In many circles, former Failure mastermind Ken Andrews is remembered for being the creative force behind the seminal 1996 release Fantastic Planet, a droning, ambient space rock gem that remained just under the radar in the midst of alternative rock’s short-lived heyday. (Andrews’ most recent project, Year of the Rabbit, released its Elektra debut last year to even less fanfare.)
For Bryan Roach, singer/guitarist of local rock outfit The Adored, Failure and Year of the Rabbit are mere footnotes to Andrews’ more recent production work on acts like Creeper Lagoon (a band Roach lists among his favorites), Sense Field, and Pete Yorn. “I wish our stuff sounded like Ken Andrews; I actually love his sound,” Roach says in response to recent message board postings that describe The Adored as the Foo Fighters melded with Andrews’ rather shimmery production style.
Would you say that’s an accurate description?
I don’t think that we’re quite as aggressive as the Foo Fighters; I think that we’re a little bit more poppier—I hate that word—I guess. We’ve had tons of other comparisons; they’re usually justified. I remember reading that someone was listening to one of our songs and mentioned Pedro the Lion—that’s one of my favorite bands—but c’mon, how’d you hear that? It’s gotta be in there somewhere, but where were you hearing that?
But is it safe to say you were kind of going for that rather raw, stripped down sound that the Foo Fighters tend to favor?
I don’t know if I’m ever headed in a direction. The more I think I can define the direction, the narrower the hallway that I’m walking down when it comes to writing. I’ve always been a fan of big, simple musical moments. I think the Foo Fighters, Coldplay, U2, Oasis, R.E.M., Pedro… I think that’s what I was going for: just big.
So you played all the instruments on the band’s first batch of demos?
Yeah, except for the drums.
How long have you been playing music?
Not long enough. I began playing the electric guitar in Fly Nova. I don’t think I’m all that great at it actually. I think when I buried myself in my basement [to write the initial Adored demos], I decided I was going to take control of my own career, destiny, blah, blah, blah. The only reason I started playing bass on the recordings was because I didn’t have anyone to play bass. The guys in my last band were really good at what they did. I think that I learned a lot from them. I think that I basically took what I wanted from that, and left behind what I didn’t.
After the bidding war surrounding their debut EP settled, Nashville rockers—a Smiths throwback of sorts—Celebrity, wound up on Doghouse Records, an aspiring indie label that, quite unfortunately, couldn’t give the band’s 2003 full-length debut, “Lovesick” the push that it deserved. Celebrity made a minor buzz with the release, but, for the most part, “Lovesick” remains one of the better releases from 2003 that you haven’t heard.
Roach says it wasn’t until he exhausted his musical resources in St. Louis that he called upon his manager, who also manages Celebrity and The Juliana Theory, for help, that brothers Jesse and Matt Fine, Celebrity’s bassist and drummer, respectively, joined The Adored. Guitarist Tedd Foxx, also a Nashville native, joined the band soon after.
So, do the other guys generally come to St. Louis to practice, or do you go to Nashville?
Mostly me going to Nashville because it’s one car as opposed to three, and this is what I do and that’s it, so I have a little bit more flexibility. I wouldn’t say we’ve played any more rehearsals than we have shows. The guys in my band are easily the most roadworthy dudes I’ve ever played with. They’re just on top of their games.
At this point, you actually haven’t recorded with the other guys?
We’d love to start or at least make plans to make a record before the end of the year. We’ll definitely do some recording here in the next three or fourth months. Basically right now, we don’t have any shows booked and we’re probably going to block a little bit of time out to write. How we go about doing that is yet to be determined. It’s still a pretty new relationship.
So, you guys opened for Kiss not too long ago?
Yeah, it was pretty insane. We didn’t know what to expect. It was laid back; it wasn’t that big of a deal. We didn’t get to meet anybody or anything. That would have been classic.
How do you go about getting on a show with Kiss?
That show a guy at Clear Channel offered us after seeing us at Pointfest. Actually the same guy that offered us the gig at Pointfest came and saw us play and was like “hey, you guys wanna do it?” Ah yeah. We didn’t really think that was something you can turn down.
Were you a KISS fan growing up?
When I was super super young, my dad had an eight track with that song “I Was Made for Lovin’ You”—I don’t even know what album it was. I remember before he got rid of that thing, there was definitely a time when we sang along to it.
At present, The Adored has no shows scheduled as they prepare to write and eventually record their debut full-length. The band has made three of its demo songs available for streaming at their official Web site, www.theadored.net.