Interview: Adam Law

Dan McAvinchey: Adam, you've had your EP "Resonance" out for a while, what kind of reaction have you been getting from fans?

Adam Law: People have been most impressed with the release combination of HD video of the entire EP itself. I think being that YouTube has grown to be the largest place people discover and find new music, the 'video element' of this project made it much more accessible.

Dan McAvinchey: What do you have in your recording rig?

Adam Law: My recording rig is very straight forward actually. I have a Dell XPS laptop running ProTools and Avid's Elevenrack guitar processor. I program all of my drum parts with XLN Audio's Addictive Drums. As for guitars, I used three on Resonance, an Ibanez RGA7QM, PRS Custom 22, and Fender Stratocaster. Wanting to experiment with a 7-string, I bought the Ibanez right at the tale-end of my previous project ‘Thinking Out Loud II' in 2013, but it didn't really make it onto that record, minus a few background tracks. I didn't like the stock pickups, and had them replaced with Seymour Duncan Blackouts in both the neck and bridge positions. When I first plugged in with these, they were some of the hottest pickups I'd ever played. Super loud, powerful, with awesome cut and punch. Really helped me capture some very powerful tones on this record.

Dan McAvinchey: What are you striving to achieve musically, particularly on "Resonance"?

Adam Law: I wanted to try and mash up a diversity of not only songs, but instruments. I know there are only six tracks, but when listening through them, there are pianos, trombones, saxophones, violins, synths, three different guitars, humbuckers, single coils, not to mention an incredible guest guitarist (John McNiel). I just tried to put this group of songs and sounds together in the most melodic and accessible way possible. When I listen to some of my favorite instrumental work, I love to focus on it, let it create a mood and just let my mind drift with the music. This was my goal with this project.

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Dan McAvinchey: Artists are using a number of web sites to help with publicity and promotion. What do you find is working
best (or not working) for you at the moment?

Adam Law: I've found Youtube to be a great platform for exposure. It's awesome what you can do in a home studio with a GoPro, software and a few days. I think video is one of the most powerful and productive things you can do to accompany a musical release. As for ‘not working', paid Facebook ads, ha! Tried it once with $20, got a lot of clicks, but that's about it. In the end, nothing beats word of mouth. Someone recommending or sharing your music on their own is the greatest feeling in the world. Having them enjoy it to the point of recommending it on is what you want!

Dan McAvinchey: What do you find to be the advantages of being an independent musician?

Adam Law: I've gotten very comfortable with being able to control all parts of the music. It certainly has its advantages for projects like these where I can direct it all, but there is a whole other side of jamming with other people, and adapting to what others are playing, ‘relinquishing control' of everything so to speak! That is one thing that I would like to work on in the future, as I know it will make me a better player.

Dan McAvinchey: When did you first get interested in guitar, and how did you learn and progress as a player?

Adam Law: I started playing when I was 11. I originally was learning to play the piano, but realized ‘guitar is cooler' (haha, not necessarily true by the way). My dad had played for years, owned several guitars, and definitely got me started on the instrument. He exposed me to tons of great guitarists, showed me several chord basics and some foundation for lead playing. I was heavily obsessed with Joe Satriani's music. I remember trying to learn as many of his songs as possible. My dad then got me enrolled in guitar lessons with a fantastic local player (who guest solos on "Resonance"!), John McNiel. He really helped instill many great principals to build on in both my lead playing and theory. It was great to turn around 20 years later and have him rip it up with a guest solo!

Dan McAvinchey: Have you heard any new guitarists that have really caught your ear in the past couple of years?

Adam Law: Yes. Jakub Zytecki. I accidently came across him in late 2012. He initially blew me away with his guest solo on Above The Earth's track "Trapeze". That solo's accuracy and choice of notes had me instantly hooked. He doesn't just zip up and down scales, he does it with creativity and style. You're always wondering “where is he going to go next?" and then he goes the opposite direction, doing something that leaves you wondering, "How did he do that?". Check out his band Disperse and upcoming solo project!

Dan McAvinchey: Does it make sense to consider releasing physical CDs in the future in the age of digital media?

Adam Law: I swing both ways on this. I did some ‘very early' projects, almost as a kid, and paid to have them printed. It was a great feeling to hold that finished piece of art in your hands, but I think that feeling was more or less for me, as a sense of accomplishment. The prices associated with printing a batch of CDs can really put you in a deep financial hole right out of the gate. With the digital distribution tools available today, and the fact that the majority of my listeners have access to the internet, I've been able to dodge those printing costs, and release a project globally with virtually no upfront cost. It's not to say that I would never consider printing a project again, there would just have to be the demand to justify it.

Dan McAvinchey: If you could do a once-off album project with any guitarist in the world, who would it be?

Adam Law: David Maxim Micic. He is not only a fantastic guitarist, but one of the best composers I've ever listened to. His music can only be described as a ‘musical journey'. My favorite thing about his writing is the diversity of instruments and impeccable production quality. You just instantly know, if his name is on it, it's going to be one hell of a production. He has done this series of solo records, 'BILO", and it's some of the most inspiring, creative work I've ever heard. He would have to be my pick for any guitarist in the world, not just for his guitar playing ability, but because he seems like such a nice, chill guy, that I could learn so much from!

Dan McAvinchey: Finally, what are some of your plans for the future?

Adam Law: Well, I'm about to have my first child (daughter) here. I am incredibly excited about that! Can't wait to watch her grow and take interest in everything. I'm also excited about what she will inspire in me, as I know it will come out as something musical. New life experiences = new music! I have several demo's in the works, but are going to experiment with some new sounds, new toys, and perhaps new players for the next project! Please visit YouTube and BandCamp to listen to my music.

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Adam Law is a Richmond, Virginia-based musician, long recognized as a natural talent on electric guitar, specializing in instrumental rock. He took advantage of the free promotional opportunities with YouTube by using a GoPro camera to capture his musical performances - offering a unique perspective.

Dan McAvinchey checked in with Law to get the skinny on his most recent recording, as well as his take on life as an independent musician.