Following his very first UK tour, Getintothis’ Del Pike asked Adam Scott Glasspool where he was heading next on his one man road trip and what we should expect in the future.
Adam Scott Glasspool is a 26 year old alternative folk artist (not a singer/songwriter, he insists) from Southampton who has recently relocated to Brighton via Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. Realising the difficulties of being heard and earning a living in the music biz, he has taken the independent route.
After two attempts at making it as a duo with his mate Will in Swim and Thermoluminescence, he has gone solo and embraced the type of folk heard on the debut albums of Elliot Smith and Bon Iver. There are also elements of Donovan’s starkly epic Sutras, the Rick Rubin produced 1999 comeback. Adam has launched his own record label, Poles Apart Records with his On Dreams EP, that includes the mesmeric lead tracks Nightingale and Undertow featured below.
Taking the role of writer, performer, label manager, A&R and producer can be a lonely business and already Adam’s road trip (one man and his Corsa) has run into trouble. His first gig at the famous Grove in Leeds culminated in him finding himself double booked at his hotel. “I drove through the night” he tells us, “stopping at every service station for a nap before arriving in Liverpool at six in the morning”.
We caught up with him on night two at The Attic on Parr Street, looking bewildered as he discovered that it was an open mic/karaoke night which coincided with a wrap party for a theatre company, another double booking of sorts. “I thought it was just going to be a regular gig!”. His short set was sharply focused and mainly covered his EP tracks, but not even a cover of Dylan’s The Man in Me (for Lebowski fans) could draw the attention of the party goers who managed to applaud but were clearly not listening to a note.
Had they listened they would have heard the beginnings of a new talent, lyrically proficient and musically hypnotic. They may also have picked up on the acid delivery of the closing lines from the beautiful Seatlleite, Adam repeatedly aiming the line; “Now it’s me versus a vast sea of apathy” at the raucous thesps. How appropriate. “Is it always like this in Liverpool?” asks Adam and we assure him that this is just a strange night and to come back soon.
We asked him why he has gone for this raw, stripped back and lonesome approach to working within the music business and he cites Sun Kil Moon, particularly his Benji album. “He taught me that you don’t need a band, you don’t need to be overproduced, I want people to hear the purest possible version of the idea that I had in my head, and you can’t blame the drummer for fucking up your gig.” After a little contemplation he adds, “I just want to be in control for as long as possible”.
Lyrically, Adam finds his influences in his long standing obsession (a tattoo to prove it) with R.E.M, emulating what he calls their “Bleak but personal approach”. His R.E.M obsession comes from his parents and he tells us that as a child, he wore out his Dad’s Out of Time CD and they had to buy a new one.
His Dad has given him what he thinks is the best piece of advice in how to succeed, “When I was little I used to go to the supermarket with him and he would say, if you get lost stay where you are and someone will find you, and I’ve kind of taken that same attitude towards my music”. Not wanting to sell out in order to be picked up by a label he doesn’t like, he is happy to sit tight and wait for that golden moment, “I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing and hope it will come to me.”
Before we leave Adam to find out if his bed has been taken by a fellow nomad, we ask him about his limited edition copy of On Dreams which is limited to one copy at £70. It is packaged in original Adam Glasspool artwork and is for sale on his Bandcamp page. “I don’t like the thought of my CD just gathering dust on a shelf and being forgotten about, so I think if just one person pays seventy quid for it this might not happen” he laughs.
As a collector of limited edition vinyl releases from artists such as Radiohead and the Manics, he appreciates the almost lost art of physical copy and artwork. “The photo on the front of my EP is of the window I look out of when I’m writing my songs” he reveals. The bare trees visible through the window reflect the mood of the songs inside, much like Bon Iver’s For Emma Forever Ago. It is clear that Adam is in control of his destiny, and if this EP is an indication of his burgeoning talents then hopefully he won’t be stood in the supermarket for too long.