INTRODUCING VANCOUVER BASED SINGER-SONGWRITER ‘ADAM HILL’ WITH FOLK ROOTS GENRE AND SO MUCH TO GIVE IN HIS MUSIC I GOT A CHANCE TO CHAT WITH HIM ALL ABOUT NEW ALBUM ‘WATER IN THE DRAW’, READ IT HERE!

What is your name?
Adam Hill

What is your genre of music?
I like to think of it as new-timey, but you might call it folk or roots.

Give us a little bio about you.
Well, here’s my official bio: “Deeply steeped in music that people have been playing for generations, Adam is an acoustic musician. But not entirely an acoustic musician; the world’s too complicated for that. See, he loves making sound with the simple tools of wood and steel and toughened skin. He’s poured over old Folkways records and jammed on Bill Monroe tunes till sunup. But he has also plugged in, spending more than a few years on the tour circuit with various rock and roll bands. And he’s not afraid to run the piano through a ring modulator. Maybe that comes from his work composing contemporary classical and electro-acoustic music. Recently, he’s even begun translating the music and the act of fiddling onto his cumbersome but commanding upright bass. When all these musical voices come together, the sound is at once familiar and adventurous, rooted and reaching. Adam’s got five albums of his own out and has played on a dozen other recordings as a band member. He’s toured all over the United States and western Canada, hitting the stages of the River City Bluegrass Festival, the Edge of the World Music Festival, South by Southwest, the National Old-Time Country and Bluegrass Music Festival, Arts on the Fly, and the Tumbleweed Music Festival, among others. His records have been played on radio stations across North America, Europe, and Australia, and his last release hit the #8 spot on the national Folk and Roots chart. All this diverse experience, of course, speaks to his grit as an artist. He’s got something to say, and over the years he’s figured out a unique way to say it.”

What made you go into music?
I suppose I’ve been playing music in some form or another since I was a young kid. When I went to university, I studied all kinds of things — economics, geology, Latin American history — but to be honest there’s not a whole lot in the world that I want to do besides music. And that’s all I ever really have done. I feel pretty lucky to be able to live the life that I want, but I also feel lucky that I’ve recognized what I really love.

Are you signed?
I’ve released records as parts of various bands on several different record labels, but my solo releases have always been independent releases.

You are releasing your album ‘Water In The Draw’, tell us more about the single.
The single off the album is called “Magnetic North.” I wrote it after a discussion with a friend about map reading. There’s a phenomenon that occurs when you’re route finding using a map and a compass that requires you to adjust your compass reading a certain number of degrees based upon where you are on the globe. This concept, declination, has to do with the fact that the magnetic north pole and the geographic north pole aren’t in the same place. So the song is a little bit about that. But it was also written during a time in my life when I had uprooted my home and was setting out to try to reconstruct my life in a way that more resembled what I wanted out of my time on this earth. So more broadly, it’s also about having to constantly adjust and correct your direction in order to end up where you’re going.

What is the meaning behind the album?
Well, I don’t know that there’s an overarching theme to the album. But I made it in a place and time. Physically, that place was the arid mountains of south-eastern Wyoming and the time was spring. During that season is the only time that there is water flowing through the creek beds (they call them draws) in that part of the world. I do a lot of things as part of my musical life, as a bassist and as a composer and arranger. Song writing, and making albums under my own name, doesn’t always get my full attention. But during that particular time and place it did.

Describe each track in two words.
“Echo Chamber” – feeling good!
“Magnetic North” – route finding
“Dance All Night” – bass fiddle?!?
“Ghost” – missing home
“Liberty” – spring picnic
“Oh Me Oh My” – gaining perspective
“Sally Ann Johnson” – kitchen party
“Airplane Man” – family stories

What was the writing process like?
Intermittent.  A lot of songs were half written when I walked into the recording project. Those tunes got finished in the studio and/or the time spent at the studio.

What was the recording process like?
Well, I recorded the whole project in a one room cabin in the middle of the mountains. So, for one, it was remote. But also, it was pretty singular because I was the only person responsible for how any instrument sounded, how any microphone captured resonances, how the room bounced the sound around. And throughout the recording process I was reliant on my own judgment of how things were going artistically, for better for worse.

Who did you work with on the single?
Me, myself, and I.

Will we see any music videos for any of the tracks?
Absolutely! There’s a video for the lead single “Magnetic North” that was released in the lead up to the album release. It features shots of the very same ranch where I was living when I was working on the album. ranch

Do you have any shows coming up?
I don’t have any solo shows on the calendar, but I play in a group called Atlantic String Machine and we’ve got some dates coming up.

If so where will you be heading?
We’ll be heading out on a three-week tour of Alberta and British Columbia, then coming back to the east coast (of Canada) to play three nights in Halifax with singer-songwriter Rachel Beck. We’ll also be hitting a few festivals in Canada this summer, but that’s a little bit secret still so keep your eyes out for the dates as they’re released.

What else can we expect in early 2020?
Um, where I live it seems like lots of snow and bitterly cold wind! But that’s okay, I enjoy a good storm day…

Do you have any collaborations coming up with any upcoming artists?
My work as part of the Atlantic String Machine is always a bit of a collaborative effort, and our last recording project was a true collaboration with five great Canadian songwriters (Catherine MacClellan, Alicia Toner, Nathan Wiley, Matthew Byrne, and Ian Sherwood). Over the past year we’ve also been touring with Rachel Beck on a fun collaborative project. And there just might be some cool new collaborations in the works for the future, but nothing that I can share just yet.

Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Absolutely! I love collaborations. It’s always amazing to see what happens when I get to add my voice to another artist’s work and vice versa. If someone’s interested in working with me, all they’ve got to do is find the contact page on my website (adamhillmusic.com) and make some contact. the contac


Do you play any instruments?
I play lots of instruments. My main go-to is the bass, and for the past decade or so I’ve been obsessed with the upright bass though I’ve been recently getting back into playing more electric bass. But I also play other string instruments — guitar, baritone guitar, mandolin. I’ve got a fretless banjo that I really love, but it’s mostly relegated to my front porch. I plunk around on the piano in my living room too. And buried deep in my closet I think there might be a trumpet and a clarinet.

Who are your influences?
Boy oh boy, who aren’t my influences?!? And by that, I mean, I feel like I’m influenced in one way or another by everything that I’ve ever heard. All the sound that’s gone through my ears and into my brain has come to shape the way that I make music. But perhaps more to your question, some of the artists that I really, really love are (in no particular order): Townes Van Zandt, Aphex Twin, Bill Evans, Maurice Ravel, Anderson.Paak, Chris Thile, Randy Newman, The Books, Richard Thompson, Pavement, Sarah Vaughn, Patty Griffin, and John Luther Adams (among others — I could probably fill a book with this list).

How do you get inspiration to write songs?
With difficulty. That’s one thing I haven’t yet come up with the ability to harness. I have a notebook that’s filled with song fragments. And when that inspiration hits, I jot down whatever ideas are coming to me there. Sometimes the songs come fully formed. Sometimes they’re just little bits and pieces. When I get around to actually writing the songs, I call upon all those ideas that were inspired at some point and try to flesh them out to actualize what I was feeling in the moment of inspiration.

Where do you see yourself in 5 Years?
Alive, hopefully. Making music. Being creative. And being part of a creative community. I’ve kinda stopped thinking about goals as quantitative things and started considering them more as processes. So in that vein, I plan to spend the next five years being creative and being musical.

When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
So much! I love being outside, hiking through the woods, growing vegetables in my garden, biking on the rural roads. But I also spend a lot of time going to concerts and supporting my friends (does that still count as ‘doing music’?). And I like to read, go to the cinema, and make delicious food for me and my wife to eat!

What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
Oh man, another hard one, maybe “What Is and What Shall Never Be” “

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
When I was graduating from university, my bass teacher told me: “find a job you don’t hate and don’t buy a new truck.”

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Spend time and energy creating tone from your instrument. I hear a lot of conversation about gear among musicians, but it’s not always necessarily about how good your gear is so much as how you make it sound.

Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
The Confederation Centre for the Arts! The Centre hosts a fantastic musical theatre season every summer, symphony concerts throughout the year, a fabulous art gallery, and numerous other happenings worth a visit.

Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
The Confederation Centre for the Arts! The Centre hosts a fantastic musical theatre season every summer, symphony concerts throughout the year, a fabulous art gallery, and numerous other happenings worth a visit.

You’re coming off tour:
1/ Where do you go first? The shower
2/ Who do you see first? My wife
3/What do you eat first? Vegetables

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Name of the sound engineer, name of the bartender, sense of humour, my name, where my hotel is.

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Sure do: www.facebook.com/musicbyadamhill



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