Pete RG has kicked off a U.S. and U.K. tour to support its first single “Watching The River Go By” off the bands upcoming album Whatever We Want, Whenever We Want. Pete RG is joined by an all-star cast that includes; Dave Krusen (Original Pearl Jam drummer and Hall of Fame Inductee), Candlebox bassist Adam Kury, former Skillet guitarist Kevin Haaland and keyboardist and vocalist Brina Kabler.
Bassist Adam Kury and drummer Dave Krusen will play both sets.
Music Madness caught up with Adam Kury, bassist for Candlebox and Pete RG, to discuss new music with Pete RG and the potential for some new Candlebox music.
Music Madness: As a member of both Pete RG and Candlebox, are you playing both sets?
Adam: Yeah, for that show down at Cape Coral.
Music Madness: Oh, so it’s just for that one show.
Adam: Yeah. We were going to do more, but we weren’t able to piece it together. Candlebox has that four show run coming up in about a week or so. But the promoters had already sealed the bill. We all know each other really well. Obviously, Dave and I are in both bands. Kevin and Pete get along really well. Anytime we can put both bands on the same bill, we do that. It makes a lot of sense and it’s like I say, kind of like a big family thing.
Music Madness: I was like, damn, that’s a lot of shows playing two sets.
Adam: I’ve done that. Years ago right after we did the tour for the Into the Sun album in 2008 I think it was, Dave played drums for a band called the Kings Royal with myself and Shawn Hennessy who was the guitar player in Candlebox at the time, and was also in the Kings Royal. The Candlebox tour was the longest one we’ve ever done. We were out for 12 weeks solid and Kings Royal opened up for ten of those. So, for ten straight weeks we did two shows every night.
Music Madness: Damn.
Adam: Yeah. That one kind of wore us out, but even the two shows aside, just the Candlebox camp alone was like, 12 weeks was just too long to go, and back then, Pete and Kevin didn’t have kids, you know. Now, half the band has kids so we don’t want to be gone that long anymore.
Music Madness: Is it difficult to transition between two bands and sets like that?
Adam: I mean, honestly for me the only thing I have to make sure is I bring two different basses, because they are totally different sounds and different styles. Once you’re in and you’re playing the songs, you’re into those songs and that set. I mean, it’s off stage logistics is the only thing. Musically, when you’re playing a song, you know what that song is and you know your vibe.
Music Madness: Very cool. Pete RG has a new single and video as of last week, “Watching the River Go By”. How has the response been over the first week?
Adam: Well, you know, I am not sure as far as on the business side and what’s going on with the release. I don’t make it a point to follow any of that. As a matter of a fact, I make a point not to follow that kind of stuff. But as far as being received at the shows, people are digging the set. They like the new stuff.
The problem we have with that band is writing too much and with this record that’s coming out, we already have another six new songs already recorded for the next release. So, we’re kind of like way ahead. We’ve snuck one or two into the set and actually one of those that’s coming across well is “River”. We’re playing that every night along with most of the rest of that album. I’ve been really happy with the reactions we’re getting from people. People are digging the set. They seem to be into it. They’re not losing interest and wandering away, you know.
Music Madness: I had a chance to listen to “Watching the River Go By” and I was digging its vibe. It felt like I should have been sitting outside somewhere, smoking a cigar and taking in the music.
Adam: Right. Well, you always reference different things in your head too, like when we were working on that Wurlitzer, that scary whirl came in, it just reminded me of stuff Pink Floyd did on Animals. They had that same vibrato, coarse Wurlitzer thing and you get weird associations with things that you’ve heard from the past. And it all comes together and you create a new texture with it, but it reminds you of other things. So, yeah, I like that vibe in that song. It has that feeling to me.
Music Madness: Yeah, absolutely. I was thinking that song could have kept going for another three or four minutes, I probably would have still had that same feeling. It never seemed like it was too short or too long. It just flowed.
Adam: Yeah. I agree. There are certain songs we do and I feel like, oh, man, we could have shortened that one up 30 minutes or this one I would have liked to stretch. But you’re right, River feels like it does right. Plus it has that really cool harmony guitar solo at the end that wraps it up too.
Music Madness: Are you touring with Pete RG across the pound to Europe or are you staying with Candlebox?
Adam: No. It’s actually working out that I’m doing all of them so it’s like I said, with this run here, they overlap a little bit. I finished my trip out here with the four Candlebox shows in the Midwest. I’ve got another show I’m doing the week after, then the following week, Pete RG, the whole band, we’re going to Europe to play with the Dave Giles Band. So that was something that worked out. Kevin Haaland and Pete RG, we played on Dave’s album last January and he liked how it came out so much. He was like, “I’d love to have the band come play”. I was like, “Well, we might be able to make this work, ’cause Pete RG hasn’t been to Europe in a while. So, we’ll come over there and we’ll basically be the backing band for both artists.” So, that’s how we made that come together.”
Then, we get back I think on like the 10th or 11th of November, then the next Candlebox show’s up in Wisconsin for that charity thing on the 17th. So, I’m doing ’em all.
Music Madness: Nice, man. It’s always good to keep yourself busy.
Adam: Yeah. It’s good but I get a little worn at times, but I wouldn’t trade it just because you don’t know how often you get all these opportunities, you know? At some point, you know that maybe people aren’t wanting you to come and play those shows. You know, the audiences are still coming, so you gotta go when they want to hear you.
Adam: Yeah. I think sometimes when it gets really busy; like I have an off day today in New York and this is like the greatest thing ever in the world to have an off day. Because we’re really worn out, but it’s a good worn out. When you’re in the middle of doing it, you enjoy it, but like you say, that perspective of it is more of when I get home and I haven’t been able to breathe and relax, it’s really cool.
Music Madness: Oh, absolutely. How did you hook up with Pete RG and how did that all come about?
Adam: Well, I worked with Pete actually a couple of years even before I started working with Kevin with the Hiwatts things. With Pete, we had a band called Last December, and we had some traction with it, but it never got over the hump. I don’t think we really quite knew what to do with it. Then Pete decided that he was going to work just under his name, because he was concerned, the guys that were in the band at that time, we all started getting other things. I started working with Kevin on the Hiwatts, eventually Candlebox, and the other guys kind of went different directions as well. So, he went under his own name so he could keep doing things and if he had to do a show without us, he could.
I’m the only one that’s really left from that band. We needed a drummer so I brought in Dave who had been working with us with Candlebox and other bands we had gotten together, and he brought in Kevin Haaland, the guitar player and Brina, his wife, who is our keyboard player, engineer and background vocalist. It just all kind of like fell back together and once we started working and creating stuff, it was like, “Okay. We got stuff here and we’re getting a sound and something that’s happening. Let’s start to see what happens.” People were digging it and it was being well received, so we kept writing stuff and pushing stuff out little by little, you know.
Music Madness: Well this isn’t a new project. You guys have been working on this for a handful of years, correct.
Adam: Yeah, I’m not sure exactly how long. I’d have to sit back and think about it, but I know we’ve done a couple of other EPs before, but it’s evolved now. Like I said, when at first the Pete RG thing really started getting it going, it was more him working on his stuff. He would call me, I’d come in and do some writing, and arranging with him, but really it was his thing. Then once we brought the rest of the band members in as we were playing things, he realized, this happens really fast. The creativity with the whole group, so he changed his perspective and now the direction is we write as a group now. Then we come up with things that we really like, and then he’ll go back and write his lyrics and melodies over the top of that. It’s going really fast. I mean, like I said, our problem is that we’re writing too much almost if you will, ’cause this record’s just coming out. Honestly we’ve recorded I think six other songs for a future release.
Music Madness: Wow.
Adam: And you take it when you can, because if you get a couple of records ahead of yourself, that’s great, because you might find that you hit a period where you’re just not inspired creatively, and when somebody wants another record, you’ve already got it.
The last thing you ever want to do in any sort of creative endeavor is force something. I mean, sometimes you force it in that moment of creating, but you don’t want to force something to be released to the public that you don’t feel proud about. You don’t feel 100% about it.
It’s a weird time, because so much has changed the music business, you know. They’re still doing physical albums. There’s still a market for that, but there’s so much with the streaming. It’s kind of gone back to how it was probably back in the 50s and 60s where it’s more of a song driven business … a single driven business I should say, rather than an album. It used to be songs and then you released the singles and you’d get airplay and do all that, then to market to get the most out of them, they would make a collection and create the album after the fact.
Then everyone started making full 10, 12 song albums and it’s the standard. That’s when everyone got upset. Its like, “Hey, I bought an album with 10, 12 songs and only two of them were any good. The rest of them were kind of like filler.” So, it’s going back the other way where people may only want to hear that one song at a time and if they like that one song, they’ll listen to your next song.
Music Madness: Absolutely.
Adam: If you can do that, you can end up putting together a record if you got it, you know. It’s not wrong to do, but it doesn’t have to be done that way. So, it really boils down to every song you do it’s got to be something worth doing and releasing to the public. It can’t just be, well, you know, we’ve got to put three more songs on this record, so let’s crank something out.
Music Madness: It’s funny that you mentioned music reverting to the 50s and 60s cause I get that vibe with all the festivals that are going on these days. Those old movies where they would parade one band after another on stage at the State Fair for a quick set then they would unplug and next band up.
Adam: Right. Yeah, and honestly for years I’ve been kind of touting that whole thing. If you have a really great record label, which that’s starting to get a little blurry too, what the record label’s role is now, but if you have a great label and you brand it with a certain kind of music, you should put together a label tour package. And go out there and put your great six artists that you’re doing and have them all go out there and do a half an hour set. Maybe one of them if they are the headliner, they do a little bit more.
But you know, its people don’t want to be beat over the head with twelve 90-minute sets from bands, it’s just too much. And some of the festivals, they’re great, ’cause you can get to see what you want and most of the bands do shorter sets. I find in those festival environments sometimes it’s almost too much. It’s an overload like I don’t know where to go. Yeah, I want to catch this band, I want to catch that band, but by the end of the day, you have listened to so many bands that I think that you kind of get overwhelmed. At least I do.
Music Madness: I go to these festivals and sometimes I’m like, “Shit. I don’t know which way to go.” I don’t want to miss anything, bands are overlapping, and it gets crazy.
Adam: Yeah. And like I say it’s a mixed blessing, you know? One, you get to see all those great bands in one spot, but then two you’re, like you said, when things line up schedule wise, you have to make tough choices over which one to see. And a lot of those bigger bands that hit the festivals, especially the bigger of the festivals, they’re probably not going to come through that market again for a while.
Music Madness: Yeah, and you’re not getting a full set of their stuff, which is disappointing.
Adam: Yeah. I mean, we’re in a spot with Candlebox where most of these festivals that we get on to, if it’s not like a single stage festival where we’ll be the headliner; it’s more of like a big massive festival. We just did Kaaboo down in San Diego, and I think we did maybe 40 minutes there in the afternoon. They were actually pretty good. They staggered out their genres well. It was us and as soon as we finished I think Slash went on that stage over there, and I think as soon as Slash finished, Alice in Chains hit another stage. So, you could see that the rock bands of roughly the same style without overlapping them.
Music Madness: When you guys do festival shows, do you ever try to break out, go check out other bands, and just be music fans?
Adam: Of course, all the time. You know, sometimes you’re limited by your schedule, ’cause usually you have travel things and it’s not just like you can hang out there you know long after you play. Sometimes you gotta pack up and you’re heading to an airport or wherever. You’ve got to travel and stuff like that, but that was great. I got to catch Slash’s set there. I didn’t get to see Alice in Chains at that one, but we had just played with them a couple months ago and I saw them. They sounded great. So, for me honestly, because I am touring so much, it’s a weird thing, but I don’t get to see bands very often unless we’re on a bill together. So, I try to make a point to see those bands, ’cause I don’t get those chances.
Adam: You know I’m kind of all over the map. There’s a lot of bands that I really like but very few that I really love. That I get really excited for. I mean the harder rock stuff is definitely stuff I grew up with, so I always have a soft spot for that. But I really just look for anything that somebody’s doing something that inspires. With a straight rock band, it could just be the energy of the performance, you know what I mean? They don’t have to be making something necessarily new.
You look at a band like an AC/DC that has done the same record for thirty-some odd years, and it’s still great. I still love that. For me probably like my favorite bands in the last few years, again stuff that pushes the envelope. I love Mars Volta, Tame Impala, the bands that have a great sense of building songs and stuff. They don’t bend to the traditional pop structure, and they’re also doing a little bit of exploration and not really to a jazzy sense, but there’s a jam in there too. They’re showing their musicianship without it being showoff musicianship, if that makes sense.
Again, you never know what’s gonna hit you. There are some bands I love listening to their records and I’m not thrilled with them live. There’s some bands I absolutely love live, they don’t translate well to record for me.
Music Madness: Switching gears, so you joined Candlebox shortly thereafter the bands reunion in 2006. How has that experience been?
Adam: It’s been great. I was kind of already semi in the camp only because I toured with Kevin for three years before that with the Hiwatts. And then our rhythm guitar player Sean Hennessey was in the Hiwatts for quite a while and then he was also in Candlebox. So, two of the four guys I already knew and had toured with and had a relationship with, so when I came in it was getting to know Scott and getting to know Pete.
I’d met Pete before, but I didn’t really know him on the personality side, that was the thing. So, it wasn’t really like a cold walk in to a band. I kind of knew people there, so it that helped smooth it over. It was like being thrown to the wolves though, as we didn’t even do a full rehearsal and my first show was the next day in front of the hometown crowd. I only had a few days to prepare. I got the call and they were like, “Hey, could you be here tomorrow?” Then they realized that they were doing a couple of gigs that they needed visas ’cause they were going into Canada. So, they still kept touring and I came out like four days later.
Musically it was a little stressful for me, but it’s been good, ’cause like I say I love the music and the guys. I get what they’re doing, so like with any musician you hope that you don’t have to tell them a lot, and I didn’t have to be told a lot ’cause I already knew what this was about.
Music Madness: Very cool. Now, as far as Candlebox goes, are you guys still writing music, maybe putting something new together and releasing more tunes?
Adam: Yeah, for sure. I mean, the last record I can’t even tell you when it came out… 2014? We are definitely looking to get back in. Actually, over the past few months we have been trying to organize time to get together, do more writing, and get in the studio. It’s always tough because the band is spread out all over the country. So, at some point, we have to suck it up to get people to come out and get the band all together. It’s just a matter of logistics and honestly a budget to do all that. But we’re definitely hot on the trail of making new music, for sure.
Music Madness: Very cool. The band just did a 25th year reunion thing with a handful of shows. Did you get to participate in that?
Adam: No. I didn’t play in that, but I went up there and just supported the band and hung out, ’cause you know, they’re all friends of mine and everything. It was two shows in Seattle, and they were awesome. It was just the four original guys. Ever since I think the second album or second tour, the band’s always carried an extra guitar player, but for these two shows, they didn’t do that. It was just the original four as it was back in the day. It was great and they sounded fantastic. Strangely enough, it was the first time I ever got to watch a Candlebox show.
Music Madness: Enjoy your off day in the city. Thanks Adam!
Adam: Thank you.
Interview by Steve Carlos and photos by Brian Kreuser