You may not have known that Bryan Adams released an album last year. The Canadian rock star is no longer interested in going on the promotional circuit to talk endlessly about his new releases. He says he just wants to make music — and maybe shoot a few photographs along the way.
You may not have known that Bryan Adams released an album last year.
The Canadian rock star is no longer interested in going on the promotional circuit to talk endlessly about his new releases. He says he just wants to make music — and maybe shoot a few photographs along the way.
This year, Adams brings his solo acoustic tour, dubbed Bare Bones, also the name of last year’s live album. Instead of fronting a full band and playing an electric guitar, Adams will perform stripped-down versions of his hits.
“I’ve always been about presenting things as they really are,” Adams said during a telephone interview from England. “Even my band shows are very basic — all about the music. So the basic idea is to strip the songs down to as they were written and present them without frills.”
The album “Bare Bones” includes acoustic versions of many of Adams’ biggest hits — among them “Summer of ’69,” “Cuts Like a Knife,” “All For Love” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” a song that spent 16 consecutive weeks at No. 1 in England (and also topped the U.S. charts). Adams plays them alone or, occasionally, with a pianist.
During a recent interview, Adams discussed his music, his love of portrait photography and why you’re more likely to hear his new music in movie theaters these days.
Q: When you write songs, do you write on acoustic or electric instruments?
A: It’s mostly acoustic guitar when you’re composing. It’s handy, you can pick it up and go. There are advantages to electric for different purposes, but when you’re plunking out the first ideas, the first thing that comes around is the acoustic guitar.
Q: You’ve had public exhibits of your portrait photography (many of Adams’ portraits are of fellow rock stars). How did your interest in photography start?
A: Just more or less by being involved in the creative process and watching people when preparing for my own records and press. I’d always dabbled with a camera but never considered taking it seriously until more recently. It never occurred to me that you could take it seriously. Music was always on my brain.
I think it was more … I really like doing it, and I decided I would just, you know, keep going and see where it would take me.
I like both black and white (pictures) and color. I sort of love black and white because there is a timelessness about it. Many of my album covers are black and white for that reason.
Q: Besides your book collecting your photographs (tentatively set for release in spring 2012), do you have any plans for a new album?
A: No album. I haven’t thought about making another album. I have plenty of songs, but I’m not sure if I want to. There is so much that goes into having and go … when you make a record, some of first few records, we’d go on tour and carry on and do another one. It was all very simple. If it were as simple as that, I’d do it.
But it’s not as simple as that. I would have to go and promote it with same intensity that everyone else promotes their albums.
I have done “American Idol.” That was cool, I like working with young artists. That’s another thing entirely. But to go out and promote myself, it’s very difficult to talk about yourself, and I’ve always thought it’s better to let the music do the talking. But these days, you can’t do that.
Instead of doing albums, I like to do a song here and a song there. I did work for some films, including an animated film in South Africa … and a Canadian film coming out now. I like the idea of doing songs for films. I think that works out very well. I’ll probably keep my hand in that, and then occasionally if it’s the right setup, do a song.
I haven’t done anything (in terms of promotion) for "Bare Bones." I’d rather that just be part of the show. It picks up steam here and there because of the amount of work I do touring and it creates its own momentum. There is something grassroots about that that I like.
This interview has been edited and condensed. Contact features editor Brien Murphy at 217-788-1515.
Request a song
Bryan Adams is encouraging fans to make song requests on Twitter.
“One thing that is interactive about the show, I do requests from the fans,” he said in our interview. “It’s cool for me — it reminds me of songs I can’t remember. (But) it’s difficult, on the spot, so it’s nice to have a day’s notice.”
Find him at @bryanadams.