Guestbook › interview with Adam en route to Philly show
July 2, 2009 at 9:57 am #1138696bradsearsKeymaster
June 30th, 2009
Interview: Adam Franklin
British singer-guitarist Adam Franklin is perhaps best known for fronting the propulsive ’90s U.K. guitar-rock juggernaut Swervedriver, which reunited last year for a brief U.S. summer tour that swung through the TLA. Franklin’s been involved in myriad musical projects over the past decade-plus, from Magnetic Morning (the band he shares with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino) to the Robin Proper-Sheppard-fronted indie-rock collective Sophia to Franklin’s own Toshack Highway and a solo career under his own name, with backing band Bolts of Melody. That latter outfit comes to the Troc on Wednesday night (opening for the Church) behind the recently released gem Spent Bullets, which finds Franklin and company exploring thick, melodically compelling psych-pop with loads of guitar atmospherics and elegant, ethereal passages. We caught up with Franklin over the phone today as his tour van rumbled toward Philadelphia.
You’ve played Philly lots of times – any particular memories stand out?
Well, I suppose there was one time playing at the Khyber Pass when I was just doin’ a little run up and down the east coast on the Amtrak, you know, doing these little solo shows, and I remember playing the Khyber Pass and then I had to catch the last train back to New York and somebody said, “Well, if you need a cab there’s this certain guy in a pink CadillacŠ” or something. And eventually he pulled up and I could see him out the window as I was playing, and I sorta rounded up the set and said, “Well, my ride is here,” and I packed up my guitar really fast and got in the cab. And I thought that was quite a good way to exit the show, you know?
I guess the other thing that sticks out, I guess the Troc was whereŠactually, two things happened at the Troc. We toured with Soundgarden, and we finished our set and we all sat next to the drum riser during their set, and there was one song in their set where Chris Cornell kinda does an acoustic thing and at the end, Matt Cameron, the drummer, just does this little kinda roll, and that’s the end of the song. So I was sitting next to them and I said, “You know what, I think even I could play that drum part,” and Matt said, “Yeah man, you should do it, you should do it,” and him and Ben Shepherd sort of pushed me up to the drums, and actually I did do that roll to finish off the song. So technically I can say that I have actually played drums live on stage with Soundgarden.
That’s pretty cool. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you in Philly? Any calamities?
Well the massive calamity was I guess a couple years later Swervedriver played with the Smashing Pumpkins and I think that was also the Trocadero, and before the show we were sitting around, I guess the Pumpkins were soundchecking, and we were having a beer and smoking a cigarette and Jez, our drummer, smoked a cigarette and he was putting it out in the ashtray and the ashtray exploded and his hand was pretty badly injured.
Yeah, the story wasŠwell, what we were told was that Gibby Haynes and the Butthole Surfers had played the previous night and Š
Yeah. I dunno, he had some sort of live ammunition he was firing in the air or somethingŠI dunno. And then the cleaning lady had come ’round and picked up this stuff and she put it in the ashtray, which is probably not somewhere you’d put, you know, gunpowder.
Yeah, not so much!
So we ended up playing a bunch of slow songs and Jez literally had his sticks gaffer-taped to his hands, and then afterwards he was taken to the hospital. Luckily the Pumpkins had canceled the next night’s show, so it gave him a chance to recover, but it was pretty calamitous.
No kiddin’. Obviously you’re playing the Troc again tomorrow, so I guess that room has some ghosts for you.
Yeah, yeah, I guess so.
How’s this tour been going so far? Are the songs and the band re
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