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Interview with Craig Adams

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Road Kill

Joined: 08 Apr 2003
Posts: 26
Location: Hereford, UK

PostPost #1  Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 11:52 am    Post subject: Interview with Craig Adams Reply with quote Back to top

My apologies if anyone has already seen this and for its length. Enjoy

Craig Adams

Mission UK / Coloursound

Paul's Interview with Craig Adams 7th Febuary 1998

We caught up with Mike Peters' bass player, Craig Adams in Manchester on
Saturday, 7th Febuary 1998, during the U.K. tour. The University
building is a labyrinth of corridors and stairs - you have to have a
geography degree to find your way around! In one of those corridors we
sat Craig down, got the tape recorder out and talked....

How's life, Craig?

Life is really good, thanks. We're finnally getting to grips with the
new songs, having a laugh on stage and off, and generally enjoying
ourselves. Had you heard much of Mike's music before this tour?
Obvoiusly I'd heard of him when he was with 'The Alarm'. We used to run
into each other during the 80's doing various TV shows around europe,
but I didn't know much about his solo stuff. I knew he was active, but I
hadn't heard anything by him for ages. How did you meet up again? It was
quite strange. I was actually moving out of my house in Brighton, and
the telephone was the last thing plugged in. I got a call from my old
mate Billy Duffy, who said 'look, I'm getting this thing together with
Mike Peters - do you fancy coming up and having a play?' I said OK, we
met up in North Wales and got on like a house on fire. (Pardon the pun).
The project I was initially involved with was 'Colorsound', a band with
Mike, Billy and Johnny Donnelly (Saw Doctors). After we'd worked on that
for a while, Mike asked if I fancied joining his touring band - Johnny
was doing it so I said yes, I might as well! That was really it. In
between all this , I'd moved back up to Yorkshire, so the travelling was
fairly handy too.

How long had you been down in Brighton?

Five or six years. I'd played with 'The Cult' from 1992 until we split
up in around 1995 but I'd done a couple of things with Billy in the
meantime as well. It was a good place to be based at the time.

What's it like playing the small venues?

Well it's a gig really, when it come's down to it, isn't it. You either
like them or loathe them. Playing a small venu is harder in some ways.
You can see the whites of people's eyes in the crowd! Really big venues
are just a mass of people - you can't really see anybody. But on this
tour, we see everyone. We can tell if we're doing it right by their

Do you feel you're going back to your roots?

You know we had a joke - how long are we supposed to pay our dues for?
But no, as I said a gigs a gig - I'm a player. Playing is what I do for
a living and a hobby. It doen't matter if I play to a hundred people or
a hundred thousand, as long as I enjoy what I'm doing, it's still the
best job in the world. Playing is the thing.

So size doesn't matter?

In this case, no. That was really dody, that. I can't beleive you said

Where do you call home now?

Leeds. It's where I come from originally and now I'm back.

How did it all start?

I started in a band in Ledds called 'The Xpelairs' - playong keyboards!
We got signed by Zoo Records in Liverpool, it was the Teardrop Explodes
label. We were all sixteen or seventeen. Then I joined the 'Sisters of
Mercy', again based in Leeds. These were the really early days - they
weren't really going then. This was right in the beginning. I had to
borrow a bass guitar. The only bass I could get hold of was a left
handed Fender - I had to string it the other way, and I went to the
audition with this fuzzbox. I could play guitar a bit, and I had the
idea the bass would sound great distorted. I played for a bit through a
rig and they said 'Yes, all right you're in'. So I did that from 1980 to
about 1986.

What kind of places did the Sisters play?

A lot like this, actually. We did the circuit for a long time. We played
all around Germany and the rest of Europe as well, everthing from bars
upwards really. Then around 1986, the guitarist, That Guitarist and myself
left and formed 'The m*****n'. We did that from 1986 to 1992. Wayne and
I decided we'd been together for long enough bt then, we'd been with
'The Sisters' and 'The m*****n' together for ten years or more, and it
was time for a change. So I joined 'The Cult' and Wayne kept 'The
m*****n' going. 'The Cult had been going since the early 1980's in
various forms, and I'd known Billy Duffy for years. The first gig I
played with 'The Cult' was in front of 35,000 people in Germany,
supporting 'Metallica'. We hadn't done that much rehearsing, as the
music was quite straight forward. So I turned up with all my notes on
stage - I must have looked really stupid! I had this little file with
pieces of paper stuck all over the monitors. From the stage, the crowd
just looked like a faeaway mass of people, and I got through the gig OK.

Were your biggest gigs with The Cult?

As far as touring goes, yes. Metallica played to thousands around Europe
during our six week support slot. Then we played a couple of gigs with
'Guns and Roses'. 'The m*****n' played to 100,000 up in Scandinavia
somewhere. But again, it's just a mass of people. The nearest one is
about twenty foot away, and the stage is high so you see heads only.
These gigs with Mike are the ones! Last night we played in The
Wheatsheaf, Stoke. The crowd was about two foot away, right in front
eyeballing us!

Do you miss the Limos and Hotels?

No...Yes! The hotels I miss. On this tour we drive back to North Wales
nearly every night after the gig's. We've got to know the motorway
services really well. It has been a great experience and a lot of fun.
I'm enjoying it no end.

What did you do when you left The Cult?

Bits and bobs really. Trying to get things going with bands, different
things. Looking out for work - if anything turns up thats nice I'll give
it a go. I've worked pretty constantly from 1979, so I've been able to
pick and choose what I do. It's not like I have to get a job next week -
I have a place to live, but it's nice to keep your hand in. I keep in
touch with my former band members - we all get on, although its more
difficult when some live in the states and others are dotted around the
globe. Nothing silly. Remember, Billy got me this gig!

Your first bass?

Well, as I said, the first one was borrowed. I was working in Morrisons
Supermarket, on the nightshift, and I saved to buy my first bass - a
Hondo. I had to have something. That one didn't last very long - it got
snapped in a moment of madness and destruction! We were testing out
sounds and scraping it along this wall and it gave up the ghost. I got
an Ibanz Roadster then. That got smashed as well - the body split down
the middle. A bloke in Hull said 'I'll fix it for you', so he glued it
back together and bolted a big brass plate across the front of the thing
to hold it together. That was basically the bass I used throughout the
'Sisters'. We played the Albert Hall, and I played this 70 guitar! That
was it and it was fine until I lost it. It disappeared and I do not know
where it's gone. I'll know it as soon as I see it because of this great
brass plate on the front. It was the heaviest guitar in the world!

And amplification?

Well, in the 'Sisters', at the beginning I used to use an H & H guitar
combo with a fuzzbox! The first gig with the Sisters we didn't have any
amps at all. It was all D I'd and put through the monitors. We'd turn up
basically with our guitars in a plastic bag with a couple of leads, the
fuzzbox, and one riff - get D I'd and off we'd go. I must say that
wasn't the best way to go about things. Doing that is not advisable. I
then graduated to a Trace Elliott thing for a bit - I forgot what it was
called, but it had a GP11 graphic in it. I still use that graphic today.
Also it had one 18" and a couple of 10" speakers and a horn or two as
well. On American tours we used whatever was there, really, and I
discovered Ampeg. That was that really - I've been with them ever since.
Once I heard one of them, I was hooked. They are so good, although I
borrowed a late model one recently, and it wasn't as good. I don't know
why that should be. Mine's one of 500 classic ones they made - I had two
in the 80's. That ones doing OK, though it keeps fusing, I don't know
what's going on but summats up! With The Cult again I used an Ampeg set
up with two SVT heads, two 15" speakers on the bottom and two 8 x 10"'s
- it sounded great. That's another thing with the smaller gigs. The
Ampeg needs to be loud to be heard at its best but there's so much power
there that sometimes the things set so low that its still in first gear.
That's why I carry a little Peavey around as well. At the moment I'm
trying to get hold of a Portaflex. The Cult album we recorded with Bob
Rock we used a Portaflex almost exclusively. Thats not too loud, but it
sounds great. When we get to America I'll be doing some shopping, I

What's the bass guitar you're playing now?

It's an Overwater. They make them up North. What happened was I used to
use Gibson Thunderbirds and RD Artists. I did the classic trick of
putting the T-bird on the guitar stand, tripping over the lead and the
headstock dropped off. They're prone to that! Yeah, it wasn't damaged
before, and I did it at a gig. Our sound man at the time was supposed to
be delivering this Overwater to I think it was 'Wet Wet Wet', somehow I
ended up with it anyway. I tried it, and again it was the combination of
guitar and amp that did the trick. Yes I said, I'll have that!

Are you a collector of guitars?

I was for a little bit, but then I realised I wasn't using a lot of
them. To me, if it's not being used it's a waste. I keep visiting people
who have my old guitars! I went to see Tim Rachino who used to be in
'All About Eve' and then he had a band called CNN a while back and I saw
my old RD Artist on his wall.

'Where the hell did you get that from?'

'Oh, we borrowed it from you back in 1988!' But at least he was still
using it, so that's cool, I've got an EB something - its the SG shape,
and an acoustic - don't ask me what that's called. I'm not bothered what
they are really - I try them, if I like them, I have them. If it works
it works.

Your Technique with Mike is straight ahead 8ths?

Yeah, It's always been my policy to play as few notes as possible.
That's what I've always stood by. But with Mike it's a different thing
to what I'm used to. Ther's more bass playing and I'm not really a bass
player! that's not how I've thought of myself anyway. It's hard to
explain - I can't think. I like simplicity.

Have you ever had a lesson?

What, on bass? No! That's why I used a fuzzbox, because I did'nt know
how to play. Through the fuzzbox it sounded fantastic no matter what you
played! It sounded good to me anyway.

Do you practice?

(Quizzical look) What, now? Jeff Beck said that if he had a choice of
staying in bed all day or practicing the guitar, staying in bed would
win every time! I sit in front of the telly and start playing. If I feel
like practicing I will, but there's no set routine or time or anything.

Whats your top tit for budding bassists?

If you don't like it, don't do it! If you do like it, go for it! People
have so many different styles, and no one is right or wrong. Lemmy was
my hero. I wanted to sound like him. I bought the Rickenbacker guitar
and I bought the Marshall amp, but I sounded nothing like him! And why
do it anyway if it's been done before? Find your own individual sound,
but don't break too many instrments on your way to finding it!

What's a typical tour day like?

OK, What I've done today. We left the house at about one o'clock. We
dropped Mike off at the football - Man U were playing at home. We parked
up in Manchester, listened to the football on the radio, came here, did
the sound check - played any old song we could all remember at the time,
hang around, do the gig, have a kebab and go home! Your'e enjoying it!
Yeah, you get up and play music - when it's going right it's the best
job in the world. It's a great feeling.

Do you get any pre gig nerves?

I'm a bit of a thrower upper, actually. It doesn't matter if we play to
two people or a stadium full, I do like to get it out of my system. I
can't eat from about midday onwards on gig days. I don't feel nervous,
though. I think it's just habit. And not a nice habbit either! I never
used to do it, but I never used to know what I was doing on stage
either. My stomach gets ready for an evening of running about, like
sports people, I suppose. How bands can go for meals before a show beats
me. You've got great rapport with Johnny on the drums He's so easy to
play with. We're having a whale of a time. Every now and then we make
eye contact, especially at the end of songs and in tricky parts.
Sometimes it works, and as you will have seen sometimes it doesn't. I
think we fake it pretty well though. The crowd know if you're enjoying
yourself on stage. If you're not how can you expect them to enjoy
themselves? A tight rhythm section is vital to any band anyway, but you
have to enjoy it as well. That was what punk was all about. We all came
from that time - apart from Johnny who was about five - that's what got
us all playing.Mike, James (Stephenson guitar) and myself all came from
punk. We knew how to play an E and an A, and we were musicians. Musical
ability is not the point, it's the attitude.

I've got to ask about your hair?

We all had stupid hair once, didn't we. I know Mike did! One day I just
decided that's enough, it's got to come off. And it did - all of it!
Around 1993, I realised I looked a sad looking bloke with receding hair
hanging around with other sad old blokes with receding hair! I think I
look timeless now!

Whats touring like with a family at home?

I met my wife on tour anyway so she knew the deal from the start. As far
as my little girl's concerned, Daddy goes away sometimes for a while.
When he comes back though I'm around all the time. Some Daddy's come
home at 6 o'clock, others go away for two months! I like to keep my
family separate from my work - that's what the band is to me - work.
They did come to the Gathering though for a holiday and to see what
Daddy does. I think she was quite amazed, really.

I see you're doing backing vocals with Mike?

Yes, I've never done harmonies before. I've usually got it right by the
third chorus! James was supposed to sing, but he said his guitar parts
were too difficult to sing as well. And Johnny can sing too - by the end
of the tour we'll get them all singing if they like it or not!

What are the plans for after the tour?

We've another band 'Colorsound' with Mike, Billy, Johnny and me. We're
going to the states in the spring and we'll see what comes of that. The
songs are good, the personnel are great, now it's down to luck and fate.
You can't look too far ahead. If you can plan next week, you're doing
fairly well. As soon as you plan too far ahead, that's when the wheel
comes off!

Thanks Craig - How do we find the gig?

At this point the tour was going OK. The infamous Birmingham date was
the following Tuesday - no doudt you'll hear all about that elsewhere
Love Lost, Fire at Will, Dum Dum Bullets and Shoot to Kill
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Quiff Boy
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Joined: 25 Jan 2002
Posts: 15642
Location: Lurking

PostPost #2  Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

What's the bass guitar you're playing now?

It's an Overwater. They make them up North. What happened was I used to
use Gibson Thunderbirds and RD Artists. I did the classic trick of
putting the T-bird on the guitar stand, tripping over the lead and the
headstock dropped off. They're prone to that! Yeah, it wasn't damaged
before, and I did it at a gig.

"I used to use Gibson Thunderbirds"

yep. and choque has one of them now. and its a working one too! Cool

we need to put it in the same room as my marx guitar to see if anything magical happens Laughing Mr. Green
the cake is a lie
the cake is a lie
the cake is a lie
the cake is a lie
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Utterly Bastard Groovy Amphetamine Filth

Joined: 15 Apr 2005
Posts: 676
Location: Paris, Cannes (France)

PostPost #3  Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Are you a collector of guitars?

I was for a little bit, but then I realised I wasn't using a lot of
them. To me, if it's not being used it's a waste. I keep visiting people
who have my old guitars! I went to see Tim Rachino who used to be in
'All About Eve' and then he had a band called CNN a while back and I saw
my old RD Artist on his wall.

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Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 3718
Location: Where the Ruined Tower shouts

PostPost #4  Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 11:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Interview with Craig Adams Reply with quote Back to top

The Interviewer wrote:
Whats your top tit for budding bassists?

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Craig wrote:
Lemmy was my hero.

We are not worthy!
"I won't go down in history, but I probably will go down on your sister."
Hank Moody
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