It was Jurassic Park’s Ian Malcolm that inspired Adam Glynn to go solo
If you’ve been around Australia’s metal scene for a while, you’ll almost certainly recognise the vocal chords of Adam Glynn.
He’s previously contributed decibels to the likes of Frankenbok and Five Star Prison Cell, and he’s just released his debut solo album The Vogue of Ambition upon return from the traditional musician’s hiatus.
“I focused those would-be energies that once belonged to my music solely upon myself,” Glynn says. “I adapted this ‘I'm the architect of my life’ mantra and I went into self-improvement/damage control mode. I didn't want to end up as one of those derelict failed musicians hanging at the local scenester pub. I worked hard, saved money and paid off my debts. I got a better job, my own place, and focused more on my health. I got rid of that monkey on my back of being a jaded musician and all of a sudden music was awesome again.”
The Vogue of Ambition is something a bit different. Twelve tracks, some comprising of soundscapes of layered vocals, others soundtrack-like instrumentals. “Imagine if Mike Patton, Gotye, Portishead, and the possessed ladies from The Evil Dead got together,” Glynn says. “Then they made an Indigenous, electronic, ambient, barbershop album full of contiki holiday soundtracks from hell. Well, this is that album.”
Glynn says the soundscapes were inspired by Bjork and Patton’s solo vocal albums. “I feel like such a wanker making a solo album. But it's something I've always wanted to do and cross off my bucket list. I can hear Jeff Goldblum's character from Jurassic Park in my ear badgering me with that line ‘You were so caught up with the idea of if you could do this, but did you even stop to think if you should do this?’ ”
When compared to Patton, Glynn has mixed feelings. “I would never be so arrogant or conceited as to consider myself as Australia's answer to Mike Patton,” he says. “Patton has more talent and range in his little finger than I will ever have. But I've said this back even in the Frankenbok and Five Star Prison Cell days and I will say it again – there are worse things to be compared to.
“It's flattering, but there's two sides to that coin. Sometimes, it's done in a manner to insult me or have a dig at my so called ‘lack of originality.’ It doesn't get to me at all – Patton was a huge influence on me growing up. I'm not going to deny that. He inspired me to be as versatile and as creative as I possibly could. His vocals on Faith No More's Angel Dust and Mr Bungle’s debut album taught me that you can be a great vocalist, but it's ideas that take you to the next level. All those rich layers and the personification stuff he did was amazing. It blew my mind when I was 15. The voice can be an instrument too.”
Although The Vogue of Ambition is a solo album, Glynn did have a little help from a guest artist, his cat Cornelius. “I was recording her meowing and then I was playing it back while looking at her face. She looked so puzzled and confused. I put some effects on it, played it again. She freaked out, knocked over and broke a vase and ran away. I figured if my cat hates it then I’m on the right path.
“I recorded, produced and did everything myself. Even the artwork. I don't have awesome musicians or amazing productions from DW Norton or Forrester Savell to hide behind anymore. But it was the most fun I've ever had recording. I really enjoyed and challenged myself on this album but not in a stressful way. I could do what I wanted and go at my own pace, experiment to find my sound and direction. Now that it's done and finally out, it's really exciting but scary at the same time. I've never felt so naked or exposed musically.”
By Josh Fergeus
Adam Glynn’s The Vogue of Ambition is out now independently.