theMusic.com.au: Melbourne’s Music Cities Convention Will Change How You View Music

Published on theMusic.com.au, Apr 2018

“There’s none of the ‘how can I book a band?’ or any of that, it’s a different kind of thing,” tells Shain Shapiro, co-founder of Music Cities Convention. It’s an event making its way to Melbourne this month after sparking conversations of change within the music industry in Washington, Berlin, Memphis and more since it was conceived a few years ago.

He describes it as a “convening of best practices and thinking”, which involves people in the industry from all across the globe coming together and learning from one another across two days of debate and conversation.

There’s no other real objective to it, other than just get as many people in a room as possible to complain or be really excited about things, and we learn from that,” he explains.

“What we’re trying to do is embed music into other city policies. For music to thrive, we have to understand its role in how cities work – from urban planning to regeneration to health and social care to touring and industry development, and all those types of things.”

Music Cities is trying to get people to view music in a new light. “We tend to see that venue closing and think, ‘Oh, shit, everything’s going wrong.’ And that may not be the case,” Shapiro says.

“If we look at it as an urban planning issue and a city issue, then we can make music fair. We’re fighting for more sustainability, not more stardom, in that sense.

“I think if we valued land in a different way, ie, the value of the building is affected by what happens inside it. We need to completely re-order how we value land; that’s one of the things that the music industry loses sight of.

“That’s one of the main reasons why venues close, because venues are not the most valuable way to use land. With modern technology, there’s solutions where you can have residential and venues in the same place and make it work for everyone.”

That’s why Music Cities takes a different approach when curating panels and speakers, instead of just getting promoters, managers, label rep, etc in a room together. “My goal is for non-music people to take interest, because I don’t want to preach to the choir all the time, and we are seeing general policy people, urban planning people and that kind of stuff show interest in the event because they’re starting to think, ‘Music is niche, but it’s important.’ It’s one of those things that if it’s not looked at strategically, then we can lose it, or it can piss people off,” he laughs.

Among the hectic schedule will be a panel with developers as well as a few new elements they’re testing. We’re trialling something called My Music Cities. We’re getting six different people – one from each continent – to tell their story of music’s role in their development.

“We have Brian Ritchie from Violent Femmes, and the head of culture from the province of Bogota and Colombia, and a big music promoter in China, so we’re doing that and we thought we’d try to create bit more personal storytelling side to it that we’ve never done before.”

There’ll be a presentation on the role of music versus the role of sport and how they’re both promoted and presented from a city perspective, and a close look into numerous censuses across the globe, including a recent Melbourne one that showcased booming results.

Melbourne has a history of having a very forward-thinking approach to music policy, from a city and state perspective,” Shapiro says on why the city was selected for the next event.

“Melbourne has taken music seriously for a long time; it doesn’t get everything right, no city does, but the fact you have a formal music policy that’s audited every year, there’s people responsible for it, there’s a lot of debates and thinking that goes into the role of music in the city, is what kind of attracted us. We’re very impressed with a lot of things that happen in Melbourne.

“Melbourne is seen globally as a thriving place for music, across all sectors.”

The Melbourne event (“the biggest one we’ve ever done”) is just a small part in what Shapiro and co hope becomes a long-term conversation across the globe, and he emphasises the importance of a big picture standpoint.

“The music industry have been focused on its inner-definition of values, so when we define the word ‘value’, it’s usually this much per stream versus that much per stream, or you pay an artist this much versus that much, and we sometimes unintentionally ignore the external or outer value that music has on society, on making people happy, on creating an experience people will remember for the rest of their lives.

“Because these things just happen, we kind of forget they’re not renewable resources – music can disappear from a place if there’s no education, there’s no music in schools, if there’s shitty licensing laws and so and so forth.

“What we’re trying to do is just have a facts-based, long-term conversation about what is the role of music.”


Music Cities Convention will take place from 19 – 20 April across Arts Centre Melbourne and Deakin Edge in Melbourne. You can find out more information via their website.

http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2018/04/17/music-cities-convention-shain-shapiro-daniel-cribb/

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INTERVIEW: Alan Tudy

Published on theMusic.com.au, Apr 2018

Photo by Chris Fitzgerald

Alan Tudyk Is Still Trying To Make Sense Of ‘Firefly’’s Cancellation 15 Years On

From cancellations to Star Wars, pop culture icon Alan Tudyk tells Daniel Cribb his career has taken a lot of unexpected turns.

Having voiced a character in every major Disney film since 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph – including Duke in Frozen and Alistair Krei in Big Hero 6 – you’d imagine it’d be game time for pop culture superstar Alan Tudyk when he’s at a family event like his niece’s birthday. “Actually, no,” he begins from his car on the way home from such an event. “I think they’re waiting for the next [character]. They’re like, ‘We need some fresh material.’

“At cons I do – whenever I see a kid, I force my voices on them. I’m sure they’re rolling their eyes like, ‘Mum, make him stop.’”

He’ll have new Disney material to dish out later this year after the release of Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, but for now, he’s still on lockdown. “The Disney lawyers will break my arm,” he jokes. “The Disney lawyers, they’re serious, they’ll come and rough you up.”

There’ll still be more than enough to talk about when he makes appearances at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming Melbourne and Gold Coast this month, with the Firefly favourite racking up an insane amount of credits across TV, film and gaming since his last visit to the convention, including Rogue One, The TickDirk Gently’s Holistic Detective AgencyPowerless and more. “You never know what’s going to come along when you’re an actor. I definitely didn’t see Star Wars coming until I suddenly got a call and they were like, ‘Gareth Edwards wants to talk to you.’ And I said, ‘Oh, my gosh! Who’s Gareth Edwards?’ And they said, ‘He’s the director who’s going to be directing Star Wars – Rogue One.’

“I went to go meet him at the Star Wars celebration in Anaheim that year and he offered me the role. We were just chatting and he was like, ‘So, you wanna do it?’

“You never know what’s going on out in the world; you just sort of hang out and wait, and then if it comes along, just say ‘yes’ and get to work.”

Tudyk took a completely different approach when it came to his own show, Con Man, which is loosely based off his own experiences at fan conventions and features a slew of familiar faces, including his former Firefly co-star Nathan Fillion. “That took over my life for about three years,” he says. “We did everything – we were a small little production house, so I was writing and producing and acting in it and doing all the post and editing and the music.

“I learnt so much from that project and it was satisfying in a way that I hadn’t experienced before; I’d love to make another show.”

Con Man began as a crowdfunded web series on Vimeo, moved to Comic-Con’s subscription streaming video service for a second season and was eventually acquired by Syfy and scoring two Emmy Award nominations, but it wasn’t such an easy project to get off the ground. “People just didn’t understand it,” he tells. “It’s just Hollywood – it’s weird… They didn’t understand the sci-fi culture or conventions. When I would explain it to production companies, they would be like, ‘Oh, yeah, those stupid nerds.’ And it’s like, ‘Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah! Back up, back up. NO. You’re missing the point – they’re the heroes of the story.’ They just couldn’t wrap their heads around it. They thought of sci-fi conventions as just this fringe thing and they didn’t get it.”

Given Con Man is loosely based on Tudyk’s own experiences, it’s not surprising the cancellation of Firefly is referenced on numerous occasions. Over the past 15 years, the sci-fi series’ following continues to grow and draw in more dedicated fans. “I love that it does. At conventions, I’ll meet people who are my age who saw it when it first came out, and I’m also meeting their kids, who they introduced it to when they were old enough to watch it.

“It was a well-written show, it was different, it was ahead of its time… It doesn’t make any sense that is was cancelled. You can imagine so many different stories that didn’t get told, so many different adventures that those characters could have gone on, and so it makes it a little bit more precious.”

Alan Tudyk will appear at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming Melbourne (20 – 22 April) and Gold Coast (27 – 29 April).

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2018/04/17/alan-tudyk-supanova-daniel-cribb/

Show Review: Robert Plant 08.04.18

Published on theMusic.com.au, Apr 2018

Pic by Hugh Buttsworth

Robert Plant, Seth Lakeman

Riverside Theatre

Apr 8

A sniffer dog at Perth’s Riverside Theatre? It’s to be expected when there’s such a large congregation of Led Zeppelin fans.

“Who’s that? Who’s that?!” whispered a worried punter to a friend as UK folk singer and one of the Sensational Space Shifters, Seth Lakeman, appeared as the evening’s opening act. He’d obviously slipped by the K9 force at the entrance undetected.

Armed with a fiddle and stomp box, Lakeman had the audience on side well before the chorus of opener The Hurlersrolled around.

The storyteller painted vivid pictures with poet lyrics delivered via defined and powerful vocals.

The intimate verses of Silver Threads were thrown into chaos by its big choruses, while the dramatic wall of noise that was The Bold Knight transported punters to a place of Game Of Thrones epicness.

The energy in the room prior to Robert Plant’s arrival was electric, and with all the cheers, whistles and screaming, it felt like a massive outdoor festival.

The historical figure shimmied across the stage while The Sensational Space Shifters played 2017’s New World…; an early indication that new material would take focus throughout the show.

Soaring guitar lines from Liam “Skin” Tyson and Dave Smith’s booming tom beat matched the crowd’s enthusiasm, and there was little time to regroup before Turn It Up kicked off, Plant swaying in the darkness to the 2014 single.

Judging from his movements on stage, it was clear how connected Plant was to the music, truly embracing every second of it and singing with an honest, engaging conviction few other live performers deliver on the stage.

It was back to last year’s Carry Fire LP with the quirky twang of The May Queen welcoming Lakeman back to the stage. The harmonised chorus hooks were taken to the next level with another voice in the mix, and the song itself proved a refreshing exercise, toeing the line between alt-rock, folk and pop.

Its outro was one of few moments in which Plant’s voice reached a high octave that took Zeppelin fans back to the good old days.

The crispy, gritty guitar of Rainbow was the focus while the song’s vocal melodies took a back seat; it was a dynamic that summed up the band well, as Plant often fell into the shadows while his cohorts took the spotlight.

“Let’s go back a couple of hundred years,” Plant said, taking punters back to ‘75 with rock’n’roll number Black Country Woman, complete with mandolin and upright bass.

An over-eager fan thought he’d commemorate the evening with by snapping a selfie upfront, which didn’t end well. After causing a scene, he was eventually removed from the gig during the opening lines of Alison Krauss collab Please Read The Letter.

Telling the story behind 1994 classic Gallows Pole, Plant was rudely cut off by an obnoxious punter yelling “play some Led Zeppelin”, to which he responded, “Can somebody please help that guy to the door?”

A swift and unexpected turn to Carry Fire changed the mood drastically, which further highlighted Plant’s diverse back catalogue and that disgruntled heckler finally got his fix with an outstanding performance of Babe I’m Gonna Leave You (although still technically not an original Zeppelin song).

Tyson continued the acoustic onslaught with a fingerpicking journey that was as rocking as it was romantic, teasing punters with numerous false resolves back into the song’s epic finale, which saw a standing ovation.

The energy didn’t relent from there, carrying over into Little Maggie and Bukka White’s Fixin’ To Die, the latter transforming into a fully-fledged jam session, before fans were treated to another rare Zep offering in What Is And What Should Never Be.

Everyone was well In The Mood for one final party as Plant (hair loose and wild) remerged for an encore dedicated to the “police department and all the sleeping fascists”. He channelled that distaste for authority into the final epic lines of Whole Lotta Love, solidifying the evening as one of the more memorable performances to grace the venue in a while, despite some serious setlist omissions.

http://themusic.com.au/music/livereviews/2018/04/10/robert-plant-and-the-sensational-space-shifters-riverside-theatre-daniel-cribb/

INTERVIEW: Radnor & Lee

Published on theMusic.com.au, Apr 2018

Conveying The Internal Process And Desires And Wishes And Dreams And Fears

The path to How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor and Ben Lee’s debut album as Radnor & Lee was paved with insecurity and vulnerability, as the prolific Aussie-bound duo tell Daniel Cribb.

“I had to battle some imposter syndrome,” begins actor-turned-muso Josh Radnor on the early stages of Radnor & Lee, his band with Australia’s own Ben Lee. It’s a project stemming from humble begins a few years ago when a couple of long-time friends sat down to write a song.

Things snowballed and they slowly began playing shows, performing to intimate crowds at first. “Neither Josh nor I are deterred by a small audience for our work,” Lee tells. “If you’re a real artist, you make what you make and there’s nothing I would go back and change just because it didn’t connect on a mass level.”

But for Radnor & Lee, the release of their self-titled debut album last November helped expand their conversation to a massive audience, taking them to sold out shows across South America earlier this year; a trip that proved a pivotal movement. “There is a real energy and a conversation that can open up with an audience if they get into it in a way that has momentum, and I think we’ve felt that starting to happen with Radnor & Lee,” Lee explains.

That trip also helped Radnor overcome some of those insecurities he initially had. “I was worried that people [in South America] would be there just because I was on TV,” Radnor reveals. “But then half the audience was singing along with all the lyrics and I thought, ‘Well, maybe they got interested in the music because of that or knew Ben’s stuff from before,’ but now it feels like they’re fans of us. It just shifted something for both of us.”

Radnor gives praise to his musical partner’s experience as another element that helped him find his bearings as a touring musician, but Lee’s quick point out why Radnor’s fresh approach is beneficial to him.

“Josh came into this as a fan of music and it wasn’t a career path decision,” Lee explains. “It’s not like when someone on a Disney show is like, ‘Hey, let’s expand your footprint in pop culture – let’s create a music arm.’ It wasn’t that at all, it was just Josh loving music and this really organic wish to use music to convey the internal process and desires and wishes and dreams and fears.”

“It was something I was going to discover eventually,” Radnor adds. “There’s a part of me that wishes I’d discovered it earlier, but there’s another part of me that feels like it was perfectly timed.”

It’s also taken Lee to brand new territory in his career, with Radnor & Lee marking the first “seriously equal” collaborative project he’s been a part of.

“I’ve had musicians who have worked for me, but that’s a bit of a different thing; you’re essentially paying someone to get your vision across and this is different – this is two friends with equal standing, trying to articulate things together,” he says. “I think I wasn’t mature enough to be open to that level of collaboration before now.”

There’s something about their creative partnership that’s struck a chord with a lot of listeners, with fans immediately making a strong connection to their music, as evident with the Doorstep music video, which was constructed by suggestions from fans. “Being two men, in a friendship, publicly creating together is very healing for people, especially this time when masculinity is being examined,” Lee says.

“As a storyteller, I honour vulnerability and transparency and stories about transformation,” Radnor adds. “I know in my own life, I love to hear artists say, ‘It’s going to be ok,’ or, ‘You will get through this,’ and a lot of our music comes back to that because Ben and I experience all the variety of emotions that come with the human experience, but we’re also fairly resilient and we’re oriented more towards optimism than cynicism.”

They’ve got plenty of stories to tell, and while they’re still in the touring cycle for Radnor & Lee – bringing it to Australia in May for a whirlwind east coast duo tour – album number two is already in the works.

“We’re a band that constructed the [debut] album before we’d played live and now we’ve experienced that, so we’re bringing that experience into the second record,” Lee explains, before Radnor chimes in: “When I directed my first film, Happythankyoumoreplease, I had never been in an editing room, I had never done post-production and on my second film [Liberal Arts], I had done all those things, so I approached the whole filmmaking process differently, and I think that’s what’s happening to us.

“Once we realised we didn’t have to play in these small rooms to 80 people, that we could actually play to more people, our songs are starting to reflect that. The sky opened up to a little more on the second record.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2018/04/06/radnor-and-lee-josh-radnor-ben-lee-daniel-cribb/

Show Review: Bruno Mars

Published on theMusic.com.au, Mar 2018

Pic: Supplied

Bruno Mars, Dua Lipa

Perth Arena

Mar 28

UK singer Dua Lipa may have had to cancel numerous appearances on her Australian tour due to emergency dental surgery, but she was in fine form as the final leg of the 24K Magic world tour kicked off, stomping around the stage in time to show opener Hotter Than Hell.

The drums overpowered her vocals somewhat in Dreams, but Lipa’s commanding stage presence keep the slowly filling arena at full attention.

I wanna stay right here all night,” echoed the smooth, deep chorus melodies of Lost In Your Light – it was a sentiment echoed by all those hugging the barrier in GA.

Upbeat pop numbers driven by heavy sampling and booming, simple drum beats – like Blow Your Mind – made up the majority of the set, but it was when Lipa took a slight sidestep into piano-driven single Garden that the set truly hit its stride, with her full vocal range on show.

Crowd favourite IDGAF and set closer New Rules had punters Begging for more.

You can gauge the general demographic of a show by the amount of phone reception available, of which there was none by the time the lights dimmed for the headliner’s grand entrance.

A sensory overload commenced proceedings, with a flurry lights consuming the stage – most of which was covered in massive lighting panels – while thick, funky bass and ‘80s drum sounds welcomed Finesse.

Bruno Mars and his band shuffled side by side to the front of the stage through a thick fog and everyone in attendance knew they were in for one hell of a party.

A flurry of fireworks kicked things up a notch throughout 24K Magic; another whirlwind hit that had the audience struggling to keep up with its unexpected live turns.

The room was heating up, but Mars wasn’t going to let the final shows of his epic world tour unfold while half the venue was seated, demanding everyone was on their feet and dancing for Treasure.

Hip hop took focus during Perm and highlighted just how much of a group effort the production is, with Mars’ horn section, bassist and guitarist front and centre, delivering just as much energy as the “the original hooligan himself”.

As if his soaring vocals, charming swagger and killer style weren’t enough, Mars grabbed a guitar and began shredding in the bridge of Calling All My Lovelies, turning the romantic soul number into a screeching rock hit.

Mars didn’t need all the bells and whistles to impress, though, as evident during That’s What I Like and Marry You – both singles that lent mostly on their hooks and had the entire room bouncing around, fists in the air, screaming the lyrics.

The ’80s vibes were too real when ballad Versace On The Floor rolled around, complete with gut-wrenching sax solo and nostalgic key tones. It was one of few times, along with 2013 hit When I Was Your Man, Mars’ voice was given the sonic space it deserved.

“If you’re going to be quiet, we’re going to be quiet too,” he teased, bringing the music down to an almost inaudible level in Runaway Baby and dancing around in darkness.

His infectious energy remedied any weary souls quickly and by the time Locked Out Of Heaven and Just The Way You Arerolled around, Mars and co had already covered pop, rock, blues, soul, funk and more, delivering an insanely hectic two-hour performance that closed in style with Uptown Funk.

http://themusic.com.au/music/livereviews/2018/03/29/bruno-mars-perth-arena-daniel-cribb/

theMusic.com.au: We Chat With The New Team Composing Music For ‘The Simpsons’

Published on theMusic.com.au, Mar 2018

Geoff Foster (engineer) and Russell Emanuel (Chief Creative Officer of Bleeding Fingers Music). Pic by Jack Lewis

“We’ve got no power in our studio, so I’m calling from home,” begins an affable Russell Emanuel down the line from California. As the co-founder and chief creative of acclaimed composer collective Bleeding Fingers Music, he’s remarkably calm after a day of “freaking out”.

Perhaps it’s the company’s unique collaborative approach that helps ease the stress; a technique that has seen them take the industry by storm since it was founded in 2013.

Last year, they took over from long-time composer Alf Clausen on The Simpsons and have recently been scoring a wealth of praise and awards for their work on BBC’s Blue Planet II. “It’s doing okay,” he jokes. “I’d like to take all the glory for it, but I think there might be a few other people involved.”

Bleeding Fingers now has 12 in-house composers, each “surgically picked” because they bring something different to the table, and they work alongside a team of seasoned producers, which brings a second layer of musical aesthetic to the game. It’s a structure you don’t see too often in composing houses.

Emanuel’s journey to “reinvent” the licenced music industry began 20 years ago when he co-founded a company called Extreme Music, which was effectively the musical equivalent of a stock image library for film and TV.

“It was an industry that was very complacent and poorly served,” he recalls. “We were radically looking to change that business.

“I think it would be arrogant to say we were going to do that to the custom composer business. I don’t think there’s the same kind of opportunity, but certainly coming at it with this kind of team approach is definitely new.”

It’s an approach the industry is welcoming with open arms, as evident with the projects they’ve scored since forming only five years ago. It’s a point in his career he never imagined during his punk rock days in London, playing bass in various bands and working and touring with the likes of Stiff Little Fingers and The Jam. Emanuel actually co-founded Extreme Music with former Stiff Little Fingers drummer Dolphin Taylor.

“That seems to be the pattern for me,” he says. “Every turn I’ve taken has been a surprise and always a sharp left or right turn, never straight ahead. It was because of being on the road for so long that I kind of needed a change of career, but all I ever knew was music.

“I got into music for TV, all this production music library work, because it just felt like a way to get off the road. I actually thought it was going to be a nice, easy ride. I didn’t realise it was going to turn into a real job.”

Working that “real job” is when Emanuel caught the attention of composing legend Hans Zimmer, another key member of Bleeding Fingers. “We were just doing our thing and getting a lot of attention very quickly. Hans, through his then business partner, reached out to us in London, and said, ‘Hey, you know, we see what you’re doing. Come over to LA and just have a talk.’ That’s what we did and there’s been no looking back ever since.

“There’s never a wasted note with Hans. Everything’s emotionally brilliant and musically innovative. What I love about him is that he refuses to stand still, and there’s no formula. You never know what you’re going to get next. When you’re talking about punk, to me, he’s the ultimate punk. I’ve been with him enough to see. Anytime that a rule is in his way, it’s there to be broken.”

Anyone who caught Zimmer on his Australian tour last year can attest to the punk rock nature of his music and its accompanying production. It was also clear during that tour just how much emphasis the team places on nurturing younger talent.

“The composers working on [The Simpsons] are 30 years and under,” he says. “I think that’s a prime example of how we’re giving new and young talent an opportunity to work on kind of a national treasure flagship show.”

Emanuel says it was “nerve-racking” taking on such an iconic show, especially after someone like Alf Clausen made a shock departure from the hit series last year.

“I’d be lying if I said that we were bringing something massively new to The Simpsons, apart from a renewed energy,” he says. “All of us have grown up on The Simpsons, and everyone is extremely excited to be invited in.

“It was an amazing experience to be selected as the composer for that show. You can imagine the kind of excitement and energy on the camp every time a new episode comes our way.”

“We treat [Alf’s] score with a great deal of respect. Our guys are all coming at it, chomping at the bit, and there’s a lot of people working throughout the night to deliver something incredible…we’re burning the candle not only at both ends but also from the sides.”

Given creator Matt Groening’s punk rock roots, it seems a perfect fit. “He cares deeply about every aspect of that show,” Emanuel explains.

“He can make a joke out of sound. It’s kind of incredible to watch. He can put a sound into the show and all of a sudden there’s a joke there, which just didn’t exist before…I’ve never seen it before, and it was a real eye-opener.”

Even at this point in his career, Emanuel still genuinely has to pinch himself from time-to-time.

“I still wake up every morning and go, ‘They’re going to find out today. I’m going to be out of a job tomorrow.’ People’s stories are always very different…I’m always very jealous of the people that really have a plan.”

When you make a plan in any creative industry, chances are it won’t go as expected. “For me, it’s always just been hard work, just making sure that you always deliver on a promise, and never let anyone down, and really just keep building.

“It’s just head down and do the work, really. There’s no shortcut. You can’t look at what I had for breakfast and find a magic formula.”

http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2018/03/24/russell-emanuel-bleeding-fingers-music-daniel-cribb/

INTERVIEW: Orny Adams

Published on theMusic.com.au, Mar 2018

‘Comedy Sometimes Has Too Many Rules’

US comedian Orny Adams tells Daniel Cribb he’s sweating the small things so you don’t have to.

Orny Adams might have a degree in political science and philosophy, but he doesn’t preach about politics or religion when he’s on the stage, instead, he’s in the trenches alongside his fans, fighting the good fight. “I was going after a corporation yesterday on Twitter,” Adams begins in a Massachusetts accent. “Dunkin’ Donuts in the US – I wanted them to give all my fans free doughnuts, which never happened.”

Watching his brand of observational comedy, particularly on his latest special, More Than Loud, you’ll be disgruntled about everyday things you hadn’t previously given a second thought, like the expiration date written on bottled water or various customer service experiences. “These things just happen and I think, ‘Did that really happen?’” he tells.

“It resonates, even with you in Australia, because we all experience these same things and sometimes it doesn’t really register on a conscious level; it’s back in the subconscious, so then, when I say it, other people are like, ‘Wow, that happened to me, too, and I’m just realising it.’”

Now onto his third comedy special, he has a wealth of material, which has all come from him channelling his inner-frustration into creative gold. At a certain point, being left on hold by Dunkin’ Donuts for 45 minutes was actually a win for Adams. “It feels like a loss in the moment, but, in the end, it’s a win – it’s a victory. On some level, I hope it changes things, but it never does.

“If I can make one little change, make one more customer service experience better, I feel like I’ve done my job. My job is very micro, very small – I sweat the small things and I don’t worry about the bigger picture.”

He might not get political onstage, but his degree does help out when it comes to writing stand-up. “How I write my comedy routine is exactly what I learnt in college, which was how to write a dissertation on a subject and that’s what I do – I pick a subject, I write about it, I study it, I study it, I study it, I write ten pages and then it turns into one line in my routine.”

It’s a lengthy development process if a joke doesn’t connect with an audience, but, as Adams says, failing is just “part of the process”.

What’s even worse is, I spent an hour over the weekend writing about powdered wigs and then I went online and saw another comedian had already addressed it,” he tells.

“That, to me, is more of a bummer because I was getting excited reading about, believe it or not, powdered wigs, and then I see someone else had the exact same line of thought and was way ahead of me and I had to drop it. That bums me out more than anything.”

With that in mind, you could give two different comedians the same subject matter and both of them would approach it differently. “Nobody should ever take a joke, but if two people have the same experience, then those two people have the right to discuss it,” he says.

“I used to talk about gluten a lot – a lot of people talk about gluten. It doesn’t mean the first person to mention gluten onstage owns the rights to gluten. That’s like saying, ‘Hey, every band, you can no longer singer about love because someone else has already written a love song. It’s absurd.

“Comedy sometimes has too many rules, that’s the problem – don’t get caught up in the rules, comics just need to be themselves.”

Joke theft gets discussed a lot when it comes to comedy, but there’s another issue that Adams believes isn’t on everyone’s radar, which is personality or character theft. “That’s worse,” he reinforces. “If you’re up there being another comedian, that’s probably worse than doing the person’s jokes because you’re stealing their entire essence.”

The Adams fans see onstage is fired up (“passionate – never angry”) and is almost exactly what viewers saw on Teen Wolf —  an MTV show in which he played high-school coach Bobby Finstock. There’s a reason for that – the guy who created the show Teen Wolf would come watch me do stand-up, and he wrote the part for me,” he reveals.

“I never even auditioned for that; that’s how it was written for me, so I had a full license to go in there and be that character, who actually is who I am.”

We’ll hopefully be seeing more of him on our screens later this year as he anticipates More Than Loud will hit Aussie TV at the end of the year. Adams will perform in Sydney and Melbourne mid-March and hopefully embark on a full national tour not too far down the track.

Fortunately, this special – maybe it just came out at the right time; it just really sort of resonated with fans and has really helped me sell tickets and do more venues. It’s an exciting time and an exhausting time.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2018/03/21/orny-adams-daniel-cribb/