UpTheAlbion.com caught up with Ex-Babyshambles, Ex-The White Sport, Ex-Roses Kings Castles and now solo artist Adam Ficek to discuss his new solo EP.
The release, working-title EP1, is due Winter 2016; GRAB A COPY ON PLEDGE NOW
So.. right now you're almost at your Pledge goal, congratulations! How does that feel?
I feel very humbled and surprised that the pledge percentage is slowly creeping up, although there has been a few odd 'card rejections' kicking around....In all honesty I think being out of the 'corporate commercial' music scene has given me an enormous grounding where nothing is taken for granted. I have friends still involved in the big business where they hardly get to touch the product or interact with any of their fans. I'm lucky that I have that artistic control and contact although it proves difficult trying to juggle life and making music. Paying bills etc....
We've been following RKC for a long time... and seen releases such as RKC4, British Plastic, Suburban Timebomb and the self-titled debut. Why was now the time to try something different, under your own name?
I felt more confident to come out as who I am, it was always a struggle in the early days, coming-out from behind the kit and playing my songs to a willing audience. I'm not really a performer in the sense that people have come to expect, so I always feel a little exposed. I guess I feel a little more ready to show 'me'. Only a little.....
It's obviously been a successful method for you, but what made you go down the Pledge route to release this album, compared with the RKC stuff we've had in the past?
All the other releases have been financially costly up front and have never broken even, I simply couldn't afford to it again. I was on the verge of quitting and calling it a day so thought I would give it one last chance. To my surprise people still have a warmth and loyalty to my sincerity and authenticity. I was taken back by the support, still am. Someone said to me that it can come across as desperate, well I thought I guess I am desperate in the sense that I really want to get this music out there. So it happened.
We see you're now in the studio, recording the EP. How is progress? How does the creative process differ from things you've done in the past?
I think the songs are more technically accomplished, I specifically wrote this body of work to be performed solo with guitar. My previous stuff was written for an ensemble so it was always tough trying to perform it solo if I couldn't afford a band. I didn't want to just play chords, I find it quite boring to do personally so I sculpted parts and made the guitar parts far more demanding...sometimes they come off live....
We're always excited to see you on the road, and guess that that EP might need promoting... any chance of a hint about any gigs or DJ-slots?
There will be a London EP launch and there are some Scottish dates in the diary. I'll see whatever come in. It's very different to the Babyshambles days of a big cigar chomping agent throwing money around. I generally get venues or friends messaging me and the shows are arranged that way. Although perhaps a big cigar chomper would be quite lucrative...
In the run up to the release, we've seen a number of demo tracks, including Folk Song, Bletchley Park, Pretty Sue, Mother's Pride and French Paul be made available online. If you can discuss the track-list, should we expect to see any of these tracks re-worked on the EP? If not, do we get any track-list hints?
The EP contains:
I think some of them have been floating around.
...and speaking of Pretty Sue, it was originally a number you wrote when in 'Shambles. How does it feel playing it now, compared to with the band during arena tours?
I don't really play it live to be honest, perhaps I should. I'm in a very different place now than where I was back then. As I said, the slow fall and thawing process of real life was a horror initially but I like the humbled, authentic space I'm in these days. For me it has more longevity and creativity.
We've seen you recently reminiscing (on Facebook and Twitter!) about old 'Shambles mayhem at gigs. Any crazy stories to share?
Between working with Mains Ignition, The White Sport, Babyshambles and Roses Kings Castles, and playing drums, guitar and keyboard and doing vocals, DJ slots and album production, we're surprised you have time to sleep! Is there a favourite part of the creative process for you, amongst all that lot?
I really enjoy the writing and creating, the rest of it, the promo, the touring is all secondary, there was a time when I needed the back pats and ego massages but now I don't. It's nice but I don't crave the fame thing. It's a much less manic place.
And finally... The song "Natives at the Gates of Rome", which you helped write in Babyshambles, was released in another form by The Libertines; how did that feel?
Err, well it was kind of awkward wasn't it. I saw it online and thought oh great that's a really sincere gesture to any input I had in that song. Turns out it was a printing error. Ha! I'm over it, I don't get involved with music industry tussles. I leave that to the stars.
UpTheAlbion would like to thank Adam for his time. Don't forget to grab the EP on Pledge, from £6.