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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Stacking The Deck with Anna Rose
Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Stacking The Deck is a feature exclusive to Adam’s World where I bring packs of 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusiCards to artists, and we discuss who they find in each pack.

Whether she’s performing a blues song, rocking out, or slowing things down with a ballad, all of Anna Rose’s music has one thing in common – she makes sure it kicks ass.

While many artists like to claim the stage is their second home, with Rose’s touring schedule the cliche might actually be apropos. In addition to hitting the road on a regular basis, she’s also a mainstay on the stages of NYC, routinely packing venues such as Rockwood Music Hall.


I caught up with Anna at the Think Coffee on the corner of Bleecker and Bowery to open up some packs of MusiCards, and talk a whole lotta music. The artists we found sparked stories of inspirations, unusual concert gear, & a karaoke favorite.



Madonna

A lot of people wouldn’t know Madonna’s been a big influence to me.

What I think is amazing about Madonna is her ability to chameleon, and the fact that she’s, against all odds, persevered, especially in a very male dominated world – so many people just verbally kicked the shit out of her. That resonated with me.

On this last record (Strays In The Cut), and on Behold A Pale Horse, the (Madonna) songs “Human Nature,” and “Rain,” those are songs I actually pulled from for harmonies. I would be like, “I want my harmonies to sound like ‘Rain,’” “I want this beat to sound like ‘Human Nature.’” It shocked the hell out of my producer that I was pulling out these references. Usually I’m like, “When in doubt please make me sound like Robert Plant,” or, “Make Adam (Stoler’s) solo sound like Jimi Hendrix,” but it’s been Madonna for a lot of stuff like that.

She’s someone I would love to meet.

Also, her bustier selection has been unparalleled. {laughs}



The Doors

My very first record, that you will not be able to find on the internet, is called Nomad. The only reason it’s not on the internet is because of some label stuff that happened, and it just ended up disappearing off the internet. I have copies left, and I believe Amazon still has copies. It is a record I released well over ten years ago.

That record was co-produced by myself and a guy named Billy Sullivan, but we actually had an executive producer on the record, and that executive producer was Bruce Botnick, who was, early on, the engineer for The Doors, and then he became The Doors’ producer.

The Doors actually played at his wedding.

Solid wedding band.

Solid wedding band, right?

At the time I recorded this record I was living in California. I was playing shows up and down the strip, and as a teenager, and in my early 20s, I was really influenced by The Doors, so I almost had this “what would Jim Morrison do?” vibe when I was recording this record.

I remember when we had finished tracking I went up to Bruce’s studio to listen to the songs with him, and we’re sitting there in his studio, and he has his Doors plaques, and he has posters, and at the time he was remastering a lot of live concerts The Doors were going to reissue.

Again, this is coming from a deep respect for The Doors, and Jim Morrison’s artistry – a lot of my lyrics, I’m accused a lot of having extremely dark lyrics. I like to think my lyrics are interesting, or different from what the status quo might be. Jim was kinda the same way.

I remember sitting there, and I asked Bruce, we’d been recording these songs, and I’d held back from asking this question, but now that everything’s done, I asked, “Do you think Jim would have liked my music? Do you think he would have liked this record?” Bruce’s response was “I think he would have appreciated your neuroses.” {laughs}

I’m very forgetful sometimes, but I never forgot that.



Huey Lewis

I have a Huey Lewis muscle shirt from the ‘80s that has a picture of Huey Lewis on the front, and on the back it says “The Heart of Rock & Roll.” It’s my favorite shirt.

I think it was my first tour with Tony Lucca, we were playing in Indianapolis, Indiana, and I was always wearing this shirt before I would go on stage, but would change into a plain shirt for the show.

For some reason, I think Adam and I got held up in traffic, or something happened, and I didn’t have time to change, so I kept this shirt on, and it was the first time we played the cover that we do of Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression.”

Tony is super gracious, and would always kind of shout me out from stage at every show. This particular show he said, “Give it up for Anna Rose, the only person I know who would cover Jimi Hendrix while wearing a Huey Lewis t-shirt.” {laughs}

That pretty much sums up myself as an artist in one quotation.



George Michael, and The Ventures

Was there a George Michael poster on your wall growing up?

There was not a George Michael poster on my wall growing up, but I loved George Michael, and I especially loved “Freedom ’90.” Now, actually, I dig into his catalog a lot more, and I’ve watched a lot of footage of him.

I was a weird kid because I grew up appreciating The Ventures, and wanting to play surf rock like they did. The guy who taught me how to play guitar, Arlen Roth, was all about that kind of rock n roll.

I kinda grew up on blues, and that then took me into this sort of surf rock place.

Which isn’t normal for kid growing up.

Especially not in the ‘90s. I loved Soundgarden, I loved Nirvana, and then I loved these blues guys, and I loved surf rock. People like George Michael sort of escaped me until I was older. I would hear stuff on MTV and think, “Oh that’s cool, but have you heard Led Zeppelin III? C’mon!” That was kind of my life.

Some of the first stuff I learned how to play was The Ventures.



Cher

I just want to say, for the record, that Cher is one of my favorite artists of all-time.

You believe in life after love?

I believe in life after love. I also fully play in the van, all the time, Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves, and I can also do a mean “If I Could Turn Back Time.” That is my favorite karaoke song, actually.


For more Anna Rose check out annarosemusic.com.

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