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Adam WarRock has made a name for himself in the Nerdcore genre of music. His music is not only full of geek references but also contains a real message for all listeners.
You Dare Call That Thing Human?!?, Adam’s second album released in February, is about being true to yourself, not society’s expectations. The cover of the album is inspired by a most poignant scene from the 1980′s comic book ‘God Loves Man Kills’ by Chris Claremont and illustrated by Brent Anderson. In the scene, the leader of the X-men, Cyclops, states that mutants, for all their different abilities, are still human and should be treated as such, despite popular belief.
Each track has a fluid sound combined with unique hip-hop beats and WarRock’s geek and pop cultural sensibility. The track 616 is an excellent example of this. Other tracks on the record such as I Kill Giants, Retcon, and the bonus track Andrew Garfield @ SDCC (Joules remix), stand out because of their deeper meanings.
Neo-Tokyo, his newest album released May 13 this year, is inspired by the legendary anime Akira. WarRock brings listeners seven new futuristic tracks that could be an addition to the original Akira soundtrack. Each track focuses on a particular character, place, or event that is featured in the film.
Toonari Post (TP): What inspires you to write and when did you begin writing?
Adam WarRock (AW):I started writing when I was in high school, because I read a lot, and envisioned myself as some kind of intellectual, artistic writer. I filled up notepads with bad short stories and poetry, before I realized I didn’t have the attention span to actually write, and rewrite and edit, and finish anything. Eventually it started turning into spoken word pieces, which eventually turned into lyrics.
TP: How did you get into music?
AW: My parents were always big into music. My mother was a voice major in college, my sister studied piano, music was a constant in the house. As a result, I grew up dabbling in a ton of musical instruments: guitar, trumpet, drums, piano. I just honestly can’t remember a time of my life where music wasn’t one of the most important things in it.
TP: Besides rap, what genres of music are you most influenced by?
AW: I’m definitely influenced by a lot of pop music. It’s impossible to not be somewhat aware of current pop trends, and have it influence your music in little ways. I also love folksy indie music. Jonathan Coulton is a huge influence on my music.
TP: What inspired the albums You Dare Call That Thing Human?!? and Neo Tokyo? What was the creative process?
AW: Most of what causes me to make an album is fairly uninteresting. With Akira, I had a pile of beats from producer DicepticoN, and they sounded so futuristic, like it was the soundtrack to a futuristic motorcycle chase. It made me think of Akira, and I went from there .
With Human?!?, it was after a 3-month straight tour. I wrote that while delirious and tired, and just suffering from homesickness, and sort of punch drunk. I knew I had to have a new album, and it just kind of came out of me in between road trips and tour stops along the way.
TP: You have an excellent work ethic. Where does that come from?
AW: Boredom. I hate being idle, I can’t stand it. Even if I’ve finished an album, if I have nothing to do that day, I’ll probably still record a song or two.
TP: What’s the best thing about being a musician and what’s the hardest?
AW: The best thing about being a musician is getting to feel like you have some sort of legacy, that this artistic endeavor that you do makes any sort of impact or difference in the general scheme of things. I think that deep down, that’s what we all kind of hunger for, and not in a narcissistic way (though there’s a bit of that too). You just want to feel like you’re not some small, insignificant speck in the universe.
The hardest is just being okay with the lack of structure, that you can’t plan for anything. Good and bad things happen, and they’ll happen whether you like it or not. You just have to roll with it, and hope that you can make it from one victory to the next.
TP: What artists are you currently listening to?
AW: I listen to a lot of people I’ve worked with before, like Dual Core, ThoughtCriminals, Jesse Dangerously, MC Frontalot, people like that. And then there’s people whose music I’m just a fan of, like K.Flay, Shad, Doomtree, Brother Ali. And then there’s embarrassing stuff like really bad ’90s R&B, Disney soundtracks, or old Paul Simon records.
TP: What future goals do you hope to achieve with your music? What type of future projects would you like to do?
AW: Honestly, the only goal I want is the financial and personal security to keep making music. I have tons of ideas for subjects and ways to take what I do, and I just want to survive long enough to at least attempt to do them.
TP: What advice can you give musicians who are just starting out?
AW: Write and record as much as you can, as fast as you can. And then put it out there, publicly. Even if you don’t think it’s perfect. You need that public shame and embarrassment to get better, and it has to be a real thing to you. It’s not real until you ask other people to judge it, and hopefully you’re good enough, or you’ll get good enough, to have other people accept it.
But no one just started making music, and was amazing from the get-go. You need to evolve, and it has to be in the public eye, whether you like it or not. If you’re too embarrassed to put something on a website or tweet about something, you definitely don’t have the stomach to stand up to how much harder it will get.
Image Courtesy of http://www.adamwarrock.com/