Exclusive Interview With Counting Crows Lead Singer Adam Duritz- Adam talks about the 25 And Counting Tour with LIVE, releasing new music, Underwater Sunshine Fest & Podcast, and more

It is a big year for the Counting Crows as they are celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary as a band.  The band has done much in their career including multiplatinum albums and hit songs.  Also, perhaps what they might be known for the most are their great live shows.  Although the band usually tours every summer, they are celebrating it this year with another tour (25 and Counting), which is a big one though playing around 40 cities more or less.  Every Counting Crows tour is pretty great as they do numerous things in their lives shows that many bands/artists just don’t do including how they change setlist’s up every night, the performances sound different from the album versions sometimes, and they play extended versions of songs.  Adam talks about that in the interview with how he doesn’t even look at those things as accomplishments, although he does think those do things make their live show great.  It has more to do with them as a band he says.

Another cool thing about the 25 and Counting tour is how they are bringing out their good friends LIVE to tour with them with who they did numerous tours in the past with.  Adam talks about how they had great tours together.  When reading the interview below, you will see a video added in the middle of Counting Crows playing “HanginAround” at one of their shows in the past featuring Ed Kowalczyk of LIVE doing vocals in one verse.  Its pretty cool.  Adam also talks about in the interview on if they will do collaborations during their performances this summer.

The band sometimes has long breaks between albums which as one would imagine doesn’t make the fans happy.  However, they are a great live band and considered a touring band with how they tour so much (usually every summer).  They remain relevant to the fans by connecting with them at their live shows.  The most recent album put out by Counting Crows was “Somewhere Under Wonderland” in 2014 and that is Adam’s favorite record the band ever put out.  Adam get’s really excited when they put albums out and usually once he starts to finish songs, he can’t wait to release them.  The band is currently trying to figure out though in what ways to release new music.  He talks more about that below.

In addition to his work with Counting Crows, Adam has been busy with the Underwater Sunshine Fest and The Underwater Sunshine Podcast.  The festival will be taking place in the fall in New York City.  One of the top acts Art Alexakis (Everclear) actually had to recently drop out because of a conflicting date he didn’t realize at first.  Adam wasn’t happy about that (he knew Art for a while), but he is happy with his replacement Stephen Kellogg who he is also friends with.  Some other artists performing are Sean Barna and Mikaela Davis and Adam talks about how he likes their music a lot in the interview.  You might have actually seen Adam tweet about Davis recently.  Adam talks more about that and how he loves connecting with these indie artists.

The Underwater Sunshine podcast that Adam does with James Campion every week is probably his most favorite thing he said.  They talk about music and pretty much anything related to it. They even had a four part series on punk.  Adam doesn’t know if it would ever turn out to be anything big, but he think’s it is a really cool thing.  The podcast was actually influenced by an idea to write a book (which they till might do) from material James had about music.  Adam thought though, “Why not do a podcast too” since they have so much material for it.

Interview with the lead singer of Counting Crows Adam Duritz

ADAM: Hey man, how are you?

AR: Good how are you?

ADAM: Pretty good

AR: It’s a big year for the band with the 25th anniversary.  I know you guys tour pretty much every summer, but you are celebrating the anniversary by going on a big tour this year.  There are so many things that make your live shows great including how you change the setlist’s every night, how the songs sound different live from the album version, and how you have different versions of the songs you play with added lyrics or with parts of other songs included.  Out of all those cool things about your live show, what are you most proud of about it?

ADAM: What am I most proud of?  I don’t know they are all sort of means to an end.  You know it occurred to me early on that we might be doing this for a really long time.  And that was the case and you know you don’t want to get bored or get in a rut where you do the same thing all the time.  I kind of want to do different things every night.  What I didn’t want to do was like, I didn’t want to play every night where I felt like I had to play some songs when I didn’t want to play it.  It wouldn’t be good.  I just wanted to do good every night and I thought if you’re going to be doing this every night for the rest of your life, then I wouldn’t want to repeat.  I was just thinking I didn’t want to be in a rut where at some point I’m not going to want to play a song.  If I do that every night, I would start hating this after a while.  It sort of made more sense to play stuff we wanted to play every night.  I thought that would change a lot.  I was thinking how to do this so we can do it for a long time.  And all those things you talked about, I do think those are great things about our shows, but it was more about like us than an accomplishment.  I just wanted to play great shows every night.  I thought if we played the same songs every night, we would get bored.  Also I wanted to explore when I was singing, so the songs grow and change.  It just feels natural to do it.  I was just kind of doing a lot of stuff that felt natural to me.  There are probably a lot of people that think it’s a really cool thing that we are doing and I’m s sure there are people who think we are just fucking up our songs every night.  Just like I think there are people who appreciate getting different songs every night.  And some people who say “I can’t believe you didn’t play fill in the blank.”  I’m s sure there’s something every night.  I don’t really blame either side.  I just do what feels right for me.  I’m the one whose got to do it every night.  That was a long wicked answer.  Sorry.

AR: Another cool thing about your live shows are how you tour with other cool bands.  This year you are touring with LIVE who you toured with numerous times before.  What is it about LIVE that makes them such a good band for the Counting Crows to tour with and is there a chance you may play songs with them together at these shows like you did in the past?

ADAM: We talked about it a little bit.  I haven’t seen those guys in a few years.  I was friends with these people.  We were drinking buddies in LA when we all lived there.  And it was fun to tour with them.  You know we had good tours together.  I haven’t seen them in a while, but when it came up you know I heard they split up.  And I felt bad about that.  I know how hard it is to keep bands together.  And I imagine there is always regret attached to that.  It’s just hard sometimes.  But it’s not like you can always recapture it.  I always kind of feel bad when my friend’s band splits up, but I was glad to hear they got back together.  It all just seemed like a good thing to do.  Go on the road together so I can see them.  Hopefully it works out really well for them.  I like them as people.  That’s a lot of it really.  I just thought it would be nice to tour with them.

AR: I know you sometimes you bring the other band out for “HanginAround” or “Rain King” at the end.  Is there a chance you may bring them out for those songs?

ADAM: Oh yeah I mean if it happens as it happens.  But it does happen a lot.  It’s a weird thing on some of the tours though you get into a situation where it’s a long way to the next city so a lot of the times the band will go right off stage and onto the bus.  If you get off stage at 9:00 and it goes till 11:00, you can make it to the next city by 1 in the morning.  That happens a lot of time too.  Sometimes people go on the bus to go to the next city by 1 in the morning because its better to get in at 1 in the morning than 4.  Sometimes it’s just that.  You can’t really guarantee it.  But I would think it sounds like fun.

(Counting Crows performing “HanginAround” with Ed Kowalczyk from LIVE on vocals for one verse)

AR: I heard in another interview that you said you have been writing new music.  Can you talk a little about what the new songs are like compared to your other albums and is there a chance new songs may be played at these upcoming shows?

ADAM: Oh no.  I have pieces and ideas and things and chords.  I’m kind of hesitant to go much further with them because once I start really finishing songs and all, then I want to finish them, I want to make a record, I want to record right away.  I want to put that record out right away.  It’s really hard to wait and I’m not sure how to do that right now.  I’m trying to figure out how the best way for us to release new music.  The last record we did was my favorite record we have ever done.  Capitol Records was diligent.  They did all kinds of stuff for us.  And it kind of barely touched the culture still.  I just want to figure out how to do the next one.  I was really proud of that last record, but I want it to make more of an impression that that one did.  So I’m kind of hesitant with this on how to release new music because I know how I am.  When we start to release a record, I’m going to _______   a head and I’m not sure how to do it yet.  We got to figure out different things, talk to different people, and try to explore some other ways to do it.  And we’re kind of getting there.

(From their last record “Somewhere Under Wonderland” which is the album Adam loves so much)

AR: In addition to your work with Counting Crows, you have been busy recently putting together the UnderWater Sunshine Fest in NYC.  Some of the artists performing are Art Alexakis of Everclear and Boom Forest who recently confirmed he will also be the support act on the 25 and Counting Tour.  I know you have had a big interest in indie music with all the Outlaw Roadshow events you have had in the past.  You also even cover some indie artists on your Underwater Sunshine covers album.  How did you choose these bands/artists for the Underwater Sunshine Fest and is there anyone you are really excited that they are on the bill?

ADAM: Some of them played on some past Outlaw Roadshows.  Some of them are bands we just used to cover.  We start looking. I’m sure you’ve done it with YouTube.  You stumble upon this to that.  I was looking around and I stumbled upon this section by Mikaela Davis, her band.  And she was incredible.  She was singing and her guitar player was like bowing his electric guitar like the thing rocks.  I realize it was like 4 years ago.  And I contacted her and she was making new music too and I was floored at how great her new record is.  It’s not out yet, but she knocked me out.  It was so good.  You just have to take the time and look for stuff.  On the other hand Sean Barna is playing it.  He has played 2 or 3 Outlaw Roadshows in the past and I always thought he was really good.  He made an album or an EP this year called “Cissy.”  To me it catapulted him to a giant _______ voice as a writer.  It’s an incredible record and I love it.  He knocked me out.  He is one of my best friends but still he really surprised me this record.  I always thought he was good and his stuff is on a whole other level.  Art actually had to drop out a couple of days ago.  He had a gig on the books that wasn’t on his calendar.  He missed it and it was written on the day of his show.  So he had to drop out, but my friend Stephen Kellogg is replacing him.  He comes from the Sixers.  I’m really happy about that.  I’m not happy about Art dropping out because I’ve known Art.  Art used to record at Dave Bryson’s studio in Oakland when were growing up.  He had a band called Colorfinger and I think one of my first jobs for Dave Bryson was singing background on a Colorfinger record.  Way back in like 87-88, something like that you know.  But I love Stephen and I would have asked Stephen at the beginning anyway.  But I just didn’t think of it.  But I forgot to get him at the beginning.  We didn’t announce it yet.  So I’m really excited about that.  So the Underwater Sunshine is like total pleasure.  When you start out in the music business you have to hear it.  Your friends play in bands.  You all play int he clubs, open for each other.  Your part of like a group of friends you know of music.  And then you kind of get signed and it takes off like us.  Your kind of part of that peer group.  Unless you want to hang out at the MTV Awards or the Grammies and that’s not really my thing.  I was never really interested in that.  You kind of lose your peer group and I don’t think I realized how much I missed that until we started doing The Outlaw Roadshow years ago.  I made a bunch of friends who do what I do.  Even if it’s a different sales level, it is still the same.  And it’s really cool and that is going to be the great thing with Underwater Sunshine too.  It’s going to be really fun.  I come from a college radio background with college and indie bands.  And I like that whole geeking out about music kind of people.  Talking to people about music.  Like the same things we do on the podcast and an extension of what we will do on the festival.  Like the record Underwater Sunshine which was exploring a lot of music that didn’t get the light of day.

AR: And then there’s the podcast.

ADAM: You want to talk about the Underwater Podcast?

AR: Yeah sure that works

ADAM: The podcast is my like my favorite thing.  I don’t know if it will ever turn out to be anything, but I love it.

AR: I remember you mentioning something that you have been wanting to do something related to UnderWater Sunshine.  How did this come about with James and was this one of those things you have been wanting to do for a while?

ADAM: You know we had never really thought about it.  __________ is a journalist and she had interviewed me for several long pieces over the years like 10 years ago.  And one year he said to me I got way too much material that I could use for these articles.  We should write a book sometime or something if you want to.  So about two or three years ago we started working on a book.  We’d get together every Friday.  We talked for at least 4 or 5 hours.  Talking about music or whatever, anything really.  I think I got the same thought about the book that he had for the articles.  I called him up at the end of the year last year when I got back from tour.  I said “there are way more materials in these discussion than what we are ever going to get to use in the book.  We should do a podcast.  It will be great.  I think these conversations we have, I think people would love this stuff. And I was really enjoying it.  As much as I loved the idea of writing the book together and we still should do that.  People digest this kind of information everyday in different ways.  I thought the podcast is probably the best way to get the kind of think we’re trying to get with the book across.  The podcast might be a better way of doing it and anyway we can still do both, so why not?  Its kind of similar to what we did before, but sometimes it’s more thematic.  Sometimes I do tons of research.  Like when we did the four week series on punk.  I had pages and pages of stories.  Other times we just talk about shit.  It could be any kind of thing.  We’re both music geeks.  We always want to talk to somebody about music and now we could do it with ourselves and whoever listens.  I don’t know if it will ever become a good thing, but I think it’s a really good thing.  Really cool thing.

AR: Yeah it’s definitely a cool thing.  

ADAM: Thanks man

AR: Thanks so much for doing the interview.  I appreciate it.

ADAM: Anytime man, anytime.

AR: I look forward to seeing a show this summer.

ADAM: Alright take care man.

AR: Have a good one

 

Here is the official press release for the Counting Crows 25 And Counting Tour with the dates below it:

(April 2, 2018) – After more than two decades and 20 million albums sold globally, Counting Crows will celebrate 25 years of making music by hitting the road for a worldwide “25 YEARS AND COUNTING” tour, starting with a 40+ city trek across North America this summer. Presented by Live Nation, the tour will begin June 27 in Boise, ID and travel across cities such as San Diego, Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Tampa, New York, Boston, Toronto and Chicago before concluding September 23 in Louisville, KY. Joining the tour is multi-platinum band +LIVE+.

Tickets for the tour will go on sale to the general public in select cities starting Friday, April 6 at 10am local time. Counting Crows and +LIVE+ fan presales will begin tomorrow, April 3 at 10am local time. Please see below for full tour itinerary and visit www.livenation.com for full details.

“The nice thing about having 25 years of music to celebrate and seven studio albums we absolutely love to choose from is that we can play a different show every night,” said Crows vocalist Adam Duritz. “The nice thing about touring with +LIVE+ is that we get to spend yet another summer with old friends who play great music. We can’t wait!”

+LIVE+ vocalist & guitarist Ed Kowalczyk echoed those sentiments: “+LIVE+ is beyond excited to get out on the road this summer and play for our fans. We are freshly reunited and performing with a confidence and ferocity that we can’t wait for people to experience. The fact that we will be sharing the stage once again with the incomparable Counting Crows is icing on the cake!”

In addition to celebrating 25 years of music in 2018, Duritz has also launched a new podcast, Underwater Sunshine! – a series of conversations between noted non-journalist Duritz and his pal, author and music journalist James Campion, about life, music, and whatever comes into their large and incredibly handsome brains. The weekly podcast, published every Monday, currently holds a five-star rating. View it on iTunes HERE.

Counting Crows – Adam Duritz (vocals), Jim Bogios (drums), David Bryson (guitar), Charlie Gillingham (keyboards), David Immergluck (guitar), Millard Powers (bass) and Dan Vickrey (guitar) – have sold more than 20 million albums worldwide after exploding onto the music scene with their multiplatinum breakout album August and Everything After in 1993. Known for creating unique and innovative concert experiences year after year, Counting Crows is recognized as one of the world’s most pre-eminent touring live rock bands. The band released their seventh studio album Somewhere Under Wonderland in September 2014, which earned critical acclaim as one of the “band’s best,” scored a top 10 debut and was recognized as one of the group’s “stronger works (USA Today),” claiming a spot on Rolling Stone’s Top 50 Songs of the 2014 list with the track “Dislocation”. For more information on Counting Crows visit: www.countingcrows.com

+LIVE+, the multi-platinum band from Pennsylvania–Ed Kowalczyk (vocals, guitar), Chad Taylor (guitar, backing vocals), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass) and Chad Gracey (drums, percussion)–have sold over 22 million albums worldwide and earned two number one albums (Throwing Copper, Secret Samadhi). Their catalog is filled with such gems as “Lightning Crashes,” “I Alone,” “All Over You,” and “Lakini’s Juice,” which live on today as classics at rock radio. Throwing Copper produced the band’s biggest single, “Lightning Crashes,” which was #1 at Modern Rock radio for 10 consecutive weeks. Throwing Copper reached #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and eventually surpassed sales of 10 million albums sold with Rolling Stone honoring the album with placement on their “1994: The 40 Best Records From Mainstream Alternative’s Greatest Year.” Secret Samadhi (1997) immediately shot to #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and eventually went double platinum. The release of the platinum-selling The Distance to Here (1999) turned +LIVE+ into an international powerhouse and moved the band from arenas into stadiums. +LIVE+ has been and remains today a global concert juggernaut. For more information on +LIVE+ visit: http://freaks4live.com/

Counting Crows – 25 Years And Counting 2018 Tour with +LIVE+

All dates featuring +LIVE+ unless marked with a *

All dates promoted by Live Nation unless marked with a †

DATE CITY VENUE

Wed, June 27† Boise, ID Taco Bell Arena

Fri, June 29 Auburn, WA White River Amphitheatre

Sat, June 30 Ridgefield, WA Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre

Mon, July 2 Reno, NV Grand Theatre – Grand Sierra Resort

Tues, July 3† Murphys, CA Ironstone Amphitheatre

Fri, July 6 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre

Sun, July 8 Irvine, CA FivePoint Amphitheatre

Tues, July 10 Chula Vista, CA Mattress Firm Amphitheatre

Fri, July 13*† Indio, CA Fantasy Springs Casino

Sat, July 14*† Las Vegas, NV The Joint

Mon, July 16*† Salt Lake City, UT Red Butte Amphitheater

Wed, July 18 Denver, CO Pepsi Center

Sat, July 21 Austin, TX Austin360 Amphitheater

Sun, July 22 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman

Tues, July 24 Irving, TX The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory

Thu, July 26 Tupelo, MS Bancorp Arena

Sat, July 28 Pelham, AL Oak Mountain Amphitheatre

Sun, July 29 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheatre

Tues, July 31 St. Petersburg, FL Al Lang Stadium

Wed, Aug 1 West Palm Beach, FL Coral Sky Amphitheatre

Sat, Aug 4 Jacksonville, FL Daily’s Place

Sun, Aug 5 Charlotte, NC PNC Music Pavilion

Tues, Aug 7 Virginia Beach, VA Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater

Wed, Aug 8 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live

Fri, Aug 10 Hershey, PA Hersheypark Stadium

Sat, Aug 11 Camden, NJ BB&T Pavilion

Tues, Aug 14 Holmdel, NJ PNC. Bank Arts Center

Wed, Aug 15 Hartford, CT The XFINITY Theatre

Fri, Aug 17 Boston, MA Xfinity Center

Sat, Aug 18 Gilford, NH Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion

Wed, Aug 22 Wantagh, NY Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater

Sat, Aug 25 Syracuse, NY New York State Fair

Sun, Aug 26 Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center

Wed, Aug 29 Toronto, ON Budweiser Stage

Thu, Aug 30 Pittsburgh, PA KeyBank Pavilion

Sat, Sept 1 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center

Sun, Sept 2 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre

Wed, Sept 5* Champaign, IL State Farm Center

Thu, Sept 6 Indianapolis, IN Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center

Sat, Sept 8 Chicago, IL Hollywood Casino Amphitheater

Sun, Sept 9 St. Louis, MO Hollywood Casino Amphitheater – St. Louis

Tues, Sept 11 Kansas City, MO Starlight Theatre

Thu, Sept 13† Council Bluffs, IA Stir Cove at Harrah’s Casino

Sat, Sept 15† Sioux City, IA Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Sun, Sept 16† Minneapolis, MN Mystic Lake – Amphitheater

Tue, Sept 18* Cedar Rapids, IA U.S. Cellular Center

Wed, Sept 19*† Madison, WI Breese Stevens Field

Sat, Sept 22*† Nashville, TN Pilgrimage Festival

Sun, Sept 23*† Louisville, KY Bourbon & Beyond Festival

About Live Nation Entertainment:

Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, and Live Nation Media & Sponsorship. For additional information, visit www.livenationentertainment.com.

Press Contacts

Counting Crows

Kristen Foster / Natasha Desai, PMK*BNC Kristen.Foster@pmkbnc.com; Natasha.Desai@pmkbnc.com

+LIVE+

Mitch Schneider / Mike Gowen (National Press), MSO PR

Bari Lieberman (Tour Press) mschneider@msopr.com; mgowen@msopr.com; blieberman@msopr.com

Live Nation

Emily Bender / Monique Sowinski emilybender@livenation.com; moniquesowinski@livenation.com

Be sure to check out Counting Crows on Spotify: HERE and iTunes: HERE (which has their most recent one Somewhere Under Wonderland).

Counting Crows on social media and more:

Official Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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