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Interview: Adam Cohen at Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh, Scotland

Adam Cohen 1

Kristina-Marie Ross 3

By: Kristina Marie Ross

I can’t say I’ve ever gone into an interview process feeling natural or at an advantage of ease. Most of the time, I find myself more nervous than that of when I’m being interviewed by a prospective employer. To interview a person, based on themselves as a person or themselves as an artist, is a lot more intimidating than most would think. When you’re an artist, you know who you are and you know what you want to deliver in speech (or at least some other creative medium) All you truly have to do is answer questions you should already know the answer to.

So this time around, it felt unusual not to feel nerves as I entered the double doors belonging to Edinburgh’s backstreet Voodoo Rooms. Along the cobbled streets dusted with snow and the strange hispanic man who followed me for the last block there, I removed my winter coat and took my seat at the bar. Again, this sensation of calm was strange to me. I didn’t understand why after such a hiatus of not interviewing anyone, I didn’t feel an ounce of doubt. This isn’t to say I felt any particular or new found confidence, perhaps it just hadn’t sunk in that I was actually about to meet with a man of such prominence and creative respect. 

I guess I’d better get myself started and write about Adam Cohen. Well, it’s fairly obvious that Adam’s surname may well ring a bell with most of you. Yes, his father is Leonard Cohen. Yes, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winning Leonard Cohen. Adam is the offspring of this lyrically gifted man. But allow me to make one thing very clear about the article which I am about to write – I am not here to talk about Leonard Cohen. No. I am here to talk about Adam. You see, Adam is also a musician and I believe it’s only fair that this fully grown, well established man should have an article dedicated to the consecrated nature of his own career and not the novelty of his exquisitely talented parent. In fact, that was probably the one thing I was nervous about; Accidentally mentioning his father in a way which implied I was only interested in his last name. In fact, only a mere few hours before my own interview with Adam was he on a radio show in London. The person speaking to him immediately resorted to a question about his father on first approach, Adam’s response was by calling it ‘shabby journalism’. So perhaps, on further reflection of such events, I was a little nervous after all. 

Adam Cohen

I was welcomed into the main room, busy with set ups and lighting effects. Out emerged Adam from a back door, dressed in a beanie and frayed blazer. The man had been awake for goodness knows how long, and still found time to piece together an outfit. He walked straight over and grabbed my hand 

“Do you want to smell something really bad?”

I didn’t really know how to respond to this. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what I said. But before I could say more, Adam, still grasping my hand with sincerity pointed over toward the back door and began to tell me about the smell of fish and chips emanating from the street. I laughed, he was so genuinely passionate about this encounter with Scottish street food. It was weird. It was great. It put me at an immediate ease as we were led to a private bar behind the sound desk. A regal room with literary charm and a wall full of whiskey, Adam and I took a seat. 

Voodoo Rooms

Adam has a great amount of sincerity and intensity in his persona, never releasing himself from eye contact and having no confidence issues in complimenting my choice of outfit. He’s a man interested in everyone just as much as he is interested in himself. Questions fired at me and my own life before I had even lifted my laptop, and through moments of banter we directed ourselves toward the formality that comes with a casual Fresh Independence interview. 

Kristina – I read that you scrapped your initial album and- Wait, did you write an album before? And then you just scrapped it and started again?

Adam – I did, is this recording?

Suddenly Adams eyes darted toward my laptop sitting on the nearby dining table.

Kristina – Is that okay?

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Old Man Canyon- Vancouver, Canada

Let the soundtrack to your Summer nights be set. Shining like diamonds in the rough, this is Old Man Canyon: Heavily influenced by nothing, but making music. Proud to call them our own and proud to let them go. This up and coming quintet is new age meets classic jam. 

Latest EP, Phantoms & Friends’ was written in a rat infested basement, brought to the big screen by hit television series  Shameless & Suits and recent return from a North American Tour. Catch them if you can…

OLD MAN CANYON

OMC Stage 2

Dave Mezaros

Dave Mezaros ll

OMC Stage 5

Mark

Alex Dobson

OMC Stage 1

Jett Pace

Jett Pace Behind

Phantoms & Friends EP available HERE

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Bridge City Hustle- Brooklyn, NY

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Photo Credit: Derek Sexton Horani 

UNDENIABLE SOUL 

This was sort of the crossroads for all of our musical influences. We come from a variety of backgrounds, jazz, funk, pop, rock…but soul music was the one language that we all knew and respected. Especially in a time with so much homogenized music in the pop and radio world, we have something to say that is a bit more raw, something the average person can understand.

Johnny Burgos, Lead Vocals/ Percussion
Dave Zerio, Drums/ Keys
Pete O’neill, Bass/ BG Vocs
John Bendy, Guitar
Dan Cherouny, Alto Sax/ BG Vocs

How did Bridge City Hustle come to be?

Bridge City Hustle actually started out as a group of session musicians backing up local talent in the NYC area. We ended up ​playing so many shows together as sidemen, we developed a natural  r​ap​port, and decided to persue our common language which was soul music.

When did Music become a purpose over a passion?

Well many people feel passion for music, but there is so much more that goes into turning a love into a movement, or into a career. It was very easy for us to communicate musically, but when it comes to getting a bunch of musicians on the same schedule to work, rehearse, and write, it can be difficult.

​Although​ seeing the response from our fans both during our kickstarter campaign, as well as at shows has really inspired our work ethic and sense of commercial awareness. We’re excited to see how it effects the sound of our new material.

The Debut EP! What was the inspiration behind the Album? Where was it recorded? Self produced? 

* All such talented musicians, behind the scenes as well. Does it ever feel like there are too many cooks in the kitchen?

I think we were inspired first of all by each other – it takes a while to find musicians in a city so big that you feel you can create with. New York City is a big inspiration as well….living in a place where you have to Hustle all the time just to make ends meet pushes you to see how far you can take a passion. Otherwise, we’re trying to emulate our heroes and contribute something that we feel is filling a hole in the current musical landscape.

Our writing and production process is very collaborative. With the majority of us also being producers and engineers based out of NYC’s FLUX Studios, the recording process is usually a bit of a geek fest, nonetheless, super fun. We recorded most of the EP in a day of tracking at Flux with head engineer, Daniel Sanint and spent a few weeks doing some overdubs. We then tracked “​Mama​” and “​Can’t Let Go​”​again with John Bendy on guitar.

The EP highlights the expertise that each of us bring to our craft, and our recordings bring out attention to detail that we consider to be our standard. Similar to the music, we utilize vintage techniques in production and recording in order to maintain a clean, contemporary sound. We all bring an equal amount of creativity to the writing process, whether it be a riff, a progression or a groove as well as the personal touches we put on our parts.

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