Local Wire

Let It Bleed

Page 3 of 3

Meanwhile, Adkins has been using the current downtime to write material for the next JEW album and begin work on a proposed side project, tentatively dubbed the All Rock Alert (Adkins says he's decided to shelve his orch-pop outfit Go Big Casino for the time being).

Taking up a chair behind the console of his home studio, Adkins closes his eyes and bobs his head as the monitors blare out a just-finished demo of a new, untitled number. The punkish, three-chord romp is indicative of the growing diversity in Adkins writing -- an attribute that makes a quantum leap on the new record.

Adkins finally seems to get comfortable as he pulls up a handful of song snippets he's been working on, including a hilariously over-the-top doom-metal instrumental called "Satanica," which was composed entirely on the Sony Playstation music-maker program, something that -- as he notes with a wicked grin -- may see the light of day a as a European b-side.

Turning his thoughts back to Bleed American, Adkins is clearly heartened by the early response the record has generated and hopeful that other bands will follow JEW's example in creating their own opportunities.

"I hope this actually works," he says of the band's circuitous and independent route back to the major-label fold. "So that it sets a precedent for how you could do stuff if you wanted to. Look at it this way: At the worst we would have not had management, not had a label and put the disc out ourselves, played for 600 people a night and made all the money ourselves -- which wouldn't have been a bad thing either."

As it stands, of course, the album has considerably more behind it.

"Yeah, I'm surprised things have worked out as well as they have, because it all has to do with luck and timing," muses Adkins. "Honestly, I expected things to be decent, but I didn't expect to get the chance that I think we're going to get. That's pretty much the only thing that you can hope for -- is the chance."

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Bob Mehr
Contact: Bob Mehr