Adam Freeland on Faking It


Grammy-nominated breakbeat DJ and producer Adam Freeland recently stepped down from the decks to focus on his band Freeland. This month he shifts focus back to the turntables with his first solo release since 2007’s Hate EP with How to Fake Your Own Life, returning to electronic form with his signature big room bass and analogue synths in this Étienne de Crécy collaboration. But despite his latest solo effort Freeland denies any break from the band: ‘I just wanted to do some more club-based stuff for my DJ sets. The band stuff is becoming increasingly psychedelic and droney.’

Do you prefer to play solo or live with the band?

‘I like both at different times for different reasons. When the band are all on form and we are on a festival stage or in the right environment it’s very powerful delivering. But as a DJ I love not being fixed to a track list and just being able to play new music and freestyle it. It’s not so easy to freestyle with four people.’

Tell us about How to Fake Your Own Life and the inspiration behind it…

‘I really like the loose feeling DFA sound, but most doesn’t quite have the balls for the bigger crowds I play to. So it’s got that live drums feel but with heavy production for the dancefloor and a monster hooky riff reminiscent of early Daft Punk. In a super digital scene I’m trying to go the other way and get more organic with my sound while riding that line which works in a big soundsystem environment.’

Who inspires you creatively?

‘That’s no short answer but this week inspirers on my mind are: Stefan Sagmeister, Ernst Haeckel, David Lynch, Rumi, the Dewaele Brothers, Nick Cave, David Sylvian, Eno, Walter Gibbons, Jonny Greenwood, Siriusmo. Generally artists that come as stuff from a leftfield, psychedelic angle or have a core truth or message underlying their work, and also artists that understand subtlety and dynamics.’

What do you love most about London?

‘I love the multiculture mash-up, the abundance of good music, the edge, art, food, buzz and parks.’

What would your ideal night out in London involve?

‘A good matinee film or play in the West End followed by some Prosecco and a picnic with friends on the top of Primrose Hill, if it’s a sunny summer evening, a walk to a good pub for some more food and good wine then Iggy and the Stooges at a smaller Camden venue. Maybe play a set myself at Fabric later on.’

Who is the most exciting DJ in the world right now?

‘DJ Garth from Greyhound records, ex-Wicked crew. He and Harvey made their name in the early ‘90s doing the Tonka parties in London and Brighton and Harvey was an original resident at the Ministry of Sound and is the one who went on to being more famous. But the lesser-known Garth is my hero. I have heard him play a couple of times this year and it’s just mind-blowing every time. He calls his style cosmic disco, but for me he perfectly mashes up psych rock and deep disco and house in a way like no other.’

Any summer festival plans for 2010?

‘I’ve already done quite a few but coming up are Secret Garden – which is always one of my faves – Jellyfest, Solfest, various in Europe and maybe Burning Man.’

Any other projects in the pipeline?

‘I’m always working on perfecting that ultimate live/club sound. I’ve done some production for Devo. I’m working on mixes for an album to be released by the Charity Bottle Top. I’m putting an ambient drone album out as an alter ego and working on building a self-sustained design and arts village in a very special spot.’

First published on The London Word, July 2010.
© Abbey Stirling