I understand you were in the Marines.
Yes, for five years.
I was in the Air Force for four years.
Oh wow, you know what it's like then. My brother just got out of the Air Force matter of fact.
It was fun and adventurous but I was glad when it was over.
Oh yeah, definitely. I knew I was calling somewhere southern today. I like calling the southern people. I get along with them a little better I guess.
That's because we're really, really nice sweet people.
Exactly. I'm from the South. Huntsville, Alabama.
What did you do before you joined Adema and the Marines?
I was a college student for three years out of high school. Like two and a half years out of high school and ran out of money. The Marine Corps recruiter told me they'd pay for my college and I could make a lot of money while I'm doing it. I never got to attend one college class while I was in. I ended up getting out and deciding that I wanted to be in rock and roll. I joined this band in Bakersfield, CA and moved up there and we got real popular. Kris Kohls, the drummer for Adema, heard my demo from that band and called me and asked me to audition when they were looking for a singer.
I was listening to the CD and you have a wonderful voice.
Thank you very much.
I really enjoyed that. Why did they let go of the other guy?
Well, it was a mutual thing. Marky has a lot of personal issues and he didn't really like going on the road. He didn't like touring and he wasn't writing any lyrics for the new record. They had already recorded some of the music and then he hadn't written any lyrics and he wasn't showing up to practice. It was one of those things where they didn't really have a choice.
You can't be a rock and roll star if you don't like to go out on the road and you can't have a record with no lyrics.
Exactly. That was pretty much the short and sweet of it.
Did you get to write the lyrics?
Yeah, I did actually. I got to write almost all of them.
That is damn cool. When you write songs, what do you like to write about?
I write about life experiences. Some of it about my personal life and some of it is about just people I know or things that I've seen go on in other people's lives. Some of it is even just my third person opinion on what it would be like if I was in a situation. I write about a bunch of different things and sometimes even in the same song I combine a bunch of different things I'm thinking about and just talk about them.
One thing I liked about the CD is that all the songs are different. Some of the musical parts are different where the guitars actually do some talking. I thought that was really cool. I guess that's what you would call diversity.
Yeah, we wanted to be a little diverse. I guess the guys in this band have been wanting to do something different. Do something more rock and show that the band can do something heavy and can do something soft and do a bunch of different kind of sounds really.
I saw Adema when they were touring with Godsmack and I was really impressed with the band then. This record really sounds good. Kris has played with Videodrone.
Yeah, he actually played with Cradle Of Thorns to begin with and then that band fizzled out. Then he played drums for Videodrone and they were also signed. They toured for a while and then that band broke up and then he joined Adema. He was also the original drummer for Brides Of Destruction which is a band with Nikki Sixx and Tracii Guns. Kris has done quite a few things actually.
I love Brides Of Destruction. That's a very cool band. Adema seems to have some very close ties with Korn.
Yeah, we're out of the same town and Marky and John are brothers. All the guys from Korn used to go and watch Kris' band Cradle Of Thorns. They all come from the same town and Kris was friends with those guys growing up. So was Dave and they all grew up in Bakersfield together and then Korn moved out of Bakersfield and went to Huntington Beach and just blew up. That's the relationship that Adema has with Korn.
That's pretty cool. Something I got a real kick out of was your bio. At the very end your lawyer is talking about how wonderful the album is. I thought that if even the damn lawyer is impressed with it, that's pretty fucking cool.
Yeah, that's cool. Our whole team is behind us and that's something that's important to us.
Yeah, that is very cool. You guys signed with Earache. Did you sign with them before you did the record?
Yeah, Earache signed the band before we ever started recording the record. Basically right after we signed a deal with Earache, we went into the studio and started recording.
Earache is a cool label. So they sat back and let you guys do your magic.
Yeah, Earache's real cool and that's one of the best things about working with Earache. They allowed us to do what we wanted. They allowed us to produce our own record. We really liked that. We didn't have anyone else telling us what we needed to do and how we needed to sound and we just went in there and sounded how we wanted to sound. Earache is real hands on and they're very in tune to what we want. If we want something, they're definitely going after what we want and that's real cool. That's something that record labels should all do.
Absolutely. Again, when you produce your own record, it's just more hands on for you and you're more in control.
What all touring have you guys been doing?
We went out in March and we went to Iraq and did some USO shows over there for the troops. We came back and toured during April. We toured in the U.S. and then we took a break for about three weeks. We went out at the end of May and all of June and part of July and did shows. Then we came back here and we've had a week off. We're going back on the road tonight actually. We're leaving and we'll be in Mount Clements, MI on the 24th and we're going to stay out on the road for a couple of more months and then we're going to go to Europe. I think we're going to go to Europe for a couple of weeks in November and then we're going to come back and take the holidays off. Then probably headed back again in January.
Where all in the U.S. are you guys going?
Everywhere. We've been through San Antonio and I think we might have played Dallas. We played from Texas all the way down into Florida and then we went north all the way into New York and we played Maine, Massachusetts, and then we came down to the Midwest and did some shows in the Midwest. We ended up in Michigan and then we took this week off and came home. Now we're coming back out.
How long did it take you guys to do the record?
It took us about three months maybe.
Was that in between touring?
Well, see the thing was, the guys were recording the record and then they were auditioning singers at the same time. That three month period I guess is including the recording of the music, the auditioning of a singer, and then me getting in there and writing lyrics and recording the vocals. That's pretty quick I think.
Did you feel a little bit of pressure or was it relaxed?
Well, a lot of peopled have asked me that. "Did you feel pressured filling Marky's shoes?" Well, no I didn't. I wasn't ever really impressed with Marky to be honest with you.
Well, what I meant was not so much filling Marky's shoes but when it came to having to write lyrics, everything else was done. I don't think anyone should ever have to feel that they need to fill someone else's shoes. Marky is Marky and you are you.
Exactly, I agree with that.
You should be you. You shouldn't have to try to be like some other fucker.
Yeah, exactly. There was a little bit of pressure there but we actually took a laid back approach to it. We came into the studio every day and talked about things and whenever I was inspired to write, I just did. It worked really, really smoothly actually. I was very surprised at how smooth it went. I thought it was going to take a lot longer for me because there are 16 songs on the record and I thought that it was going to take me a lot longer to write lyrics for all of those songs than it actually did. We got together and worked as a team and talked about a bunch of different themes that we had for song ideas and just wrote our ideas down and those turned into lyrics. It really worked pretty smoothly.
When it came to writing the lyrics, did you listen to the musical layouts first and then decided what should go with what?
Yeah, I did. What I had them do was I had them burn me a CD of all of the tracks and I'd come at night and sit on the computer and listen to the songs. I would write ideas out and sometimes I'd write the entire song just in a couple of hours. I'd come back the next day and I'd go over what my ideas were with the rest of the guys and they'd put their two cents in as well. We'd just combine the ideas that we all had and just go with what was best for the song.
The CD is called Planets and I know most albums have a theme that runs through them. What was the theme you guys decided to go with?
The reason why we chose Planets as the title is because when I came into the picture, we all felt that it fit right and everything fell into place like it was supposed to. Like a star thing or like a real space feel. Kind of like destiny so we called it Planets because of that. We felt like the planets put me in the right place at the right time and put them in the right place at the right time. We feel like it's a real strong record. The strongest record that Adema's made. That was kind of the theme we were going for as far as the overall aspect.
Has the record been released?
The record's been out since April 5.
How has it been doing so far?
The record is doing great. We're an indie band so there's not as much promotion behind the record as a major label band. For the amount of promotion that's been put out about the band, we've done considerably well and we're just going to keep hammering it home until we reach our goals and we rule the world basically.
I think you guys can probably achieve that.
Thank you very much.
Any other thoughts or comments?
Yeah, I wanted to put it out there. This is the first interview I've been able to do since we found this out. We're going to be on the soundtrack of a new movie coming out called Cry Wolf. Actually the title track off our record is going to be on this movie so I think that's something we should probably talk about. It's going to be a huge movie coming out September 23 and we're real proud to be a part of that. It's going to be a good scary movie.
How did you get contacted for that?
Our manager heard about it and called. In the lyrics to "Planets", it says "I won't cry wolf" in the song actually and that movie came out with the title Cry Wolf so our manager just submitted the song and they ended up loving it. It's really turned out to be a blessing for us.
That's a really good way to promote your shit. Get on soundtracks or a lot of bands even get their shit on video games.
Yeah, definitely. Movies and video games is the route definitely. You've got to find alternate routes instead of just being on MTV or just going out and touring. You definitely need to be as proactive as possible with other venues of promotion.
MTV and touring can only do so much.