Call & Response: Freeland

Adam Freeland is a well-known name to anyone who follows talented UK electronic artists. He is a superstar electro/breaks DJ, producer/remixer, label owner and now full-fledged rockstar. His band Freeland have a killer new album out called Cope (on Adam's own Marine Parade label) and they're currently touring North America.

Freeland play a live set at Wrongbar tonight. I spoke with Adam about his band and their new album, and his Tommy Lee connection. And we've got free tickets to give away for tonight's Freeland show.

blogTO: Why is the album called Cope?

Adam Freeland: Cope is a fictional drug that provides 54 minutes of relief from the mass media brainwashing we are all addicted to. A kind of follow on from Aldous Huxley's Soma.

What's the story behind the album cover?

It depicts the crowd craving their cope dosage. In 70's pharmaceutical art style.

What was it like working with Tommy Lee? Did he share any nutty Motley Crue stories with you?

Tommy is a very unique and inspiring character. He has so much enthusiasm and creative positivity its infectious to be around. Basically he's still getting away with being 19. Cos he can. He's more than shared stories - I've toured with him on his jet and bus many times, and we've shared some ridiculous experiences together.

I love the commentary tracks about each album song on your website. I wish
bands did that more.

I'm glad. I just wanted to tell my story a bit and show a window into how the songs evolved. I find a lot of artists are hidden behind an image or 'brand' and I just want to do what I can to connect with my audience. Because they are generally people like me.

Are you a fan of band documentaries? Was that your inspiration?

I like band documentaries, yes. Just wanted to do something to connect on that level, but not had a chance to make the full DVD yet.

Does performing live feel different to you versus DJing?

Yes, its an entirely different world. Where we all have to be synchronized. Prepared. Actually just the whole dynamic of touring on a bus and spending all that time setting up and sound checking etc. But I think the potential ability to connect with an audience is far greater.

Which do you prefer?

I like doing them both. They keep each other interesting.

For the gear nerds out there (myself included): what's your live set-up like?

Ableton Live on a Mac is the backbone. I control that from an Akai MPD32 interface and a Novation keyboard. I also use an old analogue Korg MS20 synth running through pedals. We have a great drummer whose drums trigger the beat hits from my original production to give it the live feel with all the "produced" fatness, and Kurt Baumann the front man plays bass and guitar through various pedals and some vocal effects processing happens from the front of house sound mixer.

As a label owner and artist, do you have mixed feelings about the new digital era?

Yeah. It's a bummer that people buy less music, but I enjoy that a wider audience of people get to hear our music.

What are you listening to while on tour?

The tour bus albums on this week are School of Seven Bells, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Moderat, Peter Broderick, Mountains and the forthcoming Panty Raid album on Marine Parade.

You signed one of our local boys - Sta. Are you into any other Toronto producers/bands at the moment?

Sta is a great talent I'm chuffed to have him in the camp. I really like the band Metric. I'm just doing a remix of their new single for them.

What do you like best about visiting/playing in Toronto? Any places you have to go to while here?

It's a great city. Have had a lot of fun there over the years. I'm always just there for one night on tour, so it's usually ambitious to get anywhere past the hotel, restaurant, club and if its a big night, the Brass Rail!

CONTEST: The first two people who list their favourite track or remix by Adam Freeland or Freeland (the band) in a comment below each get a pair of tickets to the show. Please use a valid email address on the comment field so we can promptly contact you for prize claim details. Good luck!

Freeland (live), DJ Alex Metric, DJ Evan G
Tuesday, May 5
1279 Queen Street West
Doors: 9pm
Tickets $10 adv at Wantickets.com

Call & Response is a series of Q&A's with bands from or playing in Toronto.

Photo: Cornerstone.

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