Through a raw and crude mix of americana, country, rock and a slight hint of trap, is how the American band Me nd Adam, based in Austin, Texas, conveys the new concept of trashwave music, and their latest album, American Drip Part I explores just that. Trashwave could be described as a genre, or writing style perhaps, but it's more of a lifestyle. It's about the two of them, Vince Winik and Adam Walker, writing together, their nights out in New Orleans and crashing into their friend's mouldy shed afterwards. It's about those long nights, where all hell breaks lose, those kind of nights we would like to take back.
You describe Me nd Adam as “the depraved result of a relationship between a self-loathing egotist and a boisterous, red-headed emotional wreck.” How did this unlikely relationship hold up during lockdown? Were you guys living together?
Vince: We've been super lucky during the lockdown. While we don't live together anymore, we have a studio that we've essentially lived in for the last nine months. The silver lining for us has been getting to spend even more time there, so we could finish American Drip Part I and continue writing tons of songs.
Adam: We don't fight as much as we used to, but when we do it's usually a wrestling match after a long night of boozing. That said, we're getting older and last time we wrestled I think Vince threw out his back for like two weeks.
And what’s your lockdown anthem?
Adam: I'm gonna have to go with George Jones' If Drinking Don't Kill Me.
Vince: Future and Lil Uzi Vert's Pluto x Baby Pluto.
You’ve been referred to as "trashwave trailblazers." How do you define trashwave?
Adam: Trashwave started as more of a lifestyle and developed into a sound. When we started writing together in New Orleans a few years back, there were many nights out at Ms Mae's, Banks St. Bar, and Brothers 3 Lounge. Most of the time we'd sleep in our friend's mouldy shed we were helping convert into a recording studio.
Vince: Yeah, if we could make it that far. I'd often sleep next to the trash cans in the driveway while Adam polished off the last of whatever supplies we had left from a long night out. Over time we started writing songs that were true to these experiences.
Adam: Those experiences and the blend of alternative, country, americana, rock, pop, and hints of trap are what make trashwave, trashwave.
In The More I Grow Up, we hear a new side to Me Nd Adam. A tender yet rousing, coming-of-age lament that offers Springsteen-style storytelling and the kind of catchy, synth-rock riffs we’ve come to expect from The Killers. Do you think you’ve changed since your earlier music was first released in 2016?
Vince: Definitely. When we were first starting, the songs came more from writing over alt-pop beats, but as things grew, more songs were starting lyrically and with chord structures before bringing them into a session for refinement and scaling. Recently, I was talking to Adam about the content of the lyrics. The lyrics earlier on had to do with love loss, but now most of them have to do with self-reflection and finding our place in the world.
Adam: Over the years we've changed our approach to songwriting. Nowadays, we'll be making conceptual lyrics or I'll come to the studio with some song ideas on a guitar, and then these will be the foundation of what we build out and modify. Because the songs start on guitar as opposed to in the computer, our sound has changed to encompass more alt-rock or country and americana sounds.
After a string of singles, your long-awaited debut album, American Drip Part I, has just dropped! How was working with the album format for you?
Adam: It was easier than we initially thought. When Vince and I moved back to Austin we set up our studio and began work every day, five days a week, on recording and growing our catalogue. After releasing Heartbreak Kid with Handwritten Records, they approached us about doing an LP and we were ready with thirty songs to choose from. Before moving home to Austin, we were so busy in Brooklyn with making ends meet that we'd be lucky to have five ideas in the tank.
Nina Simone famously said that an artist’s duty is “to reflect the times”. After plunging the world into a pandemic, 2020 then served us one of the most divisive presidential elections in recent history. Have these unsettling and volatile days inspired your musical process at all?
Vince: We're not explicitly representing one moment in time, but I like to think that our music reflects a disposition and sentiment a lot of people feel and are scared to embrace.
Adam: Our goal is to make music that allows people to feel understood and heard.
Who are your musical heroes, past and present?
Adam: Modern day probably Jason Isbell or Julian Casablancas, but the truest legend will always be Willie Nelson.
Vince: Jimi Hendrix, Blink 182, Future.
What do you miss most about going on tour and playing live shows?
Adam: Perfoming live is one of the most rewarding parts of playing music. Getting a chance to connect with fans and blow off some steam is something I think the entire world is missing right now.
Vince: I miss stressing out for a day leading up to the show, having something go wrong in sound check, and see Adam flipping out as if we were the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden, and then having the show go off without a hitch. That process always makes for a euphoric release.
What does 2021 hold for Me nd Adam?
Adam: Well, the album is called American Drip Part I so i'll let you take a guess...
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