Adam Hopper has started a new solo project under his own name working with producer. Emerging from indie punk band Blanketman, who are no strangers to Backseat Mafia, Hopper is working with Rob Kirwan (Hozier, PJ Harvey, U2) who was keen to help him get his music out there. Concentrating on poignant, wry lyricism and catchy melodies, he creates his own unique brand of wide-eyed, mellow alternative pop music. We managed to get some time to find out about his work and debut single.
Give us a potted history of yourself
I started playing/writing music in my teens and started a number of bands while at school and then at uni, I then moved to Manchester and started the Post-punk/Indie-punk band Blanketman. I was in that band for about 4 years, writing songs, singing and playing guitar. That project came to an end earlier in 2022 and since then I’ve been kicking off this solo project under my own name. I’m currently based in Manchester but I’m originally from a small town in East Yorkshire called Driffield. I’m working with producer Rob Kirwan on recording a number of tracks, my debut “Beauty In Sadness” being one of them and self-releasing them. Other than that, I’m playing as many gigs as I can, writing, gardening, playing computer games etc.
Who inspired you to start making music
I don’t think any one person/event inspired me to start making music. My parents are music fans and I soaked up a lot of that, my uncle Craig played guitar too and had a huge music collection that always interested me. I have also been obsessed with the Beatles for a long time. In 6th form I got into the Libertines in a big way which I think did kind of did make me want to start a band in my teens.
And the one or maybe two records that inspired you artistically
“Loaded” by The Velvet Underground is one of my favourite records and inspires me daily. Probably the best 3 opening tracks in a row of any album in my opinion: Who Loves the Sun, Sweet Jane and Rock & Roll. Lou Reed is one of my favourite songwriters; I also really love the stripped back, simple arrangements and melodies too. I adore Doug Yule’s vocal contributions throughout the record, which 100% stand up on their own even alongside Lou’s iconic vocal I think, and he’s often overlooked. I’m yet to find this record on 12″ so if anyone reading this wants to give me a copy that would be really kind.
If you’re trying to explain whom you sound like to someone that’s never heard you, what do you say
Always the hardest question – Big melodies, acoustic guitar, synthesizer; drum machine + break beats.
Tell us about your new single
My debut single “Beauty In Sadness” was produced and mixed by Rob Kirwan (Hozier, PJ Harvey). I wrote it early this year when I was sad about the band coming to an end amongst other things. It’s about me, it’s kind of a note to myself to keep my chin up and appreciate the good stuff in life. I like being inside generally – apart from being in the garden, but that’s still kind of inside my bubble of comfort if that makes sense. I especially like being inside when it’s chucking it down outside. I filmed the video myself with my good friend Jack Harkins around Ladybarn in Manchester where I live on a Sony Handycam. The song is self-released.
Where can we get hold of it
Tell us how you write
I usually get an idea for lyric or a melody (or both) pop into my head at random points throughout the day/night. I then crudely mumble/hum/whistle that into my phone’s voice recorder or write it down on any available paper. After that I will work on it with my acoustic guitar until I’ve got the basic structure, I like to record basic demos on my 4-track tape recorder, I then tend to hone it on my computer. Since working with Rob I have been doing a lot more writing off the cuff in the studio in response to his ideas/production – which is way out of my comfort zone but a lot of fun.
Tell us about your live show What would be your dream gig
At the moment it’s a solo affair, I am backed up by my trusty laptop though so expect a full sound! Any gig is a dream gig really. I’m feeling really fulfilled by my live shows at the moment. I’ve still not managed to play the Ritz in Manchester and that’s a favourite venue of mine in the city. I’d love to play Green Man.
What can we expect from you in the near future
I’m going to be releasing more singles throughout early next year digitally, most likely culminating in a larger release (probably an EP) hopefully on 12″ at some point next year. To be honest I just want to keep consistently releasing as much music as possible and gig as often as possible. I’m playing at The Talleyrand in Manchester on Nov 19th.
Tell us your favourite records that’s rocking your headphones/tour bus/stereo
I’m really enjoying The Bug Club’s new record “Green Dream in F#”.
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