I spoke to Steph Knipe of Adult Mom about the band’s upcoming album, U.S. tour, and playing Rilo Kiley songs on guitar.
Adult Mom’s new album, Soft Spots, comes out on 5/19/2017.
After The Show: So looking ahead to June, you’ll play your first west coast shows ever. What will those shows be like?
Adult Mom: It’ll be full band, and we’ll be touring out with free cake for every creature, which will also be full band. It’s a little daunting – we’ve never been out for that long, so I’m very scared about my health and stuff, but I think it’ll be fun. Hopefully there will be no issues.
Is there a song on Soft Spots that was the most challenging for you to write or record?
I think “Steal The Lake From The Water” was definitely the most intense song on the record, and it was definitely hard to write because I was very angry. And a lot went into recording it – we tried a lot of stuff and we were just experimenting a lot.
What about a song where the writing or the recording just went really smoothly?
I think a lot of the record was like that. But when we recorded “Same” – it wasn’t a full band song – but we were finishing up the record and we were going to add a song, and I had written a solo song and played it for Mike [Dvorscak], and said ‘what if we just put a microphone on the other side of the room, and I just play this nylon string?’ And we put it on the record. I did two takes of it, and we just added a couple harmonies and that was it. It was definitely the breeziest song to record and it was really cool how that worked out.
It’s interesting to listen to a song like “When You Are Happy” as a slower, acoustic song in its earlier form. Is there going to be any chance for people to hear the original incarnations of the new songs at all?
Yeah, definitely. I’m working on putting out a demo tape actually for all the songs on the record. I think it’ll be a show-exclusive tape, so you have to come to a gig to get it. Maybe, we’ll see – we haven’t worked it out yet.
A song like “Paws” is so good and catchy, and it’s also really short. When you’re writing, what makes you decide to end a song (and not add another verse, for example)?
I think it’s just when I feel like I’ve hit a resolve in the lyrics, where I’m happy with where I’ve ended up in writing the words — that’s why I end the song. It’s just one of those feelings where you’re like ‘I’m done with this train of thought.’ And a lot of the shorter ones just end up like that.
I’ve discovered so much new music I really like through your Twitter – bands like Infinity Crush and Crying.
I went to school with the members of Crying and that’s where I met them, that’s where I first heard them. Other bands like Infinity Crush I’ve met mostly through the internet. I used to be heavy, heavy on Tumblr and I met a bunch of those artists just through Tumblr and also being on Twitter. Every band has a Twitter so everyone eventually meets on that website.
I read that you played a lot of Rilo Kiley covers when you were learning guitar…”Pictures of Success” is a great one to play. What were your favorite ones to play?
“Science vs Romance” is definitely a biggie. “Wires and Waves.” Anything off the first two records. I only learned bar chords because I learned “Science vs Romance.” I don’t do Blake’s parts, I do Jenny’s parts (the rhythm guitar) [laughs].
“Survival” has almost a million listens on Spotify – that’s amazing. Do you have any career goals in terms of this next album that you want to share?
My career goal for this album is to try my best to not force wanting it to be successful, if that makes sense. Obviously I want the album to be successful. I want people to listen to it, to buy it, to come to my shows. But I’m trying not to put so much pressure on it, because it’s really scary and if nothing happens with the record, it’s a heartbreaking feeling. So I kind of just want it to exist and for people to like it. That’s all I can ask for really.