The Addiction are a well respected hard rock band with a great pedigree and a solid fan base. Known for their exceptional live performances and chart topping streaming tracks, they will soon be out on their second tour with Marco Mendoza of Thin Lizzy and The Dead Daisies. Natural front man and guitarist Adam Methven took time out of his busy schedule for this interview.
Adam thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.
No problem at all!
What first got you into music, more specifically guitar?
Well I’ve always loved music. My first real obsession was actually Michael Jackson believe it or not. I had every album as a kid. My parents weren’t really in to rock. I mean, my dad was a big fan of bands like Slade and T-Rex but he wasn’t really one to play records or anything. My mum loved the big diva singers like Celine Dion and that sort of thing, so I was always around music growing up but not necessarily what I’m in to now. Funnily enough, thinking back, some of my most favourite MJ tracks were more leaning on the rock stuff, Bad and Beat It, of course that track had Eddie Van Halen on the guitar and Slash played on Black or White, another favourite of mine.
So I think I had this natural thing about guitar music in me I guess.
I always liked the guitar because to me, the Les Paul through a Marshall is just THE coolest looking thing in music. It’s iconic isn’t it? I’m also of the age where Guitar Hero really had an impact on kids like me. It’s funny how many musicians, guitarists especially, my age who say a similar thing. I had a mad obsession for Guitar Hero Metallica. I didn’t have a mic stand so I would hang the Guitar Hero Mic from the light fitting in the middle of the living room and play the guitar, you know the white explorer one? and pretended I was James Hetfield. If you heard my vocals 8 years ago, you’d think I was in a Metallica tribute band.
So I think that was the start of me thinking, hmm.. I wonder if I could do this for real?
A lot of players are self taught, did you go that route or did you have tuition?
I am completely self taught, guitar and vocally, I’ve never had a lesson in my life. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing well, that’s for everyone else to decide, but you know, I can bang out a decent tune so I’m doing okay!
I think there’s something magical about teaching yourself to play the guitar, you know? I was late to the party compared to a lot of people, I was only around 18 when I started taking it seriously and thought, right, I’m going to do this, I’ve had 2 years off in the time between then and now too. But yeah, man I was horrific at the start. But the relief you get when you learn to do a certain thing, or play a certain riff, doing it the old fashioned way, leading by ear, it was so satisfying.. and still is, you know? I’m nowhere near my peak capabilities so I’m always learning, I think the best are still learning.
Do you remember the first song you ever learnt?
I think it was For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica. But when I got to a standard where I could play a bit and make some sensical tune, I was far too excited to see a song through to the end, I just wanted the riffs man! The riffs and the rhythms. But I do believe For Whom The Bell Tolls was the first song I finished front to back, lead included.
What do you remember of your first ever live performance?
Leading up to it was sheer, sheer.. terror, for the want of a better word. I was absolutely petrified. There will be people listening or reading to this or whatever, that completely understand this next statement. No matter how many videos on YouTube you watch for what artists say between songs, no matter how many live shows you watch, when it comes to it, especially when you’re first starting, it’s COMPLETELY irrelevant. You have to be in the moment, feeling it, the crowd, the sounds and smells, nothing can prepare you for doing it for real, other than doing it.
My first real show, I was 18, I played every song I knew how to with my little band, we didn’t have a bass player so we used 2 guitars and a drummer. Never dawned on us one of us could play the bass. I tell you something though, it was a decent turn out! Just to add some pressure.
Do you consider The Lost Days your first ‘proper’ band?
Yes and no. It was my first real experience of going out and experiencing the real tough, hard slog that the circuit really is. And being a band of early 20 somethings and even a teenager at one stage, man them working men’s clubs can be a hard place to be in. But I’m grateful for it, I appreciate everything that those times gave me and showed me. As has been said many times by people, it was essentially my apprenticeship, I was learning my trade, I was learning on the job. I would say it possibly was my first ‘proper’ band, but only in that we played over 300 shows in 2 and a half years. It was never what I wanted it to be and that is original, we did a lot on the club scene and pubs, and as I mentioned I’m grateful for it, but what I’m doing now with The Addiction is exactly where I want to be.
You’re obviously a natural performer, is being on stage what gives you the biggest buzz?
You are too kind! Thank you sir.
This is a bit of a yes and no too. Definitely, the biggest buzz is the live situation. But it’s not just the time on stage and man, I’d kill to be on stage every single night if I could. It’s yes being on stage and hearing your songs sang back at you, that is special, it’s feeling the energy of the crowd, that roar between songs, it’s little moments like that. But not only that, I love meeting our fans and friends we have made and are yet to make, I love having a beer with everyone, I love sharing the moments with people who make the effort to support us in what we’re doing, I love to give back to them in any way I can, if that means getting drunk and talking about their lives until 4 am, yes that has happened.. then I’m there man, I’ll forever be grateful of the support we receive, it never fails to astound me.
How did The Addiction come about, was it a natural progression from The Lost Days?
Sorry man I got a little deep there (laughs)
Well to be honest no, by the time The Addiction played it’s first show, only 2 of the members were from The Lost Days’ original line up. When two of them left, it was my chance to start this new thing that became The Addiction. But we were so popular as The Lost Days that our bookings were up until February 2019 and this was April 2018. So I gave it a lot of thought and luckily when we saw out our commitments, all the other guys were on board, later that obviously wasn’t the case, as the band is now again only two members from the band that ‘originally’ started The Addiction.
It’s a funny old game mate.
What were the circumstances that landed you the Marco Mendoza gig, that must have felt pretty special?
Ah, the Mexican.
The guy is a special person man, he’s a great human being, he has taught me so so much and not just about music. He’s meticulous, he’s a man who knows who he wants and I completely respect him for that. He’s been nothing but a great friend to me and the boys. The tour came about because I straight up asked him. We were not getting what we needed so I took things in to my own hands, I emailed him, I sent him some stuff I had done with The Lost Days, had a chat about it and 2 days later, boom, we were special guests on his UK Tour. To be offered the tour, not just a gig was amazing, none of us had ever been on tour before, I played a lot of shows, but never on a real tour.
We were welcomed by Marco and his band, which was Kyle Hughes, phenomenal drummer, and guitarist Tommy Gentry of Gun, a monster player. It was as if we had been on tour with them for months just a couple of days in.
So now, in 2020.. to be asked once again to head out on tour with him, which he personally called me and asked me, absolutely, we can’t turn it down. By the way, getting a phone call from Marco Mendoza at 2am is never not weird.
Incidentally, talking of feeling special, how did you end up getting sponsored by Vintage guitars?
Let me just say this, Vintage Guitars are incredible, they are incredible instruments and do not allow yourself to be told otherwise by elitists. I’m not contractually obliged to say that either.
But again man, I fully believe in, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I got in contact with the guys because I had played some of their guitars and really REALLY liked them. To me, they just feel right, exactly what I want from a guitar. So I called them up, spoke about the opportunities that were available and they asked what I was doing with the band at the time, because of course it’s a two way street, they can’t expect nothing back, they want to see what exposure I might add, completely get it.. so we hooked up and I got a deal with Vintage and never looked back, I also have deals with Dean Markley Guitar Strings, Xvive Effects and a few other companies that really believe in what we’re doing, also, I’ve got to give a shout out to our boys at Cloven Hoof Rum who really look after us too!
You’ve had 2 great songs out on streaming services. My Sweet Valentine and Cut The Wire were both well received. Do the band write together or does someone take the lead?
Yes! We have indeed, I was so happy when we got the first single out, we went on tour with absolutely no music out there, we had recorded it, but we didn’t want to rush the release. Which worked out just fine because the following we gathered from the strength of our live show alone was magical enough.
So when Cut the Wire hit #1 on the Amazon Charts and got a #2 Amazon Best Seller, can you imagine my reaction man? Wow.
But yeah, so.. up to now, I have done the ‘bulk’ of the songwriting, and I don’t mind that you know? Daisy (Guitarist) has written some great stuff that we just need to iron out, but whatever I’ve handed him to play lead on, dude he frightens me, he’s an incredible guitar player and I’ve never had a guitar partnership that works better than ours. But, we do have a bromance, we complete each-other on and off stage!
What was it that prompted the move to Forge?
Well, I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus here, but we weren’t getting what we needed for the pace that we have been moving at. We have so much coming up and I’ve been the manager of this whole thing too. So the top boy at Forge gave me a call and we chatted for a good hour or so, about where we were going, what we wanted to do and all of that, and we just shared the same ethics and ambitions, and that is what I want from anything I do in life where there are others concerned, is to share the same end goal, it makes everything easier. If you’re a football team, it’s easy, keep it out at one end and put it in at the other. You get enough shit in this business already, so everyone has got to be on the same wavelength, the same team.. so when I spoke to the guys and they did share that end goal.. it was a no brainer for us.
What can people expect from The Addiction over the next year?
More music, more shows, bigger shows, expect the same energy as you got when you first saw us, and then some.
2020 is going to be big for us, so strap yourselves in and join us. We are just getting started.
OK Adam thanks.