BRYAN ADAMS: BARE BONES IS A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME

FROM THE CANADIAN PRESS

BRYAN ADAMS initially planned for his acoustic collection BARE BONES to be a modest bit of fan service, something the Canadian rocker could sell on the road after shows.

His record company had other ideas.

“I put (these songs) together not with any intention to put it out as an album,” BRYAN stated in a recent phone interview from Switzerland.

“I made a CD with the intention that I was going to sell it at my shows and I went on my Twitter page and asked the fans to recommend: Should it be new songs? Should it be old songs? What songs should be put on it? And I sort of gathered all their information and then put this album together.”

“And then about a month after I put that together, my record company got wind of it and they were like: ‘Hang on a minute. Can we hear this?'”

“And the next thing you know, it’s being released in 30 countries. And believe me, that was not my intention. The intention was not to try and make this a big global thing.”

But BRYAN — who has spent most of 2010 on the road in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Europe, South Africa and even the Middle East — might have known better.

Clearly, the singer/musician remains in high demand internationally.

His last album of new material — 2008’s 11 — charted around the world, in locales as far flung as India, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, France, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Norway, Austria, Italy, Sweden, the U.K., the U.S. and of course Canada, where the record hit #1.

He had originally planned to record 11 as an acoustic album until he “balled out and decided to bring the band back in.”

But he followed his original instincts when it came time to tour, playing the tunes stripped down to their essence.

“Those shows got bigger and bigger and bigger and next thing you know, I’m on tour doing two and a half hours of acoustic. I thought, you know what? I’m loving this. Let’s just keep going.”

“For the last two years we’ve been touring like that…The Bare Bones tour just keeps rolling along.”

When he began soliciting suggestions on Twitter for the final tracklist of BARE BONES – which drops Tuesday – he was surprised at the reaction he received.

“If I showed you the list of stuff that was sent to me from different places all over the world, it would’ve been a triple album,” said BRYAN, munching on a snack.

“So there were some people that were disappointed because it didn’t have this song or that song on it, but maybe we’ll make another one. Who knows?”

“I’m kind of surprised, and at the same time, really delighted that they like it. And there’s no sort of hit single or anything on it. It is what it is.”

Well, there are actually plenty of hit singles, but they’ll all be familiar to BRYAN’S devotees.

The 20 tracks on BARE BONES include some of the songwriter’s biggest hits — including THE ONLY THING THAT LOOKS GOOD ON ME IS YOU and ALL FOR LOVE — alongside lesser known cuts including THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL, cowritten by BRYAN for Boyzone frontperson Ronan Keating’s solo debut, or Bryan White’s YOU’RE STILL BEAUTIFUL TO ME, another tune that was cowritten.

The record also includes snippets of BRYAN’S gravelly banter. After strumming the first few notes of his 1996 hit LET”S MAKE A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, he cracked: “That’s all I remember of the song.”

And as he wraps his 2002 track HERE I AM, he tells the audience: “OK, well, I don’t know if you got the memo about tonight’s show or not, but this is the band.”

Yet BRYAN wasn’t too worried about the audience’s response. He confidently asserted that all of his songs respond well to the acoustic treatment because that’s how he wrote them.

“They all work on that level. The thing is…people are so used to hearing some of these songs. I mean, SO used to hearing these songs, they can’t even imagine what it would be like to hear them stripped down to nothing, you know?”

“If I were trying to replicate what I did, there would be no point. The point is to actually present them in a whole new way.”

As far as new material, he said that he and longtime writing partner JIM VALLANCE — with whom BRYAN crafted many of his biggest hits — have been “working a lot these days.”

They communicate remotely, swapping MP3s and chatting on the phone, which suits BRYAN’S globetrotting lifestyle.

“You know the way computers are. You can just Skype your best friend and talk to them for an hour and in that time we’ve got a new verse.”

But does it feel as comfortable as cramming into the same room in Vancouver to hash out new tunes back in the day?

“It’s better,” he replied.

Still, he’s not sure what shape his new material will take. He has mused on Twitter about releasing a five song EP, but says nothing is certain at this juncture.

“I don’t even know. Do people still make records any more? I don’t know if it makes more sense to just put out songs as you write them as opposed to sort of trying to put together an album and spend a year doing that…Those days just sort of seem to be days gone by.”

“It’s time to think about new ways of approaching it…If you can make songs into events as opposed to making albums into events, I wonder if it’s more productive to do that. Unless there’s a sort of symmetry with all the songs, or unless you’ve written so many songs you can’t help yourself.”

Still, it’s a big change from his old go to methods.

“I used to write 10 songs and then that was the album and then go on tour for a year and then go back and write 10 more songs and then put another album out and then go out and tour…and I just kept doing that for a while. But it seems like that’s not what people do any more.”

“I think (with) people’s attention spans, perhaps giving them one or two songs is really good. They can get into that…and they’re into something else.”

Is that how he now approaches music — or is he still an album guy?

“I don’t know what I am, man,” he said.

“Every day’s different.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: