MPT’s love affair with Randolph’s Leap continues next weekend when another co-promotion with the Cool Cat Club brings Adam Ross and co back to Dundee for their first ever headline show in the city.
Ahead of the show, Andy and myself somehow managed to find some new things to talk to Adam about.
First off Adam reflected on the release of ‘Clumsy Knot’, their debut LP for Lost Map, which on their last visit to Dundee had still to be officially released.
“It’s my favourite thing that we’ve done so far. I’ll probably say the same about the next one though.
“I think the response has been good and for a lot of people it seems to have been a good introduction to what Randolph’s Leap are all about.”
The recordings on ‘Clumsy Knot’ shift between the full band and ‘solo-ish’ numbers. Adam confesses that it’s not necessarily been a matter of choice which approach has been taken so far.
“In the past, it’s been quite heavily affected by my access to instruments/equipment etc. when recording at home. I’ve always had a penchant for lo-fi and DIY music. Although it’s probably not my favourite song, ‘The Nonsense In My Soul’ is my favourite recording. But it’s hard to make DIY bedroom recordings of an 8-piece band.”
Those of us hoping for a full band Leap record may not have to wait too much longer as, with ‘Clumsy Knot’ barely 6 months old, Adam’s thoughts are already turning to the next record.
“The next album has been written and this time I’ve not been doing many home recordings or demos. Instead, I’ve been writing songs with the 8-piece line up in mind and we’ve been developing them together in the rehearsal room. We’re going to record them in November and it will be a full-band studio thing but I’ve got no desire for it to sound ‘polished’.”
Part of the attraction with the Leap is the contrast between the records and the live shows but Adam is hoping that the next record may at least partially bridge that gap.
“The live experience is more energetic and unhinged… It’s hard to capture that on record though, especially when logistics dictate that we record each instrument separately. You lose some of the energy doing it that way. However, we’ve made plans for the next recording sessions to ensure that we retain more of the live energy.”
Talk of a new Leap record so hard on the heels of ‘Clumsy Knot’ led us to ask Adam about how prolific he is and whether or not there’s a routine to his songwriting.
“No, there’s no routine… It’s pretty spontaneous. I tend to write most of the lyrics in the shower and most of the melodies while driving.”
“It’s usually the music first but there are often a few words or lines or ideas to accompany it from the get-go.
“Lyrics can be inspired by anything really. They’re often about my desires and/or worries at a particular point in time.
“I think most songwriters’ approach is to articulate their own feelings in an interesting way. What makes it ‘interesting’ is subjective though. For me it’s about finding combinations of words that feel satisfying to sing and reflect my personality.”
A discussion of Leap lyrics would, of course, not be complete without reference to Adam’s love for a good (or bad!) pun.
“I just don’t like to take things too seriously. I think there’s room for humour in songwriting and everyone knows there’s nothing funnier than a tenuous pun.”
When pushed he comes out with a favourite – so far.
“I guess “it’s not an exact séance” in ‘Psychic’ is my favourite… but I’m not proud!”
With such a range of songs to choose from, we did wonder if there was one he was particularly pleased with. Perhaps not surprisingly for someone who seems to be constantly writing it’s the new material that appeals at the moment.
“There’s a couple of new ones called ‘Under The Sun’ and ‘Like A Human’ that I think people will like. But I suppose ‘I Can’t Dance To This Music Anymore’ is my favourite.”
In terms of labels Randolph’s Leap have been rather polygamous so far – sometimes even releasing on two labels at much the same time. Adam’s explanation for this is rather tongue in cheek.
“We keep getting dropped!”
The Leap have covered Camper van Beethoven’s ‘Take The Skinheads Bowling’ live a few times recently (and for a Vic Galloway session) but covers aren’t high on Adam’s agenda.
“We haven’t covered many songs actually. ‘Take The Skinheads Bowling’ was suggested by Graeme from The State Broadcasters. I’m happy to let him call the next one.”
The cover ‘boot’ was on the other foot when Lost Map label mates Kid Canaveral released their own version of ‘I Can’t Dance To This Music Any More’ earlier in the year. Adam was pleased with the outcome.
“It was weird! But I really like their version and I was totally flattered.”
To conclude we asked Adam who, from outside Lost Map, he would like to see cover one of his songs.
“Freddie ‘Parrot-face’ Davies – Deep Blue Sea.”
Adam brings Randolph’s Leap to Beat Generator Live in Dundee on Friday 3rd October at 8.00 p.m. Support comes from Blood Indians and Ed Muirhead. Tickets are available in advance from Groucho’s and online from We Got Tickets for £5 (STBF). More info on the show here.