To coincide with the release of Adlib's new album The Highway we were lucky enough to ask the artist a few questions about going on tour, the video for "Hard Luck," and his tattoos. Check out the interview after watching the world premiere of the music video for Adlib's "Hard Luck."
What can fans expect from the new album?
Sonically I feel this is the best record I've been a part of. I was on the road touring most of last year. I spent all of my time off stage trying to get better at my craft, trying to evolve and just be as sharp as possible. Working with a producers like Rob the Viking, Ali Armz and Master Sihn brings out the best in me as well. We also teamed up with Scott Stallone and Pete Humphreys for mixing and mastering. Also, having a supportive team at Sensi-Starr, letting me creatively do what I want, I think made for the best possible outcome.
How would you describe the way your sound has progressed over the years leading up to The Highway?
I think traveling so much over the last few years has helped me progress the most. Just meeting people and seeing the world outside your neighborhood helps in not only being a better artist but a better person as well. I'm always learning something new, and always grinding and working to advance on all levels. I also think the key to progression is not just work ethic, but also confidence. I have always tried to be original and honest in my music, but having true belief in myself and my team has been the key in moving forward.
The video for Hard Luck features a ton of imagery about being on the road and away from family, can you tell us a little bit about your experiences on the road and what makes it worth being out there?
I'm a touring artist, performing on stage has been a love and a passion since I was a kid. I've never really been a fan of being in the studio. I love the creative process and writing, but my heart is out on the road performing. There is really nothing like being on stage in front of a high energy crowd.
There is a point when everyone is in sync; in a zone. Once you experience it, it becomes part of you. But it is tough when you bring family into the picture. I have two sons and a wife at home and being away is a struggle for everyone. I have spent years grinding and paying dues to get to a point where I could tour and provide for my family. So honestly I feel blessed just to be able to have work. I'm very lucky to have a loving and supportive family in my corner.
We couldn't help but notice the references to Hunter S. Thompson and the art of his collaborator Ralph Steadman in the album design, can you tell us a bit about what other influences helped you create The Highway?
I'm a huge fan of Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman. I've always loved the way he approached his pieces, always felt like it was carefree yet thought out; like organized chaos. As soon as I had the title for the record I knew I wanted the artwork to pay homage to him. I told the concept to good friend and national award winning tattoo artist Brooklyn Payne, and he painted the artwork and then gave it to Jus FCA to layout and add color. I love what they came up with.
What was your first tattoo? When did you get it and does it still survive to this day or has it been covered up?
Wow! I had a few home made tats when I was a teenager; all are long gone now. I think my first real piece was by Joel "Seyone" Santana. It's Oscar the Grouch writing graff. It's about 20 years old now and still holding color. RIP Seyone!
How would you describe your tattoo aesthetic?
I prefer black and grey, I have very limited color. I do love when artists add white or a little color to black and grey pieces to make it pop a little more.
Do you have a favorite piece of ink, maybe one with a lot of sentiment attached to it, that you can tell us about?
I have portraits of both my Mom and Pop that I love dearly. I also have a gorilla with 2 small gorillas on his back for my Sons. I've been lucky to get work done by some amazing artists through-out the US, Canada and Europe. I've had chances to visit some awesome shops while on the road. There's way too many to name but I do have a lot of work from Brooklyn Payne who is one of my favorite artists. Also Jeremy Zettler from Perfect Image in Waterloo, Ontario, Frank Guthier from Mercury Tattoo outside of Philly and all of the artists at East Van Inc. in Vancouver do amazing work. Check them out!!!
Have you met fans with Adlib tattoos? What was it like the first time you saw one?
I think because I am heavily tattooed and support the culture on a whole, I seem to get a lot of art made for me; everything from canvases to skateboard decks. I'm honored anytime someone takes their time and talent, and uses me or my music as inspiration. The first time I saw my logo tattooed on a supporter I was humbled, to be honest. The fact that someone was able to connect with me to the point that they got a tattoo, means the world. It gives me motivation and a responsibility to be the best I can be.