AZ Weekend Presents: The music of Adam Townsend

Adam Townsend performs his song "Split."

Tucson is a city full of musical talent, and now, AZ Weekend is providing a stage for local artists.

This week, we met up with local singer-songwriter Adam Townsend (along with fellow musician Diego Urias) for a live performance and details about his upcoming album!  In addition to his performance above, check out his other song after the interview.

Q: There’s a wide range of emotions covered on your album. The song you performed for us,”Split,” is on the darker, more angry side. What was your inspiration for that song?

A: Songs about the Devil and temptation have been written time after time, and it was a theme I always wanted have in one of my own songs. It came about a few years ago when I was playing on this old guitar that only had five strings. I was trying out a different tuning on it, and after playing around with that different tone, and the fact that it had five strings, this amazing sound emerged. It had this eerie almost Deep South type of timbre; a kind of bluegrass meets southern blues sound. I immediately knew those chords I was playing would be perfect for a song about the Devil. I wrote the whole song really quickly, in one afternoon. I wanted the lyrics to portray what the devil is really good at doing, which is isolating you from everything and everyone you love until you’re just filled with hate and despair. The Greek word for the Devil is diabolos, which translates: “to split, to separate, or divide”. I’ve personally felt moments of despair and have felt isolated in my life and I think a lot of people have. This is a song about recognizing those times and knowing when to reach out for help.

Q: You’ve been playing music for a long time! What would you say your influences are and what can we expect for the future?

A: My album titled “All My Fires” is being released on June 7th, followed by an album release show at Club Congress on June 8th. The songs on this record are the culmination of ten years of writing and never letting go of a dream to pursue a music career. I love a lot of older music and I’m influenced by great songwriters and bands like the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, and even a little Jimi Hendrix. I like to think this album has one foot firmly planted in the past, but also one foot in the present. I’m a songwriter at heart, but these songs have a lot of influence from multiple genres. It definitely falls in the indie-rock world, with inspirations from soul, folk, blues, and even a little gospel.

Q: What was the process for recording your album like?

To bring these songs to life I went to Nashville and teamed up with the Grammy nominated producer Andrija Tokic, who is best known for his work with the Alabama Shakes. His studio records all the music analog, straight to tape, which was one of the big draws to working with him. He brought the songs to a whole new level, and brought a certain timeless quality to the songs. Backed by an amazingly talented group of musicians, the songs evolved into something I’m really proud of and I can’t wait to share them all with the world.

More of Adam’s work can be found on Spotify by clicking here.

For another exclusive performance, watch Adam and Diego Urias play a cover of Nina Simone’s “I Shall Be Released” below!