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Adam Schlesinger

A Conversation with Adam Schlesinger

Puremusic: I'm really crazy about Traffic and Weather, man.

Adam Schlesinger: Thanks a lot.

PM: Even more than Welcome Interstate Managers, which I thought would be awful hard to top.

AS: Oh, I really appreciate that.

PM: And it must be heavy going into the studio trying to top a record like that. How is it doing so far, in comparison?

AS: How is it doing? Well, it really just came out today, so it's not doing anything yet. [laughs]

PM: "Stacy's Mom," I mean, that was such a big single, and such a big video--it's got to be hard to match a thrust like that into the marketplace.

AS: Yeah, I mean, I don't think we even really are trying to. Obviously we'd love to have another hit. But we couldn't go in and really change our process to try to do that. We just tried to do what we always do.

PM: Yeah, make your next record.

AS: Just make another record, exactly.

PM: In fact, having moved by the time of that last record from Atlantic to S-Curve, right, how tricky was it to get Rachel Hunter to star in that huge video for "Stacy's Mom"? What's the story?

AS: Well, there's not much of a story, really. The director and the band made up a little wish list of people that we thought would be right, and she was number one. And she said yes. We just contacted her through an agent, or whatever, and she was interested, and she did it.

PM: Amazing.

AS: We got lucky.

PM: And she thought it was fun, no doubt, because it's so good.

AS: Yeah, it was great. And she was great. She was totally cool, and really did it with like the right sense of humor and all that stuff.

PM: Yeah, she's totally funny. So the band is super. What's even more amazing to me, and a lot of people, I think, are the songs. For the avid but not rabid fans who may already know, maybe you'd talk about the songwriting with me a little bit.

AS: Sure.

PM: You and Chris Collingwood were dually credited. But is that how the songs actually go down, or is a more of a Lennon/McCartney--

AS: Yeah, we don't really collaborate anymore. I mean, we used to when we were younger. But these days we actually write separately. And we don't even live in the same state. So we just each write a batch of songs and get together with Jody and Brian and arrange them and record them.

PM: So does it get known like who actually wrote what, or not really?

AS: Well, it's not like a secret, if anybody wants to know, we'll tell them. But we don't like to make a big deal out of that, just because I think it's more important for the band to have an identity, really.

PM: Well, yeah. I think that's really cool, too, and so I won't ask any further about that, even.

AS: Like I said, you're welcome to ask. I mean, people ask all the time, and it's fine. It's just that we don't like to credit it separately because we don't want people to saying, "Well, I like this guy better," or whatever.

PM: Right. When you consider you and Chris, for instance, are you guys more of a mellow, or more of a volatile pair?

AS: We fight all the time, but it's not really about the music, so much. Usually the fights we have are more about just bullshit day-to-day stuff.

PM: Personality shit.

AS: Yeah. That's the weird thing about us, and I think the only reason that we were able to keep working together, is that musically we really do see things the same a lot of the time, and we both really trust each other's judgment, so on that level it still works really well.

PM: It's amazing. So is Fountains a very democratic setup, or do the songwriters benevolently call the shots, or--

AS: There are certain things that are democratic, and certain things that aren't. I think that I'm more of the guy that just, by default or whatever, ends up making a lot of sort of day-to-day minor things happen, or keep things moving.

PM: Yeah, somebody’s got to.

AS: But Chris definitely has like a veto power, whether it's musical or whether it's business, or whatever. He can definitely--

PM: Knock something down.

AS: Knock something down, and nobody can question that.

PM: Right.     continue

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