Friday, November 30, 2012

Adler Vocalist Jacob Bunton Discusses New Album and Working with Steven Adler

     Twenty-five years since the release of the album that made Steven Adler a rock n' roll icon, he's back with his first full length studio album since then, Back From The Dead. The band Adler, consists of Adler himself, vocalist Jacob Bunton (Lynam, Mars Electric), guitarist Lonny Paul (Adler's Appetite), and bassist Johnny Martin (Chelsea Smiles). With their debut, they have managed to deliver an album which will please not only fans of Steven's previous band but also new fans. Steven's former GnR bandmate Slash and Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 make appearances on the album.
      I recently spoke to Jacob Bunton about the writing and recording process, and also what it has been like for him to work with Steven Adler.

Front Paige Metal News: What was the writing and recording of Back From The Dead like?

Jacob Bunton: We would send ideas back and forth through email. When I would go out to LA, me and Lonny would get together at his house and write songs and collaborate on ideas. Then, of course, we would take them to Steven, and he'd listen and figure out what songs he wanted to do and what songs he didn't want to do. The main thing that we said when we first started is that we would throw our egos to the side and just do what's best for the song. If a song could be made better, we would listen to each other on how to make the song better, the ideas. As far as the recording process goes, we had a great producer, Jeff Pilson, who was kind of like the fifth member of the band. He definitely brought out the best in us and kind of put all the pieces together for this. We recorded in Santa Clarita, California, and used a lot of old, vintage gear. It was really cool.

FPMN: Going into the writing process, what were your biggest influences both musically and lyrically?

Jacob: Musically, we didn't want too veer to far away from good, heavy, modern rock n' roll with the classic sound infused. We didn't want people to listen to the record and be like,
"Oh, this is an 80s throwback", but we didn't want to veer so far away from it that the people that love the 80s music and the Guns N' Roses stuff would be alienated either. We tried to keep it an equal balance. As far as the lyrical themes, a lot of it was based on stories that Steven would tell us about his life that he went through and also experiences that I went through or that Lonny went through or people that we know, our surroundings. Really, we draw inspiration from each other, and what I mean by each other is whatever situation you're in.

FPMN: What was it like to have Slash and John 5 featured on the album?

Jacob: Amazing! Those guys are incredible musicians. For me personally, to be on a record that has Steven and Slash, both key, core members of Guns N' Roses, it was very surreal and very cool. John 5 is one of the greatest guitar players out and he's also one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. More than anything, it was just really cool hanging out and hearing everybody's stories. That's always my favorite thing in the world, just listening to people's stories.

FPMN: That had to be a cool experience for you as a fan.

Jacob: Oh yeah, because at the end of the day, that's what we all are is music fans. Even Steven and Slash, they're in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and recorded one of the biggest selling rock albums of all time but are such fans of music that they'll sit there all day telling you about Aerosmith or KISS and Queen and the bands that they grew up with. Music is what unites us all. It brings us all together.

FPMN: Will Adler be touring to support this album?

Jacob: Yeah, absolutely. We just finished our first shows ever with KISS on The KISS Kruise, and the shows went great. We definitely have excellent chemistry in the band, and we plan on touring a lot in 2013. We're going to Japan with Duff, and we plan on doing a lot of stuff, going all over the place.

FPMN: Earlier this year, the band, of course, released the music video for "The One That You Hated". What has the fan reaction been?

Jacob: The fan reaction has been great. Anytime that you are associated with any of the guys from Guns N' Roses, there's always comparisons. You can ask the guys in Slash's band. You can ask the guys in Duff's band. People always wanna compare it to Guns N' Roses, ya know Appetite For Destruction. They wanna compare the guitar players to Slash. They wanna compare the singers to Axl. We've been very honest from the very beginning. If you're looking for the next Appetite For Destruction, this is not it. This is Adler. This is where we are in our lives now. This is the first project that Steven's done since Guns N' Roses as far as the first (full length) album he's released since Appetite For Destruction. We tell people that it's absolutely not Appetite For Destruction. It's Adler. We have our own sound, our own vibe, our own thing. The fan reaction has been great. People seem to really get that, and everybody's saying nothing but positive things. The reaction to the video was great as well. That was the first bit of original music that people had heard from Steven in a long time. To him, just to have the fan acceptance and the media acceptance is all he's ever wanted. It's always number one. He's grinning ear to ear. He's so happy.

FPMN: For you personally, what has it been like working with Steven?

Jacob: It's been amazing! He's one of the sweetest guys in the world. He's got a huge heart, and he's just a bundle of energy to be around. Now that he's clean and sober, he actually goes over to Lonny's house every morning around 7AM, and those two work out together. He's healthy, and he's playing better than he ever has. He's always been one of my favorite drummers of all time.  So, to be in a band with him is, I keep using the word amazing, but there's just no other way to put it. It's amazing.

FPMN: What do you hope to accomplish with this band? What are you most looking forward to?

Jacob: I've already accomplished everything I want to accomplish in the band. The only thing I was looking to accomplish was to make a great rock n' roll record, or something that we felt was a great rock n' roll record, that we were proud of. With Steven, he really wanted the fans to like it and accept it, because he had a lot to prove. With me, just being a part of it, I've already accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish- just being apart of a great project and making a great record that I'm proud of. Even if nothing else happens from this point on, I'm happy I've accomplished what I've always wanted, and what I've always set out to do, to make great records.

FPMN: Anything else you'd like to say?

Jacob: Everybody, go check out the record!

"The One That You Hated"

     Back From The Dead is streaming in full on Rolling Stone's website here. Don't forget to pick up your copy on iTunes here. Also, make sure you connect with Adler on their Official Site, Facebook, and Twitter!


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