Interview with Creative Adult vocalist Scott Phillips | By Janelle Jones
According to frontman Scott Phillips, it’s not hard for Creative Adult to write material. “We recorded 16 or 17 songs during the sessions for this record,” he says. “Almost half of what we recorded didn’t make the album.” The album in question is Fear of Life, Creative Adult’s second full-length and second release for Run for Cover Records, out since August 5th. The Bay Area-based band will be on the road much of this year supporting it. After hitting the West Coast in August, they head to Australia for the first time in September, tour Europe in October, and undertake a full U.S. tour in November.
But back to the dilemma of having too much material to choose from… “Picking and choosing and figuring out the track listing usually takes more thought” than writing material, Phillips explains. “People have such short attention spans now, you always wanna start off the record with what you feel has adrenaline, ‘cause you want to keep people interested.”
Of the songs that did make it on Fear of Life, no two sound alike, which makes for quite an interesting and fun release. “Every song on this album sounds like it could be from a completely different band,” Phillips says, “and that’s kinda cool.” Creative Adult open and close the record with eight-minute opuses, “like a sandwich,” Phillips jokes. “The bread are these long songs, and then, everything in the middle, all the other ingredients, are shoved in there.”
The opener, “Connected”—one of the finest tracks on the record—is a real treat. “That’s, like, the craziest song we’ve ever written, I think,” Phillips says. “It meanders and goes on and on and just doesn’t end. It’s super relentless.” The closer, “Hand in Shove,” is a cute nod to the Smiths, at least title-wise. “I’m not gonna lie; I was trying to be clever,” the vocalist says. In between, there are slower, more melodic tunes like “Heal,” “Know Who,” and “Charged,” but also total opposites like the aforementioned “Connected” and the fiery, punked-up “Reality Tunnel.” “I love that song,” Phillips declares, referring to the latter. “I had to fight to get that one on the album. I was like, ‘That song has to go on. It’s too wild not to be on the record.’” He adds, “I feel like a lot of the other stuff is super straightforward and, like, rock music kind of stuff. I wanted to make sure there was at least one song on the record that was crazy.”
In contrast to their previous album, 2014’s Psychic Mess, which “is very different,” Phillips says Fear of Life “is more structured, and we put more thought into it. As far as recording, it’s a lot clearer, just production-wise, it’s crispier.”
And, as far as album titles go, Fear of Life is a rather intriguing one. When asked what led to the title, the vocalist explains, “We live in such a fearful society, and I think fear is overriding a lot of other emotions. I think people are so scared to live in a way that they want to.” He continues, “I wanted people to know it’s OK to not be afraid, to be you, to do your own thing. There’s so much tension in society, but it’s important to acknowledge it, and through music, through art, go down to the root of these fears and try to manage them in a productive way, in a way that hopefully creates dialogue [so] we can figure this out together.”