FACE TiME POLiCE
iNTERViEWS PEARL ADAY
ADAY OF RECKONiNG
PEARL ADAY TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT HER DEBUT CD LiTTLE iMMACULATE WHiTE FOX
WORKiNG WiTH MOTHER SUPERiOR
AND MAKiNG CHiCK ROCK COOL AGAiN
DECEMBER 7, 2009
iNTERViEWED BY BRiAN LUSH
For rock wailer PEARL ADAY, rock n roll was more than a dream. It was in her DNA. While that is not always a good indicator of talent (we donít need to drop names!) it is a very good place to start from. ADAYís musical education didnít come from the classroom but on the road and in stadiums around the world. While attending EMERSON COLLEGE in Boston to study Creative Writing, ADAY took a semester off to tour with her father MARVIN LEE ADAY (better known as MEAT LOAF) as a back up singer. The year was 1994 and MEAT LOAF was on the heels of his comeback album ĎBAT OUT OF HELL II: BACK INTO HELLí and the surprise hit single ĎI WILL DO ANYTHING FOR LOVE (BUT I WONíT DO THAT)í. Touring with her father was only the beginning. Before long she was the ďtheĒ backing vocalist in the rock world having lent her precious pipes to various tours and recordings by MOTLEY CRUE, FILTER, and ACE FREHLEY. Now, ADAY is standing center stage for the release of her debut CD ĎLITTLE IMMACULATE WHITE FOXí. Having worked exclusively with MOTHER SUPERIOR (guitarist JIM WILSON and bassist MARCUS BLAKE) and boyfriend SCOTT IAN of ANTHRAXX, ADAYís ĎÖWHITE FOXí is more than a mere debut. It is ADAYís chance to step into the light and rock. ďI sang on his [MEAT LOAFís] stage for like two years and it took me a while to learn how to be the one in the front.Ē says ADAY. ďYou are the one that is carrying the show and you are the one that has to keep things moving. You are the main focus and it is something that I am still trying to figure out. I feel more comfortable now but every time we play I learn something new about what I need to do in keeping up the energy and working with the band and making a connection. Itís a hard job but I love to do it.Ē
ROCKWIRED spoke with PEARL ADAY over the phone. Here is how it went.
Talk about the title of this CD Ė ĎLITTLE IMMACULATE WHITE FOXí.
When my mom was pregnant with me, she was convinced that I was a boy. I actually have this diary that she kept when she was pregnant with me where she kept referring to me as Ďheí. Late in her pregnancy, her best friend had said that she had a dream about the baby and that it was a girl with blond hair and blue eyes and in the dream I was playing at the base of a tree wrapped in white fox fur and my name was LITTLE IMMACULATE WHITE FOX. My mom said to her ĎThatís beautiful, but Iím having a boyí and then a few hours later she went into labor and she had me Ė this blond-haired, blue-eyed girl. That story kind of stuck with me and it seems sort of appropriate to name my first album the first name that I was ever given. Itís kind of the pre-first name.
How do you feel about the album as a whole now that all the work that has gone into it is behind you?
I love it now. I think itís great. Iím really happy with it. I want everyone to hear it. It was sort of a long time coming because a few years ago we went in and recorded a demo album and played live with it up and down Sunset Strip for a while with a big nine-piece band and we lived with those originals and then realized some of them werenít so good so we kept the ones that were good and then took out the ones that werenít working so well and wrote new ones. Now I see it as a complete circle. I see it more as a complete story and it makes more sense. SCOTT (SCOTT IAN of ANTHRAXX) was listening to it in the car today. He had to drive somewhere for a good long drive and he said that it makes sense going from one song to the next. Itís just solid now and Iím really happy with it. I canít wait for everyone to hear it.
You grew up in rock n roll so Iím not going to ask what the motivation was to do so but at what point did you think it felt right to go ahead and do music?
I was always doing music. Out of college, I started singing with my dad for about nine years and in 2003 I stopped. I just kind of got to the point where I figured that I had gathered a wealth of knowledge by being included in his stage show and I felt that it was time to go ahead and do my own thing. It just felt like it was the right time. Some people ask me why I waited so long and I really wasnít waiting. I feel like I was getting ready. If I tried to do it at another time, I donít think I wouldíve gotten the same results because I wasnít ready yet. I hadnít gathered everything that I needed in order to put out what I have now. I also hadnít met the right guys yet. JIM WILSON and MARCUS BLAKE Ė who were just here by the way Ė were just the guys I needed. It was kind of cool that the interview started a little late because we had been writing all day and it ran a little long for us. Weíre writing new songs. I met those guys when I stopped singing with my dad and I started writing with those guys. I couldnít ask for better songwriting partners than those guys. It fell into place when it needed to.
Iíve interviewed other children of rock stars and I always hear that the parents were apprehensive about their children going into the business. Did your father have this apprehension as well or was he the one who encouraged you to sing back up for him?
Of course it was his idea. It had to be his idea. He wouldnít have let me go on a stage if I sucked. Music is something that he is very serious about. He invited me to come on the stage and be a part of the band and a member of the band. He always felt like being on stage was a learning experience as well. I took a semester off of college to go on a world tour. I took off a fall semester of college because we were going to Australia, Japan, South Africa and the Middle East. He was definitely encouraging but he wasnít shoving it in my face and saying that this is what you have to do. It was sort of like ĎHere, why donít you check it out and if you dig it, you can take it your own way.í If I had chosen to do something else, he wouldíve been supportive of that but this is what Iíve always wanted to do.
I read that you majored in Creative Writing. Has that experience informed your songwriting at all or no?
Writing songs is much different than writing prose. Itís probably the same in regard to trying to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. Itís much different from prose in that you have to tell a story in a much shorter amount of time. You have to squeeze a lot more story in just one line and you donít have the luxury of paragraphs.
Explain how songwriting works for you?
Itís pretty simple. We just went through the process again today. JIM and MARCUS come up with some ideas for a melody or a riff or a skeletal musical idea and they play it for me and we work something out that is a little more solid and we record the music and they leave and I plug in lyrics. Then we get together and we flesh it out. Itís really not that complicated. It may take a little longer for some of the songs but that is basically the process.
What songs off the album resonate for you the most and why?
I think ROCK CHILD is one. MAMA is another one. That one is pretty heavy. Itís a very personal song for me. BROKEN WHITE is the newest one that we recorded. It was the last song that was added onto the album. That one might resonate for me a little more just because itís newer and itís fresher in my brain. Those are the ones that really jump out at me.
Describe what it was like being a back up singer all of these years and then stepping up front and being the center of attention.
Itís not easy. Itís really hard. Iíve watched my dad do it my whole life. I sang on his stage for like two years and it took me a while to learn how to be the one in the front. You are the one that is carrying the show and you are the one that has to keep things moving. You are the main focus and it is still something that I am trying to figure out. I feel more comfortable now but every time we play I learn something new about what I need to do in keeping up the energy and working with the band and making a connection. Itís a hard job but I love to do it.
Talk about what it is you think that MOTHER SUPERIOR brings to the table personality-wise that makes this project work for you.
Thatís JIM WILSON and MARCUS BLAKE. They are amazing! They are like walking music encyclopedias. They know everything. They could be on ROCK N ROLL JEOPARDY. They are great friends, great guys and super-down-to-earth and extremely talented. Itís really a great fit. It was immediately comfortable hanging out with those guys. Writing songs with them is super-natural. It just feels right. Theyíve just got idea after idea. Some of them are better than others but for the most part, they are all good. One of our problems has been picking out the better of the good. We could have worse problems writing together.
How long have you been married to SCOTT IAN?
Weíre not technically married but weíve been together for about nine years now and have been engaged for five years. I donít think there is common law in California but if there were we would be. Weíve been together for along time and weíve both been married before and everyone asks us Ďwhen are you going to get married?í Right now everything is perfect the way that it is. Iím not going anywhere and heís not going anywhere. Weíre both just enjoying where we are.
You said earlier that he was listening to the CD in the car. Has he contributed to the songwriting process at all?
Absolutely! He is the co-writer on a couple of the songs. He came back today in the middle of our writing session and chimed in with a couple of great ideas. Heís definitely a big contributor.
Any plans for shows in the future?
Definitely! Our official release date for the album right now is January 19th. Weíre working on building shows around that date and touring throughout the year. Itís kind of hard right now because everyone kind of disappeared last week for the Holidays. Weíre just getting it all worked out right now.
I noticed on the album that you did a cover of NUTBUSH CITY LIMITS. What drew you to that song?
Itís a rocking song. Itís always been one of my favorite IKE AND TINA songs. Itís actually a song that TINA TURNER wrote. Iíve always loved it and was always attracted to it. TINA TURNER is one of my favorite artists ever. Itís a great song and itís fun and I like to sing it and I think we did a great job with it.
You did. Like I said itís a great CD. Itís a pleasant surprise.
Thanks. When we went out last Spring, we opened for VELVET REVOLVER and we would end with that song and it went over really well. People were really psyched.
What was it like touring with VELVET REVOLVER?
It was great. Thos guys are wonderful. It was their last days with SCOTT WEILAND so things were a little tumultuous between him and the rest of the guys. We didnít see SCOTT at all very much but we hung out with DUFF and SLASH and they are really great guys and really supportive. When we get attention from them, itís only a little thing for them but it means the world to us and they are more than happy to help out if they dig your music. SLASH was the one who had heard our band and said that our manager should expect a call from our agent. There are no complaints. Iíve got nothing but good stuff to say about those guys.
I once interviewed a fellow who used to be a keyboardist in your dadís band. TOM BRISLIN from the band SPIRALING. He was one of my first interviews.
When he was in my dadís band, the band was called SPIRALING DOWNWARD.
Recently, he was touring with DEBORAH HARRY.
Oh cool! Heís a good guy - really talented.
What would like someone to come away with after theyíve heard this CD?
Satisfaction. The feedback that Iíve been getting is that there is really a void for rock music Ė especially with a chick singing. There isnít a good rock chick out there right now Ė a real rock chick Ė not a pop girl masquerading as a rock chick. There is nothing wrong with that. I love pop music but I am rock and I sing rock and my band plays their instruments. If you wanna rock, come with me. I hope people hear it and they go ĎAhh! That is what I was missing and they gave it to me good!í