Adriana Spina new album and heading for Belladrum Festival we ask more
Descrided as “Genre-defying”, singer and songwriter Adriana Spina releases her long-awaited debut album Never Coming Home on 20th June 2011. we defy her to answer the questions.
Distributed nationwide by Proper Music Distribution, Never Coming Home showcases Adriana’s captivating voice and distinctive song-writing style. Having earned her stripes on the live circuit over recent years, sharing stages with the likes of Sheryl Crow and Paolo Nutini, Adriana is delighted to release her first collection of songs on her own label, Ragged Road. She says, “My band and I worked long and hard on making Never Coming Home and we’re so pleased to see it finally making it onto the shelves.”
Never Coming Home features guest performances from legends of the Scottish music scene Donald Shaw (Capercaillie) and David Scott (Pearlfishers), and was the last full-length recording to be made at Glasgow’s legendary Park Lane Studios.
Adriana and her band will launch Never Coming Home on 18th June at Stereo in Glasgow, with the support of The prestigious Fallen Angels Club Glasgow.
2. WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY? I don’t remember when I first sang as it is something that I have done ever since I was tiny, but my earliest memory is probably being about 3 or 4 years old and insisting on every car journey with my parents that they let me sing to them. I would give them anything I could remember, but my favourite songs were the themes from Cheers and The Golden Girls! I used to drive them crazy!
3. WHAT WAS THE FIRST RECORD YOU OWNED? On the same trip into Livingston centre at about 13 years old, I bought my first two cassette singles – Lithium, by Nirvana and Silent All These Years, by Tori Amos.
4. WHEN AND WHERE WAS YOUR FIRST PERFORMANCE? From an early, early age, I was putting on shows in my Granny’s living room and singing in every school performance there was! My first of those, I can ‘t remember! As for my first performance in anything like my current incarnation, when I was 15, my school (West Calder High School) announced a charity show, and pupils across the school were invited to perform a short set of their own choice. So, two of my friends and I put together two or three songs, where they played their electric guitars and I was to sing. We played Confetti by the Lemonheads, Don McLean’s American Pie, and something else I can’t remember… We sounded dreadful, but that performance led to me being invited to join my first band “Drain Smile”. My time in that band helped me to find my confidence as a songwriter and explore my voice outside an academic setting. And I loved it!
5. WHO IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK? Tori Amos. From the first time I heard Silent All These Years on the radio, and took myself to Rainbow music in Livingston to buy the cassette single, I fell in love with her voice, her piano, her words. This was a sound that was completely new to me and, at the age of 13, the honesty and rawness of her songs were dangerous and so exciting. I loved how powerfully one voice and one instrument could come across on tape and her songs made me want to go and try to do that myself. If it wasn’t for my obsession with Little Earthquakes album, I probably wouldn’t have been spurred to try songwriting, not at that time in any case.
6. WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE CONCERT YOU’VE ATTENDED? I have been to so many… Probably Ani DiFranco at the University of New Hampshire in 1998. I had only heard the self titled first album, and this was a date on her tour to promote the Little Plastic Castles album, now in my top 5 favourite albums. Although we were in a basketball arena, filled with thousands of fans, it was as if she was singing straight to me. I laughed and cried at that show – amazing!
7. WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE CONCERT YOU’VE PLAYED? Supporting Sheryl Crow at the O2 (then Carling) Academy in Glasgow. As if I needed confirmation, this is the one show that I can say has given me the most assurance that this is what I want to do with my life. I loved every second of that gig – standing on that stage, just me and my guitar, in front of the packed out 2500 crowd, it was exhillerating and I can’t wait to do it again, hopefully in the not too distant future. And, as a Sheryl Crow fan of many years, to share a bill with a legend of her stature was really a delight and an honour.
8. WHAT IS THE WORST JOB YOU’VE EVER HAD? Chambermaid at the Hilton Hotel in Livingston. I lasted 2 shifts!
9. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MEANT BY THE WORD ARTIST? That’s a toughie! For me, it’s the freedom and gift of being able to express myself without need for explanation or excuse.
10. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT? I am reading To Chernobyl, With Love, by Jim Gillies. This was ghost-written by my partner, Murray Scougall, and is about Jim’s tireless efforts to raise funds for Malin Hospital, the only hospital that operates inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone. It’s a really good read, but quite tough at times. (All profits from sale of the book go towards the Malin Hospital Fund, and it’s available from www.jimschernobyl.com).
11. IS THE MUSIC INDUSTRY BETTER NOW OR WHEN YOU STARTED? Having been independent from day 1, and still so, this is a hard one for me to answer. I am finding it no more or less frustrating an industry today than I did when I started, but I know now a lot more about how the industry works and so am better equipped to make the best of it, given my independent status.
12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG ON THE ALBUM, AND WHAT THE BEST THING FOR YOU ABOUT THIS NEW ALBUM? My favourite song changes daily, but at the moment I am loving Let You Fall… Donald Shaw’s piano on the track is breathtaking.
13. WHAT IS THE FAVOURITE SONG SOMEONE ELSE HAS WRITTEN (AT THE MOMENT) ? Oh, tricky, tricky question!!! Favourite song right now…. The Chain, Fleetwood Mac. Ask me again in 10 minutes, and that might have changed!
14. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT MODERN LIFE? My iPhone.
15. WHAT’S THE WORST? My iPhone – it has stolen my soul… And Simon Cowell.
16. WHAT SINGLE THING HAS HELPED YOU MOST IN YOUR CAREER? My fiance’s endless sense of reality. He will not let me rest on my laurels and is always pushing me to work harder.
17. WHAT SINGLE THING HAS HINDERED YOUR CAREER? Taking too long to realise that I wouldn’t be “discovered” and that if I wanted to make a go of a music career, I would have to do it myself! I was on the wrong side of 25 by the time this really hit home for me, a bit late in the scheme of things. But, it is never too late!
18. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE DRINK? Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic.
19. WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE POLITICIAN? Unusual as this may seem for a songwriter, I don’t follow politics really. I usually vote SNP (I like their stance on student tuition fees and like the fact that I no longer have to pay for my prescriptions!) but my local councillor in Livingston, Lawrence Fitzpatrick, kindly offered some financial support when I was making my first musical trip to the USA a few years ago, so I will say that he is my favourite!
20. WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN IN 2011?. That my debut album, Never Coming Home, is well received by audiences and critics, and that I get the opportunity to tour more extensively across the country. My ideal outcome would be to develop a successful enough career that I can afford to go full time as a performer and give up the day job that is still a millstone around my neck, so I’ll be spending 2011 continuing to work hard towards making that a reality. It’s going to be a big year!
Home – www.adriana-music.com
Reverbnation – www.reverbnation.com/adriana
My Space – www.myspace.com/adrianamusic
Twitter – www.twitter.com/adrianamusic
Flyinshoes Review – www.flyinshoes.ning.com/profile/Adriana
House Concert Hub – www.houseconcerthub.ning.com/profile/Adriana