Interview with David “Moose” Adamson of Jookabox

David "Moose" Adamson, photo credit: Lisa Fett

David "Moose" Adamson, photo credit: Lisa Fett

Following the release of their latest triumph, Dead Zone Boys, David “Moose” Adamson – the grand Grampall of Jookabox – took time out of his busy schedule to catch up with Delusions of Adequacy’s Bryan Sanchez. And even when they’re on their way to Brooklyn for another terrific show, Adamson sounds bubbly, energetic and raucously alive.

Delusions of Adequacy: I know you guys just started touring; do you like the touring scene or not so much?

David Adamson: I like it; it’s definitely like ‘bizarre-o world.’ It’s weird just being in a completely different place each day. It makes you tired but it’s fun and we like to have fun and drink every day.

DOA: Awesome! I live in Texas and Austin is a booming city with a great music scene. You’ve done Fun Fun Fun Fest and South by Southwest, any chances you’ll do Austin City Limits?

DA: Yeah definitely, that’d be awesome. I don’t know how to go about booking that but it seems like a great festival. I mean, Austin is sweet and we’ve got a show at The Mohawk on this tour that will be sweet.

DOA: You started on drums and guitars but yet a lot of the stuff you do deals with pitch modifications and unique instrumentation, what do you credit that to?

DA: I think I just like to play with the music to make it more interesting. I had a handheld tape recorder that I would modify it with a speed knob and I really liked what it did to the music. It provided this weird, unnatural timbre that I liked.

DOA: There aren’t a lot of Jookaboxes running around so was there any specific reason for dropping the Grampall part?

DA: I think that when I first started playing, there was more people in the band, but now it is a new band. I am the Grampall, but we together, we are the Jookaboxes. I’m the leader, everyone in it are my children and everyone has to do what I say (chuckling.)

DOA: I had seen an interview where you mentioned you wanted to start playing with a band, how was that decision process?

DA: I think that when we were making new changes, it was hard to make it with a few people. Especially live, running too many things through a PA system, and if it was junk, then the show would be awful. And we’d leave disappointed. So at first, we knew more people would be better.

DOA: How has the reception been to these new changes?

DA: Really good, everybody we’ve played for and everybody we’ve talked to really likes it. They say “it’s a sweet show.”

DOA: Do you think you’ll keep things the way they are now?

DA: I think I’ll keep it. I like it and we are writing new music that will have even more twists. The more the better! I want the whole thing to be twisty maze by the time I die.

DOA: The previous album (Ropechain) was pretty extraordinary in that I think I remember you wrote it during a weekend when you cancelled a bunch of shows, how was the recording process different for Dead Zone Boys?

DA: It was different because I recorded it alone, I started it at home and then we took those tracks to San Diego and recorded it with producers there. I went over there and did live drums in a nice big room, so I think it sounds a lot fatter because of that. Whereas the old one was done in a basement.

David "Moose" Adamson, photo credit: Lisa Fett

David "Moose" Adamson, photo credit: Lisa Fett

DOA: I know David Smith (DM Stith) made the artwork for your album, any chance you guys would write some music together?

DA: Well we kind of already did, we did a cover of a song called “Thriller” by the popular music artist Michael Jackson – you may have heard of him – and it’s somewhere online. It was for a Halloween mix but we haven’t written anything new together. We do like recording stuff through the internet and passing it along, and I told those guys we should have an internet band.

DOA: You’re definitely characterized by your playful demeanor but how serious should everyone else take your music?

DA: Oh you know; they can take it however they like it. I think a lot of people pick up on the ‘fun side’ and that’s fine with me because I don’t care how people take it.

DOA: There’s definitely a darker sound to this album, what were you channeling at the time?

DA: I was just thinking about different things, like if you go too far down a big pass, and what if you can’t come back. And like the power of darkness and the power it can give you. Trying to be a monster.

DOA: From what I’ve gathered, you didn’t live in the best spots of Indianapolis, how has that time of your life affected your writing and music styles?

DA: Some of that was kind of blown out of proportion. The neighborhood I grew up in was weird but it wasn’t that bad. It was kind of on the outskirts of the city in the far, far east side. It could have gone ether way and it went downhill and more and more people started to move in around us and it got weird. But it wasn’t a terrible situation.

DOA: Each album has followed a different theme and sound; do you find yourself wanting to make something different each time out?

DA: Not really, I think I’m just always listening to new things and that has an affect on the sound – whatever I’m interested in at the time. But I don’t think about, trying to make a gem each time out or anything like that.

DOA: Being on Asthmatic Kitty, they enjoy featuring unique acts like yourself, but I always have a hard time pin-pointing your brand of music, how would you describe it?

DA: Ghost punk! They (fans) keep saying ghost punk on this tour.

DOA: You agree with that?

DA: Hell yeah, I like that; we are spear heading a movement. It’s called asthmatic pussy.