What is your name?
Hi! My name is A.D. Wells!
What is your genre of music?
I feel like my music touches areas of a few genres-which is a good thing! For this record though I would say indie rock, bedroom pop, lo-fi and maybe lounge rock.
Give us a little bio about you.
Music is just my favorite thing in the world haha. Before I even began to think about becoming a musician for myself I have been such a fan for so long. I started playing bass guitar in 2012, keys in 2014 and guitar in the later part of 2017. I started writing music in the summer/fall of 2017 and I’m very very happy to arrive at my own record, it’s a dream come true in so many ways. I’m extremely proud of this record and I think it’s something that people can enjoy-to think though that people have been listening and enjoying the record just makes me feel so accomplished, writing music maybe the best decision I’ve ever made.
What made you go in to music?
I was always a casual music fan up until the night I went to my first concert: U2 in 2011. It was that show and that night that made me realize the power music can hold and the impact it can have on people. That night truly impacted me and I’m thankful for it. I think that with music it’s just the ultimate thing, I find myself gravitating towards it for many reasons but above everything else I’m very enamoured with the concept of the power a song can hold.
Are you a signed?
I am not, I am an independent unsigned artist.
You released your debut album ‘ The West Hollywood Broken Hearts Club’, tell us more about the single.
I am so proud of my record “The West Hollywood Broken Hearts Club.” I set out with a goal for what I wanted this record to be and the concepts I wanted to write about on this record and I feel like I truly hit the mark. As much as this record is telling a very dark and somewhat sad story, the record is also very personal to me. I’m very much in there somewhere. This body of songs is strong and when you look at the record as a cohesive body of work I think it’s a very special record.
What is the meaning behind the album?
The starting point was this record began with this concept that I realized in Hollywood. I had never been to California up until this past March and although I had the early beginnings of this record started I was taken aback by this concept that is very much alive in Hollywood, this chasing stardom. When you look at it on the surface it seems pretty clear that people are chasing down stardom and fame which is obviously very prevalent in LA. When you think deeper and deeper about this concept though it really appeared to me as this representation of a heavier concept which is this idea of escape, people seem to be running from things and often trying to chase down something that is “greater,” a “better” life-it’s heavy. Once I began to think about this concept and then filter it through this imaginary place “The West Hollywood Broken Hearts Club” inspiration became very clear and it was very inventive to think about this place while creating the record. While this record is personal, A.D. Wells almost became a character of sorts of this physical place, he completed the story in some ways as another filter to put the songs through.
Describe each track in two words.
Sunset Boulevard-”Chapter One.”
Sad Heart-”Home sick.”
What was the writing process like?
The writing process was great! A lot of hard work but definitely well worth it. From start to finish I would say this record took just under 6 months, writing specifically took about 4. Once I had the inspiration and the goal on what I wanted to convey with this record the songs came pretty easily, which was wonderful.
What was the recording process like?
Since this was a completely DIY project/record this album was made partly in my college dorm room and partly in my bedroom at home. Since this was my first time producing there was a bit of a learning curve but because at maximum the songs have only drums, synth, guitar, bass and vocals I was able to mix them pretty well after I got the hang of it down. For being totally DIY too, I’m pretty excited with how the songs turned out production wise, you can definitely feel/hear the lo-fi vibes.
Do you have any shows coming up?
At the moment I do not but looking into the fall, there might be some potential to take this record live-we’ll see! I’ve been rehearsing a bit and the songs have been fun to play so we’ll see how that side of this goes.
What else can we expect in 2019?
Throughout the rest of this year I see continued promotion of my debut record. Excitedly I’ve already begun work on my second record, although there might not be much to see happening from me I am very busy with the second record, there’s a lot happening behind the scenes.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any upcoming artists?
I do not at the moment! In addition to my solo career I am also in a band called SOPHOMORE. I love being in the band very much too so I would say my collaboration efforts come when I write or record with the band.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
I am always down for collaboration or potential songwriters looking to get to work, they can always email me or DM on Instagram.
Do you play any instruments?
Yes! So on this record I am playing everything except the drums-that is a drum machine. I’m on vocals, keys/synth, guitar and bass. I am a very amateur player at every instrument I play which is all you need sometimes, that’s the beauty of writing music, you just have to be good enough for yourself.
Who are your influences?
Being such a big fan of music in general I have many influences! On this record specifically I was really drawing inspiration for the lo-fi vibe from bands like Daywave and Current Joys. Content wise I was very much inspired by the last records from Arctic Monkeys and Lorde. Arctic Monkeys because I thought it was such a beautiful concept album for them and even though people definitely saw it as possibly a departure I thought it was such a confidence move to evolve their sound. Melodrama by Lorde is just so great, content wise she is very, very real and seems to capture the exact emotion she wants to with her songs which is motivation to work harder. Beyond that I am a huge fan of The Killers, U2 like I said before, The Strokes, Interpol and more recently their is a musician from Australia named Alex Cameron and he is just a genius songwriter. I can’t forget David Bowie either, not just in music but in life he’s had a very big impact on me.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Songwriting has always fascinated me. As I have slowly begun my career in music, I find that I have a somewhat repetitive tendency when I begin songs and I am always trying to slowly evolve the actions, I think that’s how you realize artistic growth. I really look for subjects that carry a sense of weight and realness to them and then reflect on them with my own experiences and thoughts. I think that life itself has so many dimensions and possibilities and emotions that when you look at something common or mundane if you really focus in on it there always seems to be another layer that isn’t visible on the service. I think that in general we try to do a great job of hiding our emotions, maybe it’s the world we find ourselves in but in that hiding there is so much potential for inspiration and imagination. Whether that is personal thoughts or observations I think you can take so much from looking at what people maybe try to hide and ask why is that? I try to write songs that are real and if people really think about what I’m singing there’s a potential to take grasp of it-it’s all there.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
That’s a great question haha. Musically I know for sure I will still be writing, playing shows and hopefully will have gained a bit of a following. There’s a great David Bowie quote: “I don’t know where I’m going but I promise it’ll be exciting,” or something along those lines, I think that captures it. I am excited to see where it goes though, I believe in my music and I think people will really love my songs if they hear them.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Outside of music I am a college student. I think pursuing further education is a positive life step so that process has been very enjoyable and enlightening. I am very much an avid runner as well, I run about 6 days a week and it really keeps me fit mentally and physically. Beyond that I also love record and coffee shops, you can usually find me at one haha.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
It’s hard to sight one specific song but I will try. My favourite band ever is The Killers and their song “Read My Mind” just blew me away the first time I hear it-especially the chorus, I mean it’s just perfect, it might be my favourite song of all time. When I think back to the first time I heard that song it makes me realize how much I then came to the conclusion of how powerful music is and has the potential to be.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
About 6 years ago, someone who was a great acquaintance at the time in a volunteer role I was taking part in told me the importance of “finding something that makes you tick.” It took me some time and I think about that quote often and 6 years later I truly believe it’s become music for me. Even if it never truly formulates into something beyond just a side project of my life I am very very happy when I am making music and it’s been a dream come true so far so I don’t plan anytime to stop chasing it. The next song makes me tick.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
I feel that when making music the best thing to aspire to is to create music that is honest and true to yourself. I think in the mainstream music today it just seems like there isn’t much honesty and reflection, I think when people dare to get personal, get deeper, it creates amazing work. You have to be proud of your songs and like your work before anyone else does, strive for that and people will follow you.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Going back to Read My Mind by The Killers-the first line is extremely powerful and emotional to me “on the corner of main street, just trying to keep it in line,” the “just trying to keep it in line” part has always stuck with me. There’s an optimism and emotional element to it all at once and I think it also serves as a great reminder to keep going and keep your head up.
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
2/ Who do you see first?
My Mom and Dad.
3/What do you eat first?
My favourite coffee shop.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
If it is a gig I am playing definitely my dance moves, my phone, my polished up Chelsea boots and a clean t-shirt to put on after the gig.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?