Earlier this year we became aware of the socal band Black Adidas and were blown away by their latest album. We caught up with the man with a plan Courtney and got the lowdown on all things Black Adidas… (Review Here)
Can you give us a brief overview of Black Adidas when you started? where the name came from? whos involved?
Black Adidas started in about 2017 as essentially my solo project. I had been demoing most of the tracks off the first record for a band I was playing bass in. Had a hard time getting them to want to record the songs, so I figured I’d just go into the studio and do it myself, and that became Black Adidas. The idea was that it was going to be whatever songs were coming into my head, and not filtered out because of whatever sound or style they sort of fit into. I just wanted a record of good songs that sounded great, and let the world I guess decide if they liked it.
At the time, it was just me playing most of the instruments and singing, but of course I’m a terrible drummer, so I had a friend of mine come in and lay that down. As the album got more complete, I had a few other musicians and friends come in on some of the tracks, like a horn section and piano for Play What We Know. When the record was done, I self released it, and got a few musicians together to do a tour to promote it. I didn’t really have many plans beyond those shows, but by the end of it, I was feeling pretty good about the sound and the reaction to us, so we kept going, playing shows, and then eventually going back into the studio. And that (over a few years and a pandemic) led us to the new record.
Why Black Adidas? Band names are tough to come up with, so when something works, you just go with it and try not to stress, ha. I used to wear (and still do) this Black Adidas tracksuit that my wife hated. At the time, say 10 years ago, it was not as fashionable (at least in southern california) as they are now. A friend I was out with one of these tracksuit nights just said that should be the name of my new record, Black Adidas, and that was that.
When I stumbled across the recent album whilst on a deep dive in Bandcamp I was blown away and wanted to find out more about the band. whilst it was fun checking out a new band to me it was also frustrating that I hadn’t checked you out sooner. Nobody’s fault, just so much music out there on this spinning rock. How cool is it when people across the other side of the globe find your music?
It is very cool, especially when I see streams from different countries, or someone reaches out from say Germany and tells me how much they love the record or a particular song. It really does let an artist know that their music is not only relevant but that it is universal, and at least for me, that inspires me and fuels me to continue to do it.
Are you currently working on any new music we should know about?
Absolutely we are, and since the last record came out, we’ve got a new lineup that I’m so freaking stoked on. We played out the record release shows for album 2 and just killed it. We’ll start laying down demo tracks and doing some pre-production this summer and if all goes well, there will be a third record out next year. I’m very excited. I guess if you go through our instagram reels, you can maybe get a taste of a new song called Are We There Yet, recorded by a fan at one of the shows.
What about touring with a band is that something you have plans for?
Yes, that is both something we’ve done, and that we’ll continue to do. We sort of work in waves. At my age, it really isn’t practical to have a band that is ready at a moment’s notice to play. We don’t have a weekly rehearsal or band practice night. When there is a good reason, we like to pull together as many shows as possible in different regions, rehearse up and then attack. One of the great things about the LA area is we can play 2 weeks worth of shows within a 100 mile radius and feel like we’re touring across the country. There is a ton of diversity and different scenes throughout the area, and it’s really great to see how we are treated and how the fans react in these different towns. So we try to do a few regional tours and maybe once a year something bigger. I would love to come out to the UK for a week, maybe when we put out the next LP. We get really great support there, our UK distro (different kitchen) sold out of the last record super fast.
It was tough tracking down a copy of your record which I did eventually and finding out there was a UK distro was cool and saved a bunch of money. Can you give us some links where people can check you out and buy physical music or digital (it all helps right?)
We are going to have to reach out to the label and try more out to the UK, when we do, it’ll likely be here
I really hate to have individuals have to pay the giant shipping costs to get an LP direct from the States, but that’s an option Bandcamp Here
And we’re available on any digital service you can probably think of. Our link tree is pretty up to date with that, but you can just search for us. We should pop up (Spotify, Apple Music, etc): linktr.ee/blackadidas
You pretty much played and recorded everything on your debut album and the follow-up right? Do you get the chance to play the songs live with a band at all? Do the songs change and evolve much with it being a one-man band pretty much? What about collaborating with other writers maybe as a band is this something that would excite you?
Our evolution as a band has for sure been that it started with just me, and now we are beginning to resemble a more collaborative band. That’s what I really wanted to begin with, but again, starting and mainting what we all think of as a “band” is really hard, and so I started by myself, and let the band just evolve in whatever way it was going to from there. I still write all the songs, but I try to do less of the production and arranging of everything and let the individual musicians throw in their take. And I would for sure love to work with others in the band, or from other bands on songwriting. The last record did have one song on it, Home, that I wrote the music for but the lyrics were mostly written by the singer in my band from 20 years ago. I resurrected an old one we had written together back then, as it was recently just popping back into my head after all that time. I did have to change the key because his range was way above mine, ha.
Going back to the last album you hooked up with Dirt Cult Records how did that come about?
Chris at Dirt Cult is one the coolest record owners out there, and he is super supportive of artists and extremely eclectic in his taste. It’s the sort of label I would generally buy everything they put out knowing if he put it out, it was going to be stellar. I had been sending him demos and recordings over the last few years, and just kinda kept in touch, hoping he’d be willing to release something or just tell me what he thinks of it. Luckily, with the last record, he liked what I was doing and was willing to put it out. I’m forever grateful for that, and the response has been pretty amazing.
what next for Black Adidas in 2023? more recording – live shows – world domination?
All of the above, ha. We’ll play some shows with the new songs, and get into the studio as soon as we can. Like I said, if all goes well, we’ll bring a copy right to you in the UK!
Pics: Eric Stoliker