and more sounds you never noticed or little harmonic tricks you never noticed. I just want give people music that someone worked really, really hard on, and in which everything is deliberate, so you know it's communicating something. I feel like that's not so common these days... So many people have the tools to make music and there's a lot of appreciation out there for music with a lot of rough edges and an unrefined sort of feel, which is absolutely fine. And a lot of pop songs that are happy to stick with 2 chords and a 4 on the floor beat, which I'm less fine with but hey whatever makes you happy. But I'm so much in love with all this serious studio music from the 70s, where producers and artists were coming together to create these intricate masterpieces, like Joni Mitchell's "Court and Spark" and Stevie Wonder's albums and all those Isley Brothers singles... and there's so much composition and craft going on, and also a lot of studio tricks and things like that, but it all feels so organic... Anyway, that's something I want to bring back. I just think music like that leaves you with such a full and satisfied feeling, like you just had a home-cooked meal that somebody who knows what they're doing worked really hard at.
Oh, you know, she's just expounding on some prolificness. While it's a lot to process, isn't there an eagerness to do so that has overcome you? Of course there is. To keep up with her you should check out her website, or check out her Facebook page here.