Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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On June 20th longtime Adam’s World favorite Coole High will return from a musical hiatus to release not just one, but two new albums – a smooth jazz album titled Change Of Scenery, and a hip-hop album titled Clouded Visionary I.
As a precursor to these efforts, Coole High has released videos for the lead singles off of each album, and I caught up with the Las Vegas, via NYC, artist to ask him all about them.
You’re releasing two albums at the same time. Does each project come from the same emotional place, or do they represent completely different aspects of yourself?
There's a similar emotional place, but the difference is Change Of Scenery is more of the smoothed out, introspective, and reflective side, while Clouded Visionary I is more of the self critical side, almost a self loathing, or despair-ish, approach.
They were created in two different times. Clouded Visionary I was completed while I was still in New York, with the exception of the songs “Suspension,” and “Not A Superhero,” while Change Of Scenery was all created since I've been in Vegas.
The video for “Changes” takes place in a convenience store. This is an unusual scene for a smooth jazz soundtrack. What made you want to connect this place with this song?
The young man that's featured in the video – shout out to Ryan Avery – works at that spot. I walked in one day while an earlier version of the song was playing in my headphones, and the feel, the lighting, and the overall vibe of “something's gotta give" filled me.
He and I share similar views on current events, politics, and life in general. He's also a musician that's part of a local band. I know, never discuss politics in public, but we clicked for some time, so I asked him if it would be OK if I filmed him with my GoPro doing what he does, almost like a day in the life of a store clerk. After he heard the song, he immediately recognized that it would be a more melancholic approach to the video.
We shot in two sessions, and voila.
I know it's a little unusual for a song like that, but sometimes moods hit a person in such random spaces. It's like, you never know what the next person is thinking. I just wanted to share that.
You’ve made a bevy of changes in your life over the past few years. Which change would you say has been the most eye opening for you?
The change of being a dad, and a family guy. It's interesting, to say the least, but it is most rewarding.
The other is just knowing that I can't just pick up and run as often as I'd like. I've made a conscious decision to alter the way I contribute to the world of music so that I don't go crazy not being able to tour like I once did, at least not at this particular moment. As time passes, things may very well change, but either way, I'm extremely happy with the current changes.
Moving to “Suspension,” what was the driving motivation behind this song?
The song itself comes from a place of meeting so many "artists" that stake a claim to such a title, but don't put in the work to display that to the masses.
I'm still fairly new to the desert lifestyle, so my NY state of mind is rebelling a little.
Also, (another motivation is) illustrating that all the new stuff may not always be good for us, while sharing my personal hurdles and struggles to get to where I'm at, which at times, feels like I'm at square one, ironically.
How did you go about choosing the imagery for the video?
For "Suspension" I initially wanted to convey the vibe of suspense, like “something's about to happen,” so the visuals are dark on purpose. It kind of represents a "night and day" idea, or a life mission gone wrong, and the desert was the final destination.
Thinking of it in hindsight, it could just be the contrast of how living a risky life could lead to a life of isolation in the middle of nowhere, while conveying somewhat of an abstract artistic approach to the visuals, using not so typical imagery to project these moods and ideas to give my audience a bit more food for thought, and more conversational pieces. I mean, who else do you know can find cognac in the dessert while barefoot in a suit. Ha!
Also, just being a New York transplant in Vegas – the night life that's not so touristy, and the lure of the desert.
I'm currently shooting another video nearer to the mountains, and to view them at night, as vast and huge as they are, is a bit mesmerizing.
I'm also really intrigued with history, and Vegas history is particularly fascinating. Riding around and discovering places here in Vegas, I've kept a mental note of locations that I would use to put visuals to songs.
You can pick up both Clouded Visionary I, and Change Of Scenary, on June 20th via coolehighmusic.com.