WHO: Adam's Rib
WHERE: The Boot
WHEN: Monday, May 14
It's neither punk, nor R&B, nor bubble gum pop. And Derek Lathrop makes no apologies for that.
Adam's Rib doesn't fit the format of increasingly popular stations such as Vancouver's CFOX or XFM, and that's just fine by him. If you have to use an adjective to describe where Adam's Rib does fit on the Canadian music scene, adult alternative would be it. Lathrop's songwriting is passionate yet mellow, thought-provoking but catchy. And his mix of guitar, cello and now woodwinds is settling in to a comfortable niche.
"Most radio stations are playing harder edged stuff or hip hop or that damned Backstreet Boys stuff. I've never been one who's been big on following trends. I'd rather start one of my own. And that's what I'm trying to do. Do something that's not happening on the radio, that doesn't sound like anything that's on the radio and just keep touring live," says Lathrop.
"I honestly have no visions of grandeur of us becoming a large stadium act. If that happens, great. We're gonna work towards it. But at the moment we're a small soft-seater band and I'm quite content with that."
Lathrop's realistic musical vision was obvious from the inception of Adam's Rib. Lathrop is, in fact, the only original member of the Toronto-based band. He hires musicians as needed for albums and touring. This has allowed him sole control over the direction of his music and progression of his career.
"I've been in two bands before where we broke up right after making the CD. And it was like all this work for nothing. I got discouraged with that, so I said 'fuck this' and went out and did my first record completely by myself."
But that's not to say that Lathrop insists on grabbing the spotlight with band members simply acting as a backdrop. Lathrop hires only quality musicians with a little extra flare. He insists Adam's Rib is a musical environment, and everyone in the band is equally important in creating it.
"Besides," adds Lathrop, "I'm not into having my name and face plastered everywhere. I don't really want to be marketed that way."
Adam's Rib's upcoming CD, The Forever Café , is scheduled for release at the end of June. Lathrop had hoped it would be out sooner, but is taking his time finding a distributor and putting the final touches on the finished product. A preview of three of the songs from the new CD - Thinking About This, Buttercup, Title Less - shows new growth in Lathrop's music. His emotional range on vocals is a bit reminiscent of Jon Mann of Spirit of the West. The songs themselves are blossoming into a fuller sound with the addition of a little computer technology and loops and samples, as well as an increase in the organic with woodwinds, cello and more cello. Looping and cello? One step towards the mainstream and two steps back.
"I honestly couldn't care where the music industry is going," quips Lathrop. "I do what I do. And I think honest music and a good live performance will always overcome what's going on on the pop charts. I always keep an ear to the ground to see what's going on out there, but it will never shape or affect what I'm doing."