Next time you think you’re overworked, that you have no time to do anything remotely enjoyable, you may want to check out the schedule of Adam Schatz for a little perspective.
From bands like Landlady (which kicks off its residency at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium tonight) Man Man, Father Figures, Zongo Junction, and The Shoe Ins (just to name a few), to his own solo work and his non-profit organization Search and Restore, down time isn’t a phrase in Schatz’s vocabulary. Though when you ask him how he keeps everything together, he has an interesting response.
“We still do one at a time, physically and mentally, so if I was actually doing everything at the exact same time, that would be a bigger challenge,” he said. “But the answer to your question is, I don’t, I’m still figuring it out.”
Well, he’s doing a helluva job along the way to figuring it out, producing some of the most eclectic, yet captivating, music heard around these parts in a lot of years. And while he was probably told as a child that he could be whatever he wanted to be when he grew up, he actually took that old adage to heart.
“For me it was always about interest and desire and need,” he said. “These are all the things fueling what I’m doing. From a pretty early age I was into a lot of different stuff and once I got to New York, it was like, okay, I’m here, I can be doing all of these different things and there’s different music that I’m into and I really love organizing and I love performing and there are different ways to go about all of that. But I always sort of had a fear of a) hitting a wall with something or b) getting burned out, which can be the same thing or can also be pretty different. So I think starting a bunch of different projects is a protective measure.”
At the moment though, Landlady is his baby, and with three weekly shows at Shea Stadium this month, he gets to devote the time to the band (Schatz, Mikey Freedom Hart, Ian Chang, Ian Davis, Booker Stardrum) that he feels it needs.
“I think I need to pour as much personal, physical, and emotional energy into this one thing because it needs momentum to take off the ground,” he said. “It’s all time and place and I’ve done lots of different things in relation to the time and the place. And right now, the time and place seems to call for this and I believe in it, and it’s important to really go after what you believe in.”
With one record already out in the music universe, and a second (Upright Behavior) on its way on July 15, there’s no better time for Landlady to get its unique sound and songs to a wider audience. And with the first release from Upright Behavior, “Above My Ground,” being as catchy as they come, that audience may grow pretty fast.
“Between that song and the first record, you can sort of hear the difference in recording quality,” said Schatz of the band’s upcoming release. “This one’s a bit more hi-fi, and we did it in a studio with some other people. The last record I pretty much did all myself, so this one gives us that much more range, and I think that range is gonna really be on display. I think we can get totally quiet to the point of silence and we can get totally huge to this maximum energy that you didn’t even know could be reached. It’s that sort of landscape that we can create with this record where it can go all these different places but still feel like you’ve been a part of this whole.”
Schatz is just as excited to translate that landscape to the live stage, and with three nights in the same venue in Brooklyn, it allows the band to stretch things out even further, a treat for both the existing fans of the band and newcomers as well.
“It’s great just to be able to get to know a place in terms of the sound,” said Schatz of the Shea residency. “We’ve got two drummers, we sometimes have guests sit in with us, and it always helps to really know a room and know what we sound like in the room, because I know by that third show, it’s gonna be second nature to us playing in that space. And it’s also great to have an excuse to get together every week. We can play a lot more of our songs rather than having to pick our favorite eight for the one show a month we play in New York. We can have as many of our favorite bands play with us and it means we can try and get as many people out to see us over the course of a month who will get a chance to see how the band can shift dynamically from night to night. A lot of parts of these songs change, depending on the player and what we’re feeling, and I think it’s really cool for people to get to see that.”
And if Schatz has his way, a lot more people will see it in the coming months.
“It feels like the first liftoff,” he said of Landlady’s 2014 campaign. “It’s the first time we’re putting out a record with a record label (Hometapes) and with the support that we have. If people are gonna start caring, then we’re gonna give back as hard as possible. We’re gonna put out that record and tour, do all the things you’re supposed to do and maybe a couple other things you’re not supposed to do.”
Landlady plays at Brooklyn's Shea Stadium on April 8, April 15, and April 22. For more information, click here