You know him best for his roles in films like Saving Private Ryan and A Beautiful Mind, or his turn as Chandler’s crazy roommate on Friends, but actor Adam Goldberg has just released his first musical effort, Eros and Omissions, with his band LANDy, on which he also collaborated with the Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd. Here, Adam chats with RadarOnline.com about his music and why he hopes to avoid the dreaded stigma of being an actor-turned-musician.
RadarOnline.com: You’re known for your acting, but apparently you’ve been writing music for years—tell us a little about your songwriting.
AG: I started writing songs sort of out of the blue in 1993 not long after I had some dreams where I was capable of more than merely using a guitar as piece of furniture. I’m sure I was taught a few chords, but I like the idea that I dreamed I was singing and playing guitar and then it came to pass.
RadarOnline.com: With all the actors-turned-musicians out there were you hesitant to publicly enter the music world?
AG: Yes. And no. I mean, it seems a little silly for people to attack a character actor who made a self-produced record when the pop culture world is populated by a fairly significant amount of bubble gum singers who act and bubble gum actors who sing. I don’t have any back up dancers and headset mics. Though, come to think of it that might not be such a bad idea. That said, I’m laying myself fairly bare, am aware of the skepticism—I’m as skeptical as anybody, so a bit of hypocrite—and nobody likes a meanie. So, yeah it’s come up.
RadarOnline.com: How did you come up with the name LANDy and what does it mean exactly?
AG: I’m only at liberty to say that my already strangely named dog began to be known as Landy when we were in Oklahoma. As I always say, for the past week, three times maybe: This LANDy is your LANDy, this LANDy is my LANDy.
RadarOnline.com: What was your vision with this album and did you stay true to that?
AG: There was never an overarching aesthetic plan, but themes and tones and production concepts recur just by nature of my taste and moods. I definitely wanted the album to be more of an immersion, a sort of cinematic experience, rather than a 10-, 12-song record. I wanted for people to get lost in it, much in the way that I did. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it was a decision.
RadarOnline.com: How did your working with Steven Drozd from the Flaming Lips come about?
AG: A couple of friends of mine had met Steven around town and he had mentioned that he wanted to meet me. Huh? I was a huge fan. He freely admitted I was number two, just beneath the simply adorable Thom Yorke, at the time, on Steven’s top ten list of man-crushes. I was putty in his hands. Anyway, eventually I asked him to collaborate.
RadarOnline.com: You have a really distinctive vocal style – who inspires you vocally, any favorite frontmen you’d point to?
AG: I’m quite sure that my love of certain artists over the years has seeped in, don’t see how they couldn’t have: Neil Young, Lennon, Elliott Smith, Bowie, Bolan, Costello, Humperdinck, these are all singers I always liked. Sometimes, usually live, I do something that sounds like Tom Verlaine just possessed me…I always sort of cock my head when that happens.
RadarOnline.com: Tell us some of the things that inspired you lyrically and musically on this album – in life, literature, film, travel, or whatnot.
AG: I wish I could say that literature or travel influenced me. I mean, usually travel does to an extent because I’m homesick. But I’m afraid in end, it’s Narcisso over here who inspires much of this. I mean, some awful things happened, just happened, that affected me and that I wrote about it, over the last few years—deaths, breakups, etcetera. Sometimes the songs are just moods, non-literal expressions of a mood.
RadarOnline.com: Have you played live shows in LA yet, and if so how were they?
AG: We played two shows, one at Spaceland, one at The Echo, and we have another show coming up at The Echo. I get very, very nervous. The loss of control I’m used to in a recording setting is tantamount to my paralyzing fear of flying. I’m also one of those people who never thinks anything I do anyway is good enough. This can be both productive and destructive.
RadarOnline.com: Are you going to tour this album in the US and if so when?
AG: This is largely subject to everybody’s schedule and pocketbook. We talk about Europe as well, where the record has already seemed to piqued some interest—mainly in France, but also in Poland and Turkey. Yes, Turkey. I’ve always wanted to say I’m big in Turkey. I’m just gonna say it: I’m big in Turkey.
RadarOnline.com: And what’s up next for you with acting, directing or any other projects?
AG: A little film called “Untitled” is coming out in October, I play a musician actually, and I’ve been working on a script, then you know, the usual irons in the fire. But will be hustling I’m afraid for work soon unless I can put some asses in iPods with this record.