An Interview with Adam Albright of Dopesick

All images courtesy of DopeSick Facebook (Official)

Recently, we caught up with vocalist and guitarist, Adam Albright, of LA-based band, Dopesick. Adam Albright is the definition of Metal, and his music and creativity show it. His passion to make, create, and bring music to the people is what drives Adam to do what he does.

DopeSick is what you get when you combine passion and dedication to what you love.

In this interview, we caught up with Adam, and among other things, we hit on Dopsick’s newest music, Adam’s history with Skinlab, the current lineup of Dopesick, and what’s next for the band in all areas.

If you’d like to learn more about Dopesick, head over to their Facebook page, or their Instagram, and dive in.

Anthony:
Adam, thank you so much for doing this interview with us today. It looks like you’ve been busy with the release of your new single, “Day Eraser,” the INXS cover of “Never Tear Us Apart,” and the album A Violent Happy Place.

Adam:
Yup! I was trying to stay busy during the Corona stuff, and these are what I was working on.

Anthony:
You’re also getting ready for a tour this March. I bet you’re excited to get out there and play your new music live, get on the road, and be in front of crowds again!

Adam:
YES!!! We went out on Sept 21st and did a couple of weeks and it was fun. We played “Day Eraser” (the tour was called The Day Eraser Tour) but people were happy to be out, and hear and see music! People were being cool, it was a good vibe.

Anthony:
Let’s start with “Day Eraser.” It has a message of people in our lives that waste our time. and their negativity. Can you go over the writing process for the song? Does it have a lot of personal meaning for you?

Adam:
It does have a lot of personal meaning. I worked with a singer on the A Violent Happy Place record, and it was fucking rough and not fun! He was never really down for Dopesick, and just wasted my time, money, and energy. We could never play shows, and it was just a mess, so right at the start of COVID, I went in and recorded some stuff with guitars and drums (me and Aaron). I sent these to Jon, the singer, and he just couldn’t be bothered, he had to get his hair done, or some bullshit, but at that point, I kinda had it with that stuff. I wanted to play. I wanted to make new music. So, I started working on the songs myself. I did the INXS cover first, “Never Tear Us Apart.” I sang it and Patrick (Patrick Burkholder from Pawnshop Studios) liked it said it was cool. I was super nervous ’cause I’m not the singer, ya know? But I did that one, and then, after I recorded “Day Eraser,” my drive home from LA to the desert is two and a half hours, so I listened to the demo all the way home. At about fifteen minutes from home, I got the chorus down and finished the rest when I went in to do the vocals for it. I felt good with the chorus and just did it. I’m really happy with how it came out!

Anthony:
Can you also talk about the filming of the video for “Day Eraser?”

Adam:
Yeah, that was a fucking mess. [Laughs]. My manager flew a crew in that he had worked with out to LA from the east coast, and by the time they got here, I think they were just burnt out, and I didn’t like what we got. When I saw the first edit, I flipped out. [Laughs]. I called Dave Chavarri (my manager) and was just frustrated. He always fixes shit, so we sent the live stuff to Wacy Jahn, who had worked with Ill Nino before, and it is just super bad-ass! So, all the clips of the moth, and all the trippy visual stuff, the eyedropper, the dust, that’s all Wacy. We talked briefly, he had an idea, I let him do his stuff, and it came out cool That’s one of my favorite Dopesick videos I’ve done!

All images courtesy of DopeSick Facebook (Official)

Anthony:
Let’s talk about “Never Tear Us Apart.” What was it about that song which made you want to cover it, and turn it into a Metal-sounding song?

Adam:
I love 80s Pop music and have always wanted to do this song. There are a few others also, But I just dig the song, and it was the first one I tried to sing on. I sang a vocal for a reference, and we didn’t hate it, so I re-did my vocals, and that was that.

Anthony:
Going back before that, you have your album, A Violent Happy Place, that’s had a different sound than your other music. Even within the album itself, your stance on “genre-hopping” is true to its word. Do you favor one sound over another, or just whatever fits your style, and mood at the time?

Adam:
Nope, I play whatever I feel like! I guess it does depend on who I’m working with, or what I’m trying to accomplish. I can’t scream, so if I’m writing heavy stuff. I need to be working with someone who can do that well! I can never find a permanent singer, so it’s easier to change styles, but then, it’s harder and harder to find someone who can do all the material live. I like a lot of different styles, and if I didn’t add them to my stuff, I’d feel like I’m not being honest with myself.

Anthony:
Now, this takes us to, The Love And Terror Cult, which starts off quite dark with, “Aug 1969,” with uneasy horror tones, backed by a news reporter going on about Sharon Tate’s death. Can you tell us how that sets up the tone, and message for the rest of the album?

Adam:
Well, some radio person in NV said, “Oh, I’ll never listen to this again!” I wanted an intro for the EP, and I was really into the Manson family at that time, and living in the valley close to a lot of that stuff, so being close to that was the inspiration for that. I had just got my first synthesizer and wanted to play with it. I think it’s cool, maybe forty seconds too long, but I dig it. We use it as our intro when we play live!

All images courtesy of DopeSick Facebook (Official)

Anthony:
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, throughout the albums, singles, and EPs I get a slight late 90s to early 2000s Rock, Metal, Hardcore, and Reggae vibe with “Ride The Night.” Who were, and are your influences for your music?

Adam:
Cool! Bad Brains is my all-time favorite stuff! So, is Van Halen, KISS, The Police, Fats Domino, Deftones, King 810, old 311, old Korn, The Cure, and 70s and 80s radio stuff.

Anthony:
Let’s take a step back and go over your musical beginnings. Where did it all start with you?

Adam:
KISS, 1979, at the Anaheim Convention Center. My Mom took me to see the Dynasty Tour, and I was just in shock. I wanted to do that! Then, I saw Mötley Crüe’s “Looks That Kill” video, and it was on that day I went and pushed the mower through the neighborhood to get money to buy a guitar. I think I got twenty or thirty dollars, but my Mom saw I really wanted a guitar, so we went and got a Peavey T-15, with a little amp in the case, and that was it!

Anthony:
The idea for Dopesick emerged in the late 90s, but you had been with another band prior, correct? Can you talk about your time in Skinlab, your subsequent jail time, and its influence on the formation of Dopesick?

Adam:
I was in Skinlab before Dopesick. I was the original Skinlab guitarist next to Mike Roberts, Mike was the main guy. I played in Skinlab, did all the local live stuff, and demos that got us signed, then I went to jail. I got the name idea for Dopesick from my bunky, he had pill problems, and would always say he was a junkie or pill-head. Dopesick…the name, the word, and the imagery stuck with me, and anyone who knows Dopesick knows my prison stuff. It was for violating my probation with a dirty piss test for weed. I was on probation for ramming my car into another car a couple of times. [Laughs].

All images courtesy of DopeSick Facebook (Official)

Anthony:
Dopesick was on hiatus from around 2006-to 2016. Was there a creative difference with Marcus Payton that led to this hiatus?

Adam:
No, Marcus was out of Dopesick way before that. I just stopped doing Dopesick for a while. I had gone and played with Sebastian Bach for a little bit and recorded the song, “Angel Down,” with him, which was a Dopesick song originally. I moved to North Carolina and just took a break. Dopesick has been me alone for a lot of the time.

Anthony:
What is the current lineup of the band? Mandy Martyr is no longer with you, right? Have you played in other bands together previously?

Adam:
No, Aaron has recorded a lot of the Dopesick stuff with me but never has played live with Dopesick, and Mandy was never an official part of Dopesick. She played on the first demos, because she was Aaron’s wife, and he kinda pushed the issue but I re-did all the bass parts, and I play bass on all that stuff. Dopesick, now, and for the last two tours has been me on guitar and vocals, Phillip Neilson on bass, and Rich Sacco on drums.

Anthony:
Let’s talk about gear now. What do you use to play and record with? Do you use the same equipment for touring that you use in the studio?

Adam:
I play Gibson, ESP, and Fender Guitars, Marshall Amps, Dunlop Picks, strings, and pedals, Spectraflex Cables, Boss Pedals, and Digi Tech. I use the exact same gear live as do in-studio!

All images courtesy of DopeSick Facebook (Official)



Anthony:
Do you have any other passions outside of music? If so, do they influence your music?

Adam:
I paint. I have two killer dogs, Pete and Lou, that I love to death. I golf and I do all kinds of other stuff. Everything inspires me.

Anthony:
Adam, thanks again for doing this with us today. What does the future of DopeSick look like from here after your tour? Any new music in the works you’d like to talk about?

Adam:
We’ve got the March tour coming up, and a new single coming out with Steev Esquivel from Skinlab on it, and hopefully, we’ll put out a new EP this summer on a new label. So, we’re busy, and got some new stuff coming up! Thank you, guys!

All images courtesy of DopeSick Facebook (Official)

Interested in learning more about DopeSick? Check out the link below:

Dig this? Check out the full archives of A.M. Radio, by Anthony Montalbano, here: https://vwmusicrocks.com/a-m-radio-archives/

About Post Author

Anthony Montalbano

Anthony Montalbano grew up in New York and North Carolina. Anthony is a baker by day and a contributor to the Vinyl Writer cause by night. With a passion for podcasts, Pop Punk, video games, and more, Anthony brings a unique and fresh perspective to the team. Anthony's column is a catch-all for the things he loves most, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
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