(photo by Kate Cauthen)
The music of, Albatross (30 year old Adam Stockdale) and in particular his latest release 'Desperate Times Best Forgotten' is an honest journey through some intense subject matter, but also conveys an overall theme of hope. As a large portion of Western society is overwhelmed by consumerism and pop music that is replaceable and forgotten within minutes as the next youtube clip rolls on, Albatross provides something different. Honesty, simplicity, and beautifully-written songs.
After years touring with musicians such as Mumford and Sons, The Kooks and Ben Howard, Albatross released 'Desperate Times Best Forgotten' and has received critical acclaim for the excellently crafted album that invites comparison with Nick Drake, James Taylor and John Martyn.
If you'd like a break from trend-driven, tokenistic fads, have a listen.
It's a breath of fresh air.
We asked Adam about his album, the project and label 'The Word of Mouth Project' which he launched as a world first, and playing football with the boys from Mumford and Sons.
Your album 'Desperate Times Best Forgotten' has a lot of depth to it, and covers some heavy subjects and seems to be a real journey. How long was the album in the making for, and how do you feel now that it has been released?
The record took 3 years from the start of recording to the release. Much longer than I had hoped for, but I'm none the less proud of the music. Honestly, my feelings are conflicted. I am so proud of the music, and very happy it is out in the world. I think it does represent a flag in the ground, and also an emotional milestone for me personally. The name is supposed to project hope, but the subject matter of a lot of the record certainly deals with some difficult and tender issues. Its funny, most writers express their darkest times in song, and I am not against a good miserable song. But the continuation of life is as present as ever, when I look back and over all the feelings that contributed to the songs here, but yet as I am just bringing it out, I am going through other stuff now, some good and some bad, (Just as I was then). So even though the songs represent the achievement of having overcome some shitty times, there are always shitty times, but you will always get over them too. I think highs and lows constantly coexist. And are just more extreme for artists, we are more sensitive than most. Lastly, there are many benefits of being a self sustained artist, but unfortunately, although it is better to "steer your own ship" if you like, unfortunately, it does take your focus away from the art, a lot more than I wish it did. But, it would seem in the time we live in, to get the art you care about out there, one must also have a sense of business.
You have a huge list of artists that you have played with and toured with, including the Kooks and Mumford and Sons, and of course your own successful solo career. Could you isolate one experience of playing or touring that has been your favourite moment of being a musician?
I have been very lucky no doubt, and have experienced many things i never thought i would have the opportunity to. Its funny one of the main things that sticks out is not musical in anyway. I also LOVE footy, and got to play a game with the Mumf guys at Carrington, with a bunch of Ex Man Utd players from my childhood team. That was very special. Meeting Obama was pretty surreal. Still musically, there are many, certainly in terms of I think they mean more when they are you and your music, rather than something by association. But I do remember playing with the Kooks at Isle Of Wight back in 07/08 maybe, and i couldn't help thinking Jimi had played that stage. Im sure I had an unusually big smile that day. Im very grateful for the journey i have had.
What artists or people do you find inspiring? (can be musicians or people in general). Is there a song that you feel is so perfectly written, you wish it had been yours?
I think in someway we should all aspire to be Keith Richards, as we will be blessed with unusually long life. Ha But I dunno, song wise its easy - Losing You by Randy Newman, is just breathtaking, I certainly wish i had wrote that song. Growing up my heroes were certainly guitar folk, Led Zep, Eric Clapton, Jimi. And later Van Halen. But songwriting wise, John Martyn is my all-time fav. I love Carole King, James Taylor. Not to sound too depressing, I certainly am a big believer in hope and the good in people. But, we live in a funny world where often we just seem to find a way to be shitty to one another. Still, I think that just makes me want to be a better person and be better to others, so its a positive I suppose.
If you could change anything about the current music industry, what would it be?
I don't think I know what "Music Industry" means. Maybe just someone who is industrious enough to find away to make music? Thats seems hard enough in itself. Its the Wild West, these days it just seems like everyone is "going their own way". That is probably best. At least there is no monopoly anymore. However, I can certainly say having self released a lot, it is very hard to attain the services which would have one been part of the "assembly line" at say a label, is extremely hard without money. So I suppose as with most things, people with money will still dictate the masses accessibility to some degree. Still, cream rises to the top and some people make it through the cracks. Im aiming for the cracks.
Can you please tell us about The Word of Mouth Project, and how it began? Where do you want to take it?
The Word Of Mouth Project, was an initiative Ditto helped me launch to try and create something in business, that i felt reflected the things that are important in art, and well, life: The relationship between artist and audience. I treasure that and wanted to allow people who believe in me and my art to be a part of it. What better way to do that than sharing in the rewards. Well, potential rewards. When i make money so do my fans. Theres no hard sale, but if you are interested there is a lot of info on the website www.thewordofmouthproject.org
. Long term goals, I'm not sure to be honest. We will see how it is received.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2015?
Mainly just shows, now the record is out and the festival season is almost over. I just wanna play as much as possible and get the music out there.
If you'd like to get a copy of or listen to this wonderful album (distributed by Ditto Music), check on the below links:
Check out Albatross online: